Samos International Film Festival

The 1st Samos International Film Festival – Between Two Continents has started and there will be all kinds of amazing international film screenings on the beach.

Here’s the teaser video:

http://vimeo.com/46682910

And here’s the programme:
August 23th

11.00 / Birds by Aristophanes / Teen Theatre // Samos Town
21.00 / Opening Ceremony // Pythagorion Beach
21.30 / Paradise / Panagiotis Fafoutis / Screening // Pythagorion Beach
00.00 / Opening party // Mezza Volta / Samos Town
August 24th
11.00 / Masterclass with Panagiotis Fafoutis // Garden Cafe / Samos Town
21.00 / The Building Manager / Pericles Hoursoglou / Screening // Pythagorion Beach
23.00 / Head-on / Fatih Akin / Screening // Pythagorion Beach
August 25th
11.00 / Masterclass with Pericles Hoursoglou // Garden Cafe / Samos Town
18.00 / Birds by Aristophanes / Teen Theatre // Samos Town
21.00 / La source des Femmes / Radu Mihaileanu / Screening // Pythagorion Beach
23.30 / Io sono l΄ amore / Luca Guadagnino / Screening // Pythagorion Beach
22.30 / Yiafka – Pan Pan / Concert // Karlovasi High School
August 26th
21.00 / Closing Ceremony // Pythagorion Beach
21.30 / Soul Kitchen / Fatih Akin / Screening // Pythagorion Beach
00.00 / Closing Party // Escape Music Club / Samos Town
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Samos, Greece: The Land Of Wine And Honey

Vourliortes
Close to Vourliortes

This is an interesting article about the island of Samos, where the luxury resort Halcyon Hills is being built, by Dave Seminara.

“The name Samos means “high” in the ancient Ionian dialect of Greek, and historians assume the island was thus named after its mountainous interior. By mid-summer, the island’s terrain is mostly brown, but in early June, it was still delightfully green and punctuated with wild flowers and aromatic pine trees.

As we drove west on a dizzying, but scenic, road from Pythagorion towards Kambos, the base we chose in the southwest, we passed a slew of stands selling honey, one of Samos’s best exports. I didn’t indulge at first, but after seeing so many of the places, my curiosity got the best of me and I spent the remainder of my week drizzling honey on anything that moved.

Near our base in Kambos, a pleasant enough one horse town that serves as a convenient base for exploring the beautiful west end of the island, we fell in love with a psili ammos beach. I say “a” rather than “the” because psili ammos means “fine sand” in Greek and you find lots of beaches with this name all over the Greek isles, including two on Samos.

Both are great, but the Psili Ammos beach just outside Kambos may be the best beach for kids I’ve ever experienced. It’s a lovely beach with unbelievably shallow water, so even my 2- and 4-year-olds could comfortably wade very far out from the shore.

From Kambos, take a drive out to Kalithea and Drakei to see one of Europe’s last great, undeveloped coasts, filled with stunning cliff top panoramas of the blue Aegean and the surrounding islands. Around every curve, you’ll want to pull over and get our your camera. Western Samos has the feel of a wild, virgin paradise. There are no tacky souvenir shops or much of anything, save the odd taverna here and there but the natural beauty is astounding.

Just as interesting as the coastal drives are excursions into the mountainous interior. We drove up to the enchanting mountain villages of Vourliotes and Manolates for stunning views and a taste of village life and stumbled across a group of drunken seniors celebrating a religious festival on a Monday morning.

You could easily idle away a week on a beach in Samos but the most rewarding part of my ten days on this addictive island were hikes I made up to Panagia Markini, a 13th Century cave church near Kallithea, and the 10th Century Evangelistria convent, near Kambos. Both are fairly strenuous but the views are astounding and the icons behind the curtain in the cave church are haunting and beautiful.

If you look at a map of Samos, you’ll see little black dots with crosses, signifying churches and monasteries that were built all over the interior of the island, many of them in hard to find locations to ward off invaders. Working monasteries like Panagia Vrontiani and Megali Panagia have beautiful frescoes and are well worth a visit.

Samos also boasts good, sweet wine that can be bought straight off the back of a small vintners pickup truck for a song. I feasted on grilled souvlaki, calamari, octopus and other treats, always for about 7-9€, and I never had a bad meal. We experienced remarkable hospitality wherever we went and even our buggy car owner turned out to be a gem. We disliked the small rooms in her hotel but rather than pout or blame us, she helped us find a more suitable place to stay.

