Ports mark the interchange between land-based flows and water-based flows of goods, people and transportation vehicles. There are two ancient ports In the Amfilissos area, and also a modern jetty at Balos that retains some of the functions of a port. 4m west of Balos is a small port, Ormos Marathocampos, that still flourishes today.
Marathocampos village was founded in around 1550 in an area previously uninhabited. The settlement was originally built at a lower location, close to a plain of fennel (after which it was named), and a harbour; Ormos Marathocampos (‘i.e. “the Port of Marathocampos”) but was later moved further up the mountain away from the threat of pirate invasion. Historically, Marathocampos was a thriving agricultural village, with many of its residents working as farmers or sailors in Ormos harbour.
Old Ormos (1930s)
Ormos Marathocampos remains attractive to tourists as a resort in the Amfilissos area.
Ancient Porcelain Port at Balos
Between the second century BC until the the 15th century, the ancient port established at the east end of Balos bay was used for the export of fine Samian pottery made in the Amfilissos area, and also to export locally produced olive oil. The export of pottery ceased when the ancient port was destroyed on the arrival of the Turks in the 15th Century, resulting in the complete depopulation of Samos.
Ravine at east end of Balos Bay leading to remains of the ancient porcelain port, now underwater beyond the spit
Port at Ormos Koumeikon (Balos)
After the repopulation of the villages in the area by Samians, from the 16th century until the 19th century, the main exports from the port at Ormos Koumeikon were olive oil, onions (from Koumeika), and charcoal. These were loaded onto boats from the beach at the centre of Balos Bay (Ormos Komeikon). Duriing the period of the Hegemony (1870-1913), a Customs Office was established at Balos, but this ceased to exist when Samos was unified with Greece in 1913. After this time the port declined and had collapsed by the middle of the 20th century.
Ancient port near Pefkos
There was an ancient port at Dritsareika near Pefkos. This was the Mamara port. This port is no longer in use.
Modern Jetty at Balos
Nowadays Balos is a tourist resort with a modern jetty which is used mainy by tourists and residents of the area to access their own boats, used for leisure purposes.