The intricate, rocky coastlines and unassuming port towns of the Northeast Aegean Islands enclose thickly wooded mountains and unspoiled villages and beaches. Despite their proximity to the Turkish coast and a noticeable military presence, the Northeast Aegean Islands dispense a taste of undiluted Greek culture. The Dodecanese are the farthest Greek island group from the mainland. Closer to Asia Minor than to Athens, these islands have experienced more invasions than the central parts of the country eclectic architecture is the most visible legacy of these comings and goings.

SAMOS (Xaiioq)

Visitors frequently stop in Samos en route to Ku§adasi and the ruins of Ephesus on the Turkish coast. Tavemas line the crescent-shaped harbor of Samos Town while red roofs speckle the hillsides of Vathy, the residential part of town. The Archaeological Museum, which sits behind the municipal gardens, houses a comprehensive collection from the Temple of Hera. (Open Su and Tu- Sa 8:30am-3pm. ‚3, seniors and students ‚2, EU students free.) The ancient city of Pythagorion, once the island’s capital, is 14km south of Vathy. Near the town are the magnificent remains of Polykrates’s 6th-century BC engineering project, the Tunnel of Eupalinos, which supplied water to the city from a natural spring 1.3km away. (Open Su and Tu-Sa 8:45am-2:45pm. ‚4, students ‚2, EU students free.) Buses go from Samos Town to Pythagorion (20min. ‚1.20). Polykrates’s greatest feat was the Temple of Hera, in Heraion, a 30min. bus ride (‚1.60) from Pythagorion. (Open Su and Tu-Sa 8:30am-3pm. ‚3, students ‚2.)

Ferries arrive in Samos from: Chios (5hr. 3 per week, ‚11); Mykonos (6hr. 3 per week, ‚18); Naxos (6hr. 6 per week, ‚38); and Rhodes (1 per week, ‚24). The tourist office is on a side street a block before PI. Pythagoras. ( 22730 28 530. Open July-Aug. M-Sa 7am-2:30pm.) Once an old monastery, Pension Avli , Areos 2, offers an elegant, shady courtyard. ( 22730 22 939. Doubles with bath ‚25-30; triples available.) Postal Code: 83100.


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