<XMP><body> </xmp> Newsletter The Greek Islands July 2010, Samos and Crete

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NEWSLETTER THE GREEK ISLANDS - Holiday in Samos in May and June 2010

Hello lovers of the Greek islands, here is the update of my website The Greek Islands. If you have received this newsletter by mistake or if you want to unsubscribe please reply to this email and write "unsubscribe" in the subjectmatter.

Ioanna, Wilbert, me at Ioannas Studios in Samos At Ioannas Studios in Samos Samos, Chora, Hora, Antonis Tavern met Vivi en Vassilis van Kiklos Car Rental Samos, Koumeika Samos, Nikoloudes

Hello everybody, it's been a while since I wrote the last newsletter. In late May early June we were on holiday for two weeks on the island of Samos and we've been back at home a little more than a month. I've worked hard on the Samos page and updated it with lots of additional information, new villages and beaches and of course I added a lot of new pictures so you might get some more inspiration if you want to visit the island. And if you've already been on Samos maybe you can dream away for a moment or two.

We arrived in the morning with a Transavia flight and when we came out of the airport we bumped directly into our dear old faithful Vivi from Kiklos Car Rental. We always rent a car with her because she is extremely friendly and hardworking and also because she has a good service. In short, she has become a bit of a good friend, and it is always nice to her and her husband Vassilis for a coffee or something to eat.

The first thing we almost always do after landing on Samos is head to the Lidl supermarket and buy lots of things, but first we had a breakfast in the port of Pythagorion at the Summertime Bar. We have tried almost every place in the port and here it seems just a little bit better. After breakfast we went to the Lidl, which is located near the capital Vathi, near Tris Ekklisies . It was not on the route but the distances on Samos are generally not very large. After we went to Lidl the first destination was Ioannas Studios in Limnionas.

In Limnionas it is always very relaxed and the welcome is always very friendly. Ioanna was glad to see us again and we were glad to see her. We had a studio where we had already been before and we met some really nice people who stayed there - no not in our studio, they had their own studio, of course ;). Everyone seemed to have a good time, the atmosphere was friendly as ever and in the evenings we sometimes discussed with the neighnours about where they had been and what the plans were for the next day. The best meal in the village we had at Ioannas herself, because she invited us for dinner. She wanted to spoil us and she had made great food. There was enough to feed his entire village, but we did our best, haha ...

On the first day we drove to Karlovassi in the south of Samos (this takes half an hour or so), walked around a bit and had some lunch. The first day you do not immediately want to spend in the full sun, so it seemed a good plan. Actually that town gets a little nicer with each visit as you discover more new things about it. This time we climbed one of the hills behind the harbor and enjoyed the sights that we had en route. Back to Limnionas we (accidentally) took a different route and we came along a number of lovely old villages such as Nikouloudes with its centuries-old trees (700 to 1000 years old) and Kosmadei. In the vicinity there are many interesting old churches.

Pirgos Samos, Spatharei Samos, Spatharei, Moni Evangelistria Samos, Ireon, Christina at the Cohyli Restaurant Samos, Ireon, the fishing boat, de vissersboot

Day two was for our favorite beach that lies below Koumeika. It is a beautiful and very quiet beach that is not really signposted from the road, so you have to know about it. There is not much shade to be found on this beach anymore. A building where you could sit in the shade had been removed. Now there were only a few patches of shade but luckily there is a cave where you can sit. After a while on the beach and after a few splashes in the sea we went on to something else. We walked through the mountain village of Pirgos because I still wanted to make some extra pictures here. We were there before but than we didn't take a really good look. Then we followed the route through the villages Spatharei (with a small detour to the monastery Moni Evangelistria) and Pagondas to Ireon where we wanted to eat something at the restaurant Cohily where our good friend Christina is the cook. Again, the welcome was as warm as the weather and it felt like Christina's two best friends came to visit. Without an ouzo we could not leave of course. Christina introduced us to her brother Giannis who took us on a short trip along the coast on his fishing boat and we drank coffee on a private beach somewhere a little further. All in all a nice day with a surprise at the end.

