It’s officially summer in Europe and the search for paradise has probably been overwhelming…but look no further! Fellow traveler Eva Lauren van Dosselaar has spent the last two weeks in Greece and has found the perfect island to visit! Samos is located in the North Aegean Isands and has beautiful beaches, great vistas, ancient ruins, and delicious wine!
Eva, from the Netherlands, chose Samos since it’s easy to explore on foot and has so much to offer. By using the travel company Tui, Eva and her boyfriend were able to book their travel and accommodations while still having the flexibility and freedom to explore the island on their own time. By staying in one hotel during their stay, they were able to have a home base and still see everything on the island with no problems! Check out Kalidon Panorama Hotel in Kokkári!
“This hotel has a gorgeous panoramic view over the bay and centre of Kokkári.A varied breakfast was included every morning and the hotel staff was really friendly and helpful and spoke english. It is a bit of walk and climb from the hotel to the centre of Kokkári (about 15 to 20 minutes) however the hotel owns a shuttle bus that goes to the centre and the nearby beaches throughout the day.”
The beaches are the main attraction on Samos island, but take time to stroll through its capital, Vathi. The architecture consists of Neo-classical buildings and mansions and the Archaelogical museum is worth a visit. You’ll find statues from the Temple of Hera and much more! Head up the hill to check out how the locals live. The unique homes are located in winding alley ways and you’ll come across several squares with fountains to rest and take it all in!
Kokkari beach is one of the most popular to visit, but the locals love Nisi beach (closest to nearby Turkey) and if you’re in the Norhern region of the Island, head to Potami beach! Up for a hike? Walk 30 minutes from Potami up a path that leads you to Seitani beach. Watch out for seals here!
For the fellow foodies, Eva recommends several spots for some great grub! Her favorite restaurant is Meltemi where you’ll eat Shrimp in Ouzo (the national drink) in a tomato sauce with herbs and feta. You’ll also have a great view of the sunset at this restaurant! (See below!)
There are several restaurants in Kokkari bay that are located right near the beach or Harbour. The food and incredible views provide you with a wonderful dining experience. Some restaurants will even offer you free dessert at the end of your meal! Restaurant Elia offers great Italian food, and Aelio Bistro Cafe is an Instagram worthy spot with good food and drinks.
Kokkari and Pythagorion have several souvenir shops, but the town of Karlovasi is mostly known for its leather goods. Check out the local craftsmanship here!!!
The best way to get around the island is by foot or local bus. Eva loved taking the bus since they are air conditioned, but make sure to plan ahead since the buses depart once every few hours. Local transportation is cheap, but if you need to take a taxi anywhere, it is extremely affordable as well. One word of advice from Eva: “there are a lot of hills and up and down, so when walking you need to be in good condition. There are also a lot of places on the island where you can rent cars, motorcycles and mountainbikes. However, I would not reccomend the bikes since the roads are very hilly, not designed for biking and cars drive very fast and can be unpredictable.”
“What I loved about Samos was that the island is not as touristic as some of the other islands of greece. The typical blue and white architecture and turquoise seas that can be seen a lot on instagram can also be found at Samos only without hundreds of tourists blocking your view.”
One thing Eva loved (which some may dislike) is the abundance of cats in Samos! “What is significant at Samos is that the island government carried out a project that sterilized stray cats in order to keep their numbers down which is better for the animals. Also significant was the fact that a lot of the locals take good care of all the cats as they regulary pour some catfood on the street and In front of their houses.”
“I definitely liked Kokkari the best due to the pitoresque character of the town. However, also nice was the town of Pythagorion. This town is located close to the airport and contains one of the only sand beaches of the island which is nice if the pebble beaches are not really your thing. Also significant are the many Archaeological remains that are situated in and next to the town such as a small amphitheater, temple remains, remains of an ancient Greek market, a castle and more. In a hike of about 3 hours all remains can be seen. Fun is also the statue of Phytagoras that can be found at the harbour, he came from Samos.”
Eva sums it up best when it comes to visiting this picturesque island:
“What is also lovely about Samos is that the island both offers possibilities to relax and hang out at many beautiful beaches with crystal clear blue and turquoise water but also to explore and do things. At the big beaches you can go windsurfing, kayakking and peddle boarding. You can take a ferry to the nearby Fourni Islands, The sacred island of Patmos or to Turkey ( which is really near to Samos). A lot of tour companies also organise relaxing boattrips around the island, often accompanied by a barbeque. Tour companies also organise walking tours however you can also do those easily on your own. The island also offer fish oppertunities. You see a lot of fisherman at the harbours and at the beaches. Ask them for some tips and tricks! And of course for the photography fanatics amongst us, The island offers countles of many great photo oppertunities!!”
Follow Eva on Instagram for more amazing travel inspiration!!!!!