Tag: Kalami

Things I love about Greece: Waking up to gorgeous views at hotels in the Greek Islands (Part 5)

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Andromeda hotel Samos balcony view

The view from our balcony at the Andromeda hotel in Kalami, Samos

 

One big miss, two great hits: In my earlier posts about Greek Island views, I recounted how we were “on a roll” in terms of picking places to stay where we could see impressive scenery without leaving the hotel premises. Whether it was from our room’s windows or balcony,  or the hotel’s dining area or pool terrace, we always seemed to luck out with amazing views of sea and island scenery and sometimes glorious sunsets, too. Well, that run of good views came to a screeching halt at our very first hotel destination in 2010.

Kos was our first island stop in May 2010, and we stayed at Saint Constantin Hotel in Kos Town. When I booked our room, I knew it wouldn’t have a sea view, but I kept hoping there would be something interesting to see from our balcony or somewhere on the hotel grounds. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way, and we wound up with our worst island views ever. Thankfully, good scenery was less than a 10-minute walk away. (The hotel itself was all right, by the way.)

Patmos was our second island, and the Hotel Golden Sun at Grikos Bay more than made up for the lousy views at Kos Town. I was already impressed by the hotel’s views while still sitting in the taxi that drove us to there from the ferry port, and when I walked onto our balcony I was totally blown away by the awesome scenery. We overlooked the full Grikos valley and bay area, and could even see the coast of Turkey. Mountains obscured sunset views, but Tragonissi Island and the mountains surrounding the bay took on a gorgeous golden glow in the late afternoon/early evening sun, and we got to see rainbows above nearby Petra Bay as a storm system moved over the region.

Samos was our final island-hopping destination, and good views continued at both our hotels there. We spent our first night in the island’s largest town, Vathi (a.k.a. Samos Town), staying at the Samos Hotel (which now also calls itself Samos City Hotel). It was situated on Vathi’s main street — a wide waterfront road that curls around the foot of Vathi Bay. Our second floor room overlooked the bay, with great views of the Vathi ferry port and main street, while the hotel’s huge rooftop pool and bar terrace had tremendous views of the entire town and bay.  The next day we moved to the Andromeda Hotel in Kalami — a resort region in the scenic “suburbs” of Vathi, a 20-minute walk away. The breathtaking balcony views of Vathi Bay rivalled the Grikos Bay scenery we had enjoyed on Patmos, but came with an added bonus: direct sunset views.

Though Kos was a complete write-off for views, Patmos and Samos clearly ranked among the best we have experienced. So we can’t complain about Kos; as the saying goes, “two out of three ain’t bad.” Below are photos of our views (and lack thereof) from the Saint Constantin Hotel on Kos, the Hotel Golden Sun on Patmos, the Samos Hotel in Vathi, and the Andromeda Hotel in Kalami, Samos. (Unfortunately, the Andromeda doesn’t yet have a website.) To view some short videos of the views from the Hotel Golden Sun, see my May 12 2011 post. There’s a clip of the view from the Andromeda Hotel at the bottom of this post.

Saint Constantin Hotel in Kos Town

Our balcony at the Saint Constantin Hotel in Kos Town looked directly onto the balcony for a room at the hotel next door. Thankfully, our balcony doors had dark-tinted glass to provide a bit of privacy

Saint Constantin Hotel in Kos Town

If we peered over the balcony and looked to the right, we could see the street

St Constantin Hotel in Kos Town

This was our view, looking to the left

St Constantin Hotel in Kos Town

The hotel’s breakfast area had a view of the street …

St Constantin Hotel in Kos Town

… as well as the ground-level swimming pool and bar terrace

a street in Kos Town

This is what the street outside the hotel looked like

Hotel Golden Sun Patmos balcony view

At the Hotel Golden Sun on Patmos, our balcony had this fabulous view of Grikos Bay,  Tragonissi Island (right) and the coast of Turkey

Hotel Golden Sun Patmos balcony view

Our balcony, on the Hotel Golden Sun’s upper level, gave us a panoramic view of the entire Grikos valley and bay area

Hotel Golden Sun Patmos balcony view

To the left our balcony overlooked the small harbour on Grikos Bay

Hotel Golden Sun Patmos balcony view

To the right, our balcony overlooked Tragonissi Island and Kalikatsou Rock

Hotel Golden Sun Patmos breakfast terrace

The outdoor breakfast terrace had terrific views of Grikos Bay …

Hotel Golden Sun Patmos breakfast terrace

… as well as the surrounding hillsides of the valley above the bay …

Hotel Golden Sun Patmos breakfast terrace view

… where construction of new luxury hotels and villas is underway (happily, we weren’t disturbed by any noise from the work activity there, or from lower in the valley where workers were finishing  the new 5-star Patmos Aktis Suites & Spa.)

