North Aegean, Greece
Samos is an enchanting island in the North Aegean Sea with an eventful past, unspoilt beaches, and delicious local cuisine. On Ferryhopper, you will find useful information about must-see places, beaches, local delicacies, ferries to Samos, and book your tickets with just a few clicks!
The picturesque seaside village of Kokkari in Samos
Vacation in Samos
Samos is a Greek island of inimitable natural beauty, famous for its exquisite beaches, impressive attractions, and important archaeological sites. It’s a great destination for a relaxing vacation and plenty of outdoor activities. You can hike in nature, try trekking and rock climbing, as well as visit natural reserves.
The island has been inhabited since the Prehistory Ages and has a rich history, being the birthplace of important ancient philosophers and scientists, such as Pythagoras, Epicurus, and Aristarchus.
How to get to Samos
The best way to get from Athens to Samos by ferry is to travel from the port of Piraeus. There are frequent ferry routes from Athens to Samos, arriving at 2 ports on the island: Vathy and Karlovasi. If you’re traveling from northern Greece, there are frequent ferry routes from the port of Kavala to Samos year-round. Find more information on how to get to Samos by ferry below.
What to do in Samos
Samos is one of the prettiest islands in Greece. The island is famous for its dreamy beaches, where you can try water sports, relax at beach bars and enjoy the peace.
Also, during your stay in Samos, it’s worth visiting some of the impressive monuments to witness the rich past of the Greek island. Pay a visit to the Cave of Pythagoras and the Sanctuary of Hera for a trip back in time.
Are you a nature lover? No problem! Samos has many nature reserves and high mountains, where you can hike. Also, don’t forget to try some of the local delicacies and enjoy the seaside cafés, bars, and restaurants in the picturesque villages. Find more information below on the best things to do in Samos.
Beaches in Samos
There’s a beach in Samos for all tastes! You can swim on popular dreamy beaches with white pebbles, sun loungers, and umbrellas, as well as enjoy the ambient atmosphere of a remote cove.
Most of the beaches on the island are accessible by car, but if you want to get away from the crowds, there are secluded beaches, which are only accessible by boat or through hiking trails. Here are some of the best beaches in Samos:
- Psili Ammos: it’s a small wind-protected beach with shallow crystal-clear waters, ideal for families. There are tavernas, restaurants, and a beach bar.
- Mykali: this is a large pebble beach with clear emerald waters and trees for shade. There are visitor amenities, water sports centers, and food trucks.
- Livadaki: Livadaki is a beautiful cove surrounded by rocks. Its golden sand and shallow turquoise waters create an exotic feeling. There are sun loungers, umbrellas, and a beach bar.
- Balos: it is a small pebble beach with deep crystal-clear waters. There are many tavernas by the beach, where you can enjoy a traditional meal.
- Tsamadou: this is one of the prettiest and most popular beaches on the island. It’s a picture-perfect coast with pebbles and turquoise waters. There are visitor amenities, tavernas, and a beach bar. Bear in mind there are stronger waves when the wind blows from the north.
- Potami: Potami is one of the most beloved beaches in Samos. The beach is covered in pebbles and has relatively deep waters. It is surrounded by tall rocks and trees, creating magnificent natural scenery. There are some umbrellas and sun loungers, as well as a beach bar. There are frequent north winds in the area.
- Mikro Seitani: it's a small untamed pebble beach in a dreamy setting. It has deep emerald green waters and there are no visitor amenities. You can only get to the beach through a hiking trail or by boat.
- Megalo Seitani: this is one of the best beaches in Samos. Its lush vegetation, clear waters, and golden sand create an impressive scenery. There are no visitor amenities and you can only get there by boat or on foot.
- Tsampou: Tsampou is a beautiful beach with emerald green waters and tall rocks. There are umbrellas, sun loungers, and a parking lot. It often gets windy.
The beautiful Tsamadou beach in Samos with turquoise waters
Sightseeing in Samos
The island of Samos is the birthplace of Pythagoras, Epicurus, and Aristarchus, as well as the goddess Hera according to Greek mythology. If you want to get acquainted with the history of the island, we recommend that you visit the numerous ancient monuments and historical sites.
