Checking out of our hotel in the morning and with check in at the airport not until after 6pm we had another whole day to explore Samos further. Without any real plan, but with the map, we found 5 things to do all within 5 km of the airport.
1 Cave and monastery of Panagia Spiliani
The monastery is on a ridge overlooking the Chora and Pythagorio. You can clearly see the hills of Turkey and the airport runway down below. It’s believed to be founded in 1586 and is a beautiful example of a Greek monastery, with it’s whitewashed walled, shaded places to sit and a small gift shop.
What makes it more unusual is the cave at the back. A set of steep steps takes you down and the temperature drops immediately. At the end of a sloping tunnel stands a small blue church. It is home to a relic of the Virgin Mary. It’s believed to have been a place of worship in ancient Greece and a Christian church during the Byzantine rule.
2 Ancient Greece: Hera’s Temple
Heading back to the coast we drove onto the beach road. Going passed the airport there’s a long stretch of shingle beach. When the beach road ends you’ve reached the Temple of Hera.
We couldn’t visit the island without going to one ancient site. There certainly wasn’t time in a short visit to see them all:
Ancient Sites In Samos
- Samos Museum
- Samos Paleontological Museum Paleontological Museum
- Tunnel of Eupalinos Tunnel of Eupalinos
- Temple of Hera Temple of Hera
- Constructions of Polykrates Polykrates
- Logothetis Castle Logothetis Castle
- Evpalineio Aqueduct Evpalineio Aqueduct
- The Walls The Walls
- The Secret Way (Iera Odos) The Secret Way
- Samos Ecclesiastical – Byzantine Museum Byzantine Museum
- Samos Pythagorion Museum Pythagorion Museum
- Ancient Theatre Samos Ancient Theatre
- Paleontological Excavations in Samos Excavations in Samos
- Pythagoras Cave Pythagoras Cave
The temple is said to be one of the largest ever built in ancient Greece. Though all that remains standing today is 1 of the 115 original columns. There’s a vast array of stonework that’s been collected over the years. With wonderful carvings.
Not overcrowded in any way, this is somewhere you can soak up the atmosphere of an ancient temple. It was certainly worth a visit.
3 Lunch at Myli village
Time for lunch we headed in land from Hera’s Temple to the village of Myli. Set amongst citrus groves we had a stroll around the old lanes. Then stopped in the square for a light mezze lunch courtesy of Maria at Taverna Maria Alekos. There was no need to rush, we had plenty of time and were the only customers at this time of day.
4 A swim on Potakaki beach
After our lunch has rested it was time for a final swim so we headed to Potakaki beach, finding a spot with a cantina and some shade. We read and relaxed a little more if that was possible.
5 Frappé in Ireo
Once we were dry there was an hour left so we went to check out the village of Ireo. Very different from anywhere else on the island, it’s a modern village built on a grid of one way roads. It has lots of small guest houses, tourist shops and a long seafront of tavernas and bars.
We stopped for a final frappé in the shade with a lovely view. But eventually it was time to head off and return to our island of Rhodes.
We didn’t find anywhere on the island that was overcrowded it was a wonderful quiet break. We saw a small number of all inclusive hotels, lots of guest houses, smaller hotels, rental villas. The island seemed to mainly cater to German tourists.
Given the opportunity we will definitely return one day 🙂
Have you been to Samos? What did you think of the place?
You can read more about our trip to Samos here: