Samos

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Samos (Port of entry)

An online cruising guide for yachts that are sailing to Samos Island, Greece.

Small info.png (Click links for more information)
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37°41.1′N, 26°57.1′E
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Local chartlet
Pythagoreion harbour.jpgThe town of Pythagorion, on the south-eastern side of the island.
Photograph taken by Jeremy Lee, July 20th 2004

Contents

Samos (Σάμος) is a lush and sizable island with area of 468 km2, length of 43 km long and width of 13 km. There are two tall mountains in Samos: Mt. Kerkis (1433 m, 4700 ft.) rising out of the sea on the West side of the island and Mt. Ambelos (1137 m, 3782 ft.) on the North-East. Samos is the closest Greek island to Turkey. The Mycale channel, which is 1 nM wide, separates the two counties, Poseidonio is at the Eastern side of the channel. On the slopes of Mt. Ambelos are large pine forests which produced the best wood for the building of caïques. Lower down there are vineyards which produced the famous since ancient time Samian wine praised by Byron in The isles of Greece.

Samos has a rich history. In antiquity it was a very wealthy island and it was sacred to the goddess Hera. It reached its peak at the 6th century BC under the tyrant Polycrates whose capital was the present day Pythagorion. During his brief reign a large temple to Hera, the Hereon, and one of the engineering marvels of antiquity, the aqueduct of Eupalinos, were constructed. Samos is also the birthplace of the most famous ancient mathematician, Pythagoras, as well as of Aristarchus who first proposed the heliocentric system. A type of war vessel the Samena, was developed in Samos and played a key role in the victory for the Greeks in the naval battle of Mycale against the Persians. The island was pillaged by Mark Anthony in 39 BC.

At the end of the Byzantine era, the island was invaded by the Ottomans in 1453, the population fled and Samos was abandoned. It was re-populated in the 17 century AD. The islanders were very active pirates and Samos was one of the first islands to join the Greek revolution in 1821. The rebels were so successful that after removing all the Ottomans from the island they exported the revolution to Chios. After the massacre of Chios and Psara it was Samos' turn to be invaded. The Samians, aided by the rest of the Greek fleet after many days of fighting defeated soundly the Ottomans on August 6, 1824 in almost the exact spot where the ancient battle of Mycale took place.

Today, Samos has about 45,000 inhabitants. Its capital is Samos (sometimes referred to by the older name Vathy-Βαθύ). Other towns are Karlovasi, Pythagorio, Marathokambos, and Mytilinií.

Charts

Annotated Google Earth View the island of Samos
Click for larger view
BA
2682 Kolpos Petalion to Nisos Nisiros
1537 Nisides Fournoi with the straits between Nisos Samos and Nisos Ikaria
1568 Ports & anchorages in eastern Agean sea: Limin Karlovasi, Limin Pithagoriou
1446 Samos Strait to Güllük Körfezi
Imray-Tetra
G32 Southern Sporades and Coast of Turkey
NIMA
54400 Samos to Rodhos
54389 Fener Adasi to Samos Strait
54403 Samos Strait to N. Kalolimnos
Greek
422 Naxos to Samos & Opposite Coast of Asia Minor

Radio Nets

  • Coast Guard - VHF channel 12
  • Olympia Radio - No signal in any of the harbors and coves

Also see Cruiser's Nets.

Weather

The summer weather in Samos is dominated by the meltemi which comes from the NW. Usually it is a light breeze of force 4-5 in the early morning hours but as the day progresses it strengthens to 5-6 by the afternoon and subsides by sunset. However from middle June to mid Septembers you can count for the meltemi to become a gale of force 7-8 and occasionally 9. These gales usually last 3-4 days. From October to mid May the probability is equal for either northerly or southerly winds. Winds of force 10 are not uncommon in the winter months. Violent thunderstorms are also probable by late October to early May.

The channel between Samos and Fourni is notorious for very violent gusts and katabatic winds you can be at least one force point stronger than elsewhere.

See also Aegean Sea.

Approach and Navigation

The approaches to the N side of the island are straight forward.

