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Where to Stay in Samos – 7 BEST AREAS

Find your perfect sanctuary in Samos with our expert guide on the best accommodations. Immerse yourself in the island's unique charm and history as we highlight the top spots for your stay.
Where to Stay in Samos

In the eastern reaches of the Aegean, snuggled just a stone’s throw from the Minor Asian shores, you’ll find the enchanting island of Samos.

It’s a jewel among the Greek islands, shimmering with not only mesmerizing beaches but also verdant expanses that you’ll hardly see elsewhere in the archipelago.

Samos, with its two major ports — one in Vathy, its capital, and the other in its co-capital, Karlovasi — sits on the northern part of the island, welcoming daily influxes of visitors from Piraeus and neighboring islets.

Home to over 30,000 residents and a bustling student population, Samos pulses with life even during the winter, reaching fever pitch when the summer sun caresses its shores.

Selecting a place to stay on this island of diverse settlements requires a discerning eye. So, in the spirit of an Aegean odyssey, let’s dive into the best areas for your stay in Samos.

1. Vathy: The Beating Heart of the Island

Nestled at the northeastern edge of the island, the city of Samos (or Kato Vathy) boasts the primary port. Together with Ano Vathy, these areas form the vibrant nerve center of Samos, teeming with a bustling populace. 

Ano Vathy is a traditional settlement, gracefully perched on a hillside overlooking the port like an eagle eying its territory.

Being the capital, Vathy presents a Pandora’s box of possibilities. From a myriad of shops, bars, restaurants, and cafes to a superb range of accommodation options, including hotels, rental rooms, and apartments, it’s a smorgasbord of delights. 

If variety is the spice of life, then Vathy is the peppercorn in your travel cuisine.

Things to Do in Vathy

When in Samos city, don’t miss out on Gagou Beach. This quaint pebbly enclave, neatly arranged with sun loungers and umbrellas, provides a cool respite from the city’s energy. 

Gagou beach, Samos
Gagou beach, Samos

It’s relatively shallow and usually shielded from the winds, providing a safe haven for swimmers. The beachfront is dotted with tavernas, hotels, and rental rooms, making it an all-in-one coastal package.

For a cultural detour, explore the Ecclesiastical Byzantine Museum of the Holy Metropolis of Samos and the Archaeological Museum located in Ano Vathy. These cultural repositories hold the keys to the rich past of this vibrant island.

Ultimately, staying in Vathy is like getting a front-row seat to the island’s lively concert of life — an experience that’ll strike a chord with all your senses, leaving you yearning for an encore long after the curtain falls.

Best Hotels in Vathy

2. Pythagoreio - A Tapestry of History and Leisure for the Culture-seeking Traveler

Panorama of Pythagoreio.
Panorama of Pythagoreio.

Nestled along the southeast coastline of Samos, Pythagoreio (Pythagorion) sits about 12 kilometers away from the island’s capital, easily accessible and impossible to resist.

Once upon a time, this very spot was the cradle of the ancient capital of Samos, a place that prospered mightily in the time of the ancients and played a pivotal role in the Byzantine era.

Now, Pythagoreio weaves an intricate tapestry of history and tourism that feels like walking through a portal in time, the past and present coalescing seamlessly.

Today, Pythagoreio is an oasis of tourism development, boasting an infrastructure that leaves no visitor wanting. It hosts an impressive array of hotels and rental rooms to cater to all tastes and budgets.

Picture yourself sitting in a trendy café or a cozy bar, savoring the local cuisine at a waterfront restaurant, or just strolling down its vibrant lanes – Pythagoreio is designed to delight!

Things to Do in Pythagoreio

But what’s the Pythagoreio promise, you might wonder? Well, it goes beyond the deep-blue harbor and the well-kept marina. 

Nestled next to the harbor is Remataki beach, a sandy-pebbly retreat tucked away in the Pythagoreio bay. Remataki is a sun-worshipper’s dream come true, complete with sunbeds, umbrellas, and the gentle lapping of the Aegean sea against its shores. With tavernas and cafés lining its length, it’s the perfect place for a lazy afternoon followed by a sunset dinner.

History and culture enthusiasts are in for a treat in Pythagoreio. Marvel at the Statue of Pythagoras gracing the harbor, explore the medieval whispers within the old Byzantine Castle, or stand in awe before the Tower of Lykourgos Logothetis

Don’t forget to pay your respects at the Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior (built in 1831) and the Early Christian Basilica of the Castle (dating back to the 6th century).

 Pythagoreio is a place where history breathes in every stone and whispers in every breeze.

Best Hotels in Pythagoreio

3. Karlovasi: A Wonderland of Historical Exploration and Architectural Grandeur

Karlovasi, a bustling community nestled in the northwest segment of Samos, is nothing short of an intriguing puzzle piece in the grand portrait of the island.

With a comfortable 32-kilometer drive away from the city, this robust commercial hub hums with a distinctive charm of its own.

