In 1998 I stayed in Vathi. Vathi is a big town but an atttractive town. My first note is that Vathi is a Jekyll and Hyde town. There was a square with an archeological museum, town hall, main church, and park. Yet on one side was an ugly three storey block that looked like council flats, an odd building of grubby looking concrete. I later saw that this building was a medical centre, and I spotted a sign about EC funding for a medical centre nearby.

On the sea front I had a glass of the local sweet white wine, Samos Doux - the Greeks pronounce it 'Samos Ducks'!

Venturing inland by bus. The landscape was stunning. Green. A mass of trees.

Mytillini. Smell of jasmine. Old small tiled houses. Not touristified. Some houses decaying. The old ochre ‘tower’ church. aApleasant unsquare square. Some old buildings, some modern. A kiosk - back of church - antque shop - but not of touristy (or too touristy) sort. They have a blue floral horned gramophone!

The streets of Mytillini are entrancing - and it is easy to get lost! But at least I only got lost in the village! Surprisingly, as Mytillini is so acccessible by bus, there is no sign of tourism. There are dozens of picturesque lanes of houses. I wish I had looked at the Melissa Samos [add link to book page].

I was attracted to Vourliotes (where I went later in the day) by the mention of traffic free roads. Here you would expect them to be traffic free, but I had to cling to a house wall to let a car pass at speed within inches of me. I suppose the driver regarded me as a buffer to protect him from the wall.

Vourliotes. More tourism here than Mytillini - but not much. A central square lined with tavernas and bars. The inland villages on Samos have something of the ‘feel’ I would expect to find in a mainland hill village. Vourliotes a pleasant place. Perhaps almost as big as Mytillini - but with more of a village atmosphere. In Mytillini there was the odd large building. The difference in atmosphere may be because Mytillini is on a through road, and Vourliotes is not. A pleasant amble through paths in the village.