Our car rental experience seemed to sum up the island’s laid-back charm. We picked up our car in Pythagorion, in the island’s southeast, but later on decided that we wanted to drop it off in Karlovasi, where our ferry was to leave up in the island’s northwest.

A branch of National car rental, which also offered by far the lowest rate for an automatic transmission car at 30€ per day, told us not to worry about making the 1.5-hour drive back to Pythagorion to return the car, even though they have no location near Karlovasi.

“Just leave it at the ferry, and put the keys under the mat, we’ll go get it,” said Alex, the young man we dealt with who told us there was no extra charge to leave the car anywhere on the island.

“But is that safe?” I asked. “I mean, what if someone steals it?”

“This is Samos,” he said. “Things like that don’t happen here.”

If there’s no bill for a four door Hyundai on my next credit card statement, I’ll know he was right about Samos.”

 

Samos in the top 25 places to visit in Greece

The island that houses Halcyon Hills features in the latest Europealacarte blog, of what to do in Greece, excluding Athens.  At no. 5 in the list is to visit Vathi on Samos.  Vath is the island’s main tow, and offers many activities to visitors.  This blog also highlights the islands proximity to Turkey.

“Greece has many beautiful islands and Samos is only one of them. One of the good things about Samos is that a trip there can easily be combined with a trip to Kusadasi in Turkey, as it only takes about 90 minutes by ferry to cross over from Samos. Vathi is Samos’ main town. There are many things to discover here; Potami Waterfalls, Ephalinos tunnel, the historical site of Heraion, the Archaeological Museum, the Wine Museum and the waterfront.”

Vahti, Samos
Vahti, Samos

 

Greek Property Seen Heading A Recovery

Halcyon Hills panorama
Halcyon Hills panorama

The Greek property sector will be the first to recover when the economy rebounds, a bank study argues.

According to the report “The Greek property market in the years of crisis,” in the latest edition of Eurobank’s Economy & Markets, the prospects of this sector of the economy are fully tied to the lifting of uncertainty, the return of a stable macroeconomic environment and the lowering of property taxation to more reasonable levels.

The most serious factor adversely affecting the property market currently is that the disposable income of Greek households in the foreseeable future will be lower than before the onset of the crisis.

According to the study, the citizens’ incomes and standard of living depend on the economy’s potential of exiting the crisis.

“The staking of growth on the economic adjustment program is crucial,” it says.

Samos included in the premium windsurfing hotsports in Greece.

samos best spot for windsurfing
Samos best spot for windsurfing

Samos is included in the premium windsurfing hotspots in Greece, making Halcyon Hills a haven for adventure seeking holiday makers as well as those who prefer to relax in the sunshine.

With thousands of windswept islands, warm Mediterranean water, and countless coves, bays, lagoons, and beaches, windsurfing in Greece you’ll enjoy European destinations that are unmatched in terms of their beauty.

The sport exploded in the region in the mid 1990s and has really gained popularity since.

Especially strong throughout the summer months, wind in the region is the product of recurring opposing pressure systems over Turkey and the Balkan Peninsula. The resulting Meltemi winds help create some of the most ideal windsurfing locations along the Greek coastline.

And here are the best 10 for you to check out:

Naxos

The Cycladic Islands are renowned for their windsurfing conditions. Naxos, the largest one, has fantastic accommodation just metres away from a shallow lagoon and reef ledge. The wind is mostly on-shore here and blows consistently, with few lulls or major gusts.

The large lagoon is great for beginners to learn on flat water, while more advanced riders can enjoy waves beyond the reef ledge. The lagoon remains exposed even in off-peak months so windsurfing is enjoyed year-round here. Mikría Viglía just 12 kilometres from Naxos town is one of the finest windsurfing spots in the Mediterranean. The entire island of Naxos is also less touristy than other spots you might find when windsurfing in Europe, including others you’ll find on this list.

Paros

Just east of Naxos, the smaller island of Paros is still large enough to be the Mecca of Greek windsurfing. The tradition of the Professional Windsurfing Association’s annual world cup competition started on the northern coast of the island at New Golden Beach.

This strip of shoreline still hosts events and competitions. Quintessential white-washed façades, crystal blue waters, and the entrenched windsurfing culture at Paros make it a necessary stop on any windsurfing enthusiast’s itinerary.

