Samos - A backpackers guide
We Last Visited Samos in 2001
Just 2km separates Samos & Turkey at one point and being so close you would have thought that some turkish influence would be evident. You would be wrong. Red tiled roofs abound enclosed by pine forest and a general green feeling making a welcome change from the barreness of some of the Northern Dodecanese or Cyclades. We allowed ourselves the luxury of an internal flight from Athens so pressed a taxi into service (there is no airport bus service) for the journey across the island to the North Western port of Limani near Karlovassi, costing 7500drs.
Initially Limani seems an unlikely resort. It doesn`t have a Bank, Post Office, Central Square (although a very pleasant quayside) or many rooms for rent and the town beach is nothing to write home about either. BUT the rooms that do exist are reasonably priced, the indiginous people are very friendly and welcoming, almost all the eateries combine quality and value and 10 minutes walk west brings you to the cracking beach of Potami. One of a couple in this area. Dealing with accommodation first, we stayed in the clean and pleasant rooms (7000drs aug/01) signposted off the main road just before The Garage Club (if you are heading west.) Having dumped the bags it may well be beer time (isn`t it always - ed) and the harbour area is the place for people watching with most serving food. However, for dining we can recommend the pizzas at both `Markou Pizza` and `El-greco` with particularly good sagnaki for starters at the latter - both on the main road. With a full tummy its time to chill and one of the best places is the atmospheric `On the Rocks` along the beach road towards Karlovassi. A bit of a walk but worth it. The Australian/Greek proprietor, George, is extremely friendly and will help if he can, including letting you use his P.C for e-mail.
For sun and sand Potami , as previously mentioned is very convenient with a taverna at the back and gently shelving pebbles but 40 minutes walk further on brings you to Micro Seitani for a little more seclusion. To get here follow the sign posts at the end of Potami and then keep left taking the 4th turn on your right. From here follow the red painted arrows . If you come to the end of the dirt track road and can`t see the arrows you then forgot to turn off. For nudists and walkers continue across Micro up the wooden stairs and the follow the red arrowed path along the very picturesque coastal path for another hour for the larger Megalo Seitani. A long crescent shaped stretch of beach with shade at the rear and an impressive gorge. Don`t forget to take some drinking water with you as there are no facilities whatsoever after Potami, probably the very reason you have walked for the last two hours.
For a lot of fun we can recommend the waterfalls in the valley behind Potami passing the 11th century chapel of Metamorphossis. A wooden staircase will take you to the top of the falls but to swim to and climb up them is more adventurous. To extend the enjoyment you can continue up the valley for a few km swimming and climbing as you go until you reach two houses, one old, one new. Turn right out of the stream here and right once you meet the road to find the village of Tsouleri you may have noticed was sign posted at the wooden stairs where you started. The round trip back to the church takes about 3 hours.
If walking is your thing then an exploration into the inland is highly rewarding. Again follow the road through Potami but this time don`t turn off for Seitani. This will take you south into the island until you meet your first junction about opposite the lookout point at the falls. Turn right up the dirt track and don`t detour again for several km enjoying pine forest, hidden churches and some fine views over the interior. Evidence of the recent fire devestation looms at a junction with right going to Nikaloúdes and left to Kastaniá. We went left then right through an area of logging and then down a disused road which winds it`s way eventually to Kastaniá where we were dissappointed to discover they strictly observe the siesta. There is, however refreshment available under the house to the right of the main kambos as you look out to sea.
The road out of town will bring you to Lékka some 6km towards Karlovassi after passing the junction for Maráthokambos to the south if you feel like an even longer walk. If you stay on the road to the coast you will effectively by-pass the village so follow the signs for the Panorama Taverna going through the grounds of the church and down winding streets to bring you to the square with 3 tavernas and welcome beer. Fully refreshed it is only another 8km back to Karlovassi.