SAMOS sits close to the Turkish coastline, a large, long and mountainous island that was in ancient times one of Greece's wealthiest island.
As a result, Samos is today noted for its many architectural wonders of the ancient world, although unfortunately not all of them have been preserved for present-day visitors to enjoy.
Much of Samos' unique architectural heritage has fallen foul of hotel developers and cement mixers. Near the main resort of Pythagorion, in particular, ready-mix cement has permanently paved much of Samos island's glorious past.
In other parts of Samos, rough Greek edges have been polished smooth and visitors may find some resoirts more holiday village than Greek village - a meek Mediterranean retreat for the middle-aged.
But it's not all like that. Samos is a Greek island with something for everyone, from big beach hotels to rustic hill villages. It has miles of sand, towering mountains, some singularly beautiful scenery and many very attractive coves as well as lush inland forests of pine and oak.
The hills inland are noted for wine growing, especially at Vourliotes where springs keep the landscape lush and green. This area of Samos is noted for its wine, mostly muscat.
Samos is also noted for its flora, with more than 1,000 flower and herb species native to the island while flamingos have been using Samos as a stopover for many years.
Samos is a big island and roads can be wearily long. Luxury hotel seekers will head south and east while the adventurous look west and north.
Samos is a large island and beaches are in three main clusters, to the north-west of Samos Town, in the south-west around Pythagorio and in the south-west in the emerging resorts of Kampos and Votsalakia. That said, there are hidden gems along the east coast and in the much wilder north-west of the island. Those looking for luxury hotels will head for Kokkari and Pythagorio and those looking for small hotels and self catering should look at the less popular resorts. In general beach resorts to the east of Samos are backed by gentle rolling hills while those in the west are dominated by big mountain ranges.
Noted for its beauty when approached from the sea, SAMOS TOWN - also called VATHY or VATHI - sits at the head of a deep horseshoe bay. Pastel houses and weathered red tile roofs tier down hillside to a long and deep waterfront promenade.
Samos Town waterfront is a noisy snarl of tourist shops and tavernas. Just behind the waterfront is a steep rise of streets, heaving with hotels. Samos is a provincial town of some 6,000 people but with surprising little to offer, given its size. In the middle of the waterfront the main square is guarded by an imposing stone lion and edged with tree-shaded cafes. Further inland is a tiny, but attractive, municipal gardens.
Samos Town has an exceptionally good archaeological museum. Exhibits are arranged in two buildings. The modern one houses the largest surviving example of a kouros statue. It stands 5m tall and dates from 575BC. The older building has many Egyptian, Turkish, Cypriot and Syrian artifacts testifying to Samos' ancient trading wealth. Most notable are a dozen or so bronze griffin heads. All the exhibits are well displayed with good explanations in English.
There is also a Byzantine museum in the Bishop's Palace - worth a visit to see the icons, some 18th century silver bibles and the bizarre cast of St George's footprint.
The road south out of Samos Town heads up to the hillside village of ANO VATHI, which was once a pirate refuge. Narrow streets thread their way between some rather drab neo-classical houses and a few, sadly neglected, medieval churches.
The road north out of Samos Town leads almost immediately to the upmarket KALAMI suburbs where most holiday hotel accommodation can be found. The best beach area on this part of the coast is the beach at GAGOU or GANGOU that many regard as the Samos Town beach.
Gagou beach is a narrow strip of stone and shingle, only about 200m long and facing south-west, backed by a few decent restaurants. On the hillside behind the beach stand several squadrons of hotels and apartment blocks, notably the huge Gagou Beach Hotel complex. Despite the numbers of nearby hotels the beach at Gagou is relatively quiet - quite a contrast to noisy Samos Town yet within easy walking distance.
Sunbeds line the back of the shingle which slopes fairly gently into the sea. A line of low trees at the back of Gagou beach provides some good natural shade and sunbathers can watch the ferries sailing in and out of Samos harbour. A couple of tavernas at the northern end of Gagou offer food, drink and more shade.
The road runs north out of Samos Town, goes past Kalami and Gagou then round the headland to the north facing beach at AGIA PARASKEVI, about 6km from Samos Town. A long and ugly road runs right along the back of Agia Paraskevi beach which is no more than a thin strand of sand and shingle with barely enough room to lie down in places.
Facing north, Agia Paraskevi tends to attract rubbish and, although there is a pretty chapel and small attractive harbour at the eastern end, it generally feels rather bleak and unwelcoming. There is parking along the road and stone steps leading down from the beach wall but no shade or any sunbeds.
