The sun-soaked Greek island of Samos lies just off the coast of Turkey in the clear blue Aegean Sea. One of the quieter of the Greek islands, it offers relaxed low-rise resorts, beautiful sandy beaches and unspoilt natural beauty. You’ll find some lively nightlife in the bustling capital city of Vathy, but also many small villages where the traditional way of life has been preserved. Samos is also a great destination for history lovers, with famous names from Hera to Pythagoras hailing from these shores. There are some fascinating archaeological sites to discover, from tunnels to temples, while active holidaymakers will love the hiking trails on offer. Throw in some delicious Greek food, a glass (or five) of the local sweet Muscat wine and breath-taking views of mountains, orchards and sprawling golden. Could you get any closer to holiday bliss?
Top hotels in Samos
Samos City Hotel
Samos Town, Samos
Apollonia Bay Samos
Samos Town, Samos
At a glance
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Greek
- Time Zone: GMT +2
- Average flight time: 3h 55m
When to go
(°C) Avg. High Temp
If you manage to pry yourself away from the beautiful beaches, Samos has plenty of other things to see and do. The historic town of Pythagorion is where many of the island’s important historical landmarks are. Visit the ruins of ancient temple of the Greek God, Hera, admire the breathtaking Castle of Lykougos Logothetis, and take a moment to remember the man who brought us everyone’s favourite theorem from their schooldays at the Pythagoras monument. The serene Monastery of Panagia Spiliani is also well worth a visit and a lovely place to enjoy a moment of peace and light a candle.
Samos’ inland areas are equally as scenic as it’s beaches. Visit the tumbling Potami waterfalls, work off lunch with a cycle along the trails near Mount Ampelos and discover the rocky caves at Votsalakia. Back by the beach, you can find plenty of boat trips to experience the island from another perspective and partake in some diving.
Culture vultures have some interesting museums and galleries to explore on Samos. Many are of course, focussed on the rich archaeology of this ancient island, but you can also visit the Samos Wine Museum, the Karlovasi Tannery Museum, and the popular Kallisti Gallery.
Wine and Dine
Samos is certainly an island that loves to wine and dine! Feasts and festivals take place almost all year round, with events taking place in honour of everyone from the hardworking local fishermen through to the gods of Ancient Greece themselves. Alongside fine wine and fresh local foods, you’ll love the celebrations of colour, music, dance, parades and activities – you’ll feel like one of the locals on Samos from the moment your holiday begins. As the home of the sweet and crisp Muscat wine, Samos is also a fine holiday destination for fans of the grape. You can enjoy it at a stunning range of restaurants serving fine seafood and melt-in-the-mouth Mediterranean masterpieces. You’ll love the al fresco dining experiences at Stella, AAA and Irodian Garden Restaurant, as well as falling completely in love with the dishes, service and sea views from Meltemi. Wining and dining is bliss on Samos, and the smells and tastes of the Mediterranean will leave you never wanting your holiday to end!
Samos is a fantastic holiday destination for families. Not only do the island’s natural beauty and relatively small distances to travel make for perfect family holidays, but the number and variety of activities and things to do ensure that there’s never a dull moment for any kids (whatever their age!). The Tunnel of Eupalinos is an absolute must, with the ancient aqueduct combining historical intrigue with kid-friendly exploring perfectly! The Potami Waterfalls, Pythagoras Cave and surreal beauty of the Mikro Seitani cove are wonderful places of untouched magnificence that you can all enjoy together, as are the island’s numerous golden beaches and inlets where you can bask in all the sea, sand and sounds that the Mediterranean offers. When Mum and Dad fancy a bit of time out they can detour to the Samos Wine Museum for a tour and tipple, and the kids can learn a thing or two about wine’s journey from grape to glass. Families will love the natural and homely feel of Samos, and you’ll love every minute of your holiday in this Greek paradise.