The approach through the Samos-Fourni channel should be cautious because, as noted above, violent gusts and accelerated winds can prevail.

The narrow Mycale channel between Samos and mainland Turkey has a current that sets to the E usually at 1-2 knots but at times it can reach 3-4. This can result in overfalls which, combined with gusts, can make the approach quite uncomfortable. But it is very seldom dangerous.

When approaching either ports of entry, Samos (Vathy) or Pythagorio, incoming from Turkey it is advisable to hail the Greek Coast Guard (Limenarchio) at VHF channel 12 or call them at +30 2730 23 318 (Vathi), or +30 2730 61 225 (Pythagorio).

Check-in facilities (Customs and Immigration)

The two ports of entry are:

Berthing Options

Ports

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

Also see each Port/Stop listed above.

Anchorages

Poseidonio Cove

Sketch of Poseidonio - Chartlet - Click for larger view

World icon.png 37°42.65′N, 27°03.3′E -Panoramio
The cove of Poseidonio (Ποσειδώνιο) or Moulebraim is maybe the best protected cove in Samos. Unfortunately the bottom is weed and loose mud which does not provide good holding. While the predominant winds in the summer are from the NW to NE, in the afternoon there can be strong gusts from the SE. The anchor may appear to be caught but with a strong gust it may drag. Always use 2 anchors.

There is a private underwater mooring, belonging to Mr. Soutos that one might use temporarily. There are two restaurants ashore. The one to the W, Kerketzos, and to the E, Dionysos, usually have fresh fish. There, is also a small store with basic provisions. There is no transportation to town other than a taxi from Pythagorio (tel. +30 22730 61 450).

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Klima

Chart of Klima, Samos - Chartlet - Click for larger view

World icon.png 37°42.5′N, 27°02.6′E
Klima (Κλήμα) is a cove just W of Poseidonio. It offers slightly less protection from the meltemi than Poseidonio but it provides better holding and it is another alternative. Anchor in 5-6 m over sand.

There are two tavernas ashore, Kantouna is reputed to be good but the few times I ate there was disappointed.

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Nisi

The anchorage of Nisi - Click for larger view

World icon.png 37°46.9′N, 26°59.5′E - Chartlet
Nisi (Νησί) is a good anchorage with south winds and not very good with northerlies, but if you tuck the boat close to the W shore you will be sheltered from the meltemi. The bottom is rocky. It is good spot to stop for lunch and a swim.

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Zoodochos Pigi

The little cove under Zoodochos Pigi - Click for larger view

World icon.png 37°46.2′N, 27°03.3′E - Chartlet
This is a tiny little cove under the Zoodochos Pigi (Ζωοδόχος Πηγή) peninsula named after the Zoodochos Pigi (life giving spring) Monastery. The cove is just big enough for one boat and it is good place for a lunch stop. It is usually well protected form the meltemi until the middle of the afternoon when there may be a SE breeze. Anchor on a sandy spot.

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Mourtia, Mikri, & Megali Lakka

Mourtia & Lakka anchorages - Chartlet - Click for larger view

World icon.png 37°45.7′N, 27°01.8′E
Mourtia (Μουρτιά) is a nice sandy bay is at the foot of the Zoodochos Pigi Peninsula. It is pleasant anchorage but open to the S and E, and it is not good place to overnight. There is a small taverna ashore.

Mikri Lakka (Μικρή Λάκκα) (World icon.png 37°45.4′N, 27°01.7′E) is about 1 M S of Mourtia there is a nice deserted cove that affords fairly good protection from the meltemi. Anchor in 5 m over sand and some weed. Fairly good holding. The only distraction are wasps. This is an ideal place to watch the full moon rise over the mountains of Turkey.

Megali Lakka (Μεγάλη Λάκκα) (World icon.png 37°45.4′N, 27°01.7′E) is about 500 S of Mikri Lakka is less isolated but it also affords fairly good protection from the meltemi.

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Kerveli

Chart of Kerveli - Chartlet - Click for larger view

World icon.png 37°43.8′N, 27°02.3′E
Kerveli (Κέρβελη) is a cove that offers better protection than Mourtia. Good holding. I have anchored here several times.