A couple of nearby tavernas at Agia Paraskevi have live Greek music most weekends and the countryside around here is also known for the wide variety of butterflies. There is another shingle strand west at ASPROCHORTI, found down a track off the main road before you reach Agia Paraskevi, but again there is no shade and no facilities.
Samos Town sits in a large bay to the north-east of the island. The road south heads to the port and to the south coast airport at Pythagorio and it neatly divides off the eastern area of Samos with its three mountains - Mt Katsarini in the north, Mt Profitis Ilias in the east and Mt Siharos in the south.
Along the eastern seaboard, beneath the mountains, are a series of widely scattered seaside resorts, all about an equal distance apart but all reached fairly easily along good roads that fan out from Samos Town in every direction.
To get to MOURTIA you must take the winding east road out of Samos through the village of KAMARA. A left turn soon afterwards invites a steep climb to the 18th century monastery of ZOODHOKOS PIGI. set in thick woods on sea cliffs. A right turn descends to the fishing hamlet of Mourtia, about 7km from Samos Town.
The small beach of steeply banked shingle is outstandingly beautiful with great views across the straits to the Turkish coast. Palm trees overhang Mourtia beach and occasional stands of tamarisk provide shade. The bay and the tiny harbour always seem to be packed with small boats.
The water is particularly clear on this part of the coast and Mourtia is a great place for a picnic as there are no organised facilities here, although a beach cantina may open in the high season.
There are small, deserted coves to be found to the south of Mourtia notably at MIKRI LAKA and MEGALI LAKA. The latter has a small chapel and a beach cantina in the summer and a few sunbeds are sometimes put out on the stony strip, a welcome extra on a beach with little or no shade. Both beaches are down dirt tracks and are best reached on foot.
The other notable resort of Samos east coast is at KERVELI. Here you must take the south road out of Samos Town, through Ano Vathi up to the hill village of Paleokastro, then down through a long valley to the small, quiet and strikingly pretty seaside resort which lies about 8km from Samos Town by road.
A line of large shady tamarisks line the narrow, shingle beach at Kerveli to give plenty of natural shade. The beach narrows even more at the northern end where a taverna and mini-market line the shore.
The Kerveli resort has grown in popularity in recent years and a clutch of apartments have been built behind the beach but they are hardly intrusive. It is very much a resort off the busy, beaten tourist track.
Kerveli is a quiet, secluded spot for those seeking an out-of-the-way holiday but not too remote. Kerveli village has a couple of good tavernas but a car is needed unless you intend to crash out on the beach every day. There are some fine walks to be had in the Kerveli area with the mountains of Profitis Ilias to the north and Siharos to the south.
South of Kerveli and about 10km from Samos Town and south facing is the tiny resort of POSIDONIO or POSIDHONIO. The drive is one of the best on the island through wooded hills with panoramic views along the way. Posidonio itself is set in a beautiful bay and is more harbour than beach.
There is a splendid line of shady tamarisk at one end with a small stretch of shingle beneath them and a number of very small pebble coves dotted around the bay. There are a few sunbeds here and several tavernas - some at the water's edge - and a pleasant cafe.
The resort is popular with boat trippers out on Greek nights as the boats pull up right into the restaurant. There is plenty of parking for those who make it here by road.
Just west across the headland at Posidonio, about 1km away, is the small beach of SIDERA or SIDERAS. It can hardly be called a beach, just a small scar of pebbles and rock but it is very peaceful.
The attractive sandy cove at PSILI AMMOS has what many consider the best beach on Samos. Psili Ammos translates as 'fine sand' and that is just what you find here. There are actually three beaches on Samos with the same name.
However, this splendid sandy beach is by far the most popular and quickly fills up with day trippers from Samos Town and Pythagorion. It is overkill with the sunbeds that lie in regimented ranks, up to nine-deep, at the western end although the rest of the beach is mercifully free of them and sunbathers find clumps of tamarisk here and there to give shade.
The sea at Psili Ammos is very shallow and visitors can wade out quite a distance, one reason why the beach is popular with families. There are tavernas on the shore and at the back of the beach while the islet of Vareloudi and the Turkish coast just 1km beyond add some offshore interest. There are strong currents out in the straits and notices warn of danger if you stray too far out.
There is an area of salt marsh and a lake to the west of Psili Ammos, which dries out into salt pans in the summer. This is a good bird spotting area and flamingos can be seen early in the season. The track at the back of the lake runs up the coast to Klima but it is for jeeps only.