rooftop terrace at the Samos Hotel in Vathi

In the main town of Vathi on Samos, the rooftop terrace at the Samos Hotel offers tremendous views of the city, the port, and Vathi Bay

Samos Hotel balcony view

Our balcony overlooked the Vathi ferry pier (plus other balconies on our floor)

Samos Hotel balcony view

Here’s a daytime view of the ferry port from our balcony …

Samos Hotel balcony night view

… and a night view of houses on the hillsides above Vathi Bay

 

 

Samos Hotel balcony view

To our left, we could look down the main waterfront street in Vathi

Andromeda Hotel in Kalami Samos

At the Andromeda Hotel in the Kalami area of Samos, our room had a narrow, small balcony with a really, really big view

Andromeda Hotel Samos balcony view

To the immediate left of our balcony were some luxury rental villas on the hillside

Andromeda Hotel Samos balcony view

Also to the left were views of Vathi Bay

Andromeda Hotel Samos balcony view

This is the first view we saw each morning when we walked onto the balcony

Andromeda Hotel Samos view of Vathi Bay

We rode bikes to the scenic seaside village of Kokkari on the far side of the bay

Andromeda Hotel Samos balcony view

To the right we had views of houses on the Kalami hillside above Vathi Bay …

Andromeda Hotel Samos seaview balconies

…  as well as other bay-view balconies on our floor. (I know it doesn’t look very private, but hotel guests tended to watch the scenery and sunsets, rather than their neighbours, whenever they sat on their balconies.)

Andromeda Hotel Samos

There was a long, narrow terrace overlooking the bay next to the Andromeda’s breakfast room; if we got up early enough, we could eat outside (those tables were popular, and almost always occupied).

Andromeda Hotel Samos view

During breakfast, we watched tour boats travelling to and from Kusadasi, Turkey

Andromeda Hotel Samos seaview swimming pool

The Andromeda had a huge swimming pool with great views of Vathi Bay

Andromeda Hotel Samos seaside sunbathing area

At the bottom of the hill, the hotel had a private seaside sunbathing area …

Andromeda Hotel Samos seaside sunbathing area

… with great views of Vathi Bay and the surrounding hillsides

Andromeda Hotel Samos sunset views

Each evening, almost everyone at the Andromeda Hotel relaxed on their balcony with a bottle of wine while watching the gorgeous sunsets

Andromeda Hotel Samos sunset view

This was one of the sunset views we enjoyed watching from our balcony …

Andromeda Hotel Samos sunset view

… and this was another  — we saw a beautiful sunset every night

Above is a video of the various views from our balcony at the Andromeda Hotel

 

Greece holiday pic of the day

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a house on a mountainside on Samos island

A house on a mountainside in the Kalami area of Samos island

 


Greece holiday 2010: Samos

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Kokkari on Samos

Houses, tavernas and boats beside the harbour in Kokkari

 

Hotel hopping: Samos was our third (and final) island destination in 2010.  Like Patmos, it had terrific scenery, good hiking and cycling, and was another laid-back, perfect place for relaxing. We enjoyed it almost as much as Patmos, and may have liked it more if our meals had been enjoyable as the two we had at Flisvos taverna. That’s not to say the food wasn’t good on Samos; it was. Our meals just weren’t as memorable as the ones we had on Patmos. We had a great time here, but again had only one regret about going: not enough time. Samos is a large island and, as it turned out, we got to see only a small part of it. But that means there’s so much more for us to see next visit.

What we liked about Samos:

The walking & cycling. We had a blast cycling from Vathi, the main port town on Samos, to the scenic seaside village of Kokkari, as well as through the resort area called Kalami. Eploring Vathi’s steep, stepped streets on foot was fun, too. When we first approached Vathi, in a taxi from the port town of Pythagorion (where we had arrived by ferry from Patmos), it looked like a small city — much bigger than we’d been expecting — and we weren’t sure we would like it. But it grew on us, and we really enjoyed it.

The scenery. Until this holiday, most of our island hopping had been in the Cyclades, where the islands share some common visual characteristics: rocky, barren landscapes dotted with whitewashed cube-shaped houses and picturesque blue-domed churches. Samos was completely different: its mountains and hillsides were lush and thick with trees and green vegetation, while its buildings topped with terra cotta-coloured tile roofs gave it somewhat of a western Mediterranean look and feel. But like the islands in the Cyclades, Samos had gorgeous mountain, coastline and beach scenery, charming towns and friendly people.

