Monday, March 30, 2009

एअर्थ हौर 2009

"Earth Hour" in Greece too. Time to think about the future of our planet and following the global call for action Athens and the Athenian people participated at this event. I was part of the people who took the decision to switch off the lights of my home and travel until the center of the town in order to participate at the concert which organized by the municipality of Athens at the historical area of Pnika under the Acropolis which was also stood at the dark in order to show our concerns about the surviving of our environment.

"Earth Hour" is a message of hope and action. So... come with me at this night and be part of the way that we, the people who live in Athens have been joined to this global call for action.

Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour in an effort to raise awareness of climate change. Just one year later, the message grew into a global sustainability movement, with 50 million people in 35 countries switching off their lights. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and Rome's Colosseum all stood in darkness for one hour, transformed into symbols of hope for a problem which is intensifying by the hour.

This year, on Saturday, March 28, at 20:30, people around the world have been called on to switch of their lights for one hour - "Earth Hour". The goal was to secure the participation of 1 billion people in 1,000 cities and for all of us together to demonstrate that we can take action against global warming.

Unlike any election in history, it is not about what country you're from, but instead, what planet you're from. VOTE EARTH was a global call to action for every individual, every business, and every community. A call to stand up and take control over the future of our planet. Over 74 countries and territories have pledged their support to VOTE EARTH during Earth Hour 2009, and this number is growing everyday.

"Earth Hour 2009" was a global call to action for every individual, every business, and every community. A call to take action, assume our responsibilities and actively participate in initiatives for a sustainable future.

Renowned locations, monuments and buildings throughout the world stand in darkness once again this year. People throughout the world switch off their lights and bond for one hour in support of the future of our precious planet.

More than 64 countries participated in "Earth Hour 2009". People understood that such a simple act as switching off their lights can make such a great contribution to the onset of change.

"Earth Hour" is a message of hope and action.

"Earth Hour" was held in Athens under the aegis of the City of Athens which also invited its people in a concert at the holy place of Pnika, very close to Acropolis in order to celebrate this night with the songs that Frangoulis, a famous all around the world singer and the Orchestra of the City of Athens offered to the people of Athens.

Compared to the better-known surviving monuments of ancient Athens, such as the Parthenon, the Pnyx is relatively unspectacular. It is a small, rocky hill surrounded by parkland, with a large flat platform of eroded stone set into its side, surrounded by steps carved on its slope. It is nevertheless one of the most significant sites in the city, and indeed in the world.

For the Pnyx was the meeting place of the world's first ever democratic legislature, the Athenian ekklesia (assembly), and the flat stone platform is the bema, the "stepping stone" or speakers' platform. As such, the Pnyx is the material embodiment of the principle of isēgoria , "equal speech", i.e. the equal right of every citizen to debate matters of policy. The other two principles of democracy were isonomia, equality under the law, and isopoliteia, equality of vote and equal opportunity to assume political office. The right of isēgoria was expressed by the presiding officer of the Pnyx assembly, who formally opened each debate with the open invitation " Tis agoreyein bouletai? ", "Who wishes to speak?").

The Pnyx was used for popular assemblies in Athens as early as 507 BC, when the reforms of Cleisthenes transferred political power to the citizenry. It was then outside the city proper, but close enough to be convenient. It looks down on the ancient Agora, the commercial and social centre of the city.

At this site all the great political struggles of Athens of the "Golden Age" were fought out. Pericles, Aristides and Alcibiades spoke here, within sight of the Parthenon, temple of Athena. Here Demosthenes delivered his vilifications of Philip of Macedon, the famous Philippics.

The concert was realy magical and I was there to celebrate the "Hour of Earth" with thousands of Athenian citizens. We were sitting down, on the same place where our ancestors used as a meeting place to diclare our will for a better future for our planet. We need to protect our world and keep our environment clean for the next generations.

After the concert, the lights at the ancient monuments of Athens opened again and the people left the area of Pnika and filled the streets of the centre of Athens.
The city was ready again finding its normal rythm and the streets were full of people from all around the world. Athens is busy and happy during night. Economical crisis could not stop the activity and the night life.
It was a special warm night for Athens and everybody enjoyed it walking around and under the

brightly lit Acropolis.
Monastiraki square at 11 p.m.. The city is ready for a great night.

