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Map & Synopsis: Greek Island of Samos (N.E.Aegean) Page 2
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Wonderful views of the eastern tip of Samos and the Turkish coast can be enjoyed from here. A medieval chapel with its original slate roof is also seen here. The plateau to the east of Vathy is covered with vineyards, its main villages Aghia Zoni and Kamara.

kourosSouth from Vathy along the house is the beach at the rocky bay of Kerveli (with two tavernas and some rooms), with a fine inland valley, the hill village of Paleokastro, the triple chapel of Ekklisies. Psili Ammos is sandy (its name meaning, 'Fine Sand'), and very touristic.

There's a nature reserve at Aliki, with one of the coast's best tavernas, and some rooms. The reserve is a salt marsh lagoon, officially protected, where flamingos, herons, ducks and storks visits between November and July.

The port of Karlovassi, on the island's northwest coast, is less touristic than Vathy, and has some fine beaches, including those on the Seitani coves, accessible only on foot or by boat.

These are officially protected areas visited by the rare Mediterranean monk seal. Visitors are urged to keep a distance from these endangered creatures, if sighted. The town is more Greek and more laid back than either Vathy or Pythagorio, and has four distinct districts, with most accomdation in the harbor district, the old district above the harbor is mostly residential.

A festival is held in July and August in the Neo district , with music and theater events. The Meseo district to the east has an ouzeri with Middle Eastern and East African food. In between the city and the Seitani coves is Potami (River in Greek), with a river estuary, its crescent shaped sand and pebble beach accessible from Limani along the coast road or on a scenic trail from Paleo.

shipyardsAlong the path by the river is the 11th century church of Metamorphosis, the oldest church on the island, with a waterfall behind it. The third largest town, and port, is Pythagorio, on the southeast coast of Samos, very much a package resort, as are the beaches on the southern coast, though offering good access to the main archaeological site of Samos, the Heraion, where the kouros (mentioned above) was found, and also a ferry link for Turkey, just across the straits.

Ferries to Turkey from Vathy also stop here en route. The old village center has narrow cobbled lanes and thick walled mansions; a restored castle sits up over the waterfront. A festival is held in Pythagorio on the 6th of August in the castle church. Ancient sites include the old Roman Baths, the Efpalinian Tunnel (a 1040 meter 6th century BC acqueduct bored through the mountain north of town), the ancient city walls, the monastery of Panaghis Spiliani and its Cave, but above all the Ancient Heraion (sanctuary of Hera).

The inland village of Mytilini is home to what may be the only paleontological museum in Greece, with animal fossils dating back perhaps 15 million years, with a 13 million year old horse's brain, and skulls and teeth of prehistoric hippopotami and rhinoceri.

The inland village of Platonas, in the second big wine growing region on the island, is visited by frequent buses from Karolovassi, and is one of the highest hill villages on the island, on the slopes of Mt Karvounis, with tavernas, rooms, the 13th century church of Kimisis Theotokou. Another appealing village is Marathokambos, above the eponynmous gulf, with some boat trips to the islet of Samiopoula. The second highest summit of Samos, Mt. Kerkis (1437 meters), dominates the southwest part of the island, with good walking opportunities on its slopes, or up to the peak. Samos is an island of extreme contrasts, with the worst of package tourism on the one hand (end to end beach umbrellas and glitzy tourist towns), but also secluded beaches and wild, rugged, hiking country. Bicycling and wind surfing are also popular here.

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