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Trip Report - Samos, Patmos, Leros

Ottawa
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Trip Report - Samos, Patmos, Leros

We have just returned from an amazing two week holiday- our 8th visit to Greece. After an extremely long trip Ottawa-Montreal-Amsterdam-Athens, we were back "home" once again. We caught the overnight trip Pireaus to Samos with cabin. We liked the Nissos Mykonos and as tired as we were I managed to awake in time for the arrival in Paros port. The night view is so nice. I recognized the windmill in the port of Parakia. The rest was a gonner until our stop in Karlovasi, then Vathi port at 5:30 am.

We spent 3 nights on Samos, stayed in Vathi. The first day of course was swim and sun day! On day 2, we took a taxi up to Ano Vathy. The view of the town and port is fantastic. The walk around and then down to the port was really nice. We visited Pythagorion to watch the sail boats come and go and enjoy a cold Alpha beer or two. On day 3, we took the day trip to Ephesus. I recommend this trip. The site is amazing and the Kusadasi market was hilarious. Since we were from Canada, everyone wanted us to buy a leather coat. It was 35c that day! We ate most of our meals in Vathi at a great restaurant called "the Garden" a couple of streets back from the main port road - the food was fantastic and the taverna was very green and cool. Local fish and retsina were calling our names.

Next we were off to Patmos on the Nissos Kalymnos. We stayed in Grikos for 5 days and loved it!! It was so quiet and relaxing. There are about 6 tavernas in Grikos and all were good. We especially enjoyed the Oasis Taverna which has tables and chairs right on the beach. On the weekend they prepared lamb on the spit and we watched as the chef paddled the octopus until tender. We also really enjoyed our meals at Flisvos taverna (chich peas in the oven) and the one further down the road (octopus in wine and rooster). We stayed at the Apolafsis studios, just a little way up the hill with fantastic sea views. We spend endless hours on our balcony with wine and cheese watching the fishing and sail boats each day, until at last, the full moon! What an incredible site!! In June there are about 4 buses daily to and from Grikos to Chora and Skala. The view on the bus trip to Chora is incredible!!! On the way up we even saw a place with 2 ostriches in the yard!! I wonder what they do with them? We visited the incredible monastery of St. John and it is a fairly easy walk down the path to the Cave and then further down to Skala. We spent a beach day in Kambos. This is a really nice organized beach - $12 euro for 2 beds and umbrella!!!, but hey, we're on holiday. We had a wonderful dinner that night in Skala, at a place one street back off the main street. It was prepared for a special event and there was some left. I was told it was called "bakalaros". It was delicious! We loved Patmos!!!

Our last leg of the trip was to Leros. We were having a heat wave. I was told it reached 42c the day we arrived. We stayed in Krithoni which is mid way between Alinda (tourist area)and Agia Marina (port for high speeds). The road linking these areas is quite busy, but it is about 800 meters or so from Krithoni in each direction. Krithoni has a nice beach, minimarket and cafe/bar which serves sandwiches. Alinda and Agia Marina has many tavernas and restaurants, many of them right on the water. Because of the heat we did not visit the castle. We visited the lovely fishing port of Pantelli. I loved this spot!! There was a mix of fishing boats and sail boats. It is really gorgeous. We visited Lakki to see the Italian influence and could not believe the width of the roads - on a Greek island! We tried to visit the Tunnel museum but it was closed. I was told it is not open too regularly. The walk to the museum is thru a beautiful park-like area with amazing greenery and sea views. On the way is a beach taverna which serves true mezes with your Mythos- olives, cheese, bread, sardines, tomatoes. We found Leros very refreshing. English is less widely spoken, we only found one gyro pita place which was in Lakki and we ate some amazing dishes of which I have no idea the names.

I have posted reviews on the hotel review site. By the way, how do I post a review for a hotel which is not listed on the TA site? I would like to give an A+ review for the Apolafsis studios in Grikos.

To make a very very long story short, we absolutely loved what we saw of Samos, Patmos and Leros. Can't wait for trip #9 in 2010.