Monastiraki is the place that most of all represent tradition and tourist sightseeing in Athens at the same time. It's placed under the shadow of Acropolis at the South West section of the magisterial Sacred Rock and next to the Ancient Market and Attalos loft. Monastiraki is famous for the flea market and it is a great place for a Sunday morning walk. An early visit in the morning will help as later on the crowd becomes impossible and there are tables available at the many cafes and restaurants for a drink or a snack.
Oh yes, I was there enjoying the beautiful night with a lot of other people, Greeks and foreigners and it was the best finale of the day that people all around the world celebrated the "Earth Hour".

The start of the new day found me enjoying my Gyro with Pitta and my beer wishing a better future for our planet.

Stin Ygia sas!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

फ्रीदोम और डेथ (Ελευθερία η Θάνατος)


On 25th of March Greece celebrates its Independence Day!

As a Greek I celebrate this Day and I will take you with me in a trip to the time and a visit to the place where the Greek War of Independence started. It is a trip to a one year-old monastery of Aghia Lavra in Kalavryta region.

I visited this area a few months ago and I had the luck to see the First Flag of Greece, a treasure of my country. This flag is the witness of a bright moment at the world history... the moment that the revolution for freedom started for Greece.

The monastery of Aghia Lavra is tucked away among trees, 4,5km away from the town of Kalavrita. On the right-hand side of the monastery's court lies the little chapel where the Greek revolution against the Ottoman Empire was launched in 1821, blessed by the Bishop Paleon Patron Germanos during the religious celebrations of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

The bullet ridden Banner of the Revolution is kept today in what is the third version the monastery since the revolution, the first having been burnt by Ibrahim pasha, and the second destroyed by an earthquake, various fires and the invasion of the German troops in 1943.

Historical items that have been saved are the diamond-decorated Gospel, a gift from Aikaterini the Great, the sacerdotal vestments of Paleon Patron Germanos and his Bishop's crook. The collection also includes a considerable number of crosses made of precious stones and other items of religious worship. There is also a collection of paintings, the most important being the one of Saint Panteleimon dated back to the 1600.

The Greek War of Independence (1821–1831), also known as the Greek Revolution, was a successful war waged by the Greeks to win independence for Greece from the Ottoman Empire. Independence was finally granted by the Treaty of Constantinople in July 1832 when Greece (Hellas) was recognized as a free country. The Greeks were the first of the subject peoples of the Ottoman Empire to secure recognition as a sovereign power.

It was March of 1821 and the Ottoman Empire ruled almost all of Greece, with the exception of the Ionian Islands since its conquest of the Byzantine Empire over the course of the 14th and 15th centuries. However, in the 18th and 19th centuries, as revolutionary nationalism grew across Europe (due, in part, to the influence of the French Revolution ), and the power of the Ottoman Empire declined, Greek nationalism began to assert itself and drew support from Western European "philhellenes".
On March 25, 1821 (also the same day as the Greek Orthodox day of the Annunciation of the Theotokos ), the Greeks rebelled and declared their independence.

The revolution began at   Aghia Lavra on March 1821 with a declaration by Archibishop Germanos of Old Patra.

The revolutionary flag was raised under the historic plane tree just outside the gate of the monastery. There is a plaque on this tree which explains what happened under this tree.

"The west wind caresses you
and the playful breeze embrasses you
As from Aghia Lavra's Sacred Monastery
You shed freedom abroad"

(From: The Flag, by I. Polemis)

The Sacred Banner of Aghia Lavra, Greece's First Flag, is preserved in the Monastery of Aghia Lavra as a priceless treasure and heirloom of the highest national significance.
It is the banner which Germanos, Bishop of Old Patra, raised at the Monastery in March of 1821, thereby signaling the beginning of the Greek Revolution. It was beneath this banner that the patriots made their solemn vows to liberate their enslaved country.

A codex dating from 1703 and preserved in the Monastery tell us that the banner was made in Smyrna during the latter part of the 16th Century. The Hegemon of Moldavia donated it to Monastery, and it was originally used not as a banner but as the veil of the Beautiful Gate of the Monastery's iconostasis.
It was taken down from its original place and used as the banner of the revolution, thus becoming the symbol of the Nation's liberation from the four hundred year-long yoke of slavery to the Ottoman Empire.

It is a work of exceptional beauty and workmanship. it is 1,20 meters in length and 0,95 meters in width.
On it is embroided the icon of the Dormition of the Mother of God. The icon is executed with deep religious emotion and inspiration.

