If you are coming to Samos from Athens (Piraeus), the ferry first stops at Karlovasi on the north-west shore of the island, and in one hour, it arrives at Vathý, capital of the island. It is also called ‘Samos’, but to avoid confusion, here I use the name the other name.
During the summer there are two ferries a day from Piraeus. One leaves from Athens in the morning and arrives in the evening, and the other departs in the afternoon and arrives in the early morning. To use the time better, we chose to take the ship in the afternoon and arrived at Vathý around 5 in the morning.
This is the view from the coffee-shop where we waited the dawn in the port; there were already fresh milopita (apple pie) and tyropita (cheese pie), and the people who just arrived were having breakfast.
Vathý consists in two parts; the larger one near the port, and the other, smaller and residential on the southern hill. They are sometimes called, “Samos” and “(Ano) Vathy” respectively. This town became the capital in 1830, and then it was called Stephanoupolis.
As this is a relatively new town, there are not many places of interest for tourists, and there is no beach very close. Not to miss is the Archaeological Museum that houses the most important finds from the Heraion.
The “Byzantine” Museum opened in the summer 2006. Regardless of the name, it does not house Byzantine materials except some codices, the main collection being the icons of 18th and 19th century. When we visited (summer 2006), it was open only on request; we went to the episcopal palace next door and asked one of the priests to let us in. Only the hall in the ground floor is open to the public, and, if you are not particularly enthusiastic about these kind of objects, the visit should not take more than 15 min. It is situated close to the Ferry port, walking up toward the residential area.
From Vathý there is a boat to go to Kusadasi, Turkey. The price is quite high considering the distance; € 35 for day return and € 45 for another day return (Summer 2006). If you are an EU citizen, you have to pay € 10 tax in Turkey (tax varies according to your nationality).
Go to Index of Samos Section