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  Samos is a rocky, arid island two hundred meters from the Angola (Western Turkey) coastline. It is really an extension (don't tell the Greeks this though) of the Turkish coastline whose land bridge was submerged when the oceans rose at the end of the last ice age and therefore very mountainous and rugged, with ancient valleys and cliffs that at one time were carved by glaciers. Because it is currently in a rain shadow, it is very arid and dry.

   Human Habitation dates back to the Archaic times. North East of the town of Pythagorio, are the ruins of an ancient Greek settlement. Though the ruins are not that impressive they are home to the Eupalinous Aqueduct. This 1 km aqueduct was cut out of the mountain to supply the town with water in the 5th century B.C. Crews worked in two directions and when they met in the center, were only a few feet off center, a credit to Mathematics. The island boasted the likes of Pythagoras (a2+b2=c2), the sculptor Pythagoras and the philosopher Epicurus and the astronomer Aristarchos who predicted the discovers of Copernicus and Galileo in the third century B.C. (I got the spellings out of a book)

   Like other islands it fell into the hands of the Persians and then the Roman. Under the Romans it fell bacame an obscure backwater because it was of no financial or tactical value. The Byzantine Empire completely neglected the island and it fell victim to piracy and many of the inhabitants fled. For a time there was a Genoese stronghold on the island but they surrendered it to the Turks again since it had no real tactical value.

   Like their predecessors, the Turks neglected the island and relatively few people lived there. Then a Turkish Admiral, wanting to send Christians someplace asked the Sultan if he could ship them to this obscure, relatively uninhabited island. With the promises of autonomy many Greek-speaking Christians returned to the islands. Samos was thus a haven for Christians and therefore has very little Turkish/Arab influence. They participated vigorously in the war of independence, though they were not officially welcomed into the Greek State until 1912.

   The main forms of income seem to be winemaking and sheep. Of the former, I believe Kostas, the proprietor of Hotel Artimis in Vanthi, makes the best. Though the main ports have a built up tourist structure only around Pythagorio is tourism really large. Vanthi is just a large island town that has numerous hotels on the waterfront because of the boats constantly coming in and out. And once you get out of the towns Samos is relatively unspoiled with very rugged hills, picturesque water. A very nice island to linger on and to explore. In fact I ended up spending two extra days because I liked t so much. Comments to .

Eastern Tip Potami Beach Karlovassi
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Pythagrou Vathi
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Updated 11/15/03