Samos is a green island in the North Aegean Sea with an interesting past, unspoilt beaches and delicious local cuisine. If you’re looking for the best vacation tips for Samos, as well as the top beaches, sights and food to try on the island, you can find everything you need to know on this page. Read about ferry schedules to Samos and book cheap ferry tickets online on Ferryhopper.
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 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 Prehistory 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. When 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.
If you’re a nature lover, Samos does not disappoint! There are nature reserves and tall mountains, where you can hike. Also, don’t forget to try some of the local delicacies and enjoy the seaside cafés, bars and restaurants at 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 in 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 a 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 is 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 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 thing to see in Samos:
- Ambelos and Kerkis Mountains
- Wetland of Alyki
- Sanctuary of Hera (Heraion)
- Tunnel of Eupalinos
- Walls of Polycrates
- Archaeological Site of Thermae
- Archeological Site of the Castle of Pythagoreion
- Cave of Pythagoras
- Genovese Castle in Potami
- Archaeological Museum of Samos
- Archaeological Museum of Pythagoreion
- Folklore Museum of Samos
- Ecclesiastical and Byzantine Museum of Samos
- Sarandaskaliotisa chapel
- Monastery of Megali Panagia
The Heraion of Samos, dedicated to the goddess Hera
Nightlife in Samos
Nights in Samos are romantic and 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 ανδ 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 the top villages in Samos:
- Agios Konstantinos
The beautiful port of Karlovasi in Samos
Useful information for 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, super markets and regional medical centers. There’s also a hospital in the capital. As for accommodation, there is a plethora of options mainly at the seaside villages.
Useful 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 on 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 itineraries and plan your island hopping in the Aegean Sea.
Traditional café in Samos nested in a green forest with a view to the sea
Samos ferry: schedules and tickets
- Ferry from Piraeus to Samos: There are regular ferry routes 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.
- Ferry from Kavala to Samos: You can travel by ferry from the port of Kavala to Samos 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 online to Samos
Can’t wait to lose yourself in the impressive green landscapes and dreamy beaches of Samos? Book cheap ferry tickets on Ferryhopper with no extra fees! Discover everything you need to know about vacation in Samos and ferry schedules, compare ferry companies and fares and book tickets in just 4 clicks!