Samos, one of the most easterly Aegean islands just a stone’s throw from the coast of Turkey , is renowned for its wines, particularly for the white muscat wine found nowhere else.
Among the island’s first inhabitants were the Pelasgians, who established the worship of the goddess Hera on Samos . Samos reached its greatest prosperity during the reign of the tyrant Polycrates, becoming one of the most powerful city-states of Ionia. The birthplace of many philosophers and mathematicians of antiquity, such as Epikouros, Aristarches, Pythagoras, Samos delights today’s visitors with its lush greenery, varied landscapes and fascinating archaeological sites.
The capital, Samos Town or Vathi, is built on the green slopes surrounding the island’s deepest bay. It has retained its individual appearance, with its attractive neoclassical houses, old mansions with pastel facades. The town boasts two major museums. The Archaeological Museum displays ancient sculptures, including the celebrated Kouros of Samos , vases and objects from the Geometric and Archaic eras, most of which were found at the Heraion (Sanctuary of Hera), the island’s chief ancient site; and the Byzantine Museum with heirlooms from Samian monasteries.
Not far from Pithagorio is the archaeological site of the Heraion, with its sanctuary to Hera of Samos , one of the biggest of antiquity. Within its precincts, where tradition maintained that the goddess was born and raised, are the ruins of a temple dedicated in her honour, Hellenistic and Roman buildings and even part of an Early Christian basilica.