m ft
Sightseeings are plenty and date from all historical periods.
Greece » Eastern Aegean

Why Visit
According to the myth, Samos island was the island of goddess Hera, which is why the locals constructed a large sanctuary to her honor, the Heraion. This sanctuary can be visited today. In close distance to Heraion, there is the Tunnel of Eupalinus, the aqueduct of Ancient Samos and among the greatest technological achievements of that era. Very interesting is also the Monastery of Panagia Spiliani above Pythagorion, with a cave church where the icon of Virgin Mary was found. If you enjoy trekking, you will love the island due to the many trekking paths of the inland passing through villages and places of natural beauty.

According to archaeological excavations, it is believed that Samos was inhabited during the Neolithic years (3rd millennium BC). The first colonists of the island were the Pelasgians who worshipped Hera, the Phoenicians, the Leleges, and the Carians. Those colonists were succeeded by the Mycenaeans. Samos became a great power during the 6h century BC, when it was ruled by the tyrant Polycrates who managed to turn the island into a huge naval power. Under its rule, the arts and sciences flourished and theEupalinus Tunnel and the magnificent Heraion (Sanctuary of Hera) where built.

The history of Samos has been marked by some famous personalities, such as the astronomer Aristarchus, the first to argue that the sun was the centre of the universe, the philosopher Epicurus, the fable writer Aesop and the famous mathematician Pythagoras. Samos honored Pythagoras by giving his name in one of the villages (Pythagorio village), a square in Vathi and there is also a cave on the island where Pythagoras is said to have hidden while tyrant Polycrates, his political opponent, was chasing him. During the Battle of Plataea (479 BC), the Samians helped Athens to win and then allied to it and returned to democracy. Samos also took place in the Battle of Mykale and, with the rest of the Greek navy, defeated the Persian fleet.

During the Peloponnesian Wars, the island was taken by the Spartans. Then it came under the rule of the Romans, the Venetians and the Genoese. In 1453, Samos came under the domination of the Turks, along with the rest of the North Eastern Aegean Islands. The inhabitants of the island played an important role during the Greek Revolution against the Turkish yoke, in the beginnings of the 1820s. But the Great Powers gave the island back to Turks in 1830, making it semi-autonomous and being ruled by a Christian prince. This period is called Hegemony and was characterised by an amelioration of the fortunes of the inhabitants and by tobacco trades. Samos was reunited to the rest of Greece in 1912, after the Balkan Wars. Now its economy is based on tourism, agriculture and fishing.

Museums - Archeological
Samos is an island with long history and rich culture. Since the ancient times, it was famous for the Sanctuary of Hera, the Heraion as it was called, and as the birthplace of the mathematician Pythagoras. Most findings from the Sanctuary of Heraion are hosted in the Archaeological Museum of Pythagorion, which was actually inaugurated in May 2010. Another interesting archaeological museum with findings from excavations around the island is found in Vathy, the capital of Samos.

Apart from archaeological museums, there are also museums of other types in Samos. Particularly interesting are the small, private Fossil Museum in the mountainous village of Mytilini and the Folklore Museum in Pythagorion.

Tsamadou, Potokaki, Lemonakia, Heraion, Karlovassi beach, Kedros, Kerveli, Kokkari beach, Mykali, Near Town, Platanakia, Posidonio, Potami, Psili Ammos, Pythagorio beach, Roditses, Tsabou, Megalo Seitani, Mikro Seitani

Religious Monasteries and Churches
The ancient temples, Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches play an important role in the island of Samos. Their exquisite architecture and majestic locations attract many visitors every year. Above the town of Pythagorio, on 125m altitude above the sea lies the Monastery of Panagia Spiliani (The Virgin of the Cave). It was founded in 1586 into a cave by two monks and it owns a beautiful icon of the Virgin Mary.

The Metamorphosis church is one of the oldest samples of religious architecture located in Potami. Inside you will find great pieces of art. Northeast of Karlovasi, on top of a hill lies the monastery of Prophet Elijah. It was built in 1739 by the monk Grigorios over the ruins of an ancient chapel. The monastery hosts remarkable icons and it is accessed through a trekking path.

Of major historical interest is the church of Agios Spyridon located at the homonymous square in Vathy, the island's capital. It is the place where the decision to unite Samos with the rest of the Greece was taken. A big festival is organized on its feast day where local food is served. In the wider area of Vathy you will also see the Metropolis church of Agios Nikolaos, the church of Zoodochos Pigis and the three churches rising above Vathy.

Holy Cross is among the oldest monasteries of Samos built in 1582 by two monks. It took its present form in 1838. The monastery's library hosts a fine collection of books and manuscripts and a big festival is held there on the feast day, September 14th where many locals gather with local food and dances.