Samos
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Samos beaches: Balos Beach and the village of Balos on Samos

Balos is a quiet village in the south of Samos that is not situated on the main road, and so it is more peaceful than for instance Votsalakia and Kampos. It is set in a beautiful bay and it comes with a large, clean and quiet pebble beach, with clean waters. At the end of this long beach it seems to get a little bit better and there is a little bit more sand. There is a very limited number of sunbeds and parasols for rent on the beach, but for those that want to sit in the shade: there are a couple of large trees on the beach. At the very end of the beach there is also a cave. For those who want to burn a candle: the small church at the end of the road was open. It is not extremely pretty inside, or anything like that, but since most of the churches on Samos seem to be closed... I read also in guides that at the end of the village you could find a dirt track that you can follow to end up in the beach of Pefkos, but we never found it there: the road stopped. If you want to visit the beach of Pefkos you will see the signs at different points on the island (also just before you enter the village) but not here in Balos itself.

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Next to Balos beach is another beautiful secret sandy beach, which is our favorite beach of the island - I believe sometimes it is referred to as Komeika Beach. In 2010 when we visited this beach and found it deserted (again...) we had a view of hundreds of dolphins. On the beach there used to be a wooden construction made by fishermen, where you could sit in the shade, but in 2010 it was removed. Now you can only find shade at certain times of the day and also in a small cave that is on the beach. This beach (sand and some pebbles) is close to the Panorama Villas (see hotel section) and next to it is yet another beach with a beautiful rock in front of it. We tried to get to this beach but we were not succesful.

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In the time that there were no good roads on Samos - until about 1950 - Balos was a port for cargo ships that brought goods to and from the village of Koumaradei. Now it is the destination for a handful of tourists and even in high season it's still very quiet, except for maybe August. Most of the "tourists" are generally the Greeks themselves. There are a few small accommodations available and there are a few tavernas. The Cypriot restaurant Stella is one of the attractions of the village. The nature in and around Balos is very nice and in the area there are a number of hiking routes.

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Balos village is small and really unspoilt village, with a couple of tavernas (we counted two but maybe there are more...) and a long beautiful pebble beach (also quiet, and empty the two times that we have seen it - but this was out of high season). If you look for a place to rest and relax and get away from the strain of everyday life than this is a perfect option. All this on one of the most beautiful locations we have seen. It is a good plan to rent a car or a motorcycle or a car to make yourself a bit more mobile whilst you stay here.

No longer possible to book online

Stella Cypriot Restaurant in Balos
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Tip A pleasant experience amongst friendly people. The food is just a little bit different from the Greek food, with different spices and different salads that we haven't seen anywhere else in Greece. We order a Cypriotic salad, tzatziki and pork and potatoes from the oven. The wine is okay, the bread home made and everything just fine. The vegatables we are told, come from their own garden. The hostes is superfriendly and joins us for a chat. In this restaurant the people that run it give it a little extra.

Our verdict: 8,5 out of 10 because you will always remember Stella.

Akrogiali Restaurant in Balos
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Akrogialos Taverna Balos

This is one of the only two restaurants in Balos (as far as we could see). It is situated at the water in the beginning of the village and also has a terrace right at the sea under a tamarisk tree. The restaurant is not very expensive. They serve salads, lots of apetizers, souvlakis, hamburgers, several kinds of fish and shrimps. The cappuccino is big and strong with whipped cream and cinamon. The tzaziki is a bit thin and it has carrots and cucumber in it, and lots of garlic. The Greek salad consists mainly of tomatoes, and some paprika, cucumber, onionrings, feta and olives. The tomatoes are sweet and taste good. The zuchini balls are a bit on the sticky side but not too bad.

Our verdict: 7,5 out of 10.

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Hans Huisman, http://www.angelfire.com/super2/greece/ 2014
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