Considered the economic powerhouse of Samos, the town is anchored by a large harbor where passenger ships from Piraeus and other islands find a welcoming respite. 

Moreover the connection of the Karlovasi Port with Seferihisar’s Sığacık, in Turkey, brings a large number of travelers in the island. 

Karlovasi is like a multifaceted diamond, boasting different areas: Palaio, Neo, and Mesaio Karlovasi, along with the Port and the Bay – each with their unique traits and allure.

Palaio Karlovasi is the quaint, older brother of the family. Nestled in emerald hills, it’s crowned by the dominant monastery of Agia Triada, whose walls hold tales as old as time.

On the other hand, Neo Karlovasi is the vibrant heart of the town, the life of the party, a bustling commercial center where one can find everything under the sun.

What to Do in Karlovasi

A mere 3 kilometers from Karlovasi, you’ll find the Potami area – a breathtaking symphony of cascading waterfalls culminating in two picturesque lakes. This untouched slice of paradise is Mother Nature’s masterpiece, as if she meticulously painted it on her most inspired day. Their beauty culminates in a splendid beach, a canvas of sand and surf as delightful as a summer dream.

Nearby, standing as an ancient sentinel, is the Church of Transfiguration of the Savior (11th century) with the Venetian Castle poised like a crown atop it.

West of Potami lies the acclaimed beaches of Mikro and Megalo Seitani – a pair of twin jewels in the crown of Samos. With their cerulean waters and natural beauty, they make for the perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle.

Megalo Seitani is the most northwest known beach of Samos.
Megalo Seitani is the most northwest known beach of Samos.

The area of Karlovasi is akin to an outdoor architecture gallery. With standout structures such as the Porphyras School of Karlovasi, the Hatzigiannis Library, the coastal tanneries (tabakika), and the leprosarium, Karlovasi is a haven for culture-vultures and history buffs.

No matter where you decide to hang your hat in Karlovassi, you’re in the eye of the storm – a whirlwind of activity and an ideal spot for island exploration. 

If your arrival to the island is via the port of Karlovassi, then you’ve just set foot in one of the most ideal locations to lodge in Samos. It’s not just a town; it’s a vibrant mosaic that perfectly embodies the spirit of Samos.

Best Hotels in Karlovasi

4. Marathokampos: A Harmonious Blend of Mountain and Sea, Ideal for Tranquil Retreats

Nestled on the foothills of Kerkis, in the southwestern part of Samos, you’ll find a gem known as Marathokampos. 

As I ambled the 45 kilometers from the island’s capital to this charming town, I was struck by a sense of an impending adventure. A journey not into the wild, but a journey into the harmonious coalescence of land and sea.

What to Do in Marathokampos

I remember stepping into Marathokampos, and it’s like stepping into a well-kept secret. The town seemed to whisper its story in hushed tones, through the cobblestone lanes, stone houses, quaint squares, and traditional fountains that remain unspoiled by time. 

The gentle hum of everyday life played a soothing symphony, complimenting the stunning panorama. I couldn’t help but fall under its serene spell.

But Marathokampos is not just a scenic retreat. It holds a profound narrative etched in stone – quite literally, in the case of the Pythagoras Cave (aka Sarantaskaliotissa Cave). 

Window of Pythagoras Cave
Window of Pythagoras Cave

Perched at 350 meters, this cavern is said to have been a refuge and study for Pythagoras, the renowned mathematician, who was fleeing his enemies. A visit to this cave is like leafing through the pages of a gripping historical novel, except, you’re walking through it.

Venturing towards the beach, you’ll find Ormos Marathokampos, a small seaside haven tucked beside the village’s harbor. This well-organized beach sits within the protected embrace of Marathokampos Bay. The beach, much like a well-woven tapestry, weaves together elements of relaxation and leisure with its restaurants, cafes, and bars, offering a sanctuary for those seeking a moment of tranquillity.

If your wanderlust has you yearning for more, take a short trip to nearby beaches such as Kampos Marathokampos. An expansive beach, resplendent with sand and pebbles, it offers water sports, cafes, bars, and taverns. Its vibrant nightlife, like a pulsing heartbeat, brings life to the sandy shores, while the nearby pebbled beaches of Votsalakia and Kaladakia add more hues to the canvas of Marathokampos.

So, if a tranquil retreat resonates with you, you would be hard-pressed to find a better choice than Marathokampos. It’s a beautiful symphony of mountain and sea, interspersed with vibrant notes of local life and history. A place where one can find quiet corners for relaxation and lively spots for socializing, all while experiencing the authentic charm of Greek island life.

Best Hotels in Marathokampos

5. Kokkari: Best Area to Stay in Samos for the Beaches

Kokkari, Samos
Kokkari, Samos

Nestled in the arms of the northern coast of Samos, you’ll find Kokkari, a captivating seaside village barely a pebble’s throw away—just 11 kilometers—from the island’s capital.

This jewel of the Aegean concentrates on tourism like a sunflower to the sun, establishing itself as one of the most developed resorts on the isle.

