Walking through woodlands, scrambling along stony hillsides, or simply sitting at a kaffeneion table in a mountain village, there was no escaping the Little Blue Book, Landscapes of Samos. Except on the beach, where people presumably had it stowed away, we were sure to spot someone carrying it wherever we went. The information it yielded was almost invariably useful, and we began to think of Brian and Eileen Anderson as our leaders. Although primarily aimed at serious keen walkers, it also outlines itineraries for sightseers, [providing visitors touring Samos by car] an excellent overview of the island’s extraordinary variety. (Sunday Telegraph)
My wife and I have used the Sunflower Landscapes books on our overseas walking holidays for many years and have great faith in them. On this September holiday we stayed in Samos Town and used the Landscapes book for several walks. The guide book is well up to the usual Sunflower standard, with a good variety of walks and tours plus plenty of other information about the island. (JE, Amazon)
This book is out of print; there are no plans for a new edition. In response to demand, we have reissued the book as a PDF ebook direct from Sunflower but this is not a new edition so some changes must be expected. The book is, however, to the best of our belief the only comprehensive combined touring and walking guide available for Samos. The book is also available in a version for iPad and other tablet and smart phone devices from Amazon websites world wide.
Buy the complete book as a PDF download to use on your computer or tablet (£10)
The very mention of a Greek island is enough to conjure up visions of azure blue seas, wave-lapped golden beaches and white-washed houses, all languorously bathed in endless sunshine. If these are your dreams, then you will find this face of Samos so enchanting that you may not even think of looking further. But beyond the beaches lies a verdant island with landscapes of unimagined beauty quietly awaiting discovery. Samos is without a doubt one of the most perfect Greek islands for walking and botanising.
Area covered: the entire island
The best months for walking in Samos are April, May, June, September and October.
Guides, waymarking, maps 36
What to take 36
Where to stay 38
Things that bite or sting 39
Greek for walkers 40
Walkers’ checklist 42
Organisation of the walks 43
Country code for walkers and motorists 44
Updates for walks and all general information given below supplement those provided in the guidebook. It is vital that this Update is read in conjunction with the text of the book, but note that the Update applies only to the edition stated and not to any earlier editions. (If you have an older edition of this book you can “upgrade” to the latest edition at half price.)
Information has been forwarded to us by users of the book, and Sunflower Books offers the data in good faith but cannot be held responsible for any misleading or inaccurate content in the Update. Unless indicated otherwise, what appears here has not been verified by the author or publisher, so please allow due caution when new or amended routes are suggested. Each piece of information is dated; bear in mind that some of the older observations may have since been overtaken by events or further changes. If, during your holiday, you are using the current edition of the guide and are able to provide any additional updating to add to this page, we will be pleased to hear from you. Please send information, preferably by e-mail, to email@example.com.
Please be aware that the condition of paths, tracks etc. is in a continual state of change. The rate at which these changes take place makes it an impossible task to keep this book constantly updated. The destruction to the environment on Samos, and in Greece as a whole, is mainly due to greed and lack of education regarding the environment. There appears to be little in the way of surveying and planning, and the forestry office itself hasn’t even got all the tracks mapped out properly. The big excuse frequently trotted out is needing tracks for the fire fighters, but there were far fewer fires before the tracks proliferated. These tracks often become unusable after only one rainy season. How much money did it cost to destroy the lovely limestone path down from Moni Vronda? Funding via the EU has been instrumental in this wholesale environmental destruction. Our understanding is that local and foreign tour operators must bear some responsibility, as there is constant pressure from these groups for more jeep and mountain bike access into the countryside. A huge increase in the herds of goats is also a factor which denudes the terrain even further. We have made strong protestations, verbal and written, directly to the authorities on Samos. They make placatory noises, and there is much talk about eco-tourism, but nothing changes. Until the EU takes more control over its funding then not much will change. It is useless complaining only to the Greek authorities regarding the scale of their environmental destruction. The most effective way to complain is to send a copy of your letter of complaint to the national press of your own country. International condemnation is more likely to elicit a response and, hopefully, a chance of some improvement. We still enjoy a love affair with Greece, even minus rose-tinted glasses. (Brian and Eileen Anderson, 2005) + Spent last week in Samos – splendid island!! Walked Drakei to Potami courtesy of Tui coach trip. Big problem with new road being constructed to the north east of Samos town which has destroyed a number of paths and roads especially in vicinity of Vathy. Hope they are going to restore them when the road is completed! (User, 10/09)
