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The narrow coastal plain on which Kokkari is situated lies at the foot of an eastern spur of Mount Ambelos (Όρος Ἀμπελος; ambelos is Greek for grapevine, see gallery page 47), the range which dominates the centre of Samos (see also gallery page 34). From the nearby peaks Karvouni (Καρβούνι, the mountain's highest point at 1153 metres) and Lazarou (Λαζάρου, 1025 metres) on the east side of the range, the rocky slopes descend to the sea at Avlakia (Αυλάκια), 4.2 km west of Kokkari.
Directly north of the village the relatively gentler slopes rise to 334 metres. Several minor roads and tracks wind up into the pine-forested hills, leading to various chapels, monasteries and small villages, with good views along the north coast of Samos.
Some tracks are quite steep and signposting is often rudimentary, making walking and cycling an interesting challenge. Try to find a good, detailed map before setting off, and take plenty of water.
Two of the more interesting local sights are the Monastery of Vrontiani (Μοναστήρι της Βροντιανής), and further on Kastro Louloudas (Κάστρου της Λουλούδας) which is 2.8 km southwest of Kokkari, 600 metres above sea level. Only the lower stone walls of the castle, traces of an aqueduct and a water tank remain, but the view is marvellous. The small hill fort is thought to have been built in Byzantine times for protection against pirates, and according to legend is named after the daughter of a priest who committed suicide by jumping from the rocks.
There is also said to be the site of an Asklepion, an ancient healing centre, near Kokkari, but so far we have found no further information.
If you know more about this or other local attractions, please get in contact.