What to Do in Kokkari

In Kokkari, life dances to the rhythm of the waves. The village boasts a trio of delightful beaches: Tsamadou, Lemonakia, and Tsambou. They each have a unique allure that paints a vivid palette of what Samos has to offer.

Tsamadou beach is a captivating symphony of pebbles and azure-turquoise waters. Like an artist’s masterpiece, it’s one of the island’s most visually arresting. The beach brims with life, peppered with sunbeds, umbrellas, beach bars, and tavernas, where local fare tantalizes your tastebuds. Once the preferred spot for nudists, it now draws a diverse crowd, although a few devoted naturists remain.

Moving on to Lemonakia, it offers a well-organized beachfront with pebbles and crystal-clear waters so deep, they seem to hold secrets of the universe. When the north wind stirs the surface, waves march onto the shore like an army of frothy white horses. Accommodation is available, and there’s a local taverna serving up authentic Greek delicacies—a perfect spot to satiate your hunger after swimming.

Tsambou, the smallest of the three, is also pebbly and known for its deep waters and waves during a northerly wind. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, Samos Windsurfing school adds a dash of thrill to this serene seascape.

Kokkari is a prime location, and you’ll find numerous nearby beaches within a stone’s throw. With a solid selection of accommodations, you’ll always be a hop, skip, and a jump from the city. 

Whether you’re a beach connoisseur or an adventure seeker, Kokkari stitches together a Greek holiday experience that will embroider itself onto your heart.

Best Hotels in Kokkari

6. Heraion: A Historical Haven in Samos

Stepping into the southern edge of Samos, you’ll encounter Heraion, a seaside village that effortlessly blends old-world charm with modern comforts. 

Sprinkled with quaint hotels, alluring shops, tempting tavernas, and inviting cafes, this area is as picturesque as a postcard. Heraion’s harmonious balance of convenience and charm, along with an organized beach only a 10-minute drive from Pythagoreio, makes it an ideal base for your Grecian getaway.

What to Do in Heraion

Heraion is a treasure trove of historical gems, as it houses the ruins of the Temple of Athena. People have been calling this area home since the 5th millennium BC, and it still echoes with whispers of its storied past. Among the ruins, a solitary column proudly stands—a silent sentinel of history. But look closely, and you’ll discover the remnants of at least four temples:

  • Hekatompedos A (8th Century BC)
  • Hekatompedos B (7th Century BC)
  • Temple of Rhoikos and Theodorus (6th Century BC)
  • The temple as it survives today, from the era of the tyrant Polycrates (538-522 BC), and temples from the Roman era

These historic relics make Heraion a must-visit for any history buffs or those seeking a deeper understanding of Greek culture and heritage.

Despite its historic allure, Heraion doesn’t live in the past. The village has its own beach—a charming mix of pebbles and sand that nudges up against the brilliant blue sea. It’s well-organized, featuring sun loungers and umbrellas, perfect for lazy sun-soaked afternoons.

Along the shore, you’ll find a variety of accommodations, ranging from cozy rented rooms to more luxurious hotels.

Tavernas dish up mouthwatering local cuisine, while cafes brew the perfect coffee—an essential component of any beach day.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or a beach lover, a foodie or a shopaholic, Heraion offers a uniquely rewarding experience.

Best Hotels in Heraion

7. Psili Ammos: Best Area to Stay in Samos for Families

Nestled along the southeast coast of Samos, 9 kilometers from the city, Psili Ammos is a slice of paradise where the sun meets the sea. 

With its fine sandy beach (the name itself translates to ‘fine sand’), crystal-clear shallow waters, Psili Ammos is a veritable playground for both the young and the young at heart. It’s one of those places that’s simply built for family memories.

What to Do in Psili Ammos

Here in Psili Ammos, the sand is so soft it slips through your fingers like whispers of a secret, while the gently lapping turquoise waves are as clear as the Aegean sky itself. 

Ideal for little ones who love to splash around, the beach is well-equipped with sunbeds and umbrellas, promising leisurely days of sun-soaked relaxation for the whole family.

While I adore the beach, it’s not the only jewel in Psili Ammos’ crown. The area also offers an array of accommodations, from luxurious resorts to cozy rented rooms that sit like seashells dotted along the coastline. 

And for food lovers, there’s plenty to delight the palate. From traditional Greek tavernas serving dishes steeped in Mediterranean flavors, to stylish bars for an evening cocktail and first-rate restaurants offering the best of local cuisine, you’ll find gastronomic joy at every turn.

If you’re looking to stay close to the pulse of Samos city, yet yearn for the rhythmic lull of the ocean and the feeling of fine sand underfoot, Psili Ammos is your destination. It’s not just a beach—it’s a love letter to family holidays, offering the best of both worlds: city proximity and a seaside sanctuary. 

This coastal hideaway is a testament to the fact that family trips don’t have to be about compromise, but about finding that perfect balance.

Best Hotels in Psili Ammos

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