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Samos - The village of Ano Vathy or Ano Vathi above Samos Town
The village of Ano Vathi is situated in the northeast of the island of Samos, above the capital of the island of Samos which is called Vathi or just "Samos". If you drive in from the south (Pythagorion) in the direction of Samos Town you arrive at a at a fork in the road next to a large church. One side (the left) goes down towards the port (the exit that is marked as "Samos"), the other side on the right (two narrower roads) lead to Ano Vathi. In 2010 we gave Ano Vathi another chance and we went deeper into the village. Ano Vathi is created in the 17th century when the inhabitants moved away from the coast because of pirate attacks. The streets are narrow and steep and some of the (mostly small) traditional, old houses have hanging bay windows in a Venetian style.
Ano Vathi is actually quite a nice village with narrow streets, nice small and larger churches and a few taverns. It reminded me of Mykonos town in its style, but not with the cubic houses and without the tourist frills. Here you will find no souvenir shops, and no hundreds of restaurants and accommodations. It's remarkably quiet as the narrow streets and many stairs have n room for cars. As a lover of viewing churches I was disappointed because all the church doors we encountered were closed and we could not find the most outstanding church (one from 1799 with four domes, the Ai-Giannakis - on the top of the village). We saw it lying from the road, but as in Mykonos City, in Ano Vathi it is a labyrinth and it is a great place to get lost or just always end up in the same street. From 1806 this church was under the authority of the monastery of Zoodochos Pighi. Anyway, if you have read that some of those old churches in Ano Vathi still have interesting murals that can be viewed and then you find all church doors closed, it doesn't give you a happy feeling.