The Greek Island of Samos is only an hour’s ferry ride from Kusadasi on the Turkish west coast – an excellent alternative to island hopping from Athens, especially when your priority is just to dive into that aqua green water and marinate. We arrived about 2 weeks before the tourist season began, which meant we had the place almost to ourselves. The beaches were empty and the miniature car we hired for 20 Euros a day ( including insurance ) had no competition for space on the narrow roads winding around the island.
Karlovasi on the north west of the island was our base compliments of the generosity of our hosts James and Tina, and the John Cassavetes film ‘Tempest’ was our inspiration. All we needed for the week was feta, fresh air and ocean, and if Raul Julia happened to appear out of the hills, that would be fine also. In fact hikers had the jump on the hills, all over the island there are trails that attract pole-trekking walkers from around the world. For these landlubbers, the natural foliage provides shelter and the inclines are not so steep as to prevent them ascending to the monasteries and enjoying the astounding views of the Aegean.
The beaches are made of pebbles that clack together as the waves roll in and out, and the invitation of the water is so appealing that a few rolling stones cannot deter you. We swam, snorkeled and scuba dived, starting – and often ending, each day at Potami Beach. Potami is on the north western corner of the island, and diagonally opposite is Pythagorio, the namesake for Pythagoras who was born on the island. There is a very impressive statue in the town of the philosopher with his triangle, but personally I think his inspiration came from floating at Potami. The square of his length floating on the surface was equal to those of the visible right angles reflected from the aqua depths. What a pelagikos paradise. No wonder there is still a mathematics university in Karlovasi today….