Being a wine lover, I have always wanted to visit the Greek island of Samos, because it is home to one of the most well-known white varietals - Muscadet (Muscat) grapes - in the world. Viticulture on Samos dates back thousands of years and its famous golden sweet white wines are exported all over the world.
Because I arrived by hydrofoil 'Flying Dolphin Zeus' from Kos, the port of arrival was Pythagoria on the southern coast of Samos. The journey was about 4.5 hours.

The harbour town of Pythagoria in the twilight - not sure if the town is where Pythagoras was born, but Samos is indeed the home island of the great mathematician.


The view of the harbour during the day.


Like most other Greek islands, Samos also has numerous ancient ruins and old stones all over the island. The most well-known of which is the site of Hera's Temple. Hera is the wife of Zeus and a Goddess in Greek mythology. Legend has it that rivalry between the three Goddesses - Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite - kicked start the 10-year siege of Troy.
Samos was also known in Greek mythology as the bride of Apollo, the Sun God. As a token of love to his bride, Apollo gave Samos lots of warmth and vegetation. Indeed, in stark contrast to most other Aegean islands, Samos is unusually green and fertile all year round.


                                               A Roadside Creperie in Pythagoria
To be honest, I did not know what to expect of Samos, except that I wanted to visit some vineyards and do some wine tasting. However, I was pleasantly surprised that Pythagoria is actually quite a sweet little harbour town. I decided to stay overnight in Pythagoria, and enjoy the serene evening walk around the town and the pretty yacht harbour.

                                   Private Yachts in the Harbour of Pythagoria
Geographically, Samos is the northernmost island of the Dodecaneses Islands. Due to the island's proximity to Turkey (one hour by ferry), Samos has become the springboard for those who want to cross over to mainland Turkey by ferry. From Vathi, capital of Samos, there are two crossings in the summer (April - October) to the Turkish port city of Kusadasi. There are also organised one-day or two-day excursion packages from Samos to Ephesus. You can book Vathi-Kusadasi ferry tickets or any of the all-inclusive excursions at any local travel agency on Samos.
There are lots of nice cafes and little family taverns in and around the harbour of Pythagoria, where you can enjoy the wonderful view of the Aegean and have a glass of good local Muscadet wine and chicken souvlaki. For those who are looking for night life, there are also plenty of bars and restaurants offering non-stop entertainment. And Pythagoria has quite decent beaches too - if you like swimming, it's not a bad place to stay around.
Little yachts and private fishing boats offer daily boat trips to nearby islands of Ikaria et al (I forgot the names right now ). Destinations change according to the day of the week, as these boats go to different islands/islets everyday of the week. The Captain will write down the destination for next day on a big sign board and hang it up on the boat, with price, time of departure and time of arrival back to Pythagoria all clearly written on the board. Anyone who is interested can approach them in the evenings and make a booking. As several boats offer trips to same destinations. it is advisable to walk around the harbour and look for the boat that best suits your taste.

Copyrights 2008. All text and photos bu YC Cheng. All Rights Reserved.

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