Action and Adventure
Action and adventure sports are the heartbeat of Samos holidays, and you’ll be hard pressed to fit everything in! Sea kayaking is a great place to start, and the mixture of adrenaline and tranquillity of the crystal clear salt water is a fantastically invigorating experience. You can also get under the waves with some offshore diving, with the deeper waters providing some stunning wildlife encounters and that priceless feeling of freedom. Samos is also home to a huge range of other wind and water sports, so head over to the specialist centre in Pythagoreion and take your pick – all levels are catered for whether you’re lord of the waves or a complete novice! Once you’re looking to recharge for the next day, boat charters or yacht trips are a simply unmissable way to witness a sunset. Your only challenge with action and adventure holidays on Samos will be choosing what you want to do, as the choices are seemingly endless!
Life's a Beach
Samos is home to some of the most gorgeous beaches in the Aegean, with plenty of to choose from whether you like things lively and sandy or peaceful and pebbly. The large beaches of Kokkari and Pythagorion are wide and clean with lots of beachfront cafés and bars on offer along with sunloungers, umbrellas, and watersports such as windsurfing and kitesurfing. The beautiful beach at Tsamadou is one of the most scenic on the island – and the place to go for all-over tan on the island’s only official nudist area!
On the quieter side, the small beach of Posidonio is a secluded and tranquil cove with fragrant pine trees to provide some shade, calm waters, and a couple of tavernas serving fresh seafood and local dishes. Alternatively, head to the small beach of Mykali which is perfect for relaxing and sunbathing whilst you take in the stunning views of the Turkish coast across the sky-blue ocean.
If you’re arriving for your holiday in Samos with visions of a vibrant, varied and frankly fantastic nightlife experience you’ll be delighted you chose this stunning Greek paradise. Whether you’re going in for the tranquillity of a beach bar to dance the night away to the sound of the waves, a tavern for cocktails and company, or to burn up the dancefloor in a cool nightclub, you’ll be amazed with the choice the island has to offer. Vathy has a great bustle to it with its clusters of bars and discos, while evenings in Karlovassi and Pythagorion are also packed full of spirit and great times. Where you’ll head to first will depend on the mood of the evening, but the Café Del Mundo is a great stop for friendly service, top notch cocktails and jazz grooves. Blue Boat Cocktail Bar is also a superb experience, and the Goal Bar and its reclining chairs and big screens is the place for a sporting fix.
Couples will love Samos for its perfect balance of nature, culture, life, tranquillity and just plain Greek paradise! The island’s towns offer all you can pack into a holiday in the way of culture, museums, history, intrigue and tasty local dining spots. The rest of the island is full of beauty spots, idyllic beaches, dreamy fishing villages, and crystal clear waters. A boat charter gives a fantastic perspective on Samos’ stunning coastline and while enjoying a glass of bubbly together, or if you’re feeling more energetic then you can try a bit of snorkelling in and around some of the beautiful coves and coastal curves. If resorts are your thing, Fito Aqua Bleu or Kampos Village are everything you would dream of and more for lounging in the sun, splashing in the pool, relaxing with a massage and spa experience, and then propping up the cocktail bar as you unwind and decide what tickles your fancy for dinner. Samos is waiting for you!
The beautiful, tranquil and idyllic island of Samos has a rich cultural and historical heritage for you to enjoy during your holiday. History buffs and even casual visitors will love a visit to the fascinating site of Pythagoreion, the remains of an ancient city port that you can explore to your heart’s content. The particularly scholarly visitors will know that the island was the birthplace and home of the famous philosopher Epicurus and the mathematician Pythagoras and museums celebrate the life and works of both men. In the archaeological museum you’ll also find a fascinating exhibition outlining the Sanctuary of Heraion which was founded on the island, and many fascinating finds in the quirky Fossil Museum. Samos is also host to a series of feasts, with a particularly special one taking place in August each year to celebrate the Feast of the Virgin Mary. The whole island comes together for the special occasion to enjoy fine local foods. As with most of the Greek islands, a holiday on Samos not only makes for a beautiful holiday but also for a feast of culture and Mediterranean mystique.