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!
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.
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!
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!
Things to do
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.
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!
Kokkari, the most instagrammed (is it even a word?)
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.
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.
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.
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).
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