Ixia Bay (Rhodes)

The island of Rhodes is perhaps the most popular and notable destination for serious Greek windsurfers today. Ixia Bay, also known as Surfer’s Paradise, is found on the northwest coast.

Steady cross-shore wind flow and choppy waters create a playground for windsurfers and kitesurfers. Several rental companies are present here, as are a variety of accommodations. There is also ample opportunity for sailing.

Prasonisi (Rhodes)

At the southern point of Rhodes is Prasonisi beach. It is here that two seas collide: the Aegean and the Mediterranean.

Windsurfers will find water swept flat by prevailing winds on the Mediterranean side and thundering waves just around the bend on the Aegean side. Those who wish to surf fast and max out their gybes will be just as content as those who wish to carve up waves and boost huge airs.

Vassiliki (Lefkada)

While the Greek Islands of the Aegean Sea dominate this list, Lefkada is found on Greek’s west coast, in the Ionian Sea. More accurately a peninsula, connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway, Lefkada’s windsurfing pride is the tiny town of Vassiliki.

Opposing the steady Meltemi wind pattern in the Aegean, winds here shift direction and strengthen throughout the day to make it a great destination for families and windsurfing groups of all abilities. The mornings enjoy relatively light on-shore breezes while the afternoons host stronger cross-shore wind and chop for throwing tricks.

Surf fast and max out your gybes.

Corfu

Another Ionian representative on the list lies just west of the Albanian/Greek border. The ever-popular tourist destination of Corfu attracts sunbathers, wine connoisseurs, history buffs, and honeymooners alike.

Windsurfing has steadily gained attention here since the 1990s especially at Issos Beach and St. George. Wind conditions vary throughout the day, often gaining strength late in the afternoon. Preferable cross-shore wind direction is optimal for free riding and the local shops are known to set up slalom courses as well.

Karpathos

The narrow island between Rhodes and Crete is a magnet for Meltemi wind energy flowing south over the Aegean. Its reputation as the windiest Greek island is well deserved and respected – there is literally non-stop wind from late April through late September.

Chicken Bay is a favorite spot of beginners as water depth never rises overhead. Gun Bay is optimal for more advanced riders using smaller boards and sails as the wind speed here is unparalleled. Another selling point making Karpathos a great windsurfing destination is its relatively small local population.

Loutsa (Athens)

Representing mainland Greece on this list is Loutsa, just east of Athens. While the beach here experiences crowding from its close proximity to the sprawling metropolis, windsurfing conditions can resemble the perfection found further out in the Aegean.

Rental shops and lessons are abundant, perfect for the visitor who doesn’t have time to island hop. Waves are small, but they do arrive to the excitement of locals and tourists alike.

Ios

Just south of the channel between Paros and Naxos, the tiny island of Ios is battered by the wind that escapes its Cycladic neighbors to the north. Ideal for freestyle and slalom sailing, Yialos Beach is the epicenter of windsurfing on the island.

Visitors will find rental shops, lessons, and accommodation here. But windsurfing isn’t the only aquatic activity to experience on Ios. World class diving spots are also a large attraction and being submerged is sometimes the only way to escape the incessant wind!

Samos

Birthplace of the ancient mathematician Pythagoras, the island of Samos sits in the eastern Aegean, just a stone’s throw away from the Turkish mainland. Although it has garnered the reputation as the “Emerald of the Aegean” and provides ample opportunity for recreation, Samos has avoided geographic and cultural erosion from excessive tourism.

The town of Kokkari on the northern side of the island is the hotbed of windsurfing activity – several equipment rental facilities are found here as well a long sandy beach perfect for freestyle sailing. Friendly Meltemi winds increase in strength throughout the day making Samos agreeable to both novices and experts. And if you ever tire of the sea be sure to check out the breathtaking hiking and mountain biking trails.

Corfu

Another Ionian representative on the list lies just west of the Albanian/Greek border. The ever-popular tourist destination of Corfu attracts sunbathers, wine connoisseurs, history buffs, and honeymooners alike. Windsurfing has steadily gained attention here since the 1990s especially at Issos Beach and St. George. Wind conditions vary throughout the day, often gaining strength late in the afternoon.

