While we were on holiday in Kusadasi, my two best friends and I decided to go on a day trip to Samos, the ninth most populous Greek island……

We’d done the jeep safari, horse safari, boat trip, waterpark, Ephesus…and just about every other excursion when we lived there, so we decided to see what Greece had to offer. We woke up early one morning and got picked up by the travel company. The boat leaves Kusadasi at around 9am, from the Scala Nuova Port, so it’s probably best not to go on a booze fuelled knees up in Bar Street the night before, especially if you have a tendency to get sea sick…

The journey was long, much longer than it takes to get from Cesme to Chios. After 1½ – 2 hours at sea and no sign of any dolphins, we finally arrived at Samos’ main port ‘Vathi’, much like Chios there are beautiful pastel coloured shops and restaurants built around the bay with picturesque mountains in the background.

We set off to explore the immediate area. Luckily my best friends love shopping as much as I do, so we wandered around looking for somewhere to splash our cash. The shopping area is less impressive than that of Chios, with a long thin street running parallel to the waterfront road. There were lots of boutiques and tourist shops, it’s funny to be able to browse in peace – in some shops it was actually a mission trying to get the shop keepers attention whereas in Turkey, you get pushed and pulled and offered tea and conversation just to get you inside.

After browsing, we bought a couple of bits and bobs, and my hunt for the magical salt and vinegar crisps ended (finally found in the forth small market we went into) we decided to find a cafe to stop and refuel in. We stumbled across this pretty square where we sipped cool milkshakes and watched the world go by…

After that we went in search of a restaurant where we could grab a bite to eat. We wandered around looking at the different menus outside the restaurants until we found a really lovely hidden restaurant in a secluded garden where we could take refuge from the blazing sun under the trees. One of my friends had spent a season working in Greece so he was very handy to have with us, as he gave us the low down on what’s good to eat.

There’s not a lot to do in the port town once the shops have closed for the daily siesta but if you hire a car the rest of the island is full of treasures…old fishing villages such as Pythagorion and Ireon, picturesque towns, ancient sites, The Waterfalls of Potami, Tunnel of Eupalinos, Panagia Spiliani Monastery, the Temple of Hera and the Archaeological museum which houses a collection of items used in the daily life of ancient Samians.

We had a few hours to kill before the ferry back to Kusadasi at 5pm, so we made our way to the Hotel Samos where we chilled out by the roof top pool with a cocktail..or three! (Note.to.self: that’s never a good idea before a choppy, bumpy journey home!)

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