During the patriot's first foray to liberate the town of Kalavryta a Turkish bullet pierced the banner and left its mark where the head of the angel on the left was. The faces are skillfully embroidered with fair-colored silk thread. the garments are executed with gold threads.

The banner has undergone many vicissitudes. In 1772 it was seized and taken to Constantinople and from there to Moldo-Valachia. The Monastery of Aghia Lavra, with the help of Ecumenical Patriarch, was able to buy it back.

In 1780, in order to save it from certain theft, the monks had it sent to Romylia. from there it found its way to Epirus, from whence the monks repurchased it. With the great significance it took for the Greeks as the banner of their national struggle for independence, it became in the eyes of the Turks a goad and an object of hate. Ibrahim Pasha called it "the cursed tag" and offered a generous bounty for its capture. the monks' piety and patriotism, however, preserved it from the flames lit by all the wars which Greece was to endure.

Today the Sacred Banner is preserved in a special case. it is the pride and joy of the Monastery and for the inhabitants of the martyric eparchy of Kalavryta.

For the pilgrims and visitors to the historic Monastery of Aghia Lavra the banner is tangible proof of a great historical event: the Revolution of 1821 with its world-wide significance and ramifications. The banner is also a source of religious and national inspiration. It is a symbol. In it are harmoniously combined in a sacred unity the two great ideals of the Greek Nation: religion and motherland, Christianity and Hellenism. For two thousand years now Christianity and Hellenism have walked hand in hand the up-hill road of history.

(The text about "The Sacred Banner" is  written by Dem. Velaoras and I have copied it  from the leaflet of Holy Metropolis of Kalavryta and Aigialeia with the title "The Banner of the Monastery of Aghia Lavra, Greece's first Flag")

The Independence War started on March 25, 1821. The fighting escalated throughout the mainland and many islands. Within a year the Greeks had captured Monemvassia, Navarino (modern Pylos), Nafplion and Tripolitsa in the Peloponnese, and Messolongi, Athens and Thebes. Greek independence was proclaimed at Epidaurus on 13 January 1822. The Turks retaliated with massacres in Asia Minor, most notoriously on the island of Chios, where more than 25,000 civilians were killed.


           Greece on the Ruins of Missolonghi. Eugène Delacroix, 1826.

The Western powers were reluctant to intervene, fearing the consequences of creating a power vacuum in south-eastern Europe, where the Turks still controlled much territory. But help did come from the philhellenes; aristocratic young men, recipients of a classical education, who saw themselves as the inheritors of a glorious civilization and were willing to fight to liberate its oppressed descendants. Philhellenes included Shelley, Goethe, Schiller, Victor Hugo, Alfred de Musset and Lord Byron. Byron arrived in Messolonghi an important center of resistance in January 1824 and died three months later of pneumonia.

The prime movers of the revolution were the klephts Theodoros Kolokotronis (who led the siege of Nafplion) and Markos Botsaris; Georgios Koundouriotis (a ship owner) and Admiral Andreas Miaoulis, both from Hydra, Georgios Karaiskakis the Leader of Sterea Hellada and Demitrios Ypsilantis. Other heroes were: Georgios Karaiskakis, Odysseas Androutsos, Konstantinos Kanaris, Makriyannis, Papaflessas, Athanasios Diakos, Bouboulina, Manto Mavrogenous and many more. If you familiarize yourself with these names, walking along streets in Greece will take on a whole new meaning as a disproportionate number are named after these heroes.


         The statue of Archibishop Germanos of Old Patra holding the flag with the phrase "ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΙΑ Η ΘΑΝΑΤΟΣ"

The long list makes it clear that the cause was not lacking leaders; what was lacking was unity of objectives and strategy. Internal disagreements twice escalated into civil war, the worst in the Peloponnese in 1824. The sultan took advantage of this, called in Egyptian reinforcements, and by 1827 captured Modon (Methoni) and Corinth, and recaptured Navarino, Messolongi and Athens.

At last the Western powers intervened, and a combined Russian, French and British fleet destroyed the Turkish-Egyptian fleet in the Bay of Navarino in October 1827. Sultan Mahmud II defied the odds and proclaimed a holy war. Russia sent troops into the Balkans and engaged the Ottoman army in yet another Russian-Turkish war. Fighting continued until 1829 when, with Russian troops at the gates of Constantinople, the sultan accepted Greek independence by the Treaty of Andrianople. That time the Greeks who were alive and started rebuild their country were less than a million and the number of those who died for the freedom were more than 2 million.

