Samos is an island in the eastern Aegean Sea, Greece. It covers an area of 477,62 km2 (8th biggest island in the Aegean) and has a population of 32.977 inhabitants (2011).

Its distance from Asia Minor coast (Turkey) is only 1650 m.

Aerial view of the strait that separates Samos island (left) from Asia Minor (Turkey, on the right)

Samos has a coastline of about 159 km. The maximum length of the island (from west to east) is 56 km and the maximum width (from north to south) 20 km. The highest mountains on the island are Kerkis (1433 m), which is the second highest mountain in the Aegean (except for Crete), and Ampelos, with a height of 1150 m.

Climate

The climate of Samos island is mild and wet in winter, while in the summer is dry. Samos is one of the sunniest places in Europe, with about 3300 hours of sunshine a year (or 74% of the year). The following table shows statistics for mean temperature, average maximum temperature, average minimum temperature, mean relative humidity (%), average rainfall and sunshine hours per month on Samos island.

 Regions of Samos Island

Samos island belongs to the Peripheral Unit of Samos, which also includes the islands of Ikaria and Fournoi. The whole island consists of two Municipalities, the Municipality of Eastern Samos (population 20.513) and the Municipality of Western Samos (population 12.464).

MUNICIPALITY OF EASTERN SAMOS

Municipality of Eastern Samos is divided into the Municipal Unit of Vathy and the Municipal Unit of Pythagorio.

Municipal Unit of Vathy

It has an area of 125,15 km2, a population of 12.517 inhabitants (2011) and its capital is Samos Town (or Vathy) with 8.079 inhabitants, which is also the capital of the Municipality of Eastern Samos, the whole island and the Peripheral Unit of Samos.

Municipal Unit of Vathy also includes the following villages:

– Ayios Konstantinos (369 inhabitants)

– Ampelos (309 inhabitants)

– Vourliotes (501 inhabitants)

– Kokkari (1.060 inhabitants)

– Manolates (131 inhabitants)

– Palaiokastro (707 inhabitants)

– Stavrinides (42 inhabitants)

Samos Town, the capital of Samos Island

 Municipal Unit of Pythagorio

It has an area of 164,66 km2, a population of 7.996 inhabitants (2011) and its capital is Pythagorio (1.642 inhabitants), which is the biggest tourism center of the island.

Pythagorio (photo by Manolis Marg)

Pythagorio was named after Pythagoras, the famous mathematician, who was born in the area in 6th century BC.

Modern sculpture of Pythagoras in Pythagorio, Samos Island

 

Municipal Unit of Pythagorio also includes the following villages:

– Koumaradeoi (130 inhabitants)

– Mavratzeoi (301 inhabitants)

– Mesoyio (109 inhabitants)

– Myloi (248 inhabitants)

– Mytilinioi (2.107 inhabitants)

– Pagondas (1.395 inhabitants, including Heraion)

– Pandroso (110 inhabitants)

– Pyrgos (419 inhabitants)

– Spathareoi (337 inhabitants)

– Chora (1.340 inhabitants)

MUNICIPALITY OF WESTERN SAMOS

Municipality of Western Samos is divided into the Municipal Unit of Karlovasi and the Municipal Unit of Marathokampos.

Municipal Unit of Karlovasi

It has an area of 100,33 km2, a population of 9.855 inhabitants (2011) and its capital is Karlovasi (6.869 inhabitants), which is the capital of the Capital of the Municipality of Western Samos and also hosts the School of Sciences of the University of the Aegean.

Karlovasi (photo by Yiannis Karakonstantis)

Municipal Unit of Karlovasi also includes the following villages:

– Ayioi Theodoroi (123 inhabitants)

– Drakaioi (112 inhabitants)

– Kastania (164 inhabitants)

– Konteika (350 inhabitants)

– Kontakeika (962 inhabitants)

– Kosmadaioi (91 inhabitants)

– Lekka (419 inhabitants)

– Platanos (396 inhabitants)

– Ydroussa (369 inhabitants)

Municipal Unit of Marathokampos

It has an area of 87,25 km2, a population of 2.609 inhabitants (2011) and its capital is Marathokampos (1.900 inhabitants). Municipal Unit of Marathokampos covers the South-western part of Samos Island.

Marathokampos (photo by Nikos Hatziiakovou).

Municipal Unit of Marathokampos also includes the following villages:

– Kallithea (136 inhabitants)

– Koumeika (376 inhabitants)

– Neochori (62 inhabitants)

– Skoureika (135 inhabitants)

Economy

The Samian economy depends mainly on agriculture and the tourist industry, which has been growing steadily since the 1980s. The main agricultural products include grapes, honey, olives, olive oil, dried figs and orchids. The Muscat grape is the main crop used for wine production. Samian wine is also exported worldwide under several other appellations.