Thursday, October 15, 2009

Balos and Pefkos beaches in autumn

Below the village of Koumeika in the south of the island of Samos, a road leads down to Balos beach. Since last winter, the upper half of this road has been completely renewed, an asphalt road (feels almost like a highway now) leads very comfortably down to lovely Balos bay in a couple of minutes. On the second photo (taken already in 2007) the old road can be seen on the left hand side, the lower part of the new road - which had been finished already then - on the right hand side .

I have visited Balos beach many times during the last years, but only in 2008 I discovered the special light of October in Balos. So I wanted to go back to Balos beach this year again.
Together with the singer/guitarist Dimos, I visited this beach three times between October 7th and 12th, 2009, more or less almost at the end of the season 2009. And we were fortunate to enjoy the almost empty beaches whilst having the most beautiful warm autumn weather on Samos!

"Arriving in Balos was like entering a secret, peaceful world - far from the madding crowds!" somebody wrote in "tripadvisor" about his stay there. That is exactly how it has been there until now.
I am not quite sure what effect this new road will have on this remote place, since it seems that sort of "highway" was build to enable busses full of tourists to go down to Balos beach now .

Well, before this remote and calm paradise might get lost too, let me take you on a journey to a magic place on Samos, here are some of my impressions from October 2009, just a couple of days ago: Fantastic views to Mount Kerkis, a long beach with a mixture of sand and pebbles, cristal clear waters, lots of sunshine almost all day long till the sun sets dramatically behind Mount Kerkis or Ikaria island (depending on season) with glowing evening horizons (view to the west!).

Several houses, a few apartment buildings, 2 hotels and 4 (small) taverns are located on the road leading along the long beach (view to the east!).

And, even further to the east, at the very end of the main bay, some small rocky bays/coves can be explored by a little climbing over rocks.

In October, a perfect place for those who seek the calm and want to stay away from the hectic world. On Sunday, October 11th 2009, there was almost no wind, a perfect day for relaxing, swimming in the warm sea, sunbathing, playing music and recording some music video.

"Caveman" Dimos with his guitar, as depicted above, "live from Balos beach": you can listen to him singing the song: "If I needed you" with the waves rolling on Balos beach in the background. The second song we were singing together, it is the famous "California Dreaming". We recorded these songs in that sort of cave shown in the first photo of this photostory.

The tavern "Esperos" at the eastern end of the beach, where I have been several times over the recent years, already was closed when I came to Balos beach this year. The space, where tables and chairs usually are standing to invite the hungry & thirsty beach visitors, from now on during the winter season is used for apparently other purposes!

If you want to get an idea of how the view is from inside of "Esperos" out on the beach, e.g. in September, please look here !

The tavern "Akrogiali" on the corner, where the road down from Koumeika meets the seafront, was still open, over noon and in the late afternoon after 6:30 pm (both photos are from October 2008).

And the tavern in the middle of the beach "I Paralia" (photo from 2008) was still open too, but they only served drinks: there I got my greek coffee with the glas of water this year again, as you can clearly see in a photo further above!

Stella's cypriot restaurant we didn't visit, so I can't say if this place was still open (photo is from October 2008).

An almost magic atmosphere can be encountered, when the sun sets slowly and floods Balos beach with golden light.

The little chapel next to the taverna "Esperos"

Scenes along the road parallel to the beach

Last minutes of sunlight on the beach

Balos beach already is in the shade, but high up on the slopes of the mountain Spatharei glows in the light of the setting sun.

And, for those who like to eat fresh seafood, it might be a good idea to move on a bit further southeast to the next bay, Pefkos, to pay a visit to the Ouzeri "Bella Vista" on Pefkos beach. For me, there is no other comparable place on Samos to watch the sunset and the glowing horizon behind the huge dark Kerkis mountain while enjoying some excellent seafood and wine in good company.
This place closed down in 2009 on Sunday, October 11th. They told us they will be open again next year from May 1st on. We were lucky enough to be there on this last night with this fantastic evening sky. And, by chance, met there some locals coming from Pythagorio too.

