Much of Kokkari remains as it was before tourism reached its shores, which means holidays here are supremely authentic. Days in the quiet resort are spent drifting between beaches, soaking up the Greek rays, pausing in waterfront tavernas and window shopping through the town’s boutiques.
In the background lie the slopes of Mount Karvouni, which houses more untouched villages and begs for afternoon hikes. Travel 30 minutes through the hills and you’ll reach idyllic villages like Manolates, whose cobbled streets and stone buildings are the picture of charming. Manolates is known for its pottery shops and wine production – fruits of which you can purchase or sample at local tavernas.
Muscat wine and local music
With its location along the coast, Kokkari is appropriately filled with restaurants and tavernas whose menus specialise in seafood, and are often facing the sea. Here, you’ll find mostly Greek food, with the occasional pizzeria and international flavour.
The resort is also known for its sweet Muscat wine, made with grapes grown at vineyards dotting the island. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to have a glass at local tavernas.
The nightlife in Kokkari falls in line with the rest of the resort, in that it’s largely laid-back. But that doesn’t mean that once the sun sets, the town goes to sleep. On the contrary, nights can involve sports bars, creative cocktails beside the beach or staying in your favourite taverna until late, where the ouzo is cold and the company is warm.
Come nightfall, there’s also often live music on the town’s main square, where you can hear some local folk tunes. You can even go to Kokkari’s one club to dance away.
Kokkari and surrounding villages offer a number of local boutiques that allow you to take home a slice of Samos from your holidays to Greece. You’ll find a range of jewellery shops boasting handmade silver goods in the ways of necklaces, rings and pendants, plus more traditional souvenir shops. You can bring back a bottle of Muscat wine or olive oil and dine like a Samos islander, or snag handcrafted ceramics from the nearby village of Manolates.
Daytrips to Samos Town
The peaceful shores of Samos Town are only a 15-minute drive away from Kokkari. The city features the same relaxed vibes as the smaller town, but with a wider range of options that’ll get you submerged in the local culture.
Samos Town has a few tiny beaches to sun yourself from, but the real activity lies within the town itself, at the Samos Wine Museum, where you can sample locally-produced vino, or stalls at the daily market.
The restaurants and tavernas help you spend cheap holidays to Samos dining outdoors in the wonderfully warm, Mediterranean climate, amid whitewashed buildings and leafy trees. Samos Town also cranks the energy up ever so slightly when it comes to nightlife. It’s home a handful of nightclubs and cocktail bars, plus casual pubs to catch a football match.