GETTING TO THE GREEK ISLAND OF SAMOS
We took a flight from Santorini (a post for the future) to Samos. The airport is a 5-10 min drive from the Fito Bay Hotel where we stayed…a photo of our villa is below. Take your sun glasses (& sunscreen) as there’s a lot of white – which we loved but I hear not everyone does. A beautiful blue ocean (the Aegean Sea) was just across from us and a swimming pool behind us (next photo). The weather was beautiful – approx 30 degrees most days in late May 2014. It wasn’t a crowded place/town (a medium sized town) – mostly Scandinavian visitors.
There’s a seaside cafe at Fito Bay Hotel (see photo below) and they also serve evening meals. We had dinner there one night when a storm came in late afternoon on one occasion and we decided it was easier to dine there instead of taking the short taxi ride into town (multiple restaurants on the pretty harbour – photos below). We enjoyed the food at Fito Bay Hotel – simple Greek style mostly…a lot of lamb, chicken + Greek salad of course. It was a very popular choice of dining that night with guests from the hotel – a really enjoyable evening with people from all around the world. As we do sometimes, we had a chat with a couple at the table next to us – from NZ…we hadn’t come across many from our part of the world for a while so it was a lovely couple of hours with them too.
In the town we had dinner with a lovely couple from Denmark one night…sitting at the table next to us. They asked if we returned most years like they did – unfortunately not so we lost contact with them after that. Now I have a blog business card so it’s easier to stay in touch. It was great to share travellers’ tales and they gave us some tips if we ever got back to their part of the world – which we will be doing in August/Sept this year if I get good news from my spinal specialist in March. Should do as I’m feeling ok…well, as good as it gets I think!
After a stroll to the beach, a rest in the afternoon after a morning of travel from Santorini, we went out for dinner in the nearby small town of Pythagorion (town where the famous Greek Philosopher and Mathematician Pythagoras was born). The town is a lot less touristy than Santorini (although Santorini is a must visit/gorgeous destination) plus a lot smaller. (If you prefer staying closer to city life (more like a big town), there’s the main port – close to Vathy…about 30 min drive from Fito Bay Hotel/airport). However, there are plenty of restaurants and shops around Fito Bay. The first restaurant we tried was Apollonia (photo below) – we loved it…unpretentious, traditional Greek setting and food right on the small, colourful harbour.
Another restaurant we liked was Casa Di Roma Italian (we felt like a change from Greek) although there was still a Greek influence with the use of feta in the salad + of course local lamb on the menu. The seafood was also fresh and delicious here – we had fish and prawns this night. They also had a variety of prosciutto available which was interesting…not sure if produced in Greece – maybe imported? Talking of food…I have a few simple Greek recipes that I make with our granddaughters sometimes. I’ll type these up over next few days and put them at the bottom of this blog post.
There are lots of scenic walks to do around Fito Bay and the small town of Pythagorean as well as a small museum (it was being refurbished at the time we were there so we only saw some of it) and other interesting historic sites. We mostly spent our week resting up after a month of touring around Malta (see blog post if interested) and other parts of Greece (posts for another day) and before our month in Turkey (my next post).
Children might also be interested in the photo of the school (below) – zoom in on the sign for added interest…perhaps momentary interest on a child’s part but every little bit expands their minds I say😉
We spent our last morning lingering over another beautiful breakfast at Fito Bay Hotel. The hotel then arranged a driver to take us to the large port town (30 min drive) where we would spend a few hours having lunch and shopping before boarding the ferry which took us to Kusadasi (45 min on ferry) and the beginning of our Turkish adventure 🇹🇷 A few photos below of the start of that month in Turkey. In the future I’ll post more in separate blog posts on Turkey. Farewell Greece but I’ll return with other posts in future months too 🇬🇷
Where we stayed Efe Boutique Hotel; first meal at the fish market minutes from our hotel…the most fresh and delicious seafood and loved the pickled salad (I’ll put a similar recipe below soon too). Here’s a photo of me at the fish market…with a haircut I hated (from Samos but I was desperate!…she cut my fringe too short!) anyway the relaxed seaside setting was a wonderful end to a day of very pleasant travel. We recommend visiting Greece/Turkey this way – it’s more cost effective and the experiences are a lot less touristy/more authentic + you can afford to spend more time, especially if you’re retired like us. As you can see from the photos, the level of comfort etc. is very high too. We would love to return to Greece…some advice we have received is to avoid the islands that attract tourist crowds, especially those with a large number of young tourists out for booze up fun…but if you love a bit of that each to their own of course!
The next day we were met by a personal tour guide and a driver (organised via a small group tour company in Istanbul …a young Turkish/Australian couple)…most of the time we were just with them but occasionally we met up with a few others; for example, when in Gallipoli we toured around in a mini van with a few other Australians.
We liked this hotel and nice views of the harbour as can be seen in this photo below. The start of drinking lots of Turkish tea! (2nd photo)…when I could be understood, I sometimes asked for a pot of hot water on the side as Turkish tea is very strong of course. As you can see the weather was very warm at the end of May – it wasn’t too hot.