We drove down from Ayvalik towards Kusadasi, where we dropped off our rental and spent the night before taking a ferry back to the Greek island of Samos. Three years ago we spent an afternoon in Kusadasi after visiting Ephesus. That time we just tried out the northern part of the city, where resorts hotels and restaurants of varying quality stretched out along the coastline.
This time we enjoyed an afternoon and evening downtown before venturing out early the next morning to get the ferry to Greece. It was a very touristy town, but it had enough to keep us entertained during the brief time we were there.
The boarding was slow but orderly, and the trip to Samos took about an hour and a half. There were quite a few day-trippers in the line, but the next few days we spent there told us that Samos required more than a day. Disembarking was very slow, as everyone had to go through a single customs/immigration line. But the line crept forward and after an hour we finally exited the building into the town. We spent three days just around the Pythagoreion area and we had no problem filling in the time.
We arrived in the ancient town of Pythagoreion. The town and the surrounding area is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it has a few notable sights. Chief among them is the distinction of being the home to one of the world’s most famous mathematicians: Pythagoras.
We walked around the compact harbour and the streets nearby. There was one main road through the town. A local coastal road going east from the town was blocked due to a recent lanslide and was impassible.
The town of Pythagorean was compact but had everything we needed. It felt a bit like Kefalos on Kos, with a Goldilocks feeling of not too big and not too small. Our hotel was located near the centre of town, so bakeries, restaurants and grocery stores were close by.
Unlike Kefalos, our rental options in were limited for cars as we didn’t book in advance, and the ATV rental agency would only rent out to experienced drivers so we decided not to stray too far from the town. It worked out fine, as we kept busy in the immediate vicinity of Pythagoreion.
It was a twenty five minute walk to Potokaki Beach, one of the best on the island. The water was calm and clear, and it was never too crowded.
Although the temperature was hot and there was little shade along the main road, we walked to Potokaki both days as the beach was well worth it. There a resort at the beach but anyone can rent sunbeds and parasols and order food as well, though the food was expensive.
With evidence of Neolithic settlement going back to the 4th millenium BC, Samos has seen a variety of cultures come and go from the Minoans and Persians to the Greeks and Romans. Wherever we went in the vicinity around Pythagoreion, we found something. There were ancient ruins in and around the town, by the sea and up in the hills.
Also close to the town was the Tower of Lykourgos Logothetis. Built on the ruins of a 7th century Byzantine fortress, it was used during the Greek revolution as a defence by rebels against the Ottoman Empire.
Coming from Kusadasi and moving on to Ikaria, we had the option of arriving in either Karlovasi or Pythagoreon. We were happy with our choice of Pythagoreion as it had beautiful beaches, ancient history and a quiet, relaxed vibe. It meant that we had to hire a taxi to drive us (at a cost of 60 euros) across the island to Karlovasi for our onward ferry to Ikaria. But this allowed us to see more of the island on the drive, and we would definitely consider a return someday.