Note: The bottom is rather foul with lots trash including beer cans, oars, and tires. Also, at about 8-10 m depth there are some large underwater rocks that with variable winds can foul your chain.

The kindest thing one can say about the waterfront restaurants here is that they are mediocre. However, a 10 minute walk along the uphill road brings you to the Η Κρυφή Φωλιά - The Hidden Nest taverna which is rather decent.

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The anchorage of Kerveli - Click for larger view

Psili Amos

World icon.png 37°42.3′N, 27°01.2′E - Chartlet
This a shallow sandy cove whose name means fine sand, is at the narrowest of the Samos Strait, just W of Poseidonio. There is a taverna ashore. It is a very popular swimming area.

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Kolona

World icon.png 37°38.3′N, 26°49.9′E
Kolona (Κολώνα) or Tsópela (Τσόπελα) is a lovely cove that takes its name from the cape just to its E. It provides reasonable shelter when the weather is settled. Good place for a swim. Sandy bottom, good holding. From here you can walk to Heraion.

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Limnionas Bay

World icon.png 37°42′N, 26°38.8′E - Chartlet
The bay offers some shelter from the N wind but it is subject to strong gusts and it is exposed to the S.

The sandy cove just E of Limnionas World icon.png 37°41.9′N, 26°38.5′E offers more privacy and better shelter. Anchor in 5-6 m depth. Excellent holding.

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Mycale

Mycale Bay - Click for larger view

World icon.png 37°42.3′N, 26°58.8′E -Chartlet
Mycale (Μυκάλη) is a large bay about 1.4 nM east of Samos Marina. It well protected from the meltemi and has exceptionaly clear water.

Anchor in 4-5 m depth. The bottom is sand and provided excellent holding.

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Tsopela

Tsopela - Click for larger view

World icon.png 37°38.3′N, 26°50′E -Chartlet

Tsopela (Τσόπελα) is an anchorage right across from the small island of Samiopoula. It is protected from the N and the NE but exposed to the S. With strong NW winds some swell enters the cove.

During the day of the summer months it operates as a beach with umbrellas and all and it cane be noisy.

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Offshore Islands

Samiopoula

The Katsakas cove in Samiopoula - Click for larger view

World icon.png 37°37.9′N, 26°47.2′E - Chartlet
Samiopoula is a small island less then 1 nM south of Samos. There are two small coves where one can anchor: Katsakas (Κατσακάς) World icon.png 37°37.9′N, 26°47.3′E on the west. This is a lovely small beach but during the summer it is exposed the NW maltemi wind and there is usually no room for a yacht because it is occupied by the day-trip boats from Pythagorio. The other cove Psalida (Ψαλίδα) World icon.png 37°38′N, 26°47.7′E on the north-west side of the island is well protected the NW maltemi wind.

There is a modest taverna on the island.

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Yacht Services and Repairs

Marine stores

In Vathi or Samos there two chandlery stores:

  • The Kapnoulas store is right next to the winery near the Commercial port.
  • The second one is W of the small marina along the main waterfront road.

In Pythagorio there are at least two chandlery stores:

  • The store on the main street vertical to the harbor is well stocked.
  • The a store in the Samos Marina

Yacht Services/Repairs/Yards

Repairs are available in:

Fuel, Water, & Electricity

Fuel
Samos Marina
Pythagorio mini-tanker
Vathi or Samos mini-tanker
Karlovasi mini-tanker
Water
Samos Marina
Pythagorio
Vathi or Samos
Karlovasi
Electricity
Samos Marina
Pythagorio
Vathi or Samos


Tthings to do ashore

Tourism

Samos (Vathy or Vathi)
The Kouros of Samos

The most important point of interest here is the Archaeological Museum which exhibits the famous Samian Kouros a very beautiful archaic statue.

Pythagorio
The Eupalinion Tunnel in Samos
Click for larger view

Near Pythagorio next to the airport is the most important archaeological site in Samos: the Heraion sanctuary to the goddess Hera. In town a new museum opened in 2010. It is very informative with well lit and labeled exhibit cases. A must see along with the Heraion.