Additional information (October 23rd, 2009):
I would like to direct your attention to websites relating to that area in the south of Samos:

An initiative by Patrick Humphreys called "Amfilissos, River Area of Cultural Inheritance and Ecology" that proposes a plan for a possible development and revitalisation of the area between Neochori, Skoureika, Koumeika and Balos.

A blog called "Mpalos (Balos)" in greek language. Giving lots of information on (greek) music, island life and showing beautiful photos of Samos.

Additional information: (November 1st, 2009)
More than 10 years ago, Franz Nahrada from Austria (Globally Integrated Village Environment (GIVE) Lab, Vienna) proposed a project for the same area: Neohori-Project.

Additional information: (November 2nd, 2009)
Rainer Kastl has done a very good job and has posted more than 20 hiking tours on his website "Samos-Wandern" (in german) using a combination of GPS data and his photos.
His latest addition (tour 22) is a tour in the area between Balos beach and Psili Ammos beach/Peri.


Anonymous said...

nicht schlecht PeMo

Benikos place said...

Super photos!!!!und das Wetter nicht schlecht !!! Ich hoffe ich bekomme aus ein bischen Sonnne, ich fliege am Samstag nach Samos.
Danke für die wunderbare Bilder :))

Peter Molz said...

@ Nikos
Danke für die positive Rückmeldung!
Ja, ich hatte wirklich bestes Fotografier- und Badewetter, 7 Tage lang!
Also, vielleicht wird es ja weiter anhalten mit dem gutem Wetter.

Giorgos Varvakis said...

Hello Peter!!
Amazing photos for a lovely place!!!

gerd - argidis said...

So schön wie auf diesen Photos kann es nirgends sein.
Wenn doch, habe ich auf Samos einiges verpaßt.

Gruß - Gerd

Michael Anhaeuser said...

Hallo Gerd,
ich wohne hier auf Samos und kann Dir bestaetigen, dass es wirklich so schoen wie auf Peters Bildern ist. Du hast also was verpasst ;-)

nik pit said...

Dr. Molz,
very nice discription and pictures from Balos.I am the owner of restaurant ESPEROS.I would like you to remove the picture of my restaurant because it is not fair to show pictures from open restaurants and a picture of a closed restaurant.I take it as a defamation.If you want to present all the restaurants of Balos and make a description of them and of ESPEROS, it is better to take a picture when it is open the restaurant or you can visit the blog of the restaurant to see the restaurant open.Otherwise just remove the picture, because you are refer to a business place.
Thank you

Franz Roth said...

Oh, Mann, sind das Bilder! Und unsereiner sitzt hier im kalten good old Germany und erfreut sich an der "Klimakatastrophe" ....


Peter Molz said...

@ nik pit

Since I've been to your restaurant "Esperos" several times and always enjoyed the meals, I have absolutely no reason nor intention to do any harm to your place!

My fotostory is not about business on Balos beach, I didn't intend to write a report on the restaurants on Balos beach. But it reflects my personal view of the situation as it is/was, the fotos were taken between October 7th and 12th 2009, more or less almost at the END OF THE SEASON.
Your place was already closed when I came to Balos this year. That's it! What is so bad about that?
And that is the reason why I want to keep this foto in my story, because it reflects the "end of season" situation and feelings.

It is a normal thing that places close down, one after one, at the end of the season and each owner does it according to his business needs and expectations.
For example, on Sunday, October 11th, we have been to "Bella Vista" on Pefkos beach, this was their last open day for this season 2009.

Since I understand your concerns, I've added a link in the text that refers to a really lovely foto taken from your place in September 2007.
So please, no need for bad feelings!
Next year I'm planning to come to Samos early in the year, then I will come to your place and we can drink an Ouzo or Souma together. :-)

Horst Welke / pb press said...

die landschaft ist einfach geil

Franz Nahrada said...

ich werde wirklich heimwehkrank, wenn ich diese Bilder sehe. nach 12 Jahren muss ich es wieder schaffen, hoffentlich nächstes Ostern.