SAMOS



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Samos - Chora and Mytilinii

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Chora and Mytilinii­

Three-and-a-half kilometres west of Pythagoreio is Chora, the unostentatious administrative capital of the island until 1834. Its attractive streets climb steeply to the older area of the village which was built around a powerful spring that gushes from underneath a couple of cafes.

   Mytilinii­, 3km to its north, is similarly an agricultural settlement, spreading to north and south of a plateia lined with citrus and plane trees. Its name derives from settlers from Mytilene: these could possibly have been the Mytileneans captured by Polycrates and used as the manual labour for his grand building projects, but it is more likely that they were the voluntary immigrants of a later age—in the 17th or 18th century. To the south of the centre is the Natural History Museum of the Aegean (open 1 April–31 Oct Tues–Sun 9–2, www.nhma.gr). Well endowed by the Zimalis Foundation in a modern building, this could be a fascinating museum, given the rich subject matter, were it not for erratic labelling and an absence of indication of provenance for finds. The Palaeontological Collection is the museum’s strength, illustrating the range of animals (more than 60 fossilised species) that were to be found in the mountains and pastures of this area, when it was attached to the land mass of Asia in the Miocene era—antelope, rhinoceros, and a short-necked ancestor of the giraffe, which has only been found on Sa mos and is consequently known as the ‘Samotherium’. A large number and variety of the skeletons were found in a ravine near to Mytilinii­: they date from 6–9 million years ago. The preserved example of a species of tiger, however, which fed off herds of antelope, was captured as late as 1862 in the forests of Samos . It is a timely reminder of how rapidly the fauna of the island has changed over the last century. The museum also contains an interesting mineralogical collection.

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Samos Island is part of the Northern Aegean Island Group, Greece.


access

Samos Island, Greece.

By air: Domestic flights are frequent from Athens – four to five times daily with Olympic Air and twice a day in summer with Aegean Airlines.
There also direct flights by charter from destinations outside Greece.
By boat: Sea access to Samos is also plentiful, but a little confusing because it is split between three separate ports: Karlóvasi and Vathy, on the north coast, for the larger ferries plying the northern and western routes to Piraeus, Chios, Lesbos, Ikaria, Thessaloniki etc;
and Pythagóreio, on the south coast, for the Dodecanese and southern routes,
i.e. the F/B Nisos Kalymnos (4 days per week)
and hydrofoils (daily in summer) to Patmos, Lipsi, Leros, Kalymnos, Kos, and on to Rhodes , with the Nisos Kalymnos stopping at Agathonisi and Arki in addition, before calling at Patmos.
The summer hydrofoil service to Fourni and Ikaria (4 times weekly) also leaves from Pythagóreio. Crossings to Turkey (Kus¸adasi) run daily from Vathy, during the summer season only (Easter to mid October); thereafter more infrequently.

Samos Travel Guide

eating

Samos Island, Greece.

In Vathy, Christos (two blocks in from the water-front, and north of the main square) serves Asia Minor specialties, interesting salads, and good, fragrant wine.
The village of Vourliotes has several tavernas offering good mountain food in its picturesque plateia: less contrived, and more popular with islanders, is Pera Vrysi, at the entrance to the village. On the shore below, at Avlákia, the Mezedopoleío "Doña Rosa" has a pleasing touch of eccentricity, but nonetheless prepares excellent Greek dishes with localredients and good presentation.
Further west at Palaio Karlóvasi, the Oinomageireío "Dryousa", in the plateia where the paved road ends, is family run, providing fresh, home cooking.
The last true tavernas in Pythagóreio closed some time ago; the best remaining eatery there, with a pleasant view from its position at the beginning of the harbour mole, is Varka. For sunset views, however, few can match Balkoni tou Aigaiou at the south end of Spatherei;
while the taverna at Koutsi, up and west from Pyrgos, though not remarkable for food, is an unforgettable and cool refuge on a hot day, beside a spring below plane trees in the hills of central Samos .
Pure comb honey of high quality can be found at Melissa – a small supply-shop, a few metres up the main street of Pythagóreio from the harbour.

Samos Travel Guide

further reading

Samos Island, Greece.

Graham Shipley, A History of Samos 800-188 BC (Oxford University Press, 1987); Hermann Kienast, The Aqueduct of Eupalinos (Greek Ministry of Culture, Athens, 2005).

Samos Travel Guide

practical info

Samos Island, Greece.

831 00 Samos & 832 00 (Karlóvasi): area 477 sq. km; perimeter 163 km; resident population 33,999; maximum altitude 1,434 m. Port Authority: T. 22730 27890, 27318 (Vathy); T. 22730 61225 (Pythagóreio); T. 22730 32343, 30888 (Karlóvasi). Travel and in formation: www.samos.gr ; By Ship Travel, T. 22730 25065 (Vathy), 61061 (Pythagoreio), 92341 (Kok- kari), 37100 (Marathókambos) & 35252 (Karlóvasi).
Samos Travel Guide

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