Stroll round the back of Sams Town (page 11): The roadworks north of Samos town for the foreseeable future mean that this walk is no longer viable. (User, 6/10)
Walk 1 (part) : At the 1h 14m point at Moni Vronda (now being laboriously but beautifully restored) there are still serious problems with the path down. There is no waymark at the top and brushwood piled across it to block it, and you cannot get far down the path without meeting serious problems of fallen trees and vegetation etc. We didn’t try the alternative you suggest, but retraced our steps to Vouliotes. (User, 7/12)
Walk 2 (part): We did the first part of this walk, to Vourliotes and Manolates. The path up to Vourliotes is pretty clearly marked and easy to find where it crosses and recrosses the wider track. It is now clear and good all the way up to Vourliotes. The path out of Vourliotes is clearly marked, but at 1h 32min our path was more of a straight ahead at a crossroads than a sharp left. This path descended through terraces to bring us out at the white church. At the church itself there was no evident waymarking but following your description we found the path round the church and down to the riverbank, where it comes out at a river crossing point (1h 45min) with a waymark the other side. Then as noted in your Stop Press we walked up to the new track, turned right then found the uphill path waymarked on the left. At the top by the vineyard, the path goes along the top edge of a terrace wall and is a bit tricky due to pressing vegetation.We finished the walk at Manolates that day and dropped back down to the main road, but on another day we had a separate walk from Agios Konstantinos to Stavrinides, and you may be interested to hear that we saw kalderimi had been renovated and rebuilt in places, and good wooden direction signs erected by the municipality. (User, 7/12)
Walk 3 (page 55): the instruction to Use the map to follow the route of Walk 1 in reverse’ is not helpful. We stayed on the main track and ended up on the main road half-way between Vourliotes & Source Pnakas. There is a left fork to be made about 5 minutes from Vourliotes that is not obvious. (User, 6/06) + At Source Pnakas, the instruction to cross the wooden footbridge may be misleading as there is now a concrete road. Just follow the instruction to take the road to the right of the Church. When you get back to the 27 min. point from the outbound walk, retrace your steps from the outbound walk to return to Kokkari, as the route ahead has been blocked by development. (User, 6/10) + This walk is still impassable due to the road works. (User, 7/12)
Walk 4: I did this from V to M and back to V by a different route. Approaching M I lost the recommended trail, but arrived OK as I knew in which direction M was. When returning I lost the trail again for a while around the halfway mark and succeeded in finding tracks that were close to or perhaps even the same as those on the sketch map. I think that work on some tracks over 6 years, others possibly falling into disuse, new heaps of soil, etc. all helped to confuse me. I did find the “fountain” to discover that it was a small pipe emerging horizontally from a small wall, for animals and walkers to drink from! (User, 9/11)
Walk 5: Aidonia Tavern is on the RIGHT. (User, 6/10)
Walk 6: At about the 48 minute point where you keep going up the track and ignore turns to the right there is a chain across the track which deterred us briefly but in fact the track is OK if you just go round the chain.Just after this the faint field track beyond the building with the corrugated roof is just about impossible to find. We did some beating about and finally tacked left along a wall then right by the trees bordering the gully and eventually spotted the path down to the stream and bridge.We did the shorter version of the route the motorable track is now a good tarmac road, and came up to Polycrates’ Walls OK after a picnic at the lovely old plane tree stop. The path down to Moni Spilianis (2h 6min) is now clearly marked with a red blob and sign to Moni Spilianis painted on a rock the descent is very steep and rocky and splits into various paths but gets you there fast. (User, 7/12)