Just out of town is the aqueduct of Eupalinos. At the Doryssa hotel there is an interesting folkloric Museum. Also there is small museum very close to the harbor.

Zoodochos Pigi Monastery

A very attractive monastery that can be reached from Mourtia, well worth a visit.

Vrontiani Monastery

This the oldest monastery in the island it is situated in a beautiful setting among a pine tree forest a few km from the picturesque town of Vourliotes. Unfortunately the monastery was destroyed by the 2000 fire and it is now closed to visitors.

Mitilinií

There is a very interesting museum of natural history in this inland town. Among other exhibits there is the jaw of a prehistoric horse-like animal named the Samiotherion.

The Village of Ambelos

This a very picturesque village perched on the N slopes of Mt. Ambelos and surrounded by vineyards has some of the best traditional Samian architecture.

The Village of Manolates

This a very picturesque village perched on the N slopes of Mt. Ambelos and surrounded by vineyards has a wonderful view of the bay.

Potami
Potami
Click for larger view

A visit to Potami is worthwhile. This is a stream with natural water falls shaded by sycamore trees. It is just a few miles W of Karlovasi. Very beautiful, natural setting. The scenery is not what one would usually associate with Aegean islands. You can swim there.

The Village of Drakei

The village of Drakei can only be reached via a dirt road that originates at the Harbor of Marathokambos. It is one of the most remote villages in the island and it affords spectacular views of the islands of Fourni and Ikaria.

Grocery & Supply Stores

  • There are many food stores in both Vathi and Pythagorio. There is a large super market, the Bazaar, on the road between the towns of Vathi and Pythagorio and several smaller ones near the airport towards the town of Chora.
  • In Vathi, one can buy Samian wine and ouzo at much better prices than in town at the wine cooperative (Enosis) at the Malagari district (near the commercial port).
  • There are several grocery stores in town of Pythagorio (walking distance) and a super market at the marina.
  • There are several smaller stores near the airport towards the town of Chora.

Eateries

  • The best Samian food is in the small taverna Tasos in Ano Vathy.
  • The best value in Vathi is a modest restaurant the Kotopoula specializing in grilled chicken in the Prosphigika district.
  • In the delightful mountain village of Manolates there is a good restaurant, the Lucas, with a magnificent view of the N Aegean.
  • in Ayios Konstantinos there is Apolafsi which specializes in food baked in a wood burning oven. It has been rated as "one of the best tavernas in Greece."
  • The Psarades, which specializes in sea food, in Ayios Nikolaos, (few km E of Karlovasi). It has been rated as "one of the best tavernas in Greece."

Internet/WiFi

  • In Samos Marina, free
  • There are Internet cafés in all the towns

Laundry

Motorbike & Car Rentals

  • There are many agencies, Aramis is very friendly to cruisers.

Garbage Disposal

There are bins in all the ports and towns.

Transportation

There are daily, and in the summer several per day, flights from Athens. Almost daily ferries from Vathi to Piraeus and the Cyclades. Hydrofoil service to several of the Dodecanese islands from Pythagorio. There are also ferries a few times a week to N islands and Thessaloniki.

Routes/Passages To/From

Cruiser's Friends

  • Travels with S/Y Thetis Vasilis Riginos has been cruising Greek and Turkish waters for over 25 years, as well as having crossed the Atlantic. He lives for 6-7 months of the year in Samos and is willing to help any fellow cruisers. Email = vasilis[AT]sy-thetis.org

Forum Discussions

List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)

External Links

References & Publications

See Greece.

Personal Notes

  • I have a summer house in Samos, near Vathi. If I can be of any assistance please contact me --Istioploos

Last Visited & Details Checked (and updated here)

See individual ports, anchorages, and islands in this page.


This is a useable page of the cruising guide. However, please sail in and help it grow further - add new notes and edit/update the existing information! GRAB THE PAGE AND BUILD IT!.



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Names: Names: Lighthouse, Istioploos


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