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Panoramic view of Kokkari, Samos island, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Kokkari, Samos. Panoramic view westwards across the village.
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The attractive seaside village of Kokkari (Κοκκάρι) lies on a small plain on the north coast of Samos, 10 km west of the main town Vathy.

The mostly small buildings of the main part of the village are grouped around a small harbour between two small, rocky headlands known as the Twins (οι Δίδυμοι), and other houses, shops and small hotels have spread along "Long Beach", the stretch of pebbly beach to the west.

Further west from the village are the two small bays of Lemonakia (1.5 km) and Tsamadou (3 km), each with its own pebble beach, and just to the west of the next village of Avlakia (Αυλάκια, 4.2 km) is Tsambou Beach.

There are also a number of small beaches to the east of Kokkari, the largest being Kedros, just west of the village of Agia Paraskevi (3 km).

The north coast of Samos can get very windy in summer, but this does not prevent Kokkari from being one of the most popular tourist destinations on the island, and many visitors come here regularly. The conditions are ideal for windsurfers who are well catered for here.

The 30 km road along the north coast between Vathy and Karlovasi via Kokkari is officially known as the National Road 62 Samos-Karlovasi (Εθνική Οδός Σάμο 62 Καρλοβασιου, Ethniki Odos 62 Samou Karlovasiou). The two-lane road is well-paved, but is narrow in places and has several sharp bends. In summer traffic can get heavy.


Agios Nikolaos Church, Kokkari, Samos, Greece at My Favourite Planet

Agios Nikolaos Church, Kokkari.

See gallery page 50.

As we have mentioned elsewhere, some drivers go far too fast, making things perilous for others, especially cyclists and pedestrians: often there is no pedestrian sidewalk or hard shoulder along roads on the island.

In summer there are several buses a day between Vathy and Kokkari, most continuing onto Lemonakia and Tsamadou beaches. Buses from Vathy to Avlakia and Karlovasi also stop at Kokkari.

There are a couple of banks and ATMs (cash machines) and a post office in the village, as well as supermarkets, tourist shops, car and motorbike rentals, small hotels and pensions and several restaurants and bars. The petrol station is at the east of the village, just before the main street leaves the main road.

The name Kokkari is said to come from the type of small onion which was once farmed here (although another theory the village was named after the first settler here). Today the main agricultural products are olives and wine, although tourists have become the most important cash crop.

Tourism, however, remains low-key, and rather than destroying the place's charm has helped it survive and retain an easy-going village atmosphere. It should be remembered that many villages which have not been able to attract tourists have become almost abandoned as people move elsewhere in search of work.

The farming and fishing village was founded in the 19th century by people from Mytilinii (2.5 km northeast of Chora) on the ruins of a former settlement.

The oldest church is the Kimisi Theotokou (Ιερός Ναός Κοιμήσεως της Θεοτόκου), otherwise known as the Panagia (Παναγία, Virgin Mary) or Dormition, built in 1819, and the largest church - the largest on Samos and the biggest building in Kokkari - is Agios Nikolaos (Άγιος Νικόλαος, Saint Nicholas), the construction of which was begun in 1902, completed in 1938, although it was not officially consecrated until 1963.

Continued on the next page >

The street down from the main road to the east side of Kokkari harbour, Samos, Greece at My Favourite Planet

The street down from the main road to the east side of Kokkari harbour.
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Some of the information and photos in this guide to Samos
originally appeared in 2003-2004 on

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