Samos 101: The Beginner’s Guide to Samos, Greece

Greece, Greek Islands, Travel Guides

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By Ryan Gargiulo

Samos is surrounded by the clear blue waters of the Aegean Sea, just 70 km from the coast of Turkey and a short 1 hour ferry ride away from beautiful little islands such as Fourni.

The Greek island of Samos is known for its rich history and more importantly said to have been the birthplace of Pythagoras (born: 570 BC), a mathematician who gave the world the Pythagorean Theorem.

Interestingly enough, Pythagoras wasn’t the only famous figure to have been blessed to be born on the island of Samos.

Did you know that the philosopher known as Epicurus is said to have been born on the island as well?

Epicurus was the founder of Epicureanism, a school of philosophy which states that to be able to achieve a tranquil state free from fear or bodily pain, one must only seek modest pleasures.

Moreover, Greek mythology also points to Samos as the birthplace of Hera, the goddess of marriage and birth and Zeus’ wife.

Aside from its diverse culture and history, Samos is an spectacular destination with everything you can ask for from white sand beaches, to mountains, and even forests.

Getting ready to plan your trip to the beautiful Greek island of Samos?

If so, you’re in the right place. Let’s get started.

Before You Go: Travel Insurance

When planning a trip to Greece and the Greek Islands your first priority should be to make sure you make a small investment towards your health and well being by considering an affordable travel insurance policy for your trip.

Not only will this budget friendly travel insurance policy cover you if your bags are lost/stolen and if your flight is delayed/cancelled, but you’ll also be covered for all medical and injury related issues as well. 

Let’s face it. No parents, family or friends want to have to cover the cost of you getting medevaced home from Greece.

Unfortunate things do happen. Especially when you least expect it.

Do yourself a favor and consider purchasing travel insurance coverage for your trip so you can rest assured that you’ll be taken care of in the event of a serious emergency in Greece. 

P.S. You won’t believe how reasonably priced this travel insurance is.

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Getting to Samos

When it comes to getting to Samos, you’ll have two options to choose from; by air or by ferry.

By Air

All flights to Samos arrive at the Samos Aristarchos International Airport which is located approximately three miles from the town of Pythagorion.

The Samos Airport is the only airport on the island and it caters to both domestic and international arrivals and departures.

Below, you’ll find a short list of airlines that fly to Samos:

  • Athens to Samos flights – Olympic Air, Sky Express
  • Local flights – Olympic Air, Sky Express, Aegean Airlines, Astra Airlines
  • International flights – Lufthansa, Air Berlin

My recommendation is to always begin by researching flights using Skyscanner before looking into taking a ferry to the Greek Islands.

Begin your flight search now using the Skyscanner booking engine below.

Samos Port

By Ferry

There are two Samos ferry ports where most passenger ferries dock — Vathy and Karlovassi.

Samos Ferry Information:

  • Athens to Samos Ferry: 12 to 15 hours
  • Kusadasi to Samos Ferry: 1 hour

If flights from Athens to Samos are too expensive, the next best way to reach the island would be to take a ferry to Samos.

Please note that a ferry from Athens to Samos will take approximately 12-15 hours depending on the ferry company and the speed of the ferry you choose.

You could also consider cutting down on the time you spend getting to Samos by checking flights from Athens to Kusadasi. From there you’ll be able to take the ferry from Kusadasi to Samos which takes approximately one hour.

When it comes to booking Greek ferries to Samos, one of the most reliable and reasonably priced Greek ferry search engines is powered by a company called Ferries in Greece (highly recommended), a major greek ferry booking hub that helps more than 35,000 passengers get to and from the Greek islands each year.

You can check prices for the ferries from Athens to Samos and Kusadasi to Samos using the ferry booking engine below.

Where to Stay in Samos - Samos Accommodations

Where to Stay in Samos

When it comes to finding quality accommodations in Samos, there are two main options to choose from: Airbnb apartment rentals and hotels.

However, finding the right accommodations will depend on your budget, your preferences when it comes to amenities and, of course, the location.


There are more than 300 apartments and homes on Airbnb in Samos.

Among the two main options when it comes to Samos accommodations, Airbnb will be the one that gives you the most flexibility and best overall value for your money.

Here are a few Samos airbnb recommendations below.