The views from our hotels. We spent our first night at the waterfront Hotel Samos in Vathi, where our balcony had terrific views of the town and Vathi Bay. We spent the next three nights at the Andromeda Hotel in Kalami, where we had even better views of mountains, coastlines and Vathi Bay, not to mention spectacular sunsets.

At some time in the near future I’m hoping to post a more detailed report about our time on Samos. In the meantime, below are a few photos from our visit.

 

Vathi, the main port town on Samos

Houses with terra cotta-coloured tile roofs in the port town, Vathi

 

Houses in Vathi on Samos

Houses on a hillside above Vathi Bay

 

Hotel Samos in Vathi

Hotel Samos in Vathi, where we spent our first night on the island

 

The waterfront of Vathi on Samos

A view of the Vathi waterfront from the Hotel Samos rooftop patio

 

the waterfront business street in Vathi

Businesses along the waterfront street in Vathi

 

Vathi town square

The main town square in Vathi

 

a street in Vathi

A steep stepped street in Vathi

 

a street in Vathi

A street in Vathi

 

Steps on a hillside street in Vathi

Another Vathi street with dozens of steep steps

 

Kids playing on a street in Vathi

Kids playing on a street in Vathi

 

Spiral staircase

A spiral staircase at an apartment building in Vathi

 

a building in Vathi

A building at the corner of two hillside streets in Vathi

 

a street in Vathi

A long street leading down the hill toward Vathi Bay

 

a steep road in Vathi

A car parked on a steep road in Vathi

 

a church in Vathi

A huge church in Vathi

 

a cafe at the main town square in Vathi

A colourful café in the main town square in Vathi


a gas station in Vathi

A gas station on the street level of an apartment building in Vathi

 

a Vathi street

Another steep Vathi street

 

the Colossal Kouros

The Colossal Kouros in the Vathi archaeological museum is almost 5 meters tall

 

the butt of the Colossal Kouros

I know people at my gym who would kill to have a rock-hard butt like this

 

Gagou beach

Colourful umbrellas on Gagou beach near Vathi

 

Two cats near Gagou beach

Two cats outside a house near Gagou beach

 

apartments at Roditses beach

Apartments overlooking Roditses beach a short walk from Vathi

 

Andromeda Hotel in Kalami

The Andromeda Hotel in Kalami, where we stayed for three nights

 

Andromeda Hotel balcony view

Our balcony at the Andromeda Hotel had views across Vathi Bay

 

Houses on a hillside above the coast in Kalami

Our balcony also had views of houses on the hillside above the Kalami coastline

 

Andromeda Hotel balcony view

Our balcony overlooked the hotel’s big swimming pool

 

Andromeda Hotel swimming pool

Another view of the swimming pool at the Andromeda Hotel

 

Andromeda Hotel swimming pool and cafe

Our best dinner on Samos was the home-cooked meal that Nico & Mama prepared for us at the Andromeda’s poolside bar and café (left)

 

the coastline below the Andromeda Hotel

The coastline below the Andromeda Hotel

 

the Kalami coastline

The view to the right from the seashore below the Andromeda Hotel

 

the countryside in Kalami

A view of Vathi Bay from the countryside in Kalami

 

a quiet bay near Agia Paraskevi

A quiet bay near Agia Paraskevi, past Kalami

 

Kalami on the opposite side of Vathi Bay

Looking across Vathi Bay toward Kalami during our bikeride to Kokkari

 

a beach near Kalami Bay

A beach near the mouth of Kalami bay

 

the view toward Kalami and Vathi

The view toward Kalami and Vathi from a hillside across the bay

 

Houses in Kokkari

Houses on a hill above the harbour in Kokkari

 

tavernas in Kokkari

Harbourside tavernas and bars in Kokkari

 

Kokkari postcard shop

A postcard shop in Kokkari

 

Kokkari harbour

Harbourside houses and tavernas in Kokkari

 

cats under a bench in Kokkari

Cats find a shady spot to sleep next to a small seaside house in Kokkari

 

a beach at Kokkari

The main beach — one of three — at Kokkari

 

a beach at Kokkari

Lounge chairs and umbrellas on the main beach at Kokkari

 

a beach at Kokkari

A hillside view of the main beach in Kokkari

 

a beach at Kokkari

One of the three beaches at Kokkari, this stony beach is separated from another by just a thin strip of land (visible at upper left)

 

one of the beaches at Kokkari

This is the other Kokkari beach just around the bend from the one pictured above

 

Andromeda Hotel balcony at sunset

Enjoying a beautiful sunset from our balcony at the Andromeda Hotel

 

 

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