West of Psili Amos is 3km of windswept sand and shingle at MYKALI beach. The south-facing resort has attracted three large package holiday hotel complexes that line the long shore.
The Mykali beach is a mixture of stone and shingle with a little sand, although it turns to sand alone under the shallow water. Sunbeds appear in the most popular spots of Mykali beach during the high season and the hotel complexes have tavernas open to the public.
The large salt lake area to the east is a protected nature reserve where storks, herons and flamingos are frequent winter visitors.
The north coast of Samos has the main ports of Samos Town to the east and Karlovasi to the west. Between the two is one of the island's premier beach resorts at Kokkari and beyond that some of the prettiest inland villages in the wine growing regions on the northern hillsides of the mountains of Lazarou, Ambelos and Aloni and the Kakorema valley. A good road runs the length of the coastline, often close to the cliffs, with sea views one side and mountain slopes on the other. Resorts beyond Kokkari get steadily more sleepy and relaxed as the tourist visitors reduce.
Once a quaint fishing village, KOKKARI has seen huge expansion into one of the premier tourist resorts on Samos. It is now the third largest resort on the island after Samos Town and Pythagorio with rows of new apartments and low-rise hotels thrown up to meet ever-growing demand.
Like Samos town, the waterfront at Kokkari is lined with restaurants, cafes and bars. Traditional tavernas have made way for the lucrative cocktail bar and nightclub trade. That said, Kokkari is nowhere near as raucous as other 18-30 Greek resorts and appeals more to families.
Don't expect a traditional Greek atmosphere at Kokkari - you won't find it. A bypass has relieved the place of the heavy traffic that once plagued the village centre and all you can hear is the soft tread of parading tourists.
A couple of picturesque rock outcrops either side of Kokkari bay have cameras clicking and the narrow beach causeways that lead to them are heavy with small boats and lounging sunbathers. The main rock outcrop separates the old village of Kokkari from the modern resort to the west .
The main Kokkari beach has banks of stone and shingle, dropping sharply to the sea and apartments overlooking most of the beach. Exposed and windy, the beach is a favourite venue for windsurfers.
Those looking for quieter Kokkari beaches head south-east where there are a couple of smaller coves, both shingle but much quieter than the main beach with a decent taverna on the hill behind. A further 4km south-east is KEDROS where a signposted turn off the main road drops down to a couple of shingle coves, although there are no facilities here.
The steep wooded hills behind Kokkari are very attractive and it is inland that more traditional Greek village delights can be found with many splendid walking trails through the woods.
Those looking to escape commercial Kokkari often head 2km north-west to the sand and pebble beach in a sheltered bay at LEMONAKIA.
Lemonakia beach is about 100m off the main road and is smaller and narrower than its popular neighbour Tsamadou which is just around the headland. As a result it often gets pretty crowded but is nevertheless a very pleasant beach.
A couple of rows of sunbeds line the Lemonakia shore and there are tamarisk trees behind to give good shade. A large beach taverna sits at the western end of Lemonakia beach. It is mostly pebble, both onshore and underwater, with a little sand here and there. There are regular buses to Kokkari and Karlovasi.
North-west over the headland from Lemonakia is TSAMADOU, a beautiful long sickle of sand and pebble that features on almost every advertisement for Samos. Difficult access fortunately left it relatively unscathed and it has managed to escape the civic 'improvements' enjoyed by so many other beaches.
Tsamadou is set in a beautiful bay at the bottom of a very steep path. There are a couple of excellent tavernas shaded by trees and a beach cantina opens in the high summer. Tsamadou is mostly sharply sloping pebble and shingle so it's not a favourite with families.
Tsamadou is also the only official nudist beach on Samos with the eastern end set aside for naturists.
The hills inland in this area of Samos are noted for wine growing. The hills rise to the village of VOURLIOTES, at 340m, where there are wonderful panoramic views to the sea over fields of rolling vineyards. Fresh springs at Vourliotes keep the landscape lush and green and this village is noted for producing more wine, mostly Muscat, than any other area in Samos.
Vourliotes is full of atmosphere with flower decked walls, brightly painted doors and shutters and a very pretty central square lined with tavernas serving local delicacies. The village also has a few sites worth visiting such as the little country church of Agios Ioannis, the monastery of Panagia Vrodiani dating from 1428 and one of the oldest on the island, and the Kastro Lazaros medieval castle.