Walk 7: The roadworks north of Samos town for the foreseeable future mean that this walk has problems at the start as the trail has been obliterated in places. (User, 6/10) + Your latest news on the Samos guide carries a strange reference to roadworks NORTH of Samos town for Walk 7. I don’t understand this, as the walk heads east from Samos town. The only major roadworks I saw were for an incomplete bypass that was inland from the outskirts of Samos town and followed a route approximately a constant distance from the coast. (User, 10/11) + We found the final approach on the kalderimi to Zoodochou Pigis ‘guarded’ by a vicious, untethered dog who followed us, quite closely and noisily, to the parking area. Unfortunately he also ‘guarded’ the road back down (but not quite to the same level)! We did not need to defend ourselves but it was a close thing. (User, 5/14)
Walk 8: At 1h 03min we found the directions confusing, since if you keep ahead you do not pass close to the ramshackle smallholding on the right another path passes that. After some debate we kept straight ahead on the upper track which is initially wide but seems little used (but does have a sign), and as we came down we couldn’t make sense of the various directions (maybe the fires have changed things) but pressed on the track and eventually found our way past fallen trees etc and spotted the little white church (1h 21min). The path past the church is not obvious until you realise it is the stream bed, the path then looped round the valley head as described and eventually joined a wider track. Then it was easy to spot the cut-?across sunken paths as they are well marked with cairns and red blobs. These lovely paths now spit you out onto a broad gravel track which leads you down through cultivation towards Kokkari. (User, 7/12) + Psili Amos salt flats are now a nature reserve so presumably the lake does not dry out completely in summer. There were still flamingos and geese there in early May. (User, 5/14)
Walk 9 (page 80): Evpalinus Tunnel is closed for an indeterminate period. + The tunnel has reopened for about 150 metres. (User, 6.10) + We could find neither bus shelter nor police station in Mytilene. The map is also very misleading as the road you need is about 100m before the bend not on it. Start the walk from the last car park on the main road going south (up the hill towards Chora) as this is where the church is. If you go up to where the bus stops at a junction then the road on the left has the cemetery on its left. (User, 5/14)
Walks 10/11 (page 82): The red fire hydrant is not evident but the road to Kokkari is well signposted. (User, 6/10)
Walk 11: The turnoff at the 37 minute point just before the crest of the hill has an array of solar panels opposite it. There is little shade on this circuit. (User, 5/14)
Walk 12 (page 88): We spent an hour trying to find the flower-lovers detour. The only sign to Koumaradei & Megalo Panagia seems to be at the corner where the walk enters Miii. There is no sign at the second track off to the right, which goes into a very dry area. Very disappointed! + The entrance to the Temple of Hera has been moved so the advice (page 89) to remain on the road to visit the site should be deleted. Intending visitors should continue along the shoreline until reaching a track that swings inland. After turning left, the entrance is 100 metres away. (Use4, 6/10)
Walk 19 (page 117): The path uphill between 1h27m and 1h37m is getting seriously overgrown and hard to find, though we were successful. (User, 6/06)
Walk 20: The whole area was fire damaged in summer 2010 between the 40min and 1h10min-point at Monument. So the last 20 minutes of vague track has no waymarks. But by keeping to contour the track can still be followed with care. (User, 10/10)
Walk 22 (page 125): A little concerned at the statement that ‘route-finding is easy’, when the first 1h20min follows Walk 20 on which “route-finding can be difficult… between 34min and 1hO6min’ plus danger of vertigo. Which is correct? (User, 6/06)
Walk 23 (pages 127/8): The good news is that the trail has been really well cleared all the way to Kosmodeo. Unfortunately, your description of the starting point is very misleading, and we spent over an hour searching up traces of a premature track and stream bed that fit your description perfectly. The bottom 9 lines of page 127 could helpfully be replaced by: “In under three miuutes, the track swings sharp right as it crosses a streambed. 50 metres further along, look for paint waymarks and scramble up the embankment to access a good cobbled trail. (If this seems difficult, a minor stream bed 10 metres further on provides alternative access.) Pass a disused LIME KILN on the left (2Omin), beyond which the way was cleared early in 2006 through an invasive young pine forest.” On page 128, lines 7-9 could read: “From here the onward path should be easily followed as it crosses the terraces, but if in doubt, turn left uphill on a field track, heading towards a white-pained stone hut with a grey corrugated roof. (User, 6/06)
A few typos that could be corrected in a future edition:
On p27, CW6. It’s Walk 6; see note on page 64.
On page 32, the references to Kosmadeo should be Walks 18-20, 22 and 23
On page 69, Walk 7, the relevant map is on pages 66-67.