Samos: Local Travel Info
Tropical beaches, rolling mountains, pine forests and vineyards
Internal Flights and Major International Airports in Samos
The easiest way for many people to reach Samos by air is to fly first into Athens and then catch a connecting flight to Samos. Samos’s airport lies 4km west of Pythagorio. Samos is connected by air through four daily flights to Athens. Flights from Athens to Samos take roughly 1 hour. There are also two weekly flights to Thessaloniki in the northern Greece mainland. Air Manos flies daily to Athens and twice weekly to Thessaloniki and the islands of Mykonos and Santorini. You can fly directly from the UK to Samos from Manchester and Gatwick. There are also direct flights to Samos from Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Holland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. Between April and October, over 50 charter planes reach each week the island. You can connect daily to the islands of Fournoi, Agathonisi, Leipsoi, Ikaria, Kos, Rhodes, Chios, Mytilini, Patmos, Leros and Kalymnos.
Getting to and from the Airport in Samos
Taxis are plentiful. A typical fare might cost around €22 to Samos Town, €14 to Pythagorio and €33 to Karlovassi. Taxis are available to various resorts which are displayed on placards. In the high season it's best to book in advance to the airport. There is a regular daily bus service operated by KTEL; Samos Town – Pythagorion – Airport – Ireon and back five times a day.
Ferries to Samos
There is a fantastic selection of ferries to and from Samos. Two ferries go daily to Piraeus, (€34, 13 hours) and three go to Ikaria (€10, three hours). There are five boats a week to Fourni (€8, two hours), four a week to Chios (€12, four hours), and two each week to Lesvos (€17, 11 hours) and Limnos (€27.50, 11 hours). There are also three ferries a week to Naxos (€21, seven hours) and Paros (€18.50, eight hours). Five ferries each week serve Mykonos (€25, six hours), three sail to Patmos (€8, 2½ hours), four go to Leros (€7, 3½ hours) and Kalymnos (€10, four hours). Weekly ferries sail to Kos (€15, 5½ hours) and to Rhodes (€30, nine hours). During the summer season, Kallisti Ferries (www.kallistiferries.gr) offer the high-speed Corsica Express service five times a week between Samos Town (Vathi) and Piraeus (€49, 6¾ hours), stopping off at Ikaria. Further afield, in summer there are two daily ferries from Samos Town (Vathi) to Kusadasi, in Turkey, for Ephesus. They depart at 8.30am, and leave Turkey at 5.00pm. From Pythagorio there is also one boat to Kusadasi each week. Tickets cost around €47 open return and €37 one way, as well as €10 port taxes. The ticket office will take your passport in advance, in accordance with port rules. Visas are not needed for day trips.
Renting Cars in Samos
There are lots of car rental agencies in Samos, at the main tourist areas and the airport. Several of the large hotels also offer motorcycle and car rentals. Many feel that cars are the most comfortable means of transport in Samos, perhaps because of the state of the roads. Prices start at €15 per day for a car and €7 for a motorbike. Even experienced drivers should regard Greek drivers and roads with caution, since cars always take the priority, there are lots of pot holes and roads often suddenly turn into dirt tracks.
To book car rental in Samos online, view our Car Hire section for Samos . We offer Ok Alpha users the latest special offers and best rates available for car hire in Samos . We advise you book your Samos hire car in advance so you can pick it up and drop it off directly at the airport.
Drivers License Requirements in Samos
To drive in Samos, you will need either an international driving license or a European driving license. Drivers need to be at least 23 years old and be able to produce a full driving license which they have held for at least a year. Car hire prices include unlimited mileage, all local taxes, collision damage waiver and comprehensive insurance, as specified by Greek law. In Samos, you can’t insure the tyres, windscreen or the underneath of a rental car. If you damage any of these areas you will have to pay for the repairs yourself.
Seat belts are mandatory in Samos. Forgetting them will incur a €75 fine for each passenger. The alcohol limit is 0.5% blood alcohol level for car drivers and only 0.2% for motorbikes and drivers who’ve held a license for less than two years. There are frequent alcohol checks on main roads, particularly during weekends, and the penalties are harsh, ranging from a large fine to a night in prison. At roundabouts, the right of way is always with the entering vehicle. Be cautious when entering a roundabout. Your right of way may well be ignored by trucks or tourists who aren’t aware of the rules. Don’t be surprised if cars pull out of small side roads without looking your way. Roads on Samos are not as good as those in northern Europe. Motorbike riders should be aware that the roads often consist of small stones and all motorists should look out for the many pot holes.
Samos by Bus
The island of Samos has a good bus service (KTEL) which serves various villages and beaches until 8.00pm, offering a fairly extensive schedule that connects many of Samos’s villages and towns. However, many feel that the best way to see the island is by car or moped. From Valhi bus station there are six buses daily on weekdays to Kokkari (€1.30, 20 minutes), eight to Pythagorio (€1.50, 25 minutes), seven to Agios Konstantinos (€1.90, 40 minutes) and Karlovassi (via the north coast; €3.30, one hour), and five to the Ireon (€2, 25 minutes) and Mytilini (€1.20, 20 minutes). In addition, from Pythagorio five buses go daily to the Ireon (€1.20, 15 minutes) and four to Mytilini (€1.20, 20 minutes). You need to buy your tickets on the bus. There is a reduced service on Saturday and no buses on Sunday. For smaller resorts services can be infrequent and not particularly geared for tourists.
Samos by Moped
There are lots of moped and motorcycle rental agencies in Samos, especially in the larger tourist resorts. Several of the large hotels offer motorcycle and moped rentals. Even experienced moped users should regard Greek drivers and roads with caution, since cars always take the priority, there are lots of pot holes and roads often suddenly turn into dirt tracks. Bear in mind that Samos is also very hilly. Motorbikes and mopeds cost from around €11 per day to hire.
Samos by Taxi
The main taxi rank in Samos is located in Pythagora Square, in Samos Town (Vathi). In Pythagorio, the taxi rank is by the waterfront at Lykourgou Logothetis. At the airport you can also find a price-list of the taxis fares for the several destinations on the island. Prices range from €5 to €40, depending on where you’re heading to. Taxis have a ‘taxi’ sign on the roof. All taxis have meters. A call out charge is levied when calling a taxi to collect you from a specific location.
Samos by Train
There are no trains in Samos
Cycling in Samos
Numerous scooter, moped and bicycle hire shops are located at the main resorts. Be aware that due to poor roads and erratic driving, the accident rate in Samos is high. Even experienced cyclists should regard Greek drivers and roads with caution, since cars always take the priority, there are lots of pot holes and roads often suddenly turn into dirt tracks. Bear in mind that Samos is very hilly, so you’ll need to be fit! You can hire a bike from around €8 per day, depending on where you go.
During summer, daily fishing boats link the capital of Samos, Samos Town (or Vathi to the locals), to the village of Pythagorio. Excursion boats also travel four times weekly from Pythagorio to the monasteries of St John in Hora on Potmas (€35, return), leaving at 8.00am. Daily excursion boats go from Pythagorio to the island of Samiopoula (including lunch, €25), and a round-island boat tour begins from Pythagorio’s harbour twice a week (€40).
Hitch hiking is popular among back packers travelling around the Greek Islands. Obviously, wherever you are in the world, you need to be careful and travel in pairs if you can, as well as letting someone know where you are planning on travelling to. Solo female travellers are taking a particular risk.