The Kalivi- Samos

The Kalivi – 2 Bed / 1 Bath

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Marilena- Samos

Marilena – 2 Bed / 1.5 Bath

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Dolichi Studio - Samos

Dolichi Studio – 1 Bed / 1 Bath

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Unique View- Samos

Unique View of Samos – 1 Bed / 1 Bath

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Heaven's Door- Samos

Heaven’s Door – 1 Bed / 1 Bath

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Paradise Apartment- Samos

Paradise Apartment – 1 Bed / 1.5 Bath

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Only a Step From The Beach - Samos

Only a Step From the Beach – 3 Bed / 3 Bath

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Spectacular Mansion- Samos

Spectacular 1925 Mansion – 5 Bed / 4 Bath

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The next best thing to renting an Airbnb in Samos is to look into some of the many affordable hotels on offer.

Samos hotels will have certain amenities which you won’t find in local Airbnb rentals such as spas, fitness centers, pools, room service and more.

If you’re looking for an all-inclusive experience or you’re simply looking to let the staff look after you during your stay, you should consider staying in a hotel for the duration of your visit to Samos.

Below, you’ll find an interactive map showing all of the available hotels in Samos.

Things to Do in Samos

The Greek island of Samos is rich in natural beauty, culture, and history — in other words, you’ll be hard pressed to run out of things to see and do in Samos.

Below, you’ll find a short list of some of the best things to do in Samos.

Explore Pythagorion

Pythagorion, or Pythagoreio, is a small town on the island that’s mostly known as the birthplace of the mathematician Pythagoras.

If you’re stopping by Pythagorion during your vacation, be sure to visit the following:

Visit the Temple of Hera

As mentioned above, Samos is also known as the birthplace of the goddess Hera.

Understandably, there’s an ancient temple on the island which is dedicated to the goddess of marriage and birth.

The Temple of Hera dates back to the 7th century and you can still see some of its Doric-style columns when you visit this site.

Hike Mt. Kerkis

At 4,700 feet, Mt. Kerkis (also Mt. Kerketeus) is the second highest peak in the eastern region of the Aegean Sea.

In ancient Greek, “Kerketeus” means “belonging to Circe” who is a sorceress and the daughter of the sun god Helos and the ocean nymph Perse.

It takes about 8 hours to reach the peak (Vigla) and to descend again, but the views are well worth it and the experience will surely be one to remember.

Visit the Church of Panagia Sarandaskaliotissa

The church of Panagia Sarandaskaliotissa was built on top of a cave known as Pythagoras’ cave.

The cave was named as such because this is where the famous mathematician escaped to when he was being persecuted by Polycrates, a tyrant who ruled the island from 538 to 522 BC.

Follow the steps located at the entrance of the cave and they will lead you up to this beautiful place of worship.

Cycle from Potami to Karlovassi, Konstantinos and Kokkari

From Potami, you can cycle to Karlovassi, Konstantinos, and Kokkari and catch a glimpse of some interesting sights along the way.

This popular cycling route will take you along the northern coast of Samos and it takes approximately 40-50 minutes to complete if you cycle straight through from start to finish.

That said, we recommend you take your time and make plenty of pitstops along the way to take photos and videos.

Visit the Karlovassi Waterfalls

If exploring the nature of Samos is something you’re interested in, a visit to the Potami Waterfalls in Karlovassi should not be missed.

The water here is clear, cold and refreshing and it’s the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer day.

Visit the Archeological Museum

There are two major archeological museums that can be found on the island of Samos

One is located in Vathy and the other is located in Pythagorion.

Inside the museums, you’ll find relics and artifacts from centuries past, including statues from the classical era that have been salvaged for preservation from their original sites.

Thermal Hot Springs

Aside from the blue waters of the Aegean Sea which surround the island, tourists also love taking a dip in Samos’ thermal springs due to their healing powers and spa-like qualities.

You can find the main spa in Agios Kirykos. Five of the main thermal springs in Samos are located here.

Things to Do in Samos - Windsurfing in Samos

Windsurfing and Kitesurfing

Due to the strong north winds that cross the island, windsurfing and kitesurfing have become very popular activities in Samos.

If you’re interested in these water sports, there are equipment rental services available at several beaches on the island.

You can find a list of the best beaches in Samos below.