The Creek Struggle for Independence in 1821, whose beginning was heralded by the raising of the sacred Banner at the Monastery os Aghia Lavra, was a struggle

"For Christ's Holy Faith
  and for the Fatherland's Freedom"

Greeks celebrate their independence day annually on March 25. We honor our ancestor's blood that offer us the freedom. We are here and we exist as a nation because of them.

For all who are and for those who feel Greeks

Happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Traveling north... Kastoria, Nymfaion & Mt. Vitsi

A weekend in my country is always the opportunity for a trip. I enjoy traveling around and discover new places and amazing beauty areas and as you know very well... I like sharing my impressions of those short or long explorations with you, my friends from all over the world.

So... time to come with me and discover one more beautiful area of my country. Enjoy Kastoria, Nymfaion and Mt. Vitsi in my blog!

Friday, early morning I left Athens travelling north and my first stop was Thessaloniki, the co-capital of Greece. A nice breakfast with coffee, cream pie (mbougatsa) and sweet bread (tsoureki) at Tekenlis cafe at Mitropoleos street was the start of a wonderful weekend.

After the breakfast... time to travel west. The destination of the first day was the city of Kastoria and its lake Orestiada.

The city of Kastoria lies in West Macedonia, Hellas/Greece, and is the capital of the Kastoria Prefecture . It is built amphitheatrically around a peninsula that shoots into Orestiada Lake and seems to emerge through it. This unique city layout, facing both to the north and to the south, caressed by the lake water and combined with the lush greenery surrounding it, highlights its unsurpassed beauty.

Kastoria is a lovely city, well worthy of the interest of international and Greek travelers. Its natural wealth, as well as the large number of monuments from various historical eras, form a combination of unique beauty. Apart from the numerous Byzantine churches at various parts of the city, together with the relics of city walls and old mansions, excavations during the last few years have brought to the surface many important archaeological finds that shed light on the historical course of the area.

The lake of Kastoria is the most precious treasure of the town. It is a jewel that both the visitors and the inhabitants can enjoy, as a place of recreation and as a stimulus for romanticism and reminiscence. At the lakeshore there are enough squares and parks. In these specially formulated spaces, the visitor has the possibility to walk on the stone pavements and to admire the unique natural beauty of the lake at all seasons. Lake Orestiada of Kastoria is considered morphologically the most beautiful lake of Greece and has been announced a Monument of Natural Beauty " by the Ministry of Culture.

The natural basin of the lake, which is enclosed by mountains of excellent geomorphology, constitutes a unique hydrobiotope. It is a hydrotope of great importance for the aquatic but also for the birds of prey and uses as an area of reproduction, nourishment and hibernation. It maintains a rich bird fauna, which includes rare and menaced species. More specifically: Pygmy Cormorant, White Pelican, Dalmatian Pelican, Great White Erget, Glossy Ibis, Goosander, Marsh Harrier, Whiskered Tern, etc. In the lake there are great quantities of various fish species, and offers the possibility for fishing, both with the traditional boats in the deep waters and with fishing rod in the lakeshores. In the lake's waters there are fishes such as, Carps, butterfly fishes, italian bleak, northern pike, etc. Fishing is allowed almost throughout the year, except the period of the fish reproduction.

Kastoria has always been the basis for many excursions in the area, even more so now that the new Egnatia National road gets you to Thessaloniki in less than two hours; to Vergina (location of the alleged grave of King Philippos, father to Alexander the Great of Macedonia) in less than one and a half hours; to Nympheon (the wolf and brown bear protection area) in three-quarters of an hour; to the utopic scenery of the Prespes lakes in around one hour; to the petrified forest and its Museum of Palaeontology in Nostimo Village in one-half hour; to the 7500 year-old prehistoric lake settlement in Dispilio in only ten minutes, and to Nestorio in less than half-an-hour, a world-renowned site for concerts, camping, nature, and outstanding scenery.

The Monastery of Panagia Mavriotissa which is placed approximately 4 kilometers from the city center at the east side of the lake is one of the most memorable Monasteries of Kastoria which is in some way obligatory to be visited once you are in Kastoria. It is believed the Monastery was built during the Byzantine era while Alixios Komninos the First was the emperor 1081-1118 a.d. The catholicon of the monastery belongs to the category of basilica one-colored woodmade.

