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Marathokampos Village
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Marathokampos, Samos Island

Marathokambos (meaning “the fields of fennel” in Greek) is a small traditional town arranged on the mountainside and facing the sea and the homonymous bay at the southern coast of the island. The town is situated at a distance of some 42 kilometers southwestern to the capital town of Samos, 3 kilometers far from the sea at the North and of Ormos Marathokambou, which serves as the port of the town. In the past it was situated lower, at a plain full of fennels, to which it seems to owe its name; however, the residents had soon moved higher for safety reasons, so that the settlement would be better protected. According to another suggestion, the town has been named after its first settlers who had come from Marathonissi in southern Peloponnese that is to say from the area of Gytheion. In fact Marathokambos was settled by people who came not only from Peloponnese, but also from Chios, Crete and other places, mainly from the islands. The village is mentioned as early as in the 17th century. Today it counts some 1700 permanent residents living on agriculture, mainly on the cultivation of olive trees, whereas recently they are also occupied in tourism. In the past a great number of the residents of Marathokambos were seamen; their ships, in their majority built at Ormos Marathokambou, reached almost all the ports of the Mediterranean and of the Black Sea. This tradition kept on for long and many of the residents of the village were occupied in the oceangoing vessels of Greece. It is worth mentioning that according to the census of 1920 the village then counted some 3650 permanent residents.

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The monasteries are among the most interesting sightseeing of the area: although pretty small, they present historic, religious and architectural interest. Southern to the village, you may see the Monastery of Panaghia, or Panaghitsa as the locals use to call it, dedicated to Virgin Mary; it has been built in 1887 and has only a few cells for monks. There is also the Monastery of Aghios Ioannis Eleimonas (St. John the Charitable), dated in 1867; the monastery was built by the monk Isidoros, close to the homonymous cape, within an area full of sources of cool water. One of the most well known monasteries is that of Kakoperatos, also known as Evangelistria tou Kerki, or tis Skalas, or Aghios Vasileios; it is situated at the foot of the southern side of the mountain on an altitude of some 700 meters, in an area of luxuriant green full of pines and with a breathtaking view to the sea. The monastery was established in the 10th century and it is the older monastery of the island. Finally, western to the town it is found the small monastery of Aghios Georgios (St. George), built in the 17th century. The monastery belonged to the Monastery of Patmos, but a few decades ago it became private property as the Monastery of Patmos sold it to an individual.

Western to Marathokambos you may visit the so-called “Cave of Pythagoras”, situated at an altitude of 350 meters. According to the local tradition it is in this cave that took shelter the eminent philosopher of the antiquity, when he was persecuted by his enemies.

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A bit higher, at an altitude of some 700 meters it is found the Monastery of Evangelistria and even higher, at an altitude of 1170 meters it is situated the small church of Profitis Ilias (Prophete Elijah). Some 1000 meters at the Northwest it is found Vigla, the highest top of mountain Kerki, which is also the highest of the island, of an altitude of 1445 meters. If you decide to come here (only on foot) you will certainly enjoy the nice view of almost the entire Aegean Sea and of the coast of Asia Minor in the distance.

Within the town it is worth seeing the Civil School, a building of 1920, which used to house the Elementary school of the settlement. You may also visit the churches of Aghios Antonios (St. Anthony) situated at the central square, the church of Profitis Ilias (Prophete Elijah) with the nice wood carved icon screen and the church of Aghia Paraskevi. It is also worth seeing the beautiful fountain of marble with the current cool water, which is dated in late 19th century.

The town is very close to excellent sandy beaches and it attracts many visitors who will find several alternatives for accommodation not only within the town, but mainly at the beach of Ormos. The traditional taverns and cafés of the area offer nice local dishes to those choosing the place for eating.

For swimming you may go to the beach of Ormos and at Velanidia.

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Several events take place in the settlement, mainly in summer. A Wine Festival takes place in Marathokambos, to which music and dance bands take part. Also, there are two local religious feasts (“panighyri”), in honor of Aghia Triada (the Holy Trinity), taking place on late May or early June and in honor of Profetes Ilias (Prophet Elijah), on the name day of the saint on the 20th of July.

In case of emergence a local Medical Center and a pharmacy are available in the village. You will also find a Police Station and a Port Authorities’ Office.

Access to Marathokambos is easy by public buses running regularly, as well as by private means (car and motorbikes).
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