Near Vourliotes is The Pnaka spring, just below the village and a favourite picnic spot with shady plane-trees, fresh spring water and a picturesque little taverna.
The neighbouring village of MANOLATES is not as pretty at Vourliotes but it does have a magnificent situation at the head of a steep canyon and it is a popular starting point for treks up Mt. Ambelos. There is a marked trail to the top at the end of a dirt track beyond Manolates village past some charcoal pits and a convent. It is not a particularly difficult climb and you are rewarded with some remarkable views.
The road to Manolates passes through the Aidona Gorge, a popular picnic spot where tourist pavilions have been built among the ivy covered trees and nightingales are said to sing on spring evenings. Manolates village itself is set among rolling vineyards and has some excellent tavernas as well as shops selling handmade local pottery.
Back on the coast is the sheltered and peaceful resort of AVLAKIA. This is a tiny resort, usually bypassed by tourists. Only about 150 people live here and Avlakia beach is only a thin strip of white stone backed by large tamarisk trees for shade and a wall of bamboo for added shelter. The houses hug the shoreline beyond the beach and there are a couple of good waterside tavernas that sit between Avlakia beach and an impressive rock outcrop headland.
The road snakes north around the headland to another north-facing stone and pebble strip at TSAMBOU or TSABOU, only a short walk from Avlakia. The pretty beach is mostly large white pebbles that are quite difficult to walk on and it is hemmed in between steep cliffs. There is little in the way of shade if you don't have a sunbed, and you will probably need one as the large stones are quite uncomfortable to lie on.
There is easy parking at the back of Tsambou beach and a small taverna. There are regular buses to Avlakia.
AGIOS KONSTANTINOS is a pretty coastal village sadly marred by a dreary concrete shoreline esplanade. The rocky beach is walled in and so ugly that even the locals apologise for it.
However Agios Konstantinos village itself is a delightful mix of attractive stone houses and large tavernas. The village was named after a church, built in 1890. There are actually two settlements: Ano (upper) and Kato (lower), about 500m. apart and both surrounded by vineyards. The beach is a very long strip of steeply banked shingle with little shade.
Just to the east along the coast is the hamlet of PLATANAKIA, which takes it name from the huge plane trees that dominates the main square. Several large tavernas make this a favourite with 'Greek Night' tour buses.
Just east of Karlovassi is a long stretch of attractive but fairly inaccessible coastline, mostly cliffs, but the tint resort of AGIOS NIKOLAOS stands out like a jewel.
This is a small fishing port recently 'discovered' by upmarket tourist firms and now peppered with apartments. Houses are dotted around the dramatic headland with a small shingle beach strip to the east.
Agios Nikolaos also has a couple of excellent fish tavernas.
The island's second largest town of KARLOVASI or KARLOVASSI is much overshadowed by the other main island resorts of Samos Town and Pythagorio. It is also less obviously attractive, though far more peaceful and a good base for exploring the fine beaches along this part of the coast.
More a cluster of villages than a town, Karlovassi spreads itself both inland and along the shore. It can be roughly divided into four parts, each with its own character and some of them dotted with the biggest churches I have ever seen.
The busy Karlovassi waterfront is lined with tavernas and bars and has all the trappings of a rapidly growing resort. The town beach is a poor affair, a couple of shingle strips between long rocky breakwaters.
The new district (Neo Karlovasi) is an untidy mess of derelict factories and warehouses - a hangover from the days when Karlovasi was a major industrial tanning centre. They are worth a look if you are interested in industrial archaeology, otherwise it's best avoided although it has a bustling urban centre of shops, schools, libraries and a medical centre.
The middle district (Meleo Karlovassi) is a sprawling suburb of modern housing, redeemed in part by a fine attractive main square with a huge fountain and some good restaurants perched beneath the shady trees.
The old district (Paleo Karlovassi) is to the west, behind the harbour, and a picture postcard town, topped by a hilltop church, with some attractive old red-tiled houses horseshoed around the end of a lovely green valley.
The attractive beach at POTAMI, about 3km the west of Karlovasi, is a sweep of pebble and some sand, well shaded by trees and with several good tavernas nestling in the shrubbery.
The proximity of Karlovassi means Potami beach can get crowded in the high season and at weekends. It is easily accessible by car or on foot. The beach is a very pleasant spot with a couple of attractive rock outcrops to add interest.
The Potami area is well known for rock pools, waterfalls and tour buses. A sequence of bitterly cold pools tumble down the hillside. and the walk up them is quite a steep 2km climb through the series of waterfalls with ropes to haul yourself up.