Karen

Philadelphia
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1. Re: Trip Report - Samos, Patmos, Leros

Glad u enjoyed Samos, one of my favorite islands, and not much discussed on TA except for people buying holiday packages to Pythagoras or Kokkari.... I like Vathy, Ano Vathy, AND the Garden -- good choice! I'm hoping one of my Samos posts tipped u to that one...

Samos also is a good springboard to the other destinations as you demonstrated. I went to Patmos only for the day, but have been recommended to stay longer by an art professor who has a house there... my response of course, invite me to stay!!

Oslo, Norway
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2. Re: Trip Report - Samos, Patmos, Leros

Hi Karen,

Thanks for sharing !

Athens, Greece
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3. Re: Trip Report - Samos, Patmos, Leros

Thanks for posting that Karen!

I'm so glad you liked Patmos and you describe it well.

Grikos is my personal favourite, too!

Come back soon!

John :))

uk
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4. Re: Trip Report - Samos, Patmos, Leros

Hi Karen

I'm glad you enjoyed Leros - it attracts very few visitors and I feel quite irrationally proud of it. I'm guessing you stayed at the Krithoni Paradise Hotel?

The best thing about the castle is the view over all of the island, and I absolutely agree with you about Panteli. It really is an archetypal Greek fishing village, and so beautiful.

Lakki has had a lot of restoration work done to it over the last few years, when I first visited Leros back in 1997 it had a sort of post apocalyptic look about it. The cinema was open for business but had no roof, as I recall!

The Tunnel museum has been open for 2/3 years now, probably opening more regularly in July & August. The best bit about it for me were the pics of the island and the people. It's very atmospheric - worth the 3 euro admission fee.

PS There are gyros pita shops down by the harbour in Aghia Marina and in the square up the hill in Platanos.

Ottawa
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5. Re: Trip Report - Samos, Patmos, Leros

We stayed at the Nefeli Studios just down the road towards Alinda. We were disapointed about the Tunnel museum not being open. Maybe next time we can see it and have a gyro pita as well!

Karen

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6. Re: Trip Report - Samos, Patmos, Leros

Greecefan, I'm glad to see you talking about next time!

If you follow the road through Alinda and out the other side you will find my favourite little beach in the world, Dioliskaria. Not big, super sandy or fancy schmancy, but has beautiful views across the bay to Aghia Marina harbour & the castle. It has 2 tavernas, too!

Did you visit the War Cemetery in Alinda?

My favourite taverna in Alinda is closed now, sadly - did you try the restaurant at the Hotel Alinda, or have a drink at their bar?

Oooh, I wish I was going this year!

Ottawa
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7. Re: Trip Report - Samos, Patmos, Leros

We did visit the war cemetery and were very moved by it. We walked along each and every row reading the stones. So many un-named soldiers. There are 2 Canadians. Unfortunately we did not get beyond Alinda. I have grown to prefer the beaches with small bebbles rather than sand (easier to clean off). Krithoni and Alinda beaches were great. We ate our meals in Agia Marina so did not try any of the Alinda tavernas other than for a snack and drink. We also ate our main meals earlier in the day so many restaurants were not open yet. We had brunch one day in Pantelli.

New York City, New...
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8. Re: Trip Report - Samos, Patmos, Leros

Welcome back Karen..what a great report..thank you;-)Having been only once..and a while ago, I've always wanted to return to both Kalymnos (still have a sponge I purchased there!) and Leros..both, I thought, were fantastically traditional with some amazingly clear/beautiful waters! Loved reading your report..and as for reviewing a 'new' property..(I did it once here..not easy for me..lol!) You go to the hotel review section and you have to fill out all the specs on the property..including address, tel #s, etc..then proceed..Takes a while since I think they have to validate it so it may stay 'pending' for a while but will eventually get to us all to read! If you're having problems, would just contact TA direct with an email and am sure they'll walk you through it! Happy '2010' planning..and enjoy!

Ottawa
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9. Re: Trip Report - Samos, Patmos, Leros

Thanks for the new hotel post info. I will try it.

Karen

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10. Re: Trip Report - Samos, Patmos, Leros

My pleasure..looking forward to enjoying it;-)