Scuba Diving

The Aegean Sea is rich in marine life, which you can witness first hand when scuba diving in Samos.

There are several dive centers located on the island. One of the most popular scuba diving spots is located off the coast of Pythagorion.

Horse riding

Explore the island’s beautiful landscape by horseback and take a ride through the forests of Samos.

This activity will take you to some of the island’s ecotourism spots and hidden historical ruins.

Best Beaches in Samos

  • Gagkou: Gagkou may be a small beach, but it’s beautiful and is conveniently located. It is surrounded by several local taverns and accommodation options. The beach is lined with umbrellas and sunbeds, and the water is shallow, perfect for visiting families with children.
  • Tsamados: Tsamados (also Tsamadou) is a beach tucked in a bay where nudist beachgoers used to go. While it’s not considered a nude beach anymore, you might still find a few of them around, so if this is something you’re uncomfortable with, you might want to avoid Tsamados. Otherwise, this beach is a gorgeous place to spend a day by the sea in, with taverns and bars close by.
  • Lemonakia: A pebble beach with neat rows of blue umbrellas and sunbeds, Lemonakia is a favorite spot among surfers because the north winds that blow through here bring high waves.
  • Votsalakia in Marathocampos: Marathocampos (also Kampos or Marathokampou) is a 1.9-mile long beach on the southwest coast of Samos. It is a popular spot for water sports like surfing and paddleboarding. Votsalkia in Marathocampos is also known for its vibrant nightlife especially during peak season.
  • Chryssi Ammos: A secluded and less developed beach in Marathocampos, Chryssi Ammos is a nature lover’s paradise. Compared to other beaches on this list, it is relatively quiet, which is perfect if you’re looking to avoid crowds.
  • Psili Ammos: A small beach with soft, fine sand, Psili Ammos is a child-friendly beach located on the coast closest to Turkey. It has sunbeds, umbrellas, as well as areas for playing beach games.

Tip: Most of the island’s major cultural festivals happen during August, like the Wine Festival in Vathy and Pythagorion, the Manolis Kalomoiris Festival in Vathy, and the Ireon Music Festival at Ireo Beach.

Samos Transportation

Getting Around Samos

There are four main modes of transportation when it comes to moving around the island of Samos, Greece.

You can rent a scooter, car, or you can take a taxi and/or ride the bus.

By Scooter

Scooters are a convenient way to get around Samos because it gives you the freedom to choose which areas to explore and allows you to reach destinations which are not always accessible by car.

By Bus

There are public buses on the island, although their routes and schedules are limited and quite unpredictable at times.

If you have limited time on the island, then we suggest you avoid using this mode of transportation.

By Taxi

Taxis will be handy for when you want to get from the airport to your hotel, but if you’re wanting to explore the island during your vacation, you’d be better off renting a car to move around.

By Car

There are car rental agencies near the airport and ferry ports on the island. We highly recommend this option if you’re not comfortable with riding a scooter.

Looking for the the most reputable rental car company in Samos? We always recommend to start by checking prices on

Best Time to Visit Samos

Samos Weather

The weather in Samos is generally sunny with low precipitation and high humidity throughout the year.

The summer season is from May to August, with late May to mid-June being the best time for water sports.

If you want to avoid the crowds, the best time to visit Samos is the months of April and May or from late August to early September.

Please note that the weather in Samos can get pretty hot in the months of July and August with the average weather reaching 94°F during the day and 77°F in the evenings.


Like many islands in the Aegean Sea, Samos is an idyllic summer destination, but it is so much more than just an ecotourism spot.

If you’re interested in history and Greek mythology as well, Samos could very well be the vacation of your dreams.

As mentioned in my detailed Greek islands Travel Guide, I always recommend travelers to combine their trips to Samos with a visit to the coast of Turkey, if possible.

Interested in visiting the Greek islands? If so, be sure to check out my full collection of Greek Island Travel Guides.

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1 thought on “Samos 101: The Beginner’s Guide to Samos, Greece”

  1. I enjoyed your article, The Beginner’s Guide to Samos. My wife and I are considering visiting Samos Oct. 9 for five days. Which village or town would you recommend as a home base for the first time visitor? We enjoy exploring back streets & water fronts, mingling with locals, short hikes, archeological sites, wineries and FOOD!

    Many thanks!


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