|Samos one of the most easterly Aegean islands just a stone throw from the coast of Asia Minor, is renowned for its wines, particularly for th white Muscat found nowhere else. Among the island's first inhabitants were the Pelasgians, who established the worship of the goddess Hera on Samos. Samos reached its greatest prosperity during the reign of the tyrant Polycrates, becoming one of the most powerful city-states of Ionian, dominating the seas with its famous SAMAINES, boats with five tiers of oarsmen.
The capital, Samos Town or Vathi is built on the verdant slopes that surround the island's deepest bay. It has retain its individual appearance, with its attractive neoclassical houses, old mansions with pastel facades.
The town boasts two major museums: The Archeological Museum with displays of ancient sculptures, including the celebrated Kouros of Samos, vases and objects from the Geometric and Archaic eras, most of which were found at the Heraion (Sanctuary of Hera) the island's chief ancient site; and the Byzantine Museum with heirlooms from Samian monasteries.
From Vathi, if you take the road heading south your first stop will be Pythagorio ( familiarly known as Tigani) 14 km, a small, picturesque port occupying the site of the ancient capital. The present day jetty has been constructed on top of the ancient foundations. The area abounds in important ruins: the Poplycrates Wall (2nd half 6th century B.C.), the ancient theatre and the famous Eupalinos Tunnel, techical marvel dating to the 6th century B.C. which used to supply the town with water. The small archeological museum houses local finds. To the right of the port the castle of Lycourgos Logothetis can be seen atop a hillock. This 19th century edifice most probably rests on the ruins of the former acropolis. Within its walls are two Roman collonades as well as the remains of Early Christian churches.
Nor far from Pythagorio is the archeological site of Heraion, with its sanctuary to Hera of Samos, one of the biggest of antiquity. Within its precincts, where tradition maintained that the goddess was born and raised, are the ruins of a temple dedicated in her honor, Hellenistic and Roman buildings and even part of Early Christian basilica.
Karlovasi, on the north coast of the island, is its second largest harbour, composed of three districts, Old, New, and Middle Karlovasi. Here too, you will find imposing neoclassical houses, reminders of earlier prosperous times, while 2 km away bathers will love the sandy beach of Potami, rimmed with luxuriant greenery.
The drive between Samos (Vathi) and Karlovasi runs along the magical coastline cutting through riotius vegetation, picturesque villages Kokkari, Avlakia, Agios Konstadinos, Vourliotes etc.
Six km south of Karlovasi set in marvelous surroundings, is the village of Marathokampos, which acts as a "balcony" over the islands southern beaches and has both old churches and caves to explore. Still further south is the tinny harbour of Ormos, good for fishing and swimming, while beyond it lies a string of lovely beaches - Votsalakia, Hrissi Ammos, Ai Giannis, Eleimonas.
If you return to Samos by the island road you will come to the villages of Pyrgos to enjoy pure honey with natural spices and herbs, Koumaradei where Pottery is an art, Hora where you can stop in Platanos restaurant for an Ouzo or refreshment, and Mitilinii a market center for the island: Here is a very interesting paleontological museum filled with the fossilized remains of early horned beasts, mammoths and carnivores. The island is well endowed with facilities of all kinds for tourists