Boat building, Agia Isodoros, Samos, Greece
Megalo Seitani, Samos, Greece Profitis Ilias, Samos, Greece Marathokambos, Samos, Greece Samos Town, Vathi, Samos, Greece

Samos has many wonderful places to visits and sights to see. Here's a few suggestions as a starting point.

Interested in history?

The rich history of Samos has left many fascinating sites to visit, including:

The Temple of Hera (the Heraion) near Pythagorio

Considered to be one of the most important archeological sites in the world, this is the site of the original temple to Hera (and allegedly the site of the birthplace of Hera). It also shows the remains of a Roman temple and settlement and numerous other smaller temples. It’s worth having a guidebook for the site when visiting to help it all make sense.

The Archeological Museum (Samos Town)

A museum with a huge number of finds from around the island, the exhibits are split into two buildings: the ‘old’ museum and the ‘new’ museum, opened in 1987, that houses the archaic sculpture collection, including the famous colossal Kouros. The museum is good to visit after the Heraion to see many of the original artifacts from the site.

The Eupalinus Tunnel (Pithagorio)

A supply tunnel for the ancient city that provided water from a source that was located at the other end of the mountain near the village of Mytilinioi. The major significance of this project is that the workers began digging on both sides of the mountain (from the Mytilinioi and Pythagorio sides) and met in the middle with only a marginal deviation. It is considered to be one of the greatest achievements for the era and one that boosted science (especially geometry) as we know it.

The Cave of Pythagoras (Kambos)

The refuge of Pythagoras whilst he was on the run from Polycrates. The cave is siutated some 300m up from the parking area for the site by means of steps. A second cave has recently been opened up (accessible via a very precipitous path) close to the main cave and this is said by some to be the ‘real’ cave of Pythagoras.

Sights worth seeing

If you like some ideas for general sightseeing, the suggestions below will help.

Potami Falls and Gorge

Located close to Karlovassi, the Potami gorge and waterfalls are definitely worth making the trip. There's a large signpost for the Falls as you head towards Potami Beach and you will find parking is easy around the area. The walk to the gorge and the waterfalls will take you past a Byzantine church (the oldest church on the island) and through a cool woodland walk. At the end of this, you will find a large pool where many people stop and rest and a choice of two routes to continue. Take the steps (signposted for the Falls) on the left hand side to continue to the gorge and the waterfalls. These steps going up the hillside are numerous, steep and often narrow so it's worth taking care on them but once you are at the top, you are rewarded by fantastic views and, of course, an entrepreneurial taverna owner offering cold drinks and food! There is a trail to the gorge and the falls which, again, is steep in places and good walking shoes/boots are recommended. When you reach the bottom of the trail, you can look back through the gorge and, if you are particularly brave, swim up the river to the waterfalls!

Zoodochou Pigis

North-east of Samos Town you can find the monastery of Zoodochou Pigis (“the source of life”). Set on one of the higher points of Samos, the monastery is considered to be one of the finest on the island and is still in use. The monastery is very beautiful and views from around it make for a great place to enjoy a picnic. Remember that if you visit any monastery on the island, be respectful of the residents and cover your legs and head with appropriate clothing.

Manolates & The Valley of the Nightingales

On the north of Samos, between Karlovassi and Kokkari lies the exceptionally beautiful Valley of the Nightingales and, at the top, the village of Manolates. Driving through the valley and up to Manolates is fun due to the incredible number of bends but to really appreciate the beauty of the area it is worth stopping and walking around. About one mile after turning off the main road to the Valley of the Nightingales, you will find a parking area opposite a taverna from where you can walk around the valley.

Manolates is the village perched on top of the valley and is a wonderful place to spend a long lunch hour. The village itself has very much come to terms with being a tourist spot but is still relatively unspoilt. One of the best tavernas to visit to enjoy spectacular views is Lukas which is at the very end of the village and well signposted. Although a longer walk than the other tavernas within the village itself, the views from the taverna make the walk worthwhile, particularly when combined with Lukas’ home produced wine!

Vourliotes & Moni Vronda

Following the coast road along from the Valley of the Nightingales towards Kokkari will allow you to visit Vourliotes and Moni Vronda – the other side of the Valley of the Nightingales. Again, the road up is full of interesting bends and once you reach Vourliotes, you can park and then wander through to the village square which is ideal for letting time pass without a care.

If you take the road further you'll arrive at Moni Vronda, the oldest monastery on Samos. The monastery still retains its sense of being a fortified building and, like Zoodochou Pigis, has incredible views over the valley, making one wonder whether the site was chosen purely for defensive reasons!

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