The track following the pools eventually leads to the 11th century church of Metamorfis, believed to be the oldest on Samos, and beyond that a narrow and precipitous path leads to a small Byzantine fortress with splendid views back down the valley.
The north-west coastline of Samos is wild, remote and dominated by Mt. Kerkis, the island's highest mountain at 1,473 metres. There is a neat but uninteresting farming village at KALLITHEA and small cove beyond at VARSAMO, signposted from the road down a rough dirt track. The beach has multicoloured pebbles formed from volcanic ash, a couple of small caves and a beach cantina in the summer.
The road runs out at the village of DHRAKEI but tracks lead down to a couple of wild and beautiful beaches. This area is a refuge for the rare Mediterranean Seal Monachus Monachus, the protection of which has done much to help preserve the area's outstanding natural beauty.
The first of the wild beaches is MEGALO SEITANI. The larger of two also has the more dramatic setting at the mouth of the Kakoperato Gorge. The next bay hosts MIKRI SEITANI a small sand and pebble cove, windier and more exposed. Nearby is an 11th century Byzantine church .
The mountainous Bournias north-south ridge splits the south coast of Samos. To the east of this ridge is the island's most popular holiday resort at Pythagorio while, to the west, Marathokambos and Votsalakia are emerging as growing holiday destinations. Between the two are no resorts of any note and , although there are many small coves they are all difficult to get to except by boat and are little more than narrow strips of stone and shingle.
Tarted up for tourist tastes PYTHAGORIO or PYTHAGORION was originally called Tingaki but was renamed in 1955 to honour its most famous native son Pythagoras.
Pythagorio owes much of its popularity to the nearby airport which has unfortunately been built inexcusably close to some of the most valuable archaeological sites on Samos.
The Pythagorio waterfront is a cobbled street with an uninterrupted line of tavernas, bars and cafes. The main street heads inland packed with tourist shops and tavernas. Despite the commercialism, Pythagorio centre exudes a relaxed atmosphere, helping to make it the island's premier resort for the past 30 years and, despite the airport and busy ferry harbour Pythagorion is mercifully free of English 'yoof'.
Pythagorio has a museum, with ancient statues, grave reliefs and Roman busts - still disappointing given the local archaeological heritage. Unfortunately a large number of finds are routinely hidden way in storerooms. A less than imposing 19th century castle sits on a hill to the south-west, built mostly with stone pilfered from ancient temple sites.
There is a small pebble beach near Pythagorion harbour, known as REMATAKI beach. It is sheltered and shallow with sunbeds, showers and tavernas nearby. But the main beach is near the airport to the west, a spread of big hotels line the huge swathe of shingle and coarse sand that stretches for several kilometres to Potokaki.
The village of CHORA, to the north, was the Samos capital until the 1850's and it is still a lively place with plenty of good tavernas. Further north still at MYTILINI is a remarkable palaeontology museum, housed in the village hall and containing fossils of a 10 million year old giraffe-like creature, the skulls and teeth of prehistoric hippos and lions. Not what you expect to find in a Greek hillside village but there it is.
The beach at Pythagorio stretches west into the distance for as far as the eye can see. About 4km away is the beach area of POTOKAKI where a hefty clutch of holiday hotels hug the shore.
They include the weird Doryssa hotel complex of air conditioned bungalows, all laid out like a fake Greek village, complete with street names and artificial village square. Hardly the authentic Greek experience but holiday hotel types seem to like this sort of thing. The only thing authentic are the prices and the low flying airliners.
Potokaki beach is mainly pebble, with odd scraps of sand here and there. The hotels at the back of Potokaki beach ensure that the best part of the beach are rarely uncrowded and sunbeds are laid out in regimented rows over every spare patch of decent sand. If you are the hotel-pool-beach type of tourist Potokaki could well be your cup of tea, though you might prefer the hotel pool to the beach, which is unremittingly long, straight and without character.
Once a tiny, dust blown fishing hamlet, IREON is now a minor resort with a small gaggle of hotels and tavernas and a somewhat shabby harbour area. Large hotel building is prohibited so this is a quiet spot that begins where the long sands from Potokaki eventually run out.
Ireon beach is scruffy and stony and is near the archeological site. Access is along paths from the parking area off the main road and There are several large trees for shade. .