Moreover, Samos is a great destination for nature exploration. Don’t miss out on a hike through the nature reserves or extreme cycling to the awe-inspiring Mount Ambelos (or Karvounis). Here are some of the tοp 8 things to see in Samos:
- The Sanctuary of Hera (Heraion), an imposing sanctuary dedicated to the goddess Hera
- The Tunnel of Eupalinos, an impressive aqueduct with a tunnel of 1,036 meters running through Mount Kastro in Samos
- The Walls of Polycrates, enclosing and protecting the ancient city of Samos
- The Archaeological Site of Thermae, a World Heritage Monument by UNESCO since 1992
- The Archeological Site of the Castle of Pythagoreion, with the imposing Byzantine Castle of the city
- The Cave of Pythagoras, where the famous Greek mathematician and philosopher was hiding from the tyrant of Samos, Polycrates.
- The Genovese Castle in Potami, a small fortress built by the Genoans on a low hill
- The Kerkis Mountain, an extinct volcano with lush forests and great hiking trails for trekking
If you like museums, you can find several of them in Samos such as the Archaeological Museum of Samos, the Archaeological Museum of Pythagoreion, the Folklore Museum, and the Ecclesiastical and Byzantine Museum of Samos.
The impressive Heraion of Samos, dedicated to the goddess Hera
Nightlife in Samos
Nightlife in Samos is laid-back. There are many restaurants and bars by the sea, where you can enjoy delicious dishes and try cocktails, as well as local wine.
Most bars and cafés are located in Pythagoreion, Karlovasi, Kokkari, and Vathy, but there are traditional tavernas and lounge bars all over the island.
If you’re into loud nights and dancing, there are also some clubs and beach bars on the island that stay open until late. For a peaceful night out you can also catch a movie at an open-air cinema.
Food in Samos
Samos is famous for its local products of superb quality. You have to try local olive oil, wine, and citrus fruits. As for the local cuisine, it’s simply divine! You can taste amazing savory dishes and desserts at cafés, tavernas, and restaurants.
Here are some of our favorite dishes of Samos:
- kambounia (onion shoots cooked with eggs)
- bourekia (sweet pastries with squash cinnamon)
- giaprakia (rice-stuffed vine leaves)
- keskeki (slow-cooked goat stew)
- xerotigana (deep-fried dough with honey)
- moustalevria (must and flour pudding)
- katades (nut-filled biscuits)
- tahinopita (tahini cake)
- starozoumo (sweet pudding with wheat berries, cinnamon, and nuts)
Villages in Samos
Samos is a large island with more than 30,000 permanent residents. The island’s capital, Vathy (or Samos), alongside the ports of Karlovasi and Pythagoreion, are the major villages, where most visitors and locals stay.
Ferryhopper suggests that you also visit more quaint mountainous and seaside villages, to admire the local architecture and nature, as well as try local dishes! Here are 5 of the most beautiful villages in Samos:
- Pythagoreion: its name derives from the famous Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras. Pythagorio is an enchanting seaside village located on the south coast of the island. Its beautiful little port is lined with bars and restaurants offering incredible sea views.
- Kokkari: it is located on the north coast, about 10km from Vathy port. It's probably the most picturesque seaside village in Samos with a charming little harbor and colorful houses, several restaurants, and cafes to enjoy your frape coffee with breathtaking views.
- Marathokampos: it’s situated on the slopes of Mount Kerkis offering stunning views towards the south coast of Samos. You can stroll around its cobbled alleys and walk through its picturesque stone-built houses creating fantastic scenery. Near Marathokampos, you can also find the Cave of Pythagoras.
- Manolates: Manolates is a traditional mountainous village in Samos. It is located about 12km from the village of Kokkari and its houses hang on the slopes of the mountain surrounded by verdant forests. You can follow its enchanting hiking paths and explore the area or walk around the narrow streets and small squares of the village.
- Mytilini: it is a lovely village that is very close to Vathy, the capital of Samos. Therefore, you can combine your visit to Vathy with a day trip to Mytilini. You can explore its beauty, and visit the fascinating Museum of Natural History where you will find on display many natural treasures (8 million-year-old fossils) from Samos and the Aegean Sea.
Also, if you spend more than 3 days in Samos, you can rent a car, have a road trip and explore the villages of Vourliotes, Pyrgos, Pagodas, Spatharaioi, Drakei, Agios Konstantinos, and Leka.
