SAMOS



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Samos - Samos (Vathy) & the eastern end of the island - Archeaological Museum

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Museum of Samos Wines

At the southwest corner of the inlet of Vathi, east of the main junction with the road to Karlovasi, is the Museum of Samos Wines (open daily, except Sun, from 8–8), laid out in a formerly active winery beside the water’s edge. Lateral rooms display vines, methods of pruning, different presses and torques; the central hall exhibits large wooden, storage and ageing vats—magnificent examples of the cooper’s art—which stand off the ground above recessed troughs which collect the constant stillicide of condensation drops. Modern artificially cooled caves, and a further area below dedicated to the art of barrel-making, can be visited. There is also the possibility of tasting.

SAMIAN WINE
   Byron immortalised Samian wine in his carousing refrain from Don Juan: ‘Fill high the cup of Samian wine! Leave battles to the Turkish hordes’. The wine that Byron has in mind was the rich Muscat-grape wine which is produced today; whereas in Antiquity, Samos mostly produced a dry red wine, which found little favour in the Aegean and could not compete with the more highly esteemed production of its neighbours, Chios and Lesbos. Although viticulture on the island goes back at least 3,000 years, there was a moment of dis continuity in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries when the population of the island dropped dramatically as a result of insecurity and pirate incursions. When the island began to repopulate in the late 1600s a differ ent grape variety—better suited to its soil and climate, as it turned out—was planted: this was the Moschato Aspro variety which proved so successful that its sweet, golden, dessert wine became synonymous with the is land’s name. Red varieties continued to be cultivated until phylloxera decimated the vineyards in 1892, after which predominantly the moschato variety was re planted.

   The small-fruited grape has adapted perfectly to the mountainous areas of the island, with their suit able subsoil, cooler temperatures and long hours of sunshine. The prime area is Mount Ambelos, whose ancient name meaning a ‘vine’ is confirmation of the antiquity of viticulture here; the best vineyards grow at about 500–600m above sea level, and in places, even up to an altitude of 900m. The yield per hectare is low, and the grapes are picked over-ripe to give their fullest flavour. The wine has a golden, straw colour, and often a smokey quality to its nose; its pleasure is its complex and lingering, honied, after-taste.

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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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