There are many beaches across the island, but to paraphrase “not all beaches are equal”. Here’s a selection of some that are considered more equal than others.
Considered one of the better beaches on the island, it is mainly sandy, has great swimming and is generally not over crowded. Watching the sun going down from the beach or over a drink at a nearby taverna is well worth doing.
You will see this beach on the way to Studios Ioanna as you pass through Kambos (which is also known as Votsolakia). Popular with the large number of package tourists staying in Kambos, the beach is long and sandy and with all the facilities of Kambos nearby.
East of Kambos, near to Koumeika, is Balos beach. Well signposted from the main road, the journey down twists and turns until you end up in the small village of Balos. Turn left through the village and you end up at the beach itself. Long and sandy(ish) with a few sunbeds (and a number of shady caves), this is popular but not yet crowded. Swimming is good and there is a taverna at the far end of the beach as well as the ones in Balos village itself.
Heading west out of Karlovassi, you come to the long stretch of beach at Potami. Thought by many to be one of the most beautiful on Samos, it is also popular with locals so it can get crowded at the weekends. There are tavernas close by that also serve the visitors to the Falls and Gorge and a few sunbeds for hire. The swimming depends on the strength of the prevailing wind. Being on the north of the island, the meltémi is often very strong here making the waves ‘interesting’.
Literally meaning ‘fine sand’ or ‘golden sand’ (depending on whom you believe), there are three beaches on Samos bearing this name. One is just east of Limnionas and is highly regarded. The most famous Psilí Ammos though can be found on the south east of the island not far from Pythagorio. It has the finest sandy beach on Samos and an exceptionally gentle shelf into the sea. In fact, it is so gentle that you feel you could walk to the Turkish coastline that is only a 1000m or so away. The beach has a couple of tavernas, parking and is not built up. Very crowded at the weekends as it is popular with the Samiots, it is a great way to relax during the week.
Mikro and Megalo Seitani
Two of the most famous bays on Samos are also two of the more difficult to get to. The bays are situated west of Potami and can only be reached on foot. The route from Potami is signposted but it is still advisable to have a guidebook with you. Mikro Seitani (‘Small Satan’) is about 45 minutes from Potami whilst Megalo Seitani (‘Large Satan’) is a futher 70 or so minutes on from here.
Megalo Seitani offers the best swimming of the two but, again, the wind can make it fun. The beach is a long sweep of sand and, due to its isolation, is far from crowded. There are no tavernas or facilities on either beach so it is worth taking your own shade and a picnic.
Also worth considering are the beaches along the northern coast between Karlovassi and Kokkari – Lemonakia, Tsamadou and Tsambos.