There may be only one place in the world where tourists can walk through a tunnel that was cut in a mountain nearly 3,000 years ago. And that’s on the lovely lush green Greek island of Samos.
An astonishing number of delights are packed into this peaceful East Aegean island and it’s only 26 miles long. Here are some:
Twenty beaches, at least, that range from stretches of fine golden sand covered in sunbeds and busy with water sports to lonely, secluded coves of sand or pebbles hidden beneath towering cliffs.
Pythagoreio, the main resort named after the Ancient Greek mathematician who was born on Samos. Have a drink in a café beside the pretty harbour first built when Pythagoras was walking the cobbled streets 2,500 years ago.
Forty villages with leafy plane trees shading picturesque squares, alleyways between stone houses bedecked with flowers, workshops for art, crafts and pottery, churches and monasteries and, of course, charming cafes and tavernas.
Two mountains – one higher than Ben Nevis, Britain’s tallest – tower over the island, their lower slopes covered in forests, vineyards, olive groves and almond orchards.
Waterfalls, streams and lakes in a gorge that leads to beautiful Potami beach. This is a stand-out feature on an island bursting with beautiful countryside. Climbing, caving, walking and cycling are popular pursuits on Samos.
Vathy, the intriguing two-in-one main town. The lively harbourside area is known as Samos and the winding streets and classical houses on the hillside are the old village of Vathy.
The temple and sanctuary to Hera, the goddess of women, is a world heritage site. Mythology says Hera was born and raised on Samos and the first temple to her was built there more than 3,000 years ago. A giant statue of a naked man was found there.
Samos is a fantastic place to relax and enjoy the friendly people, great food, award winning wine and just heavenly for sunbathing gods - or goddesses!