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Samos Town or Vathi
Samos town or Vathy is the capital of the island of Samos, and also the largest town on the island. From Samos town you can take a ferry to other destinations, ans also there is a bus station with regular busses to different parts of the island. The town lies in the only deep bay of the island, the bay of Vathy, which is 5 kilometer long and 1.5 kilometers wide, making it the best protected natural harbor of the island. The city has about 9,000 residents. There is a long promenade with shops and especially many terraces of tavernas, coffee shops and a number of sizeable (and expensive) hotels. On the eastern side of the boulevard the large ferries that visit island make their stop. Along the rest of the quay are the colored wooden Greek fishing boats and you can see fish swimming around in the clear water. On the large square on the boulevard you can find the Lion Monument that dates from 1930, with four large palm trees around it. This monument was built in memory of freedom fighters from the 19th century.
The old Vathy (Ano Vathy) is located on a hill behind the harbor. The Vathy down in the port has only been built in the 19th century after the danger of attacks by pirates had disappeared. When the economy began to flourish here factories and warehouses were built. The large church of the town, the Agios Spyridonos Church also dates from this time (1908). A really nice beach is not to be found in Vathy. The only town beach Gangou is small and crowded. Just outside the town there are a number of hotels and some small beaches but here it is usually also quite busy. Vathy is nice to visit as a day trip and maybe to take a look in the museum if you like that. In Vathy there are a number of hotels, but I think it is only interesting to stay here if you are planning to travel a lot by bus, because Vathy has the best bus connections. Much romance or cosy atmosphere is not offered by the capital, and for good beaches it's also better to look elsewhere.
Vathi / Vathy and Ano Vathi
The part of Vathy which is situated higher up, Ano Vathy, has more the ambiance of a village with many traditional houses, ancient sources, nice squares and old and interesting churches. The best of these is probably the Agios Ioannis ke Nikolaos Church with its four domes. This church dates from the early 19th century. Ano Vathy is also less touristic.
The center piece of the Archaeological Museum of Vathy is a large five meters high marble statue of a Kouros (a naked young man) that dates from about the 7th century BC. There are also many objects on display that have been excavated at the Temple of Hera in Ireon. A lot of the finds done at Samos unfortunately are not exhibited. Many wooden objects were found that were still in good condition (eg a wooden statue of the goddess Hera, a wooden statue of a girl, models of ships and pieces of furniture). These pieces are unique because nowhere they were found so well preserved. Unfortunately these wooden objects are not on display.