On day three we decided to have a closer look at the village Komeika and especially the old part of it, because we never really had a good look around. After doing this we headed for our unknown territory in the south to look for some beaches that we could visit, including Pefkos, Perri Beach and Kampos Beach. Perri Beach turned out to be the best option of those three because it had some parts with a bit of sand, and there were some trees so you could lie in the shade. Here we jumped into the sea without swimsuits (there was a sign 150 meters away that said it was not allowed but the beach was deserted, so ...). The late lunch we had at the Kerkis Bay Tavern in the village of Ormos. It took some time before it came but it was very good. The waitress made us laugh when she arrived after ten minutes (without the food) asking if we were hungry, ahah ....

Day four we decided to once again go to the village Drakei. Drakei is located on the west coast of the island and this is where the roadends. You can walk from Drakei through a protected nature area to the beaches Megalo and Micro Seitani. In Drakei we had something to eat at Kostas Taverna, where you have a nice view over the sea and where the food is very tasty. After we Drakei we went to the village of Agia Kyriaki, a small farming village near Limnionas with a number of footpaths in the area. The end of the afternoon we spent at the main beach of Limnionas.

Samos, Perri Beach Samos, Perri Beach Samos, Drakei Samos, around Moni Agios Ioannis Eleimonas, rondom het klooster Agios Ioannis Eleimonas Samos, Psili Amos Beach

Day five began with a visit to Pythagorion, and this time we also vivited the new museum to see what is on display there. The entrance was free but the atmosphere was strange. There were many museum guards that walked with you and with every step you took you were being watched asif you would put something in your pocket (a 100 kilo marble statue or so). You also could not take pictures. Amongst other tings there were a number of fine statues of Roman emperors, and fun was the gold treasure thatwas discovered in 1983 by a Dutch amateur archaeologist. Yet I found the atmosphere grim and I felt like a criminal. We quickly went out of here to breathe ... We decided to try the beach of Psili Amos (in the west - there is also a Psili Amos beach in the east and there are a couple more of the same name). Psili Amos means "fine sand" and as you might have guessed it is a beach of fine sand. It was slightly smaller and much quieter than I expected it to be. The sea is very shallow here so it was a bit of a spot for families with small children.

Well ... I lost two days because I see that now I am bumping into day eight.... In between we spend one day at one of the small beaches in Limniónas and we again we got lost on the paths that you find after the Taverna on the End Of The World. We also went for a walk near the monastery of Agios Ioannis Eleimonas and Paleochori. Here we saw some beautiful beaches laying below us, but we had no idea how to get there. Day seven we ended on a beautiful empty and deserted beach that we had tried to reach before but never managed to. This beach is situated between Limnionas and Psili and Amos and you can see it lying from the road just beyond Psili Amos. You need to know which of the paths between Limnionas and Psili Amos you have to pick. The last dinner in the village we had at Restaurant Galini (on the other side of the road at Ioannas Studios) with our neighbors Vera and Boele. It was the end of the first week and half of the vacation was over.

Samos, Bungalows Elena in Pythagorion Samos, Chora, Hora Samos, Chora, Hora Samos, Chora, Hora, Antonis Tavern Samos, Lemonakia Beach

The next day we left Limnionas and headed for the completely opposite side of the island, the northwest, where I had my eyes on some nice houses with swimming pool. Along the way we past the Lidl supermarket, so we loaded up the car again. There was also a fair amount of food that belonged in the refrigerator because I was planning for a few days solitairy days and wanted to cook myself. But unfortunately what I had seen on the internet was a huge disappointment in reality, particularly since the pool (early June) was still empty. Instead of water it was filled with a layer of mud and sand. Well, it certainly was not what we had expected, and the owner said it would take five days before the pool was filled and ready to swim in. Of course we did not stay and we drove back with all the stuff that should by then be in the fridge, including products for the freezer, one pound of chopped meat and smoked salmon.

