Opposite worlds coexist in harmony along the south coast of Samos island. Cosmopolitan resorts stand beside calm traditional villages, organized beaches are found next to deserted shores and archaeological sites… all fine ingredients for a “mystical” recipe… let it work its magic!
Pythagoreio is one of the most popular resorts in the Aegean, an all-encompassing destination catered to all tastes, combining rather successfully traditional colour with modern tourism infrastructure (12 km far from the port). There is a large selection of accommodation, fine restaurants and entertainment venues, while you can choose among countless beautiful beaches as well as many quiet villages perched on the mountainside.
History at a glance: Pythagoreio used to be called Tigani. The ancient capital stood in the place of the modern village. Its current name was given by the International Organization of Pythagoreans (1955), in honour of the great Samian philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras, known for his “Theorem”. Not only the Foundations of Mathematics are credited to him, but also a mathematical interpretation of the universe and music.
In antiquity, Samos was the chief worship centre dedicated to Goddess Hera. According to Pausanias, her worship was established by the Argonauts. The era of tyrant Polykrates (532 BC) marked the historical and cultural sense of the place. Dictatorial and scheming, but also a visionary man, Polykrates pushed Samos forward growing into a powerful sea state.
Don’ t miss
The archaeological site of Heraion where Goddess Hera was worshipped, is located to the west of the port of Pythagoreion(7 km). Its temple, one of the largest of antiquity (6th century BC) was connected with the city through the “Iera Odos” ancient road. What is left of it today is only one column which names the region. The marble statue of the goddess is considered one of the masterpieces of this period, nowadays displayed at the Louvre museum.
In 1879, French archaeological Paul Girard brought the statue to light, and despite islanders’ opposition, he transported it to France. (Heraion archaeological site +30 22730 95277)
Works of a tyrant
The “Eupalinio Orygma” (Tunnel of Eupalinos), an impressive water adequadact of the 6th century BC, is a marvel of ancient engineering. It includes an underground tunnel that is 1350 meters long! Notable are also the Walls of Polykrates, as well as the ancient port (19th century).
The Tower of Lykourgos Logothetis (1824) leader of Samos’ revolutionaries against Turks, dominates the port, while close to the Heraion stands the Tower of Captain Sarakinis (16th century) that was built to offer protection from pirate raids.
In the Natural History & Palaeontology museum of the Aegean in Mytilinioi village (7 km), you can see on display among other exhibits, some 13 million year-old fossilized animal bones (22730-52055).
Don’t forget to visit the most interesting Archaeological Museum (22730 61400).
Monastery of Zoodohos Pigi
The old castle-like monastery (1756) located on the easternmost point of the island, has the best view to the Asia Minor coast. According to tradition, the four columns supporting the dome of the church were brought here from the ancient temple of Miletus.
Monastery of Megali Panagia
It is considered the richest on the island built in 1586 and can be reached from Koumadaraioi village (12 km). Pay a visit for its noteworthy icons.
Both mountain and sea
The pebbled beach, Potokaki is the best one. Located to the west of the port and easily accessed, offers water-sports options thus most popular mainly to young people. Not to mention the pleasant short mountainous routes to the large village Pyrgos and the villages Pagonda and Spatharaioi.
To the east, very close to the coast of Asia Minor, lie the amazing beaches of Poseidonio and Psili Ammos. A little further north is the shady pebbled beach of Kerveli protected from north winds.
Excursion boats depart every day from the port of Pythagoreion heading to beaches inaccessible by road, as well as to the nearby green island Samiopoula which has a tavern. There are also scheduled frequent speed-boat departures for the neighbouring islands Leipsoi, Fournoi and Patmos.
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Copyright photo: Theo Athanasiadis / Views Of Greece
Copyright text: Germaine Alexakis/ Views Of Greece
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