The drawings which can be found in the inside of the Monastery are thought to belong in different time periods. On the eastern side of the indoor wall the drawings are considered to belong in the first half of the 12th century on the other hand the other part of the same wall is considered to belong on the ending of the 12th century. On the whole western wall the drawings are considered to belong on the end of the 12th century. During the Turkish captivity naturally the drawings were seriously damaged. The eyes from the Saints were completely vanished as it happened in the churches all over the country.

Despite all that the Monastery was and is at all the time his existence one of the most important places in Kastoria especially as a spiritual place. This can also justify the special interest Byzantine Kings have had for the Monastery. It is certain that if you visit the Monastery of Panagia of Mauriotissa you will realize it on your own and it will amazingly relax you so it is definitely worth a visit and I strongly recommend it.

Don't forget to stop and watch the 900 years old marvellous platan tree which counts the passing years beside the lake Orestiada, outside the monastery of Mavriotissa.

One of the attractions of the area is Nymfaio and one of the place you must not forget to visit. Nymfaio is located on Mount Vitsi at an altitude of 1350 m. Its history begins around 1385, when the first inhabitants came here from the plains around Zazari lake, in order to avoid, the Ottoman ocupation. In the next few years Vlah settlers became the majority and the named the village "Niveasta". There are 3 diferent explanations about what this name means.

  • 1. "Nymph" because of the beauty of the village and the natural environment.

  • 2. "Invisible", because it's indeed invisible from the plains.

  • 3. "Where snow stays", because of the cold climate.

Later, around the 18th and the 19th century the village was called "Neveska" (a name of Albanian origins)and in 1928 it took its current name. The village knew times of great wealth and prosperity because of the talent of their inhabitants in jewelry.

After WW2, it followed the destiny of many villages in the Greek countryside. It was almost completely abandoned, until the early '80s, when many returned and restored their beautiful houses. Now it is considered one of the most important winter atractions in Greece , and there a lot of traditional guesthouses that promise to take you deep in the atmosphere of the "old days". A must see!

Among the many beautiful stone buildings, in Nymfaio, (officially declared one of the most beautiful traditional villages in Europe ), the most impressive is Nikeios School which was donated to the village, in 1928, by Jean Nikou, a very wealthy tobacco merchant, who was from Nymfaio. Don't leave without visit it.

Less than one kilometer from the village a famous Bear Sanctuary was build and organized by the organization "Arcturos".

Since its foundation in 1992 ARCTUROS has been actively working for the conservation of the Brown Bear and its habitat in Greece and in the Balkans. ARCTUROS accomplished the elimination of the phenomenon of the dancing bear in Greece, and today continues working for the obliteration of illegal captivity in the wider region of the Balkans. Today fifteen bears that were either former dancing bears, captive bears from zoos or orphaned cubs that have since come of age, are sheltered in the ARCTUROS' Bear Sanctuary at Nimfeo.

In accordance with EEC Directive 92/43 in 1993 ARCTUROS was assigned the LIFE - NATURE Programme 'ARCTOS' which involved the participation of various governmental and non-governmental bodies.

One of the first tasks of Arcturos, in 1992, was to provide a hosting facility for confiscated dancing bears. In 1993, with the assistance of the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), the Bear Sanctuary was built outside the traditional village of Nymfeo, near Florina. The five hectare enclosure is built in beech forest, which is a natural habitat of wild bears. Before reaching the Sanctuary, all confiscated bears went through a rehabilitation period at the Veterinary Station. Today, there are fifteen bears at the Sanctuary, including, apart from ex-dancing bears, animals from zoos and circuses.

In June 1999, during the NATO bombings, ARCTUROS transported from Belgrade Zoo three cubs which are now ready to integrate with the other bears.

The Bear Sanctuary does not only provide near-natural living conditions, but plays a big role in the education and sensitization of the 50,000 people who visit it each year.

I visited the area one more time, 10 years ago, and for me, these bears are old friends and I am so happy to realize that they are healthy and they have find a peaceful place to live the rest of their life under the care and love of Arcturos organization's people.

Returning from Numfaion village we have chosen the road that drives you to Kastoria passing one of the most beautiful Greek mountains, Vitsi.