On our way to Pythagorio we made a stop at a Kiklos Car Rental and we asked our friend Vivi for advice. She arranged an apartment not far from where we called her. It was Elena Bungalows on the outskirts of Pythagorion. Nothing wrong with it, with a large swimming pool and a very friendly owner. The price was right, 40 euros per day. We had a bungalow with a seperate bedroom, a small kitchenette and a bench and table with chairs. In front of the bungalow there was a terrace overlooking the sea. If you wanted you could order fresh bread in the mornings that you could pick up at the reception and then take back to your terrace for breakfast. There were also some Dutch in the complex. Here we only stayed one day and then we ended up in the traditional village of Chora or Hora, again with the assistance of Vivi Superwoman :).

The apartment that Vivi had arranged for us in Chora didn't have a pool, but the very large terrace overlooking the plain between Pythagorion and Ireon and the sea made up for a lot. I can actually say that it more or less saved the holidays. Hora is an old village and was once the capital of the island. Now it is one of the most least touristic places of the island and it's nice to have a look around here. For those who wish to stay in Chora: there is nothing to rent. For people who love good food Chora is an absolute "must" because two of the best Greek restaurants I have visited in all those years of holidays in Greece, were in this village: extremely good!

Avlakia Samos Avlakia Samos Saint Matrona, Kampos Samos, Kampos, Svala Beach Samos, Moni Megali Panagia

During the second week we visited various villages and beaches nearby Chora and also some that were more distant. The first village was Mytilini with its many churches (in one of them I bumped my head at the entrance) and a large square where the village life takes place. This village lies a little inland towards the capital Vathi. After Mytilini we visited a number of coastal villages and beaches on the north side of the island, such as Avlakia and Lemonakia Beach and after that the pebble beach of Svala Beach. Close to this beach there are two lovely old churches. One of these churches, the Saint Matrona, had beautiful frescoes on its walls and is certainly worth a visit.

Another day-trip we spent in the center-south of Samos and we visited a few villages there, such as the sleepy Neochorio. From the pottery village of Koumaradei with its narrow streets and lovely small churches, and the monastery Moni Megali Panagia with its beautiful frescoos we finally ended up in the sunny and charming village of Mili, with its many flowers and cozy main square with taverns. Here we enjoyed a late lunch.

Samos, Ano Vathi, Ano Vathy Samos, Samos Stad / Vathi of Vathy Samos, Archeological Museum in Vathi, Kouros Samos, Pythagorion, Pythagorio Samos, Pythagorion, Pythagorio

The remaining days we spent quite some time on our favorite beach Koumeika where on the last day of the holiday we were surprised by a very large group of dolphins that hanged around the bay. It was so nice to see them jump out of the water, unfortunately too far to take a good picture. There must have been hundreds of them. Both times we were there the beach was completely empty again, so we enjoyed the peace and we had some shade in our cave. We visited some other beaches (for instance Psili Amos) and walked through Pythagorio and along the beach there. In Pythagorio there is a lot to see and explore.

Maybe it is worth mentioning our renewed acquaintance with Ano Vathi, the old part of what is now the capital Vathi or Samos Town. We now took a good look around to see everything, and at second glance it was actually pretty nice and quiet. Only the church that I saw from the side of the road and that I wanted to see, of course we could not find. Ano Vathi is a kind of maze and it is a little bit like Mykonos Town in terms of construction and houses and streets. We also start to appreciate the capital Vathi or samos Town a little bit more after each visit. It seems to have been polished up and restored the last couple of years and the shopping streets behind the boulevard have some appeal. Very interesting was the visit to the Museum of Vathi that I can recommend to everybody.

Okay people I am going to end this newsletter because I believe I have chatted enough. Okay mensen, ik ga er weer eens een einde aan breien want het lijkt me zo wel weer genoeg bijgekletst. I am always interested in your information, experiences and photos to brighten my website. Talk to you soon in the next newsletter. We have already booked for late September to Chania (Crete), and after that definitely a new newsletter will go out. End of year I'm going to try get some special deals / offers again from the people on my website.

Kind regards, Hans.

Hans Huisman www.angelfire.com/super2/greece 2010