One of the great powers of antiquity and birthplace of the celebrated mathematician Pythagoras and the pre-Socratic philosopher Aristarchus, who was the first to formulate the theory of the earth’s rotation. Today it is still known for the sweet wine that its vine‐ yards have been producing since ancient times. The village of Vourliotes, where there is also a monastery dedicated to the Panagia Vrondiani, produces the most wine. The is‐ land has two high mountains and is thickly wooded with pine, olive, plane and citrus trees, which have unfortunately been decimated in recent years by repeated fires. Samos or Vathy, situated on a deep, sheltered bay, is the most important port. Here you will see several neo-classical mansions from the last century when the island knew a degree of self-government and prosperity; these include the Town Hall, the Gallery of Fine Art and the old Parliament. Also worth seeing are the Archaeological Museum, the marble lion and the church of Agios Spyridon. Karlovassi, the island’s second port, also possesses some lovely mansions and churches. But Samos’ most picturesque and lively port is Pythagorio, where many yachts are moored and excursions are offered to other islands in the vicinity as well as Kusadasi/Ephessos on the Turkish coast. Not far from Pythagorio is the tunnel of Eupalinos, the 6th c. BC conduit that is consid‐ ered one of the greatest technical feats of antiquity. Also of interest are the Roman baths and the temple of Hera.
Kokkari is one of the main tourist resorts on the island with tavernas and nightlife. From here you can climb the second highest mountain, Ambelos (1,150 m), through lovely scenery. A trip to Mt Kerki (1,440 m) will take you through the verdant mountain villages of Kallithea, Agia Kyriaki and Drakaious, where you will see 8th c. churches and have a meal under humongous plane trees. Near the sea, at the foot of the mountain, are the caves of Pythagoras and Sarandaskaliotissa (of the 40 steps) with the church of the Pa‐ nagia inside it. From the summit of the mountain, there is a stupendous view of many of the Cyclades and Dodecanese.
Samos is blessed with many superb beaches with fine sand and cool, clear water.