Mt Vitsi is part of Mount Verno in western Macedonia between Florina and Kastoria prefectures and a trip through it is cabable to leave you speechless from the amazing

Those 3 days I spent at the north west part of my country offered me the calm and rest I needed and gave me the opportunity to be in touch with the beautiful nature of the area. I believe we should find the time to live the experience of a trip like this one, recharge our batteries and return at the stressful life of the monster city and our crazy life.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Summer of 2008 in Samos

Samos is my paradise as most of you know well. It is my birthplace and a place I use to visit each summer. I have grown up in this island and my friends and relatives live there. I spent 2 weeks this summer in Samos, two wonderful and unforgettable weeks and I am so happy to write this blog in order to place some snapshots of my vacations there.

Enjoy some of my most amazing moments and exploration of the island which I did because of you at the island.

I have written a lot of blogs about Samos and you could read them visiting the following links of my 360 yahoo web page:

Samos, my paradise

A summer weekend in Samos

My first week in Samos


A village at the mountain Kerkis

Efpalinos Tunnel

Samos is in the East part of the Aegean Sea, close to the Asia Minor coastline. It's geographically located between the parallels 37.49° and 37.37° to the North and the meridians 26.33° and 27.04° to the East.

To the East of Samos is Turkey and Asia Minor, from which Samos is separated by the “Eptastadio” channel, (called Dar Bogaz in Turkish) whish is only 1650 meters wide at its narrowest point. To the North is the chersonese of Erythrea (Turkey), Northwest is Chios Island, west and southwest is Ikaria and the Fournoi islands and to the South are the islands of the Dodecanese. The ones closest to Samos are Agathonisi, Arkoi and Patmos.

The population of the island is 33814 inhabitants (2001 census), it is comprised of 4 municipalities, Vathi, Karlovasi, Pythagoreio and Marathokampos and its capital is Samos Town. Samos is a mountainous island and it has two high mountains. The first one is rough and rocky Kerkis (or Kerketeus) with a height of 1443 meters and the second is verdant and fertile Ambelos (or Karvounis) with a height of 1160 meters. The Samian climate is mild, healthy and pleasant, cool during the summer and warm in the wintertime. North wind is the prevailing wind in Samos and during summer it blows almost constantly cooling the island. South winds, that carry most of the rain, blow mainly during the winter period along with the rest of the winds. Sunshine on the island is one of the longest in Greece, since, for a semester and possibly more, during the summer period, there is hardly a cloud in the sky.

Samos belongs administrative to Samos prefecture, together with the islands Ikaria and Fourni. Samos prefecture, together the prefectures of Lesvos and Chios constitute the geographical part of the Northern Aegean. The distance between Samos and Piraeus is 176 miles.

Up until 1998 there were 2 towns and 33 villages on the island of Samos. Since then, it has been a unification of the villages which has ended up comprising the formation of 4 Municipalities:

1. Municipality of Vathi, which incorporated 9 villages on the North-East of Samos, and it is 125.2 in extent with a population of 11.997.

2. Municipality of Karlovasi (total extent: 100.3, population: 8.728) which incorporated 10 villages on the North-West of Samos.

3. Municipality of Pythagorio (total extent: 164.7, population: 9.455) which incorporated 11 villages on the South-East of Samos.

4. Municipality of Marathokampos (total extent: 87.3, population: 2.859) which incorporated 5 villages on the South-East of Samos.

So... time to start the exploration with some visits at the beaches of the island.Tsamadou Beach is located just outside Kokkari in a beautiful bay. You reach the beach via a rather steep path down from the main road, the path keeps getting better but it's quite a drop down from the road to the beach.
There is a small kiosk on the beach as well as taverns nearby, sunbeds and umbrellas are available for hire and there are two sweet water showers near the kiosk.

The beach consists mainly of pebbles and have in parts a very steep bottom. You should expect some waves especially if it's a windy day, the water is crystal clear and well suited for snorkeling.
This is the only official nudist beach on Samos, and one of the more famous in Greece, with one part of the beach set aside as a nude beach.

Votsalakia beach, a very large beach with pebbles and sand located on southern Samos. This is one of my famous beaches in Samos and because of its location the sea is always calm and you could enjoy the endless swimming and relax here.

The beach consists of sand/pebbles. There are various locations where umbrellas and sunbeds are available along the beach and you will find plenty of taverns close to the beach.

