Greek Guide

 

Samos Car Hire Greece Greek Rentals

The best way to get the most out of your visit to Samos is to hire a car or motorbike for at least a few days of your stay here. Regular buses connect the capital Vathy with the main coastal resort areas but if you want to explore the interior at your leisure you'll need your own transport. The island has many wonderful trails for hikers and mountain bikers but even the fittest adventurer would be hard pushed to cover the whole island on foot or with a bicycle.

Vathy has numerous car and motorbike firms so shop around for the best deal. Some include insurance and free mileage in the price. Good quality aluminium frame mountain bikes are also available for hire in the capital. You can rent a basic frame or full suspension frame bike with a helmet, pump and repair kit all included in the daily rate. You'll also find car and motorbike rental firms in the island's other towns and resort areas and most of the big hotels can arrange vehicle hire for guests.

With the benefit of your own transport you'll be able to make forays into the lovely hill towns in the Platanakia region 20 kilometres west of Vathy. Take the northern coastal road to Agios Konstantinos from where you drive four kilometres uphill to the village of Manolates. The village has steep, narrow streets, several tavernas and a couple of "kafeneia" the small coffee bars which are the social hub of traditional Greek communities. From Manolates there's a gorgeous walk to the neighbouring village of Stavrinides, or you can drive directly to it from Agios Konstantinos. At the third hill town of Vourliotes, to the east of Manolates, there's a charming central square, an excellent local taverna and a traditional street market. Be sure to visit the nearby 15th century fortified monastery of Vronta perched on a mountain overlooking the sea. You reach it by driving about two kilometres uphill from Vourliotes. A small chapel inside a cave within the outer wall of the monastery contains religious relics dating back 600 years.

From the north coast port of Karlovassi you can drive inland to the unspoilt hillside village of Platanos and from there cross over to the island's south coast. Take the coastal road out to the island's wild and rugged western corner dominated by 1,437 metre Mount Kerkis. You can climb the mountain from Votsalakia and if you've hired a jeep you'll be able to knock half an hour off the walk by driving along the track as far as the Evangelistrias convent.

The southern coastal road ends at Kallithea at the western tip of the island from where you can follow a trail up the west flank of Mount Kerkis to a pair of cave churches. A walk of about an hour and a half takes you to Panagia Makrini, a chapel beside a large grotto which affords fabulous views of the western Samos. Nearby Agia Triada is built against a cave wall beside a volcanic cavern leads several hundred metres into the mountain.