Take a holiday to Ireon in 2019 / 2020 and discover this picturesque island which exudes authenticity. While much of Greece has been taken over by extensive tourism, the island of Samos has retained its magical charm. Its fertile lands, which are ideal for grape growing, are covered with forests that are perfect for taking shade in on hot summer days. There are plenty of beautiful beaches that have one thing in common: unquestionable charm. The underdeveloped landscape also extends to the restaurant scene. You won't find any chains of fast food restaurants here – it's all about authentic Greek cooking using fresh ingredients. This fantastic destination for couples, families and groups of friends alike has a little something for everyone with its fantastic bars, eco-adventures and history dating back thousands of years. What more could you want from a holiday in 2019 / 2020?
Located on the island of Samos, Ireon is a small fishing village that’s well and truly off the beaten track. Swimming and sunbathing on the island's many beaches is the primary draw for visitors. While Ireon is a little short on the more traditional attractions like monuments and museums, it makes up for it in unique natural beauty spots. This large island has rich, fertile grounds which are ideal for grape growing and has fueled the wine industry here, and visiting a vineyard is a must. There are some small churches dotted around the island in a number of villages. Vathy is the largest town on the island with the highest number of historical buildings to match. You'll also find one of the island's ports here where you can catch a boat to one of the other islands in the region.
Food plays an integral part in Greek culture and should be an important part of your trip to this beautiful part of the world. Greece is known for its excellent cuisine and when you're on holiday in Ireon, you can sample all the delights it has to offer. Greatly influenced by its location on the Mediterranean, Greek food relies heavily on olive oil, fresh fish, vegetables and cheeses. Some dishes that you should sample while in Samos include the famous Greek salad, Lagana (a type of flatbread), mezes (a collection of cured meats and cheeses) and grilled skewers known as kebabs. Poseidon is a family-run restaurant which serves a range of dishes with a focus on seafood. Another popular eaterie is Green Island. Situated right on the beach in Votsalakia, they offer a range of Italian dishes as well as some basic Greek cuisine. Nireas in Kokkari is famed for its family-run vibe and octopus dishes which are freshly caught every day. They also serve delicious homemade wine to accompany your meal.
While a holiday in Ireon doesn't provide any specific attractions for children, it's overall ambience and atmosphere make it perfect for those travelling with youngsters. If you're picturing a family holiday in a quintessentially Greek island, with whitewashed buildings and blue seas included, then you certainly won't be disappointed. The kids will love playing on the long stretches of golden sands where they can build castles before heading into the sea to swim in the calm waters. If you want to explore a little further, then why not take a boat trip to a nearby island? It’s a fantastic way of seeing more of the country without leaving your base in Ireon, and the kids will love an adventure on a boat. Meanwhile, extensively exploring the large island is suited to adults with an intrepid spirit, and there’s a good number of short walks and bike rides – some which last under an hour – which are ideally suited to young children.
Action & Adventure
The beach here isn't just about sunbathing. Take to the water for a spot of swimming or snorkelling in the crystal-clear waters which surround the island. There’s an extensive coastal pathway which runs through many of the resorts and gives you the chance to discover the beautiful flora, and witness some of the island's animals and birds in their natural habitat. The island is home to over more than 45 trekking routes, many of which are through forested areas which provide ample shade even on hot summer days. Climbing routes are also ubiquitous to the island, and vary in difficulty level from beginner to advanced – be sure to plan your route in advance and take plenty of water with you when you set off. There’s also been a recent spike in eco-tours. The local specialists will point out the abundance of animals, insects, plants and the varieties of herbs. You can catch a ferry to one of the other nearby Greek islands where you can continue your adventure before returning back to your hotel in the evening.
The beach is more than just an activity when you holiday in Ireon – it's a way of life. Both locals and tourists regularly take to the beach to enjoy the clear blue waters and the golden sands which adorn the island. Potami Beach is a long, pebbled beach located in the northeast. You can access the beach either by car or on foot from the town of Karlovassi. From the beach, it’s recommended that you take a walk along the river until you reach the beautiful cascading waterfalls. Kilma Beach, tucked away in the south-eastern corner of Samos, is an undiscovered delight where you can swim and sunbathe the day away in total privacy. Psili Ammos is one of the more developed, although it remains very much unspoilt. Located around 15 minutes from Samos town, there are plenty of amenities, such as cafés and sun loungers, that you can use when you make a trip to Psili Ammos. Lemonakia Beach is paradise personified. The sparkling waters are popular with bathers, and there’s a small taverna where you can purchase food and beverages.
The nightlife here is best appreciated relaxing in one of the many bars or tavernas. The island has a rich and varied nightlife, ranging from nightclubs to small cafés, where you can enjoy a drink after the sun sets. The bars here play a variety of different genres of music but at least one evening should be spent listening to some authentic Greek songs. Ireon is known for its annual rock festival, which is held every summer, and sees scores of lovers of the genre flock to the village to indulge their musical passion. If you fancy an evening away from the beach then head to the main square in Vathi. Home to a range of open-air cafés, it's perfect for enjoying an evening of wine or beer, and you can mix with the locals and get a feel for their way of life. There are also plenty of places to relax and enjoy the scenery close to the harbour of Pythagoreio. If you manage to get a seat in the early evening, you can watch the returning yachts parade around before finally coming to rest in the marina.
The quiet beaches of Samos are perfect for couples wanting to escape the stresses of everyday life. This really is the authentic Greek destination that you've been looking for. Most of your time here will be spent relaxing on the many stunning beaches, swimming, reading a book or just indulging in quality time with your partner. If you're feeling adventurous, there are several walks and hikes which you can take across the island. If you want to explore further afield, but don't feel like heading off on foot, then biking or hiring a car are also a fantastic way to get around. Come the evening, you’ll want to relax in a local taverna with plates of delicious food while sampling some of the local wine. Some of the larger hotels offer spa facilities if you want to treat yourself while on holiday in Ireon. Exploring the nearby Archipelago is also time well spent, giving you a greater insight into the way of life and the opportunity to see more of this beautiful part of the world.
It’s thought that Samos was the birthplace of the mathematician, Pythagoras, however he left for Athens before becoming the academic success that we know him as today. There are many nondescript buildings and monuments which are named after him, but the island is yet to recognise him with a formal museum or statue. The temple of Hera, which is situated six kilometres to the south of the ancient city, was once one of the largest of its kind in the world. Much of the heritage of the island rests in its small villages. While seemingly innocuous, spend some time walking around and chatting to the locals to be regaled with stories of ancient Greek mythology and learn about the history of the island.