Golden beach of Samos.
In the south west part of Samos, follow the road thrue Votsalakia and you can't miss it.This is a nice beach with pebbles and sand located in western Samos, not to be misstaken for the other Psili Amos to the east.

The beach consists of sand/pebbles, the sandy part is popular and will fill up quickly. You will find sunbeds etc on the beach and there are a few tavernas nearby. The path down from the main road is quite steep.

The beach of Posidonio consists of a number of small pebble beaches around a bay. The beach is accessible if you take the turn to Paleokastro leading from the road between Vathi and Pythagorion. In Paleokastro you take the turn to Posidonio.

The beaches are located in the southeast of the island of Samos and the route here is very nice, leading through the woods and with beautiful views here and there. In this area there are even more beaches such as the beach of Kerveli or the beach of Klima. On the beach at Posidonio there are some tavernas and cafes and you can rent umbrellas and sunbeds. In the bay there can be some wind, making it popular for watersurfers.

Potami is a long white pebble and sand magnificent beach of rare beauty at the north part of Samos west of Karlovasi and close to the monastery of Agios Ioannis. I swim in this beach from the time I was too young as it is the closer beach to my home in Karlovasi.

Time to visit the 2 mountains of the island, Kerkis and Karvounis. Let's start with a climbing of Kerkis at the area of Potami beach.

When visiting Potami make sure to add a walk by the river up to the famous waterfalls. The walk, about two km, will take you through a lovely forest and eventually ends at a small lake where you can take a swim, the falls are then straight ahead.

I was too tired after the climbing to the kerkis mountain in order to visit the other set of rainfalls at the area of Potami beach and I felt lucky to find the small cafe at the mountain. The iced coffee accompanied with a snap of sweet Samos wine was what I needed to continue the climbing inside this wonderful forest of the island.
Time for the visit at the top of the second mountain of the island. Let's visit Karvounis.On the north of Samos, between Karlovassi and Kokkari you can find the Valley of the Nightingales and, at the top, the village of Manolates.

Leaving Agios Konstantinos heading to Manolates, the road passes through the area known as 'Aidonia'. The visitor can see a stream and many trees that reach up to 15 meters high. Wandering around Manolates you can see hens, goats and donkeys that are the only mean of transportation for the farmers. There is also good food, wine and coffee in taverns and bars found in Manolates.

About one mile after turning off the main road to the Valley of the Nightingales, you will find a parking area opposite a taverna. From here you can walk around this beautiful valley.

Manolates ia a traditional samian village and a place where you will find the opportunity to be closer at the samian nature of the mountains and for sure... you are going to admire Karvounis mountain. Don't forget to enjoy the apple pie with ice cream at the first cafe you will find a few meters before the entrance of the parking.

5th of August in Pythagorio.
The night comes to Pythagorio but... the party is ready to begin. People from all over the island have come to watch and many of them to participate at the great event... the redo of the naval battle of 1824 at Mykali of Samos.

Every year at the night of 5th of August Samos celebrates the anniversary of the Naval Battle of Mykali with a great "Redo" of the battle. The navy ships (the boats of the town) decorated and filled by the islanders and the tourists who enjoy every year to participate at the event. The lights switch off the battle starts inside the harbor of Pythagorio. The Greeks fight for their freedom and the flagship of the Ottoman Empire are blasted by the Greek armada and the Samians who combat from the land of Samos.

We succeeded and we celebrate the great victory. Let the firewalls begin... and the dark night has been an extravaganza of colors and lights.

There is also a cultural activity during summer at the island. Samos honors a great musician who had born here, Manolis Kalomiris. For his memory a lot of music concerts as also theater or any kind of artistic performances presented to the people who live at the island and to those who have chosen to be here for their vacations.

I had the luck to watch the concert of Dimitra Galani & Eleftheria Arvanitaki in Samos city and the concert of Nikolopoulos with Constantina in Karlovasi. Wonderful nights accompanied with good music and the amazing voices of the popular Greek singers!

Most of my friends and classmates of the time of my youth visit the island during August and it is a good opportunity to spend some time together and enjoy the good food in a tavern, the famous Samian wine and of course Greek dance...
We use to pass the night bringing back the fun times of the old times. Sweet memories for the graduates of the 1981 class of Karlovasi Lykeion!

Nothing stays for ever and the time to leave Samos came sooner than I expected. I had to leave my paradise but I carry it in my heart. I live for the day that I will not be forced by the circumstances to leave from it and I will stay permanently there.