Samos, Greece

One of the smaller Greek Isles, Samos makes up for her diminutive size with a rich history, natural beauty, and bevy of experiences. Greek mythology names Samos as the birthplace of the goddess Hera, while mathematician Pythagoras was born in the small town of Pythagorion. Ancient philosopher Epicurus grew up here as well, his epicurean credo taking root in the terraced vineyards along the slopes of Mount Kerkis; the muscatel grapes grown there are used to make Samos’ famous Muscat dessert wine. Important ruins include the 7th-century Temple of Hera and a section of the Eupalinos Tunnel aqueduct, considered one of antiquity’s greatest engineering achievements. You can go spelunking and hiking, soak in thermal springs, stroll the promenade in whitewashed Samos Town, and relax on beaches galore. Separated from the Turkish coast by the mile-wide Mycale Strait, Samos is a ferry-ride away from Kusadasi and the nearby Greek islands of Ikaria and Fourni.