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Review of the Greek Island of Samos in the Eastern Aegean by Toula Foustanellas

Samos, GreeceSamos is one of the verdant islands of the Aegean, located in the eastern region of the Archipelagos, off the coast of Asia Minor. Samos is one of the largest islands of the Aegean with a growing population of over 45,000 inhabitants. There is an abundance of commodities mainly in the two main commercial centers...Samos town and Karlovasi. The island's economy also depends on fishing & agriculture but the chief contributor is tourism. Agiculture involves the cultivation of vineyards for wine production and the farming of olive trees for the olives and production of olive oil. There is a plythora of vineyards and olive groves decorating the northern slopes of the island. Citrus trees are also grown to produce plenty of delicious fruit. The winters are mild and favour this type of farming. The topography of Samos is mainly mountainous except for the south part.

Besides the olive groves and vineyards, the evergreen forests, picturesque villages, abundant beaches, ceramic roof-tops and the wondrous sea shape the beautiful image of the island. Birthplace of Aristarhos, Pythagoras and the goddess Hera, Samos embraces the whole journey from antiquity, Hellenism to the present modern age.Of the many modern facilities is the island's newly re-constructed International Airport "Aristarhos" between Pythagorion and Ireon with several flights daily serving the locals and tourists alike. Surrounded by several scenic villages is the capital town of the island Samos united with the neighbouring Vathy, overlooking the harbour. It is built on a mountain slope in an anphitheatric style, among lush vegetation. Visitors can stroll through the upper village with its cobble-stone alleys decorated by traditional architecture, detailed homes with ceramic roof-tops leading to the characteristic Lion statue in the Pythagoras square. These older establishments are symbolic of a golden era gone by. The waterfront is a line of cafes and restaurants where most of the tourists spend their time when they are not on the beautiful beaches.

In the northwestern corner is the second largest municipality of Karlovasi, a monument of commercial industry depicting the history of this town. The lovely Neo-classical structures and many tanneries distinctly project the wealth and prosperity that once prevailed. At the peak of Old Karlovasi sits the Holy Trinity church and diversely extending throughout the main town of Karlovasi and Port areas are divisions of the University of Aegean Mathematics Faculty. Bursting with abundant nature, picturesque landscapes and charming neighbourhoods, Karlovasi is no doubt unique. The lovely Potami beach and secluded Seitani beaches are all located in the near Karlovasi. The Seitani beaches are unspoiled retreats and you get only reach them on foot or by boat. This ecologically conserved area provides the breeding grounds for the monachus-monuchus seals. Popular spots like Ayios Constantinos, Kokkari and the attractive village of Vourliotes lend themselves to worthy exploration. Climbing to a higher altitude are the traditional villages of Manolates and Ambelos that offer an exquisite view of the Aegean. Marathocambos, Pyrgos and Pandrossos nestled on the southern section of the island are overflowing with forests and vegetation. It is a lovely place for walkers. The two main mountain ranges, Kerkis and Karvounis offer many challenging experiences. Moving south on the main road and 7 kilometer is the turn-off point to Marathocampos located another 6 kilometers away with a view of the gulf and the Dodecanese islands. The Marathocampos valley and Limionas are contemporary settlements largely developed for tourism. Here you'll find the long golden sandy beaches of Limionas.

Samos, GreeceSamos is easily reached by ferry from Pireaus. The trip is about 8 to 14 hours (depending which boat)  and ferries usually stop at both Karlovassi and Vathi. There are less frequent connections to Chios, Lesvos, and the islands of the Dodecanesos which you can reach on frequent highspeeds in the summer months. There are daily boats to Kusadasi, Turkey where you can visit the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, one of the world's most incredible archaeological sites. Samos has an airport so you can fly there from Athens. There are three sites daily and one in the summer.

Samos has a very good bus system but the best way to see the island is by car or moped. There are also excursion boats to some of the remote beaches and there is a boat that sails around the whole island.

Toula Foustanellas  is the owner of the Anema-by-the-Sea Hotel in Karlovassi and wrote this introduction to the island. Toula is a Greek-Canadian who has relocated with her family to Greece where they run the hotel. For Information, Photos and Booking this Hotel Click Here

Be sure to visit the The Museum of Samos Wine in Malagari

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