Samos is an island governed by legend and beauty. It is the island of the father of mathematics, Pythagoras, the astronomer Aristarchus and the philosopher Epicurus. It is the home of Hera and the land that hosted Herodotus and Aesop. An important trade center in the Aegean and an important naval force in antiquity, it came into contact with important Mediterranean cultures.
It is no accident that the great historian Herodotus considered Samos the first of all Greek and barbarian cities. Center of the Ionian civilization, the island saw times of indescribable splendor, which still remains. Even today, its proximity to the coast of Asia Minor makes the island a “bridge” between the two cultures, a difference that did not prevent the coexistence, cooperation and friendship of the two peoples who live on the other side of the water.
The mythical place of birth of Hera, Samos is the home of the largest temple in Greece (according to Herodotus) in the coastal settlement of Heraion, dedicated exclusively to the goddess of marriage and woman. Of its 155 gigantic columns, only one remains and is indicative of the scale of this place of religious worship that includes ruins of at least three previous temples.
Samos is a place of overwhelming vegetation. Everything around the virgin landscape is made of color and light. Each step you take is a revelation. Whether in the imposing mountains, like Mt. Kerkis and Mt. Ambelos, with alpine winter temperatures and endless rains, or in caves and canyons, the atmosphere of Samos resembles the interior of Greece in miniature.
Walk along the mountain. Kerkis, from Votsalakia in Marathocampos, to its summit, Mt. Vigla, at an altitude of 1,400 m. Throughout your hike you will see more than 1,400 rare plant species, many of which are endemic to the island, as well as dozens of species of raptors.
Go through the settlements, along the ancient cobblestone streets, and see the Sarakini Tower, a magnificent structure from the 16th century, a true fort of its time.
Visit the convents of Zoodochos Pigi Aliotissa, Agia Zoni, with its splendid library, and Timios Stavros, with its impressive throne.
Climb the steps of the church of Panagia Sarandaskaliotissa, built at the entrance to the cave of Pythagoras, where the ancient Greek mathematician found refuge when he was persecuted by the tyrant Polycrates.
The Samos terrain is a challenge for those who choose to ride a mountain bike on their trips. Each summer, a growing number of cyclists, fully equipped for their adventures, visit the island’s trails.
The local cyclists gather in the architecturally innovative chapel of Agios Ioannis, in Potami, on the pebble beach of Potamos, and head towards Karlovassi, Konstantinos and Kokkari.
Birdwatchers settled near Alyki’s habitat or Lake Glyfada to photograph herons, Dalmatian pelicans and pink flamingos that rest here before continuing their migration. When the flamingos ascend to the sky at sunset, their color mixes with the red sunset, creating a visual extravaganza that visitors can not forget!