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Comfort Inn Lake Buena Vista Hotel
Comfort Inn Lake Buena Vista Hotel in Orlando, Florida, USA is four miles from the Orange County Convention Center. A 3 star Orlando hotel minutes away from Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Sea World and Wet'n Wild. ...
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Portinari Hotel, Rio De Janeiro
Portinari Hotel is one block away from the beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A lovely 4 star Rio de Janeiro hotel between the charming district of Ipanema and the exciting life of Copacabana. ...
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Tryp Higienopolis Hotel, Sao Paulo
Tryp Higienopolis Hotel is in the commercial and financial district of Higienopolis Sao Paulo, Brazil. A 4 star Sao Paulo hotel in a residential and peaceful neighbourhood, minutes away from the city’s bustling Paulista Avenue. ...
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You are in:  Top  →  Europe  →  GREECE  →  N. E. Aegean Islands  →  SAMOS


Samos is an attractive and pleasant island, mountainous and green.

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Its peaks are the highest in the Aegean islands, and sections of the scenic interior are as thickly forested as any in the region. It has a long and honorable history and abundant evidence to prove it. During the 6th century B.C., in the glory days of the Ionian civilization, Samos led the field in itsontributions to art, architecture, and science. The island's favorite son, Pythagoras, is the most notable in a long list of luminaries that Aesop of fables fame, and the mathematician Aristarchos. Herodotus devoted a large portion of his History to the island.

Samos town (also called Vathi) is an old port that has undergone extensive development, but it remains an essentially Greek town with lots of commerce and color. The most important sights in Samos town are the fine Archaeology Museum and the picturesque old quarter known as Ano Vathi.

The Archaeology Museum has displays in two buildings, and you can spend an hour just reading the excellent text accompanying the exhibits.

Particularly impressive is the large and various collection of votive, mostly bronze, found at the Heraion, illustrating its prestige in the ancient world by their value and extent-all of Greece, the Near East, Egypt, Cyprus, even Spain. The newest building houses sculpture, including the largest (5.5 meters) standing kouros (Greek statue of a nude male youth) extent and a group of six archaic statues found at the Heraion. Samos was the sculpture center of Greece; being much in demand, many of the island's best sculptors (especially adept in casting) traveled all over the world to create their art.

Ano Vathi, the upper town, is a charming quarter with narrow winding streets neoclassical houses. It's a quiet residential area that retains a lot of it original village like character. To reach it continues on beyond the museum.

There are also beaches near Samos town, the closest and best being Plaz Gagou west across the harbor, and Kalami, the town beach, a short walk left (north) from the port.

A few kilometers east of town, you can climb a path to the monastery of Zoodohou Piyis for a good look at Turkey. On the southeastern tip of the island at Possidonio, you will be even closer and can find a very good tavern for seafood. West along the coast is the better of the island's two beaches called Psili Ammos. Pythagorio, south across the island from Samos town, is a charming but over-crowded modern resort, built on the site of an ancient village and harbor. It's named after the most notable of all Samians, Pythagoras, the great mathematician and philosopher. Under the autocrat Polylcrates, what Herodotus called "three of the greatest building achievements of the world" were accomplished: the mole for the harbor was laid, where the jetty is today; the Efpalinion Tunnel was completed and the Heraion was enlarged, making it the largest of all ancient Creek temples. Columns, from the city fortifications and an unexcavated theater are visible on the left side north of the port. There are also remains of Roman baths about a kilometer west of town open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am to 2pm. The Eftapilion Tunnel, one of the most impressive engineering accomplishments of the ancient world, a 1,050 m long waterway through the mountain above Pythagorio, is about 2 kilometers northwest of town. It was excavated to transport water from mountain streams to ancient Samos. Efpalinos directed two teams of workers digging from each side, and after nearly 15 years they met remarkably close to each other. The tunnel caved in during the 17th century when Samos was devastated by a series of earthquakes. A few years ago, a German engineering team completed eight years of work to clear the tunnel of debris and rock, and they revealed this astonishing achievement.

The Heraion, the sanctuary of Hera, is southwest of Pythagorio at Ireon, a rather lackluster resort. All that survives of the greatest of all Greek temples is its massive foundation, a lone reconstructed column and copies of the original statuary, which can be seen in the archaeological museum. A forest of columns originally surrounded the temple, one of its most distinctive and original features. In fact, rival Ionian cities were so impressed that they rebuilt many of their ancient temples in similar style. The Temple of Artemis in nearby Ephesus is a direct imitation of the great Samian Structure. The Heraion was rebuilt and greatly expanded under Polycrates; it was damaged during numerous invasions and finally destroyed by a series of earthquakes. Midway on the north coast road between Karlovassi and Kokkari is the Platanakia region of villages, set on steeply terraced hills. This is where Samos' famous muscadine grapes grow. Samians call Platanakia "paradise". A narrow road leads south from the coastal highway though cool densely wooded valleys with rushing streams and up through terraced hills to mountain hamlets.

Kokkari is about 10 kilometers west of Samos town on the north coast highway. Up until a decade ago, it was a traditional Creek fishing village with small cobbled back streets and a few taverns. Off in the distance are green brush covered hills. There are many waterside cafes and chic boutiques. Kokkari has pedestrian bridges and walkways and is still very charming in the spring and fall.

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