The beautiful port of Karlovasi in Samos
Useful information about Samos
There are many visitor services and amenities in Samos. The island is lively throughout the year, as there are many permanent inhabitants and university students.
You can find ATMs, banks, shops, pharmacies, supermarkets, and regional medical centers. There’s also a hospital in the capital. As for accommodation, there is a plethora of options mainly in the seaside villages.
Important phone numbers for your stay in Samos
Here are some useful phone numbers for your trip to Samos:
- Port Authority of Vathy: +302273027318
- Port Authority of Karlovasi: +302273030888
- Port Authority of Pythagoreion: +302273061225
- General Hospital of Samos: +302273094207
- First Aid Station: +302273022222
- Police Station: +302273022333
- International Airport of Samos (SMI): +302273087800-2
- Public bus service (KTEL): +302273027262
Transportation in Samos
The island has a good road and transport network. You can easily drive around the island and there are frequent daily bus routes from the larger villages to other destinations, beaches, and sites in Samos.
As Samos is a large island, we recommend that you bring your own vehicle or rent one there. Moreover, there’s an international airport on the island, located in Pythagoreion, a 25-minute drive to Vathy.
Ports in Samos
There are 3 ports in Samos: Vathy, Karlovasi, and Pythagoreion. From the ports of Samos you can travel to Athens, the Cyclades, the Dodecanese, the North Aegean Sea, as well as Turkey. Here are more details about the ports of Samos:
- Port of Vathy: Vathy is the capital of Samos, located on the northeastern side of the island. The port of Vathy serves ferry routes to the port of Piraeus in Athens, the islands of Mykonos, Syros, Patmos, and Rhodes, as well as to Kusadasi in Turkey. The Vathy - Kusadasi route lasts 1.5 hours. At the port of Vathy, there are many bars and restaurants, as well as hotels, banks, and a parking lot.
- Port of Karlovasi: Karlovasi is the second largest village in Samos and it’s located on the northwestern part of the island. The port of Karlovasi serves ferry routes to the port of Piraeus, islands of the North Aegean like Ikaria, Fournoi, Chios, or Lesbos, as well as to the Cyclades. There are shops, cafés, car rentals, mini markets, and a parking lot at the port.
- Port of Pythagoreion: located in the southeastern part of Samos, the port of Pythagoreion is the main ferry departure point to the Dodecanese. During the summer months, you can get a ferry from Pythagoreion to Leros, Kos, Kalymnos, Symi, or Rhodes. There are tavernas, shops, and parking lots at the port.
Island hopping from Samos
Samos is a great starting point for island hopping in the Aegean Sea! You can travel by ferry from Samos to the Dodecanese, the Cyclades, as well as the islands of the North Aegean Sea.
The ferry route from Samos to Ikaria lasts 1.5 hours and it’s one of the most popular island-hopping trips. Moreover, you can easily get by ferry to the coast of Turkey in just 1.5 hours.
Here are all direct ferry routes from Samos to plan your island-hopping itinerary:
Find all ferry routes from the 3 ports of Samos on Ferryhopper’s Map of ferries. See all available routes, discover the best ferry connections and plan your island hopping in the Aegean Sea.
Traditional cafe in Samos nested in a green forest with a view of the sea
Samos ferry: schedules and tickets
To travel by ferry to Samos from mainland Greece you can catch a ferry from the port of Piraeus in Athens, as well as the port of Kavala in northern Greece.
- Piraeus - Samos ferry: you can take a ferry from Piraeus to Samos all year round. Normally, there are 5 weekly crossings from Piraeus to the port of Karlovasi, lasting 8.5 hours on average, depending on the number of stops. There are also sailings to the port of Vathy 3 times per week, with a journey duration of 10 hours.
- Kavala - Samos ferry: you can travel from the port of Kavala to Samos by ferry year-round. There are sailings to 2 ports in Samos: Vathy and Karlovasi. The route Kavala - Karlovasi is available once or twice per week and the journey duration is 14 hours on average. Ferries from Kavala to Vathy are in operation at least twice a week and the crossing duration is 13 to 18 hours.
Where to book ferry tickets to Samos online
Can’t wait to explore the impressive lush landscapes and dive into the dreamy beaches of Samos? Discover everything you need to know about a vacation in Samos and ferry schedules, compare ferry companies and fares, and book your ferry tickets with no hidden fees on Ferryhopper!