Preferable cross-shore wind direction is optimal for free riding and the local shops are known to set up slalom courses as well. A few hundred metres offshore you can find steady chop and even decent sized waves with a large enough swell. Corfu’s beaches, hotels, and wind make it great choice for anyone’s windsurfing holiday.

Samos Young Artists Festival 2012

The Samos Young Artists Festival takes place for the 3rd consecutive year in Samos from 6 to 12 August 2012.

The Samos Young Artists Festival offers highly gifted young musicians an opportunity to present established works from the international cultural heritage as well as original compositions. The concerts take place outdoors in the Ancient Theater of Pythagorion, with a view of the port city Pythagorion, a UNESCO world heritage site.

From 6 to 12 August 2012 the audience will have the opportunity to enjoy 7 days of creativity, a rich programme with artists from Greece, Germany, Iceland, UK, Turkey, Israel and USA. The Greek conductor, composer and professor Konstantia Gourzi is the artistic director of the festival 2012.

For another year, talented international young artists will perform at
the Samos Young Artists Festival that will take place in August 6th to
12th, 2012. This festival intends to provide inspiration to the
residents and visitors of Samos through a new style of musical
encounter.

Concerts will take place outdoors in the Ancient Theatre of Pythagorion,
which is located on the hillside above the village and close to the
Monastery of Spiliani. This theatre has 1,000 seats.

Music flows across the sea is the motto of this year’s festival
and artists from Europe, the eastern Mediterranean and the USA will play
classical and contemporary music. At the end of the festival, all
musicians together will perform Greek folk songs and themes of selected
international composers.

The schedule of the festival is as follows:

Monday, August 6th, 2012

at 08:30 pm

Opening Concert “Contemporary Modal Compositions”

Ross Daly Quartet – Great Britain/Greece/Turkey

with Ross Daly, Kelly Thomas (lyra), Periklis Papapetropoulos (Lazta/Saz) and Muhittin Temel (kanun)

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

at 08:30 pm

“Music Poetry”

Trio Blik – Reykjavik/Berlin (Iceland/Germany)

with Hanna Dora Sturludottir (soprano), Freyja Gunnlaugsdottir (clarinet) and Daniela Hlinkova (piano)

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

at 08:30 pm

“About romance, love and desire”

Meitar Ensemble – Tel Aviv (Israel)

with Gilad Harel (clarinet), Moshe Ahronov and Carmel Raz (violins),
Amit Landau (viola), Jonathan Gotlibovich (cello) and Amit Dolberg
(piano)

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

at 08:30 pm

“Classical Beauty”

Nikos Skalkottas Ensemble – Athens (Greece)

with Eleni Voudouraki (mezzo-soprano), Yannis Samprovalakis (clarinet), Angela Yannaki (viola) and Stefanos Nassos (piano)

Friday, August 10th, 2012

at 08:30 pm

“American sounds”

Manhattan School of Music Chamber Ensemble – New York City (USA)

with Tema Watstein (violin), Meaghan Burke (cello) and Christopher Goddard (piano)

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

at 08:30 pm

“Chamber music breezes from a brotherly country”

Istanbul Wind Ensemble – Istanbul (Turkey)

with Elif Yurdakul Baykurt (flute), Seyit Mas (oboe), Ecesu Sertesen
(clarinet), Mert Kutlug (bassoon) and Tuna Erten (french horn)

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

at 08:30 pm

“Music flows across the sea”

Final concert

Jazz Trio Footprints – Munich (Germany)

with Veronika Zunhammer (vocal), Christian Elsässer (piano), Matthieu
Bordenave (tenor saxophone) and final concert with all musicians.

Danae & Uwe Matschke live in 2011:

New sailing area in Samos

Kite near Halcyon HillsSamos is stepping up their services this summer with a new teaching area for beginners (ensuring flat-water and sheltered conditions) which is only 10-15 minutes drive away from the centre and from Halcyon Hills with a complimentary shuttle service provided by Samos windsurf centre.

With brand new 2010 kit including pro-edition for more intermediate and advanced surfers plus a new ramp with anti-slip rubber matting for easy entrance/exit to avoid any stones. There is also an exciting new treehouse by the main saling area ideal for kids to enjoy at their leisure.

Halcyon Hills and The island of Samos in Greece

This blog gives a great description of the layout of Halcyon Hills and the island and their pick of the towns and villages to visit. It also gives a review over a number of years witch clearly displays how the island has something for everyone.