GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE ISLAND
Samos is a Greek island in the heart of Aegean Sea and lies 1200 meters from the shore of Asia Minor, Turkey. The island is separated from Turkey by 1.6 km Mycale Strait. The island which is comprised of 4 municipalities, Vathi, Karlovasi, Pythagoreio and Marathokampos with capital Samos Town, has a population of about 35,000 inhabitants. The climate on the island is typically Mediterranean, with mild rainy winters, and warm rainless summers. You can reach the island by plane from Athens and by ferry boat from Piraeus, Kavala, Icaria, the Dodecanese, Crete and other islands.
It is said that the name Samos comes from Phoenician and means “rise by the shore.” During the the times Samos was a rich and powerful city-state it became the home to some famous people such as Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras (Pythagorean theorem was named after him), the philosopher Epicurus, and the astronomer Aristarchus of Samos (the first scientist to propose the Earth revolves around the sun).
After hosting several civilizations on it, the island finally joined the Kingdom of Greece in 1912, during the First Balkan War. It was occupied by Italian and German troops During World War II. As with many other Greek islands in the Mediterranean and the Aegean Seas there is a very rich blend of different cultures on Samos.
The island’s capital and main port is the city of Vathy, most commonly called Samos. The economical revenues on the island are obtained from tourism and agriculture. There are plenty of vineyards on the island which is exactly what makes it known throughout the world for its famous Samiotiko wine.In the village of Pythagorio one can see many whitewashed houses with blue shutters and doors.
TOURISTIC SITES WORTH SEEING
In Vathy all the buildings have red-tiled roofs and some have their walls painted in bright colours. A beautiful road will take you to the current port of the village. You will notice narrow windows and wooden balconies are very unique of the old houses behind the bay.
Obviously as many civilizations settled in the region throughout time it is not possible to see a uniform style of architecture on the island. On the contrary one can enjoy a blend of neoclassical mansions, Venetian buildings, whitewashed houses and Byzantine churches, narrow streets in blue and white many with paintings. One cannot help getting a strong cosy feeling.
Among other places worth mentioning are;
- the public library, located on the sea front between the Catholic Church and National Bank of Greece, The historic St. Spyridon church where decision to unite Samos with Greece was made, and the building on the opposite side of the Square which housed the Samos Parliament during the Protectorate, the Municipal Art Gallery, includes portraits of the heroes of the War of Independence and the Princes of the island, The Archaelogical Museum next to the Town Hall.
Thanks to Quincy van den Boom for the beautiful video 🙂