THE NORTH OF THE ISLAND ,
MOUNT AMBELOS and KARLOVASI
(For distances, the main junction SW of Vathy centre = 0.0 km)
The north coast of the island is a landscape of pine, plane and cypress, with the two massifs of Mount Ambelos, also called ‘Karvounis’, (1,153m) and Mount Kerketeus (1,434m) always visible above, and the stony, dark-watered shore below. The coast road alternates in stretches between sea and cliffs, and the mouths of deep ravines, where plane-trees give welcome shade, and in spring nightingales and running water are heard. All along the coastal hillsides, are to be found the traditional, four square stone houses, with low, hipped roofs and wrought iron balconies: many are in ruinous condition.
At Kedros, 4km west along the coast road from the road junction southwest of Vathi, are the remains of an Early Christian cruciform baptismal pool of the late 4th or 5th century ad (300m down the right (north) turn after the EKO filling station), beside the modern church of Aghia Paraskevi. Little else remains of what must have been a basilica and baptistery complex, sited—as so often in this period—close to the sea. The quality of the few fragments of carved marble lying nearby suggests that the surrounding buildings were well endowed with sophisticated decoration. Beyond Kedros, the coastline has many attractive, though often windy, beaches, especially those west of Kokkari—Lemonakia and Tsamadou. Kok kari itself (7.5km) is a popular resort, which has grown up around two rocky coastal outcrops which overlook a small plain of rich land behind, used for the cultivation of the onions for which the village is famous.
Samos Island is part of the Northern Aegean Island Group, Greece.