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Samos - Part 2

Updated: Nov 24, 2022

In my adult life I have visited about 21 Greek islands. Samos, the most recent is beautiful with amazing beaches, vivid sunrises, colorful sunsets, breathtaking views, and delicious food. It is also an island steeped in history. The island of Pythagoras, a place where even on a rainy day there is plenty to see and do.


Day 3 (9/23/2019)


I got up early and walked towards the beach.

After breakfast, a quick stop to admire the scenery in Vourliotes.

On to Vronda-Panagia | Iερα Μονή Παναγίας Βροντιανής


Just 10 minutes from our stop in Vouriolites we came upon Vronda-Panagia Monastery. Founded by the monks Iakovos and Makarios in the 16th century, it is the oldest monastery in Samos.


With views of the sea, land for crops and grapes, the scent of mountain thyme, basil and rosemary, we quickly came to understand why the location was selected. It is an idyllic spot. We had hoped for a tour but it was closed and so we walked the periphery.

Just like all of Greece, and for some reason even more so at monasteries, there are cats everywhere.


Maranthokampos


On the south-western side of the island, at the foothills of Kerkis Mountain, I felt like I was sitting in the top row of an amphitheater. Looking down at the picturesque burnt sienna tiled buildings, bright blue domes of churches and the magnificent azure of the Aegean, I could not help but be awed by the view.

Maranthokampos Ormos | The Bay of Maranthokampos


While the village in the foothills offers splendid seascapes, Maranthokampos Ormos also offers beautiful views of a different type. Artists have taken over this town and there are magnificent murals everywhere, many of which are nautical in nature. A serious competition with Karlovasi.

. . . and so, we drove around and sought out beautiful artwork often in unexpected settings.

The works are often so realistic that it can be difficult to tell where the mural ends and the actual structure begins…


Close your eyes and imagine the photo above in Black and White...


Now scroll down and open them ...

Now it is even harder to see where the building ends and the painting begins


Neochori


This Little New Village is one of the smallest on the island.

Just another breath-taking view from the south-side of the island | Mt Koumaiikon, Balos Beach, and the Aegean.


Megali Panagia


. . . and yes, another monastery. This one allowed us to enter, at least for a short while. This monastery also known as Five Houses was founded in 1586 by the monks Nilus and Dionysos.

Located above two large wooden doors that you pass through to enter the monastery, this icon represents the Dormition of the Virgin Mary. The reclined figure is the Virgin, the barely visible figure by her feet is St Paul and by her head is St Peter. She is surrounded by apostles and disciples. Jesus Christ is holding an infant version of the Virgin to symbolize that she will now be taken care of by the father, the small body representing her pure soul..

The large icon in the center represents the Virgin Mary. To the left of the Virgin is an image of “Ο Οσιος Kοινοβιαρχης”, Saint Nisos, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in the 15th Century who may have been from Ikaria, and to the right is the Apostle Pavlos (Paul).

This mosaic icon depicts the monks Nilus on the left and Dionysios on the right holding an image of the monastery that they founded.

Part of the church may have been from the mid-16th century and part from the 18th century.


An inscription above the Church door indicates that part of church was from 1777.


After purchasing some tea from the monastery we headed back to Kokkari for baklava and a walk around the harbor. Thankfully we were there during the shoulder season and less crowded.

Day 4 (9/24/2019}


Potami


This day was our first attempt to hike towards Mikro and Megalo Seitani. We at least had a nice view of the sea and it was a beautiful walk, not as spectacular as the one to come, but nice nonetheless. On a related note, the trail blazes in this area are not always helpful.

And back to Kokkari where we had an amazing meal on the waterfront with really good TARAMA SALATA and Fava Salad as appetizers. The octopus was to die for, oh I wish I was there…. Such an amazing place… so many great places to eat, to walk to, to see . . .


Day 5 (9/25/2019)


Kokkari


Another early morning walk on a cloudy day before the skies opened up at dawn.

































Once the rain subsided a little, we put on our hiking boots and rain jackets and headed towards the Seitania. To get there we drove through Upper Vathi.


Upper Vathi

There are two parts of the town Vathi, Lower Vathi /Samos Town, and upper Vathi/Ano Vathi. The lower part contains the harbor and is the island's capital. The upper is a χωριό, or village, with large open areas. Here we spotted Peafowl .

When we began our hike to Mikro Seitani, shortly after the rain storm but with a mist still in the air, it was a little cool for late September. Thankfully, we wore layers. This time we did a little more Internet research, asked more questions of the locals, and actually found a sign pointing us to our destination.

It does get more difficult as you have to walk on the edge of a cliff.

This is, in European standards, a level one or very easy hike. In the US there is a good chance it would be called moderate. And, yes, I see the trail and it it is a pretty view which I am enjoying from here.

The beach is really pretty and my husband had the right idea with convertible pants , allowing you to zip the leg off to make them into shorts. As the sun came out, the mercury went up.

Ok, I know you made it down, but ...
Ok, I know you made it down, and that you are always waiting for me - but . . .

According to my husband the descent was easy but it didn't look easy to me. What do you think?


Well, I made it down successfully.

It is said that the beaches, the Seitani, are derived from Satan. There have been many shipwrecks here over the ages and the way the wind can howl is downright scary.

But there is also a serenity to this place. Because it is a trek to get to and there are no facilities, it can be a quiet and peaceful and unspoiled place to spend an afternoon.

I am the little person on the big rock. Like a cat, I have no trouble going up but...
I am the little person on the big rock.

Of course what comes up, must go down.
Of course what comes up, must go down.

Like a cat, I have no trouble going up but... not so much coming back down. It was a lot less scary going up.

As you can see I eventually made it down.


Too bad we didn’t bring bathing suits and a towel in the back pack, but even without the swim, it was an amazing day. If you have a sturdy pair of hiking shoes, you don't want to miss the Seitania beaches.


Psili Amos

In a final effort to do some birding we went to Psili Amos where we saw this Hooded Crow.


Alas all good things have to come to an end, and so for now we leave Samos with a yearning to return to this bit of paradise.


Back to the car and to the airport for 10 days in Croatia.


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