The information on this page will help you prepare for your trip to Samos once you have been accepted as a volunteer. However, you will also receive a Samos Volunteers Information Pack with more details. If you need further information, please drop us an email.
It is very important that you contact us via email two days prior to your arrival, to confirm your travel plans and start date of volunteering. When you arrive, we will add you to our Facebook messenger group where we coordinate our daily activities. Inductions are held in the afternoon of your first day.
Booking Travel to Samos
We are located in Vathi or Samos Town (the capital of Samos). Check here to find it on googlemaps.
Arriving by ferry
You can travel by ferry from Athens (Piraeus Port), which takes about 11hrs and is the cheapest route to Samos (50 euros in economy class seat). The advantage of the ferry is that you can bring extra luggage without extra charges. Check departures from Thessaloniki and Athens https://hellenicseaways.gr/en/
The tourist boat takes about 1.5hrs from Kusadasi (about 35EUR): http://www.meandertravel.com/ferrytosamos/samos.php?details=ferrytosamos&m=4&md=sc4
arriving By plane
A direct flight from Athens to Samos airport is 45 minutes and is the fastest way to arrive on the island. There are around three flights per day during the busier season. At certain times of the year, you may find a cheaper flight from Turkey.
From Athens & Thessaloniki
Olympic Air https://www.olympicair.com/en
Aegean Airlines http://en.aegeanair.com/
From other Greek islands
Sky Express http://www.skyexpress.gr/en-us/home.aspx
From Germany & Austria, we suggest Air Berlin https://www.airberlin.com/en/
You can also try Volotea, an airline offering very cheap flights between Athens and Venice: http://www.volotea.com/en/
Renting a Car
Most of our working locations are within walking distance from Vathi town centre. However, we often need to make trips to the warehouse and camp which are a little out of town. Volunteers who can, often choose to rent a car or scooter as this makes these trips much easier.
If you rent a car from the airport, there is a choice of Hertz, Europcar, Aramis and AutoUnion. The price per day varies depending on how long you are staying. Generally, it is around 25EUR per day (fully insured). Renting a scooter is much cheaper, (around 11EUR per day), but this is not convenient for transporting stock and resources.
When you arrive in Vathi, you can also try Samos Auto Center Car Rental. They do not have a website, but they are located next to the Silk Oil Petrol Station (a little further down the road from Paradise Hotel).
Car Hire Excess Insurance
Protects you against car hire excess charges. Daily and annual policies available to residents worldwide: icarhireinsurance.com
Accommodation in Vathi
The price of hotels in Vathi are around 25 euros per night. We suggest you look at the following links and contact hotels to secure reservations in advance, especially during summer:
Paradise Hotel: http://www.samos-paradise.gr
The majority of shorter-term volunteers stay at Paradise Hotel, due to its central location. Usually a room costs 25EUR per night, and has a fridge.
Pension Dreams: http://www.booking.com/hotel/gr/pension-dreams.en-gb.html
Prices at the Pension Dreams hotel may be negotiable in person depending on the season. We recommend calling or emailing directly (email@example.com) as booking.com will charge extra. Pension Dreams also has studio apartments with small kitchens available.
Hotel Emily: http://www.booking.com/hotel/gr/emily.en-gb.html
Pension Neapolis: http://www.booking.com/hotel/gr/pension-neapolis.en.html
Hotel Kriton: available through booking.com
We often advise that if you cannot find what you want online, to reserve the first couple of nights in a hotel, and search more when you arrive. There are many apartments and studios which are not advertised online, and can easily be found when you are here on the island.
If you are a long-term volunteer we have 3 houses in town that we share, as volunteer houses. Depending on when you come there may be availability in these shared houses. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will forward your email to the person in charge of organising these houses.
When you arrive in Samos
Samos airport is approximately 15km from Valhi and a taxi from the airport into town will cost around 25EUR. There is a small taxi rank outside the airport. Alternatively, you can come by bus (1.80EUR). The bus stop is very close to the airport arrivals hall.
The ferry terminal is on the outskirts of Vathi and a taxi from the port will cost around 5EUR.
What to bring with you
It is very important that we are mindful about what we choose to wear in the refugee camp, due to cultural diversity. As a general rule, we recommend that shoulders and knees are covered at all times.
Personal items to consider bringing:
- Mosquito repellent
- Sun protection
- Small bag to carry your things in and to keep your ID and phone on you at all times (bum bag/fanny pack)
- Water bottle
- Sturdy, water-resistant shoes
- Unlocked phone (so you can use a Greek SIM card)
- Sun hat
- Phone charger and backup battery
- Beach-wear…. we do take days off sometimes !
Raising funds to volunteer in Samos
Volunteers usually fundraise to support their stay and personal expenses in Samos. You can do so through crowdfunding sites such as GoFundMe, CrowdRise, YouCaring or Generosity. Please note all these sites charge an administration fee. Donations can also be received through a PayPal account, for which no fee is charged.
Raising funds for refugees
If you also wish to raise funds to support our activities which benefit the refugees, you can use Samos Volunteers fundraising campaign page. Cash donations are always useful as well, as this contributes to the island's local economy.
If you wish to wire money internationally to Samos Volunteers, using TransferWise will probably result in lower fees than your bank will charge. Use this referral link and please contact us for the Samos Volunteers bank details.
Upon arrival, we advise you to save the following numbers in your phone:
Port Authority: 27138
Forest Service: 27435
Road Assistance: 154 / 104