At the northwestern part of Samos, at the community periphery of Drakei village, located the small settlement of Agios Isidoros bay (or Ai Sideris), with the wild beauty and the traditional shipbuilding of wooden boats, centuries ago.
The Bay of Agios Isidoros is the seaport of the villages Drakei and Kallithea, vital for both villages, since until 1965, when the carriage road was built, communication with the rest of the island was made almost exclusively by sea. The main port of connection it was Karlovasi, from which it is only 6 nautical miles (= ~ 11 km) northeast.
The name comes from the homonymous chapel of the settlement, built in 1530, dedicated to the holy martyr Isidore of Chios, patron saint of bakers and sailors, wich celebrates on May 14top
The shipyard of Agios Isidoros
The shipyard in Agios Isidoros is the oldest active traditional shipyard in Greece and the only one preserved in Samos, with a particularly interesting significance for the history of traditional shipbuilding of wooden boats. Inextricably linked to memories and traditions, and is integral part of the Greek traditional shipbuilding and a reference point for the inhabitants of Samos and the wider area.
The development of this activity, probably was due in three reasons, the rich timber of the area, famous for wooden boats Samian black pine, the limited financial resources of the two mountain villages and the legacy that left by the pirates, since as they say, one of the hidden shipyards that the pirates maintained, for construction and repair their ships it was here. Hidden from land and sea, in inaccessible area, with rich timber and close to the straits of Samos, Ikaria and Fourni islands, for raids on passing ships. This shipyard probably still operated, in the same facilities and with the same ship carpenters (who were not pirates) even after the elimination of piracy in the Aegean.
During the 20th century in Agios Isidoros operated six small independet shipbuilding and repair units, in which worked a large part of population from the villages Drakai, Kallithea and other villages of Samos. Lumberjacks, mules drivers, ax users, ship carpenters, their assistants and others, composed the workforce of activity.
The type of the boats that they was built in Agios Isodoros, were mainly Trehantiri, but also trata, perama, varkalas, karavoskara, small boats (more about traditional Greek boats), and many wooden barges, which until the middle of the 20th century, served the ships for up & unloading of goods and passengers, to and from the coast or port, which were difficult for the ships to reach at the time.
The largest wooden ship that built in Agios Isidoros, was built in the middle of the 20th century, by the ship carpenter Psilopatis, with a displacement 500 tons, and dimensions of approximately 25 m long and 8 m wide.
From the beginning of the 20th century, commercial and passenger wooden boats were slowly replaced by metal ships, reducing significantly the construction of new big wooden boats, until the middle of the 20th century. Traditional shipyards continue to survive with repair of older and the construction of small and medium wooden boats, mainly fishing and auxiliary such as wooden barges. At the end of the 20th century, the wide circulation of plastic boats at the market, was the beginning of the end for traditional shipyards glory, reducing dramatically the orders for new wooden boats, resulting the significant contraction of the industry.
At the beginning of the 21st century, in Agios Isidoros, there is only one traditional shipyard, of Ioannis Manoliadis, who together with his son Vangelis continue the history of the area and the tradition of ship carpenters craft, with the construction of new, mainly small boats, but and repair of older ones.
A second traditional shipyard, owned by George Kiassos, operates at Drakei village, at a distance of 4.5 km. from Agios Isidoros
The traditional Shipyard of Agios Isidoros, in 2007 was designated as a “protected historical site” by the Ministry of Culture decision No 28789/837/16-5-2007.
Article by the author Elsa Chios “The shipbuilding art in Samos”
Telephone interview with the ship carpenter Georgios Psilopatis
Rib & Sea interview with ship carpenter Ioannis Manoliadis
Rib & Sea interview with the ship carpenter George Kiassos
Documentary “The lost crafts-Samos” by Dimitris Zisopoulos
Notes & writings of Evangelos G. Kiloukiotis
Ioannis E. Kiloukiotistop
- At a distance of 2 km. (dirt road) is the beach Varsamo
- Visit the villages of Drakei and Kallithea.
- Visit the traditional shipyard of George Kiassos in the village of Drakei
- Easy access to Agios Isidoros, by boat, there is a pier.
Respect the natural environment, do not throw trash.
- From Samos city, 70 Κm root
- From Karlovasi city 40 Κm root
- From Pythagoreion 56 Km root
- From Kampos Marathokampou 20 Km root
- No fires
- Camping is prohibited
- Pick up your trash when you leave