Lesvos

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The Island of Ouzo

Countless Beauties, Glorious Treasures, Millions of Surprizes, Dramatic Sceneries and Lunar Landscapes under the Mysteries of the Sleepless Guard of Eastern Aegean
Over time, the land of Lesvos was desired from countless conquerors. Lesvos is an unexplored continent with countless beauties and mysterious treasures blessed with some of the finest sceneries of the Aegean. A visit to the island of Lesvos holds a bucket of surprises with the scents of earth and sea, the flavors of the local cuisine and the endless beauties of the mountains. Lesvos has a land that invites you to discover it; if you surrender yourself to the mysterious beauties of her, you will be richly rewarded with millions of suprises. The rich interchange of sceneries of the island is blessed with dramatic changes of verdant vegetation and olive groