Greece off the beaten path: the unspoilt island of Samos

Looking for a quiet Greek island with thriving nature and slightly off the beaten track? Samos looks like a great choice. Discover all it has to offer!

Samos!

I must confess it: I’m utterly incapable of tolerating the heat. The fact that I was born during one of the scariest snowstorms of the century and in a day that, according to an old Italian legend,  is supposed to be one of the coldest of the year, probably have helped in that department. When summer approaches, it is some sort of tragedy for me, especially because I live in one of the most damp areas of Italy, the infamous North-East. Heat plus humidity? The recipe for death by suffocation.

For this reason, when talking about summer holidays, even though I do love the Italian coasts, I have some sort of a soft spot for Greece and its islands, which are granted with a fantastic climate, the hot-dry one.

Today I will delve into a particular Greek island, Samos, which I had the pleasure to explore in its entirety a couple of years ago.

Kerveli, view. Samos.

Samos is the right island for you if:

  • You’re gonna spend your holidays with family/kids;
  • You’re looking for an unspoilt and not crowded Greek island;
  • While you enjoy the beach, you also like to delve into the cultural offer of a destination;
  • You like sports;
  • You’re not particularly interested in the nightlife.

Perks of Samos:

  • Variety of beaches

You can find beaches with sand, gravel and pebbles. Choose the typology that you prefer!

Sand beach, Ireon. Samos.Sand beach, Ireon.

Posidionio Bay, SamosGravel beach, Posidonio Bay

Pebbles beach, Mikali. Samos.Pebbles beach, Mikali.

  • It’s unspoilt and thriving

If you enjoy nature, Samos is a great choice as it is not as rocky as most of its sister-islands. The woods sometimes reach the coastline!

Maratokampos neighbourhood, Samos.

Nature, Samos

View. Kerveli, Samos.

Things to do

  • Sports

The Northern part of the island is quite windy, so it represents a great place for kite-surfing.

Another curious fact is that Samos is the Greek island with the highest mountain (Mount Kerkis) and by exploring around you can tell it’s a good place for hiking and even climbing.

  • Cultural and experiential activities

There are archaeological spots protected by Unesco around the area of Pythagorion and Heraion (here you can find the temple of the goddess Hera, that, according to the myth, was born in Samos), but if you are more interested in joining the locals and see how they live, I’d suggest you to explore the ceramic area of Koumaradei and see how pots are made. Here you can also buy the authentic souvenir of the island, the famous Cup of Pythagoras.

Another great experience is touring the monasteries of the island: they are quite a few and are great places where to enjoy some peace and quiet and see how orthodox people live their spiritual life. Just remember to be respectful and to dress properly ( no tops or shorts) when entering these places.

Monastery, SamosSpiliani Monastery, near Pythagorion.

Personal Favorites

  • Western Psili Ammos beach and neighbourhood

There are two beaches named Psili Ammos on the island, but the one I prefer is located on the South-Western coast. It’s a long sand beach and I remember enjoying a great meal in a tavern  nearby, under a small pine grove with a gentle breeze blowing from the sea.

Not very far from this beach (I don’t recall if this place has a specific denomination), there’s this marvellous bay, which colours are outstanding. A great corner of the island without any sort of doubt!

Bay near the eastern Psili Ammos, Samos

  • Kokkari, the most instagrammed (is it even a word?)

Kokkari beach, Samos

Small seaports always exude a peculiar charm. Once a village of fishermen, Kokkari is now a fascinating tourist destination, which has luckily maintained its unique personality and natural beauty.

Port of Kokkari, SamosOne of the most instagrammed (?) places in Kokkari

Kokkari, Samos.Romantic and colourful restaurant on the quayside.

  • Pythagorion, the natal town of Pythagoras

Pythagorion is most famous for its illustrious citizen, the philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras. There’s even a sculpture dedicated to him, that reminds the famous (and most hated by students) theorem.

I particularly loved walking along its harbour and sunny streets and hiking up the hill just behind the city, where there is the Spiliani Monastery, which is a privileged point of observation for admiring Pythagorion.

Pythagorion dall'alto. Samos.View of Pythagorion from Spiliani Monastery

Another location that I enjoyed a lot was represented by the ruins of Lykourgos Logotetis’ Castle. It is an inspiring spot for photographers, since it seems to be the reign of ravens that, as soon as you set foot in their territory, start to fly in circles as to intimidate you.

Ruins of Likourgos Logotetis'castle

ravens, likourgos logotetis'castle

The ruins perched over the sea and the rasping caws of the ravens gave the place a sense of creepiness and disquiet that I enjoyed (yes, I’m weird like that).

Conclusion

When I travel I personally love to search for a teaching or a message that specific location has to convey. In Samos I was able to learn some interesting things about happiness in life. If you’re interested, read what I discovered and let me know your point of view. Sometimes I find myself going back to that post to remind myself to breathe and take it easy.


Have you visited Greece? Do you enjoy the secluded islands or do you prefer the crowds and the nightlife? Let me know in a comment!

Hope you enjoyed!

A presto, SaRA

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11 thoughts on “Greece off the beaten path: the unspoilt island of Samos

  1. Oh, it was a completely different life back then, but thank you for taking me back to Samos where I spent a great week once upon a time. Except for the movements of Greek tanks and scary flights of Turkish airplanes (they seemed to turn away just before entering Greek airspace). But other than that, all was bliss and prettiness, just as you describe. I think I’ll write a happy cop tale from there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh God, did you see the scary flights of Turkish airplanes, too? I experienced that, as well 😂 Samos is very close to the Turkish coast, though.

      It’s a thriving and very “green” island, isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s gorgeous. We drove it up and down with our rented scooter. I remember some steep Western roads, but must admit that I mix my Greek island experiences in my memory, so I can’t really pinpoint individual ones. All the islands I visited (Crete, Korfu, Lefkas, Kefalonia, Karpathos and Samos + the Peloponnese peninsula) left the most wonderful taste in my mouth without a single bad episode. Except for Lefkas, all the other islands were pre-digital… And I left all those photos in Slovenia when I moved.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. pittoresca

    Looks amazing! Since I am not so much the nightlife-person, but more intersted in nature and culture, I will definitely keep Samos in mind! 🙂
    xx Eliane

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry if I am not following you back, but my mobile doesn’t allow me to follow your blog ( I don’t know why o_O ). As soon as I’m on a computer, I’ll make sure to follow you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for this travel report about the beautiful and green island of Samos. I discovered the island in 1999 and since then I have been there many, many times.
    A good idea is to combine a visit of Samos with a trip to the neighbor island of Ikaria (1,5-2 hours by ferry). Plan for at least a 3 days stay on Ikaria!
    Part of my impressions people can find when they search for “Samian dreamscapes” or “Icarian dreamscapes / Ikaria – Exploring the magic” in the internet.
    These videos and photo presentations are dedicated to those who like to discover their own dreamscapes, off the beaten path.

    Liked by 1 person

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