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With a rugged, mountainous interior that descends into pretty pebbled beaches and warm Aegean waves, Samos has all the Greek island charm of days gone by. This peaceful place has somehow stayed relatively off-radar to the tourist hordes, which means a Samos holiday is still an authentic, quiet beach break in the sun.
Taking it easy is the quintessential Samos experience. It’s a sleepy pace of life here and lazy days can be filled by resting on a beach, paddling in the sea and taking coastal strolls along its pristine shoreline. The island’s harbour towns have splashes of a distinctively Greek palette with whites, blues and bougainvillea pinks, and there are plenty of tavernas to find among the winding narrow alleyways.
Indeed, wherever you base yourself, you can expect to enjoy long alfresco lunches backed by spectacular scenery – the island’s fertile landscape produces an endless menu of homegrown ingredients, such as extra virgin olive oil and feta cheese. Seafront tavernas in Samos are hopelessly romantic, serving traditional mezze platters and freshly caught fish – best washed down by a glass of local wine, of course.
Feeling a bit more active? The northern resorts get enough breeze for windsurfing, while the sand-free coastline assures clear waters for snorkelling. Spring hikers can take on Mount Kérkis by following its herb-scented pathways to the top where you’ll find some of the best views on the island. Meanwhile, less-energetic walkers may prefer exploring the lower hills, discovering waterfalls, caves and churches along the way.
Samos has also had a long and fascinating history, with characters like Pythagoras, Epicurus and Aesop playing a part in its story. What’s left of this distant past can be seen today at the Eupalinos Tunnel, the ruins of the sanctuary of Heraion, and in museums packed with ancient artefacts.
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