Situated less than a mile south of Samos, this little island offers authenticity and escape in big measure. Less than a dozen inhabitants inhabit this rocky island that’s home to a couple of churches and free beach umbrellas.
It’s also the departure point for daytrips to Patmos, where St John wrote his Revelations 2,000 years ago.
1. Psalida Beach
Less than a nautical mile from Samos lies the tiny island of Samiopoula, meaning small Samos. Its five inhabitants and rocky, sandy coastline are a world away from the hustle and bustle of the mainland, offering authenticity and escape in equal measure. Hop aboard a traditional wooden kaiki and be regaled with stories from the captain as you sail to this island of beaches and churches.
The highlight of any visit to Samiopoula is Psalida Beach, a sheltered stretch of fine white sand and crystalline turquoise water that often ranks among the top beaches in southern Greece. It’s a popular day-trip destination for visitors from Pythagorion, and as such, it can get crowded in summer. However, the beach has free umbrellas and a small taverna so you can relax in peace or go for a walk around the island and its churches.
If you’re a fan of nature, take a hike in the north of Samos, which is a hiker’s paradise of sweeping valleys, vineyards, and shady forests. A tour of the area will bring you to the hilltop village of Vourliotes and a spectacular view of the bay. Another highlight of northern Samos is the monastery of Agios Fokas, perched on the slopes of Mount Ambelos. Founded in 1150, this monastery houses some of the best examples of traditional Samian architecture. You can also visit the nearby Cave of the Apocalypse and the Heraion sanctuary to learn about Samos’ rich mythology. For a more luxurious stay, whisk yourself away to Kintiri Glamping where you can enjoy stunning views of the mountains and sea from your luxury tent.
2. Katsakas Beach
Samiopoula is a beautiful satellite island located south of Samos. This tiny isle has only five inhabitants, a small parish church and two lovely beaches with white sand and crystalline waters. The beach of Psalida is the most famous, but since it’s quite a small beach, it tends to get crowded in summer. The second beach is called Katsakas and has a more remote atmosphere, thanks to the natural shade of the trees that surround the area. In addition, you can enjoy free umbrellas and a few taverns to refresh yourself.
One of the best things about Samos is its pristine beaches. While some beaches in the region are popular among noisy, active travelers, other beaches like the ones on the island of Aspres and Avlakia are perfect for those who prefer a calm holiday.
You can rent a boat in Samos and discover all the gorgeous islands nearby. If you’re planning to visit the famous beach of Kokkari, make sure to book your boat tickets in advance so that you can avoid the long lines and get a spot closer to the water. Alternatively, you can also choose to book a catamaran with a skipper and throw a bachelor or bachelorette party or even a business event on board.
Another great option for enjoying your boat trip in Samos is to explore the rocky islets of the archipelago formed between the island of Samos, Fournoi, Patmos, and Ikaria. These rocky islets are home to stunning beaches and sea caves. A skippered yacht is a great way to explore these secluded beaches and create lifetime memories.
Marina Karlovassi is a great choice for berthing your yacht if you’re taking a day cruise to the Fournoi or Ikaria islands. This marina has a berthing capacity of 280 vessels and offers all the amenities you need for a comfortable sailing experience.
Moreover, the port of Vathy is a great option for those who are interested in exploring the secluded beaches on the eastern side of the island. This marina has a berthing capability for boats up to 50 meters and is easily accessible from the airport.
3. Samiopoula Village
A tiny island just south of Samos, it’s an ideal place to relax in crystal clear waters with fine sandy beaches and a small taverna to quench your thirst. The island is a popular daytrip destination for tourists that visit the villages of Pythagorion and Marathokampos from where most of the wooden boats sail to the island. Therefore, the island can get crowded especially on sunny days.
The island is famous for its beach Psalida that’s sheltered from most winds and offers you an exotic character with its turquoise waters and fine sand. There are also a few umbrellas but no sun beds on this stunning beach so you can enjoy its tranquillity. Alternatively, you can climb up to the hill of Samiopoula and see the magnificent views on the surroundings from this unique spot.
Samiopoula is also home to the ancient Archaeological Museum which exhibits the beautiful Samian Kouros. Another must-see is the Heraion sanctuary to the goddess Hera close to the airport. Nearby is the oldest monastery in Samos at Vourliotes with a nice atmosphere among the pine trees.
There are a few other interesting places on the island that you can visit such as the Cave of Pythagoras that’s very well preserved and offers an amazing view from the top. Another thing to do is to take a hike in the forests of Samos. This will give you an idea of how the island looked like before it was burned by big fires in 1999.
It’s also worth a visit to the other picturesque coastal villages such as Manolates that has a old paved square surrounded by tavernas and a clutch of little houses with multi-coloured window frames. Or the little harbours of Marathokambos and Posidonio that are full of traditional fishing boats. And don’t forget to try the local wine! Samos’ sweet muscatel wines are something to experience. They have a unique taste and aroma that you will not find in any other wine. I can guarantee that you will fall in love with them! So make sure you pack a bottle of their wine for your trip.
Vathi Beach is a pretty bay on the south-western part of Samos. The beautiful sandy beach stretches over a kilometre and is surrounded by high rocky cliffs. The sand is light and powdery, making it perfect for sunbathing. It is one of the best beaches on the island, especially if you are looking for some peace and quiet far away from tourist crowds.
There is a small tavern on the beach but you should bring your own drinks, food and good sun protection. It is also recommended to visit the monastery of Fyrogia on your way to Vathi Beach. It is one of the oldest monasteries on Samos and has a very interesting history. You can also attend a pottery class in Vathi, to learn how to make your own clay decorations for your home.
In the centre of the village there are many traditional taverns where you can try some delicious Greek food. The restaurant owners in Vathy are very friendly and will gladly explain the traditional cooking methods of Samos. There are also several shops and a supermarket in Vathy, where you can buy all the things you need for your stay on Samos.
If you want to escape the busy city life on Samos and have a look at the authentic local life, then you should definitely pay a visit to the village of Vathy. You will find a lot of traditional houses and will see how the people on Samos live in their simple and relaxing way. They spend time in their gardens growing vegetables and fruits, they have goats and chickens to provide them with fresh eggs and milk.
Getting around Vathy is very easy. You can either rent a car or take the bus, which runs frequently from Apollonia and other cities on the island. Another option is to join a full-day tour, for example with Captain Andreas with the boat Georgios. This includes the trip to Samiopoula and you can enjoy the beauty of the local island as well as its secluded beach. For more information click here.