Samos: Geography

Tropical beaches, rolling mountains, pine forests and vineyards

Samos Geography

The island of Samos is relatively large; it’s the eighth largest of the Greek Islands. Samos has two large towns; the capital Samos Town in the north-east and Karlovassi to the west. All along the coastline are dotted small hamlets, villages and stretches of sand, shingle and pebble beach. The mountainous interior is diverse with many places to explore.

Samos is one of the north-eastern Aegean Islands and is the southernmost island of the group. It is situated near the islands of Ikaria and Chios and is very close to the Turkish coast, from which it is separated by the Mykale Straits, which are only 3km wide. The island has a total area of about 477 sq km and a coastline of 160 km. The economy of Samos is supported mainly by tourism, which constitutes about 55% of the residents' income. Wine, fishing and agriculture also contribute to the economy.

Samos has three ferry ports; Vathi, Karlovassi and Pythagorio. Samos’ airport is 14 km south-west of Vathi and 3km west of Pythagorio. The highest peak in Samos (and of the Aegean) is Mount Kerkis, whose highest peaks are Vigla (1450m) and Zestane (1195m). Small valleys and plains separate the mountains, covering them with olive groves, orange and citrus trees. There are also many pine forests, cypresses, and chestnut trees in Samos, not to mention the countless vineyards, which produce Samos’ famous wines. Vathi grape wines are especially well-regarded. In the sea surrounding Samos, flamingos, dolphins, seals and Careta-Careta sea turtles can be seen.

The predominant religion is Orthodox Greek. Although Greek is the official language, English is spoken widely, particularly in tourist areas.