Famous for its sea and friendly, sunny weather, Samos is the favourite tourist destination in the north east Aegean and one of the biggest islands of Greece. Visitors to Samos will find people are friendly, with sunny ways and big open hearts. Just the sort of people you want to know!
The purpose of this guide is to gently introduce the visitor to the island and its people and to provide an aid to a memorable and pleasurable stay with lasting and beautiful memories.
Samos is only about 1km from Turkey has become a great favourite with many people. Tourism is the main form of income and agriculture is important with the island growing a lot of fruit and olives. It is also renowned for its building of kaikia, or trehantiria, which are Greek fishing boats.
Tourists generally favour Pythagorion, or the picturesque village of Kokkari for their holidays. Neither have yet been over commercialised and have many traditional shops, restaurants, bars and tavernas. Vathi is the main town and now the capital of Samos and attracts a lot of visitors during the tourist season.
HISTORY AND CULTURE
Samos is rich in history and culture. In ancient times it was a rich island trading with the rest of Greece, the Phoenicians and the Persians.
Greek mythology says the goddess Hera was born on Samos and there are still ruins of her temple to be seen, called the Heraion.
Being an ancient intellectual centre there have been many famous people who lived and worked on the island. Pythagoras was from Samos and one of Greece’s most famous mathematicians and thinkers. Aesop, Epicurus, Herodotos and Aristarchus also lived on the island.
During the 6th and 5th century, the island flourished economically and culturally, but was hindered in its ambitions by Athens in 440 BC and forced to pay yearly tributes. It later became a province of Rome, and Turkey invaded in the 15th century occupying the island for a century and it was not to be Greek again until 1931.
To get to know Samos and its people it is rewarding to explore the villages on the island, especially the ones in the mountains. The adventurous visitor will find many places and sights that will excite curiosity and wonder and meet many local people, who in their own way, are just as curious and exciting as the island. Perhaps even more so!
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