There are a couple of smaller beaches nearer the resort, notably PAPA BEACH which is a small cove of shingle and stone with a splendid taverna above hidden in the shade of the trees. There are sunbeds and showers - even a small changing cubicle. Another cove to the east is just as pleasant but the stone dips steeply into the sea here and it is very rocky underfoot.
There is a rash of new buildings in Ireon but this is still an attractive relief from the more commercial resorts to the east. The locals are especially welcoming.
The Ireon area is most noted for the huge archaeological site at nearby Hera Temple . Site visitors need only follow the road for another 500m or so to discover the delights of the village and beach.
West of Ireon the road climbs towards Mt Bournias then drops south through a magnificent gorge to the scenic sand and shingle cove at TSOPELA. A couple of shingle beaches sit east and west either side of a rock headland with a small islet just offshore. A cantina opens and sunbeds come out in the summer.
Tsopela also attracts a good many day trip boats from Pythagorio. Inland, the countryside still bears the scars of the forest fires but there are several hillside villages here that are worth a visit.
The large village of PAGONDAS has astonishing views. It is a traditional village on the slopes of Mt Bournias, with an impressive pubic fountain in the main square, narrow whitewashed alleys and some good cafes.
MYLI, just north of Ireon, owes it's name to the many watermills that were once here. The mills have gone, but the thick lemon groves and cool streams are still there to enjoy.
West of Tsopela an unmade road winds along the coast beneath the looming Mt Bournias behind. There are a number of small coves along here, most worth a visit with a few homes, the occasional cantina or even taverna and some quiet, out-of-the-way shingle beaches.
There are small coves at Sikia, Pavlou, Avandi and Vergi before you reach the lovely shingle beach at Limnonaki. Beyond there the road climbs inland again and drops back to the shore at Kalogera, Kambos, yet another Psili Amos, Kambos and then the long beach of shingle at BALOS or VALLOS. The coast here is also called ORMOS KOUMEIKON. Its relative remoteness makes it a favourite with naturists.
The sandy south-west beaches of Samos are fast emerging as popular tourist resorts. The first is ORMOS MARATHOKAMBOS, more a working fishing village than a tourist haunt. It is busy but friendly, with a very good range of tavernas.
The beach is as stony as it is undistinguished, but it has a relaxing little port and there are some small coves to be found further along the coast . Above all, it has more of a Greek atmosphere and this is a pleasant place to enjoy a relaxed sunset meal.
Above lies the lovely village of MARATHOKAMBOS, perched among the vineyards and overlooking a steep valley. A word of warning - park your car on the outskirts of the village. The streets are so narrow you will have no option but to reverse your way out.
The island's longest sand beach is found at VOTSALAKIA, also known as KAMBOS at it's eastern end which is a fast growing tourist resort. The beach is of fine, flat sand with a few stones and runs for about 3km.
The straight road that follows the coast closely at the back of the beach has triggered a ribbon development of small hotels and apartments interspersed with tavernas and cafes. Behind the resort is the glorious backdrop of Mt. Kerkis.
The beach is so big it rarely gets crowded. Sun beds are put out by back-of-the-beach tavernas which spring up every now and then. A cluster of tavernas, bars and shops at the western end of the beach give the illusion of a village centre but there is no village here as such.
This is very much a tourist resort and, although the sands are splendid, fine, golden and gently shelving into the sea, Votsalakia has little in the way of Greek atmosphere or character. The hills behind give every reason to go hiking off into the surrounding countryside where there are many fine walks to be found.
Just around the headland west of Votsalakia is a fine beach at PSILI AMMOS, not to be confused with its more popular namesake in the east and another narrow shingle strip near Kalogera (and even more confusingly near yet another beach named Kambos). The beach is approached off the main road down near a taverna.
A steep bank drops down to a café and pool hidden in the tees and then to the beach. The east end of the beach is large stones and shingle but this gives way at the western end to a large area of fine sand.
The high cliffs behind offer shelter and seclusion and the sea is quite shallow here so families will enjoy it although it is a steep climb down to the beach and then a long trek over steeply banked stone to get to the sandy area.
The road turns inland west beyond Psili Ammos and a left turn drops down to the sheltered cove of LIMNIONAS. Smart villas are dotted about the hillsides and the faintly preposterous Samos Yacht Club (given there is hardly ever a yacht to be seen) is based here, giving the place a slightly sniffy upmarket air.
There are sunbeds and a taverna, even pedaloes on the stone and shingle beach. A popular spot for day trip boats Limnionas is nevertheless a quiet and unassuming place. Rocks shelves gently down to the shore and into the sea but beyond them the swimming is good.