Samos, the easternmost island of the Aegean, is within swimming distance of Asia Minor. Images of the island are framed by brunches of seaman grapes, vine leaves and vineyards. The sweet variety of Samos wine has an international reputation. The capital, Samos, is built like an amphitheater at the end of a deep bay, next to the harbor of Vathi. Samos lies at the northeastern part of the Aegean Sea in a distance of 174 nautical miles from Piraeus. It has an area of 475 sq. km., a coastline of 159 km and a population of 40.000 inhabitants. You can reach Samos by plane from Athens and by ferryboat from Piraeus, Kavala, Icaria, the Dodecanese, Crete and other islands.
The essential beauty of the nature, the historical sites that are spread all over the island and the charming mountainous landscape of Samos create a unique atmosphere which enchants the visitors and carry them in another era.
The history of Samos in the Pre-historic times is close joint with the goddess Hera which was believed to had been born in the island and for her sake Ionians built in the 7th century BC, the famous Temple of Hera, on the ruins of an earlier prehistoric temple.
Samos reached its pinnacle during the period it was governed by the tyrant Polycrates (532 - 522 BC). It was then that Samos grew into a great naval power and founded its own colonies. A new kind of ship was constructed in the shipyards on the island with 50 oars, the famous Samaina.
We should mention Callistatus, who was responsible for founding or establishing the 24 - letter alphabet, the architects and sculptors Rhoikos and Theodoros, who built the famous temple of Hera and the painters Saurias (the first painter too use chiaroscuro in his work) and Calliphon, painter of a number of master works which were to be seen in the temple of Artemis at Ephesus.
But the most exceptional of all these figures, is Pythagoras (580 - 500 BC) philosopher, mathematician and musician. He was never a man to take things for granted, he sought in the sciences, arts and travel, knowledge and experience which would allow him with certainty, to assume his place in the intellectual arena of his times.
The guard of honour is near the monument of the last bizanthean imperator Constantinos x1 Paleologs
Today, Samos is regarded as one of the most beautiful Hellenic islands. An island which live its traditions, and this can be felt in every step one takes there and in every meeting with the courteous and hard - working people of the island who they still follow the steps of their great ancestors.
In the pitch - black nights of winter, when the fishermen pass by the wind-buffeted and sheer slopes of Mt. Kerkis, the highest mountain of Samos, they say they see a light up to the peak which like a lighthouse guides them on a safe course during a storm. They even say that the light is the spirit of Pythagoras.
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