One of a number of Greek islands which seemed to drop off the map for UK tourists in the late 80s/early 90s, Samos doesn’t deserve this fate. An island full of rolling hills and mountains covered in green vegetation, its home to many beautiful beaches and towns with white walls and red tiled roofs. Perhaps it is because there is only one direct flight a week from the UK, but this shouldn’t discourage you as it is the same for 90% of the Greek islands. Instead there are plenty of routings through Athens or Thessaloniki, which would not differ to trying to catch a ferry for another island. In this article we’ll take you through the joys of this island to show you why you should give Samos a visit.
Towns and Villages
The capital of Samos is Samos Town (or just Samos) yet locals still refer to it by its old name, Vathy. Located in the Northeast of the island, the town is home to lots of accommodation, mostly made up of small boutique hotels and apartments. Some ferries go into here so if you’re looking for a day trip to Chios then this is where it will go from. There are a wide range of bars, restaurants, tavernas and cafés in the town, meaning you’ll never be short of places to choose from. Samos Town is a good place from which to explore the rest of the island whether by car or by the public transport which stops here.
Lemnos is the 8th largest island in Greece, which means it has plenty of coastline from which to choose the best beaches on the island. Due to its large amount of beaches, its tough to narrow it down to just a few. What we’ve tried to do in this article is split them up into three categories in terms of how well organised they are. We know people prefer different things when it comes to a beach so this way we’ve given everyone a few options no matter what they want, so that they can make the most of their holiday to Lemnos
Located in the south of the island near the town of Moudros, Mikro Fanaraki and its neighbour Fanaraki, are some of the best equipped beaches on the island. Near to a number of hotels, it has many sun loungers and umbrellas as well as bars and food stalls to keep you happy whilst there. Its sands and shallow waters make it great for families and there are a number of sea caves to explore nearby, most famously Seagull’s Cave.
Next to the northern end of the capital Myrina, this beach is excellent due to its location to the town and the facilities that affords. With sunbeds and loungers as well as cabanas, you can stay in the shade or there is some open beach to play around on if you want a bit more space.
Not far away from Myrina in the village of Platy is its namesake beach. Curving around the bay, this beach is one of the most popular on the island. Its easy to see why, with golden sands lapped at by deep blue waves its shallow waters are safe for families to play on and it has plenty of services should you want drinks and snacks.
Despite having a number of facilities including a court for games and a hotel at one end, the beach is fairly secluded and doesn’t have many sunloungers. If you’re looking for a beach with some facilities but a different feel, Avlonas may be the one for you.
This week’s Island of the Week is Thassos. We put it in our Outstanding Oddballs as it doesn’t fit with many other islands, despite being in the North Aegean just off the coast of the Macedonian region. Similar to Corfu and Skiathos in that it is luscious and green, covered in pine forests yet it is far less busy than them. It is perfect for families and those looking to relax or get involved in activities. In this blog we’ll take you through our favourite 5 things to do on this picturesque island, yet there is so much that is worth doing, we would be here all day otherwise.
How to get there
To get to Thassos you need to fly into Kavala, which is in the northern Macedonian region of Greece. You can fly into Kavala directly from Birmingham, London Gatwick and Manchester. From Kavala you then transfer by ferry to Thassos, in the summer these ferries run hourly (and the journey only takes 40 minutes).
1 – Thassos Archaeological Museum
Located in Thassos Town, the archaeological museum in Thassos is one of the largest in East Macedonia and Thrace. With 18 galleries it covers from the Neolithic Period to the 7th Century AD. During antiquity Thassos had a large marble quarry and gold and silver mines. Many of the pieces in the museum come from this period as well as archaeological sites from across the island and on the mainland. Very near to the museum is the ruins of the ancient city of Thassos, the main part of what is left is the theatre which is mostly intact and is great for history enthusiasts and gives you stunning views out to sea.
Ikaria has been identified as a ‘blue zone’, one of 5 in the world where the population lives consistently longer than the average. Maybe this is due to the island’s remoteness or maybe its something in the water. That is very possible as Ikaria is famed for its thermal springs which are unique in their chemical composition and radiation. The only true way to find out is to visit, and with 102km of coastline filled with beautiful white, sandy beaches what a better place to figure it out. In this blog we put forth our argument as to why this is truly a unique place that you must see.
How To Get There
As part of the Northeast Aegean islands, it is just off the coast of Turkey. The southernmost of these islands, Ikaria has a small domestic airport. You can fly into Ikaria from either its neighbour Samos, Athens or Thessaloniki. There are ferry services that run but they are irregular, so we recommend flying into Ikaria. You can fly into Athens direct from the four main London airports, Birmingham and Edinburgh.
Greece is a love affair for The Greek Specialist. Our first visit to the country came in 1997 and since then