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Samos stays off the holiday map

- by Archimedes

'hoteliers disappointed at the holiday figures'.

Samos is the only Greek islands that has failed to record a rise in holiday visitors this year according to latest figures. The arrivals of foreign tourists at the airports from January to September rose sharply this year says the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE).

From January to September 2013, all the main Greek island holiday destinations recorded a rise except for the island of Samos, where holiday visitors dropped nearly four per cent on last year.

The biggest rise was recorded not on a Greek island but mainland Greece at Kalamata Airport which saw tourist arrivals jump an incredible 50%, although in absolute numbers that only amounted to 53,507 foreign tourists.

Santorini was the island with the biggest jump in holiday arrivals up just over 21% on last year with 236,554 visitors to the end of September.

Arrivals also jumped sharply at Heraklion Airport on Crete with not only the highest numbers in real terms at 2.3 million but also up 17.7%.

Other islands reporting double digit rises this year are Corfu with 11.6% and Rhodes at 10.8%.

Hoteliers on Samos will be disappointed at the holiday figures. Samos lies in the north Aegean close to the Turkish coast.

It is a large mountainous island and in ancient times was one of the wealthiest as shown by the great number of architectural monuments.

Unfortunately not a great deal has been left for visitors to enjoy. Hotel developers have build over what was once an important archaeological site at the main resort of Pythagorion.

Nevertheless Samos is a great Greek island for holidays with something for everyone, from big beach hotels to rustic hill villages.

Samos is noted for its famous Muscat wines, especially at Vourliotes where springs keep the landscape lush and green.

A dramatic and highly indented coastline is dotted with long, sandy beaches, sheltered coves and small shingle beaches.