Although rock-climbing fields can be found all over Samos island, and many are currently under development, the western side of the Samos is a wonderland for rock climbing and mountaineering. The Kerkis mountain range?s highest peak, Vigla, is about 4,700 feet, making it the 2nd highest peak in the East Aegean.
Both sport and traditional climbing routes of all levels can be found on the Samos island, more often than not with views over the Aegean Sea.
Below the mountains are Samos island abundance of natural beautiful caves and ancient mines. There are more than 70 caves which were discovered on the Samos island, with many more still thought to exist. Just ask the inhabitants they will pass along mythologies about caves you?d enter from Aegean sea cliffs only to emerge at ancient sites, or a local favorite: the undiscovered cave that hides Polykrates gold, for which many island habitants are still looking.
Most caves require a guide and equipment to navigate their massive chambers and small spaces, but with Samos island wide variety of caves anyone from the novice to advanced cavers can find appropriate ones to explore. Some can be visited on foot and have chapels inside, but the more challenging ones should only be ventured into with trained guides.
Samos is a mountain bikers dream as well, with routes ranging from easy to difficult. All of them have the satisfying reward of phenomenal views no matter what part of the Samos island you explore.
The northern shore is a windsurfer s paradise with its consistent wind stirring the Aegean sea. Near the town of Kokkari, there s a school and rental center.
Snorkeling is another option. More serious divers will be excited to learn that early in Greece revoked its scuba diving ban, which had been in place to prevent the plundering of antiquities. The new law is in accord with the EU standards regarding recreational diving, and it provides protection for an environment and underwater antiquities.
The best time to visit Samos for outdoor sports like hiking and climbing is spring on September through and mid december and fall when the weather is sunny, mild and the flowers blooming on March through May. Summer months ( June, July and August ) are ideal for water sports enthusiasts and cavers, who escape the often oppressive heat in the natural coolness of the caves. August is not only the hottest month, but also the busiest when all of Europe is on holiday, and restaurants and shops boast their highest prices.
The capital of Samos island, Vathy, is very beautiful, situated in a bay, with neoclassic architecture, historical churches like Ag Spyridona and Ag Irini, a painting exhibition and little, winding streets, an archaeological museum with many artifacts from the excavation of the temple of Hera , as well as a Byzantine museum.
Pythagoreon is the third largest town, and is in itself worth visiting. Here, there is a small archaeological museum, as well as some interesting and beautiful churches. There is also a Venetian citadel here, and a little further away the monastery of Panagia Spiliani can be visited ( The Virgin Mary of the Cave ). Ancient ruins of the old town can be seen here also, as well as the water tunnel/pipe of Eupalinus from the 6th century BC.
You can also visit the Temple od Hera ruins, Heraion. What you see today dates back to the 6th century BC, but the first temple built to Hera?s honour here was actually constructed in the 13th century BC and was made of wood.
Where Mytilene stands today, the ancient city Hissia lay. There is an interesting paleontological museum here.
Some villages and the town Karlovasi, where there are some waterfalls, are well worth visiting. The fishing village Ireon is very picturesque. The Valley of the Nightingales is a lovely place for nature lovers.