Samos Flower Walk


Samos is the island of Pythagoras, the father of mathematics. Its proximity to the coast of Asia Minor made it a stepping stone between cultures and it became one of the centres of the Ionian world. Especially under tyrant Polycratos, in the late 6th century BC, Samos reached an incredible wealth. The island also was the mythical birthplace of goddess Hera and houses the largest sanctuary dedicated to her in the ancient world.

Today Samos is known as the ‘green island’. In spring the meadows and hillsides are covered in flowers. Bright sunlight reflects off the surrounding deep blue waters. At the foot of the impressive 1400 m. Mount Kerkis lie gentle valleys in which friendly villages and hundreds of chapels are tucked away on the green slopes covered in lush vegetation. They can be reached on foot by following the many well-preserved kalderimia. During our tour we will walk these stone-paved paths and discover the hidden treasures of Samos. Samos is also the island of wine, sweet wine and even sweeter wine! On the terraced vineyards of the north coast the best Muscat grapes are grown: they have rich and fruity aromas, deep golden colours and a honey-like texture. Samos wines are justly famous all over the world!

This tour is a combination of a trekking holiday and a flower observation trip. Instead of driving long distances from one ‘flower spot’ to another we do nicely paced walks which are designed to give you enough time to take pictures of the surroundings, plants and even for nature observations such as bird watching. As most walks are relatively short, the trekking tempo can be low so you don’t miss any photo or observation opportunities. We could call it an Orchid Walk as we will see many lovely wild orchids and ophrys along the paths, but Samos in spring will be a flower paradise in general and we will see many other species, some of which are endemic and/or very rare.
_KRM0987

2018 Departure Dates

  • 20-26 April

Itinerary

Day 1: Transfer from Izmir airport to hotel in Şirince
Day 2-7: Ferry crossing from Kuşadası to Vathy on Samos and flower-hiking program
Day 7: Return to Kuşadası by ferry and transfer to Izmir airport

Equipment

Trekkers should have good quality hard soled trekking boots, raingear, swimwear, sunhat, sunglasses and suncream and a 20-30 l. daysack.

Accommodation and Meals

Accommodation: 7 nights in hotel: 1x Şirince, Turkey and 5x on Samos (2x Ayios Konstantinos; 1x Karlovasi; 2x Ormos Marathokambos).
Meals: Evening meals in the accommodations or local restaurants.
Lunches will be picnics and trekkers are expected to carry some part of the food.

Grade

Grade A: treks for 2-4 max hours per day. A reasonable level of fitness is required for this type of trekking holiday and you should be in good health. One Grade B trek.

KRM_0561

Price

Price: 950 € per person Minimum group size 8 and max. 16 pax. For smaller groups a surcharge of 75 € p.p. is required.
Included: 2x airport transfer in Turkey (Izmir-Şirince and Kuşadası-Izmir), return ferry ticket Kuşadası-Vathy, all transfers during the tour by minibus, all accommodation, guide, all meals (breakfast, lunches and dinners)
Excluded: flight tickets, visa costs, soft and alcoholic drinks, tips and gratuities, entrance fees to historical sites and museums

lycian way

Detailed Tour Programme

Day 1: Arrival Izmir

We arrange a transfer from Izmir airport to the accommodation in Şirince (45 mins) where we have a pre-tour briefing and enjoy dinner and our first overnight. Overnight in Şirince.

Day 2: Ferry crossing and walk Kokkari – Ayios Konstantinos (8 km)

After an early transfer from Şirince to Kuşadası (30 mins) we take the ferry to Vathi (crossing takes appr. 1 hr). From Kokkari on the north coast we follow an old migration route through rolling hills covered in scented herbs to reach the mountain village of Vourliotes. We descend along slopes covered with cyprus trees into Nightingale valley where the trickling sound of the streams may be acccompanied by the song of Nightingales. Our walk ends in the sleepy harbour town of Ayios Konstantinos. Dinner and overnight in hotel in Ayios Konstantinos.

Day 3: walk Mount Ambelos: home of the Muscat wines of Samos (13 km)

From Ayios Konstantinos we start a zigzagging uphill walk on old stone-paved kalderimia passing the hamlets of Stavrinidis and Ambelos (meaning vineyard in greek). We will be surrounded by trimmed vines with budding leaves on the terraced hillsides. Orchids and other wild flowers decorate the uncultivated borders and olive groves. After lunch in the village square of Ambelos we continue downhill past a large waterfall and an ancient chapel in Upper Ayios Konstantinos before reaching the coast. Dinner and overnight in same hotel in Ayios Konstantinos.

Day 4: walk in Karlovasi plain (15 km)

After a short transfer we start our walk in Ayios Dimitrios and follow narrow dirt tracks and paths through the fertile hinterland of Karlovasi. Passing an age old cave church near a spring in Petalouda we continue to Ydroussa (‘rich in water’). After lunch on the tiny village square our route, surrounded by olive trees, seas of poppies and agricultural fields, will lead us into Karlovasi town, known in the past for its leather industry. Dinner and overnight in hotel in Karlovasi.

Day 5: walk along the north coast to Drakeï (12 km)

The walk starts on the sandy beach of Potami east of Karlovasi where we begin the most beautiful coastal walk of Samos. We pass the remote beaches of Megalo and Mikro Seïtani (large and small Satan) and enjoy vast views towards the clear blue sea. Along this route the now very rare Holm Oak (Quercus ilex) and Laurel (Laurus nobilis) can still be found. Arriving in the village of Drakeï we transfer to the hotel in Ormos Marathokambos on the south coast (1 hr). Dinner in local restaurant and overnight in hotel in Ormos Marathokambos.

Day 6: walk to Limnionas on the south coast (9 km)

This walk takes us ‘to the end of the world’, the empty southwest corner of Samos where abandoned houses overlook sandy bays with blue waters and where old agricultural terraces are now covered in ophrys and orchids. A paradise for flower lovers! Dinner in local restaurant and overnight in same hotel in Ormos Marathokambos.

Day 7: walk to cave of Pythagoras (2 hrs) and return to Turkey

We walk to a spectacular gorge with a tiny chapel dedicated to Ayios Petros perched on a rocky outcrop. Climbing the 40 steps to the next cave chapel of Ayia Sarandaskaliotisa will also bring us to the large cave where -according to myth- Pythagoras once lived. We drive to the coast for a restaurant lunch and continue to the harbour for our afternoon return by ferry to Kuşadası. Transfer from Kuşadası to Izmir airport for departure flight.