Getting there & away
With its two northern ports of Vathy (Samos) and Karlovasi, and Pythagorio port on the southern coast, Samos is the eastern Aegean’s maritime hub. Ferries link it with the Dodecanese and Cyclades, and with the other Northeastern Aegean Islands. The exceptionally helpful ITSA Travel (22730 23605; www.itsatrav elsamos.com; Themistokleous Sofouli), directly opposite the ferry terminal in Vathy (Samos), offers free luggage storage without a catch. Considering that ITSA boss Dimitris Sarlas owns four ferries operating from Samos, it’s no surprise that it has the most up-to-date information on schedule changes.
Two ferries go daily to Piraeus (€34, 13 hours), three to Ikaria (€10, three hours). Five boats go weekly to Fourni (€8, two hours), four weekly to Chios (€12, four hours), and two weekly to Lesvos (€17, 11 hours), Limnos (€27.50, 11 hours) and Alexandroupoli (€32, 16 hours). Three ferries a week go to Naxos (€21, seven hours) and Paros (€18.50, eight hours). Five weekly ferries serve Mykonos (€25, six hours). Three ferries weekly sail to Patmos (€8, 2½ hours), four to Leros (€7, 3½ hours) and Kalymnos (€10, four hours), and one to Kos (€15, 5½ hours) and Rhodes (€30, nine hours).
In summer two ferries go daily from Vathy (Samos) to Kuşadası (for Ephesus) in Turkey. The Samos Star leaves at 8.30am, while a Turkish-flagged vessel departs at 5pm. From Pythagorio there is a once-weekly boat to Kuşadası. In low season there are two ferries weekly. Tickets cost around €47 open return and €37 one way (plus €10 port taxes). Daily excursions are also available from May through October; the Sunday trip is especially popular; for an extra €25, you can also see Ephesus. Again, ITSA Travel (22730 23605; www.itsatravelsamos.com; Themistokleous Sofouli), opposite the ferry terminal in Vathy (Samos), is the place to book.
The ticket office will take your passport in advance for port formalities, though Turkish visas, where required, are issued once in Turkey. Visas are not required for day trips.
Olympic Air (www.olympicair.com; Vathy: 22730 27237, cnr Kanari & Smyrnis; Pythagorio: 22730 61213, Lykourgou Logotheti) operates regular flights between Samos and Athens (40min), as well as between Samos and Thessaloniki (1hr). The airport is 4km west of Pythagorio. Aegean Airlines (el.aegeanair.com/) also provide services between Samos and other Greek destinations.