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Samos: a Greek oasis

Underwater photographer Marco van Rijswijk knows exactly what he wants when choosing a holiday – nature, culture and the opportunity to dive. Where does he find it? On Samos!

Samos yes! During our holidays we like to combine nature and culture with my ‘strange’ hobby of diving. Samos seems to be an excellent destination for this. Unlike many other islands in the Mediterranean, which are rocky and often barren due to the many hours of sunshine, this Greek island is very green. Because of the many fresh water on the island, not only are the trees and shrubs beautifully green, but there is also a huge colorful flower display. Splendid. A place where my wife Marianne, who does not dive, and I can both enjoy and where the crowds are far away – that is also a big plus.


The diving surprises me! Samos has one dive site that is really to my taste and that I certainly do not want to miss. In the preparation of the holiday I already searched for interesting dive sites. The Kerveli Wine Cellar is one such. I – as a wine lover – definitely want to dive there. Above water we see the many vineyards and olive groves on the island, now it is time for a dip in the wine cellar.

With the boat from Kerveli Dive Center we sail along the rocky coast. The skipper knows exactly where to be! Under water we follow the bottom that slopes down to a depth of 25 meters. There is a small cave in the rocks. A special place because for years the bottles of organic Kerveli Village wine have been placed here to rest and mature. Due to the constant temperature and lack of natural light, this is an excellent place for this wine to taste. Wonderful to see the bottles in the cave. We continue our dive between the erratic rocks and slowly swim back to the shore.

The beautiful dive is even more beautiful when Tassos, the owner of Kerveli Divecenter, gives me a bottle from the cave to take home. Freediving Camotes Island for more information. My wife Marianne will soon be able to enjoy my dive with a glass of wine. Cheers! “Time for a dip in the wine cellar… literally! The cave is an excellent place to taste this wine.”



Exploring the island under and above water goes well together. Samos has many beautiful villages, bays, olive trees and vineyards. And everywhere are beautiful hiking trails. To the Potami falls for example. It is a tough walk, but with the most beautiful views it is pure enjoyment.



Another walk takes us to the cave of Pythagoras, not unknown for its mathematical theorem. We learn that he made many more inventions and shared wisdom. The philosopher hid in the cave when he was on the run from the tyrant of Samos, Polycrates. It is quite a climb to reach the cave, but the view is breathtakingly beautiful. I do understand that this place was a source of inspiration for him!


Seal Cave

I alternate the walks with diving. The Seal Cave dive site gets its name from the seals that sometimes rest in this cave. But the chance that we will encounter a seal is small, I am told in advance. But it’s not impossible!

We swim along a rock wall that descends to a depth of 25 meters. The promised groupers are not to be missed. The largest grouper in the area swims along the wall at Seal Cave. They are quietly admired. We enter the shallow but large cave and find plenty of slugs and tube worms. A curious moray eel looks at us from its burrow. The seals do not show themselves, but what a variety of life!

“The groupers, the largest in this area, are easy to admire.”


Ancient amphorae

Samos is located on what was the most important sea trade route between Europe and Asia in the distant past. At Prasso Drop Off we dive along a steep wall. At a depth between 20 and 30 meters are the remains of several old shipwrecks. Scattered over the seabed we see small and large amphorae – the rich history of the area is still visible here.


Surprisingly beautiful!

Samos is highly recommended – really beyond expectations! We were surprised both under and above water. This Greek island is definitely recommended for those seeking tranquility and nature lovers. And if you also want to take a dive every now and then, you’ve come to the right place!