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    Touring Greek Islands Part 2

    Samos

    The vast majority of tourists stay in the bustling port city, Pythagorion. Before it was named after a native son Pythagoras, it was called Tigani. Tigani means frying pan, which is exactly what the lively city lives up to in the middle of the summer. At that time, it is best to get out of the city and to the coast to feel the breeze and cool down in the ocean. Drive to the nice and cool mountain town, Manolates on the north coast or turn off the main road towards the elongated fishing village, Agios Konstantinos. As soon as your arrive here, you will be able to experience the dense forest with singing nightingales in spring, and the water trickling down from higher up the valley. Choose one of the many possible spots to have a little picnic and enjoy the nature. The small mountain rewards you with spectacular views, more picturesque taverns and many excellent craft shops.The main island town, Samos Town, also called Vathi, is definitely worth a visit. Get up early and enjoy getting a lost in the alleys up in the old Vathi, where you can enjoy a nice view over the harbor promenade or buy vegetables and fish from small stands in the very steep streets. Here everyone knows everyone. People laugh and the female customers get a hug from the old greengrocer.
    Down in the city, it is a must to visit the Archaeological Museum. Where you can view the many offerings to the Hera Temple near Pythagorion. These come from Syria, Egypt, Persia (Iran), Assyria (Iraq) and many other countries, as gifts streamed to Samos several hundred years before Christ. The many bronze figures of animals, horses, gods, griffins and people stand for respect. A trip to the Hera Temple near the airport, can also be complemented with a visit to the nearby beach town, Ireon, where there is a relaxed small-town atmosphere with an appropriate number of shops and restaurants.

    Alonissos

    As soon as you arrive in the port city Patitiri, you will immediately feel how the puls falls tremendously. Here there is no stress! The local inhabitants move between the beach and the harbor promenade, however, the most surprising thing about Alonissos is the high gastronomic level. Many of the island's restaurants offer very good food and a nice dining experience. Take like to talk about them with Bessie at the pool bar at Hotel Paradise. Try for example some of the local dishes, that include a homemade taramosalat (fish roe salad), mussels saganaki (cooked in a special pan), squid in spinach and finally mussels in a delicious rice dish. There are just over three kilometers to the old capital of Alonissos. Palia Alonissos, however, was hit by a massive earthquake in 1965, and residents were instead relocated down in the port city Patitiri. Only in recent decades has the old and ruined city enjoyed a renaissance. This is due to the many foreigners, who have invested in careful restoration of the old houses in the city. Today it is a charming little mountain town, with picturesque views all around.
    Although we might have our favourites, you should travel around and see which island in Greece is you favourite. And when you find it, please let us know. We would love to hear more about where you love to go.

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