town of Sami was rebuilt after the 1953 earthquakes at
the foot of the lush green hills of Agii Fanentes and Kastro
with assistance from the British. It has lost none of the
importance it had in ancient times. Its hotels, restaurants,
campsites, archaeological and geological points of interest
attract a large number of the island's tourists.
Sami was one of the island's four ancient cities. It occupied an important
geographic position. In the Homeric epics, Samos or Same, is mentioned as having
participated in the Trojan War. As a self-governing city-state, it had its
own coins. Behind the town there are two hills on which the ancient city was built.
One of them, Agii Fanentes, took its name from the three saints buried here.
Lord Byron stayed for a night in the hostel near the church here. At the
foot of this hill, in a fenced-in area, stands a well-preserved building from
the Roman era. The locals call it Rakospito (a corruption of Drakospito); it
most likely housed Roman baths (hot springs). Near it a superb mosaic was discovered
The town has the second busiest port on Kefalonia with ferry connections to Corfu,
Ithaca, Patras and Italy, day trips by smaller boat leave for the nearby island
of Ithaca. Sami is a very charming town, with a long waterfront, lined with shaded
restaurants and tavernas serving the locally caught fish of the day. Although
it can get very busy at times I thought there was a very nice atmosphere here.
It is very pleasant to walk along the harbour with its many boats bobbing in
the clear blue water, wonderful views of Ithaca and Agia Efimia in the distance
across the bay. There are some sand and shingle beaches along the coastline
from Sami to Agia Efimia to choose from where you can usually find a small cove
or sheltered beach all to yourself.
I certainly had no problems in finding a quiet
spot to just sit and relax away from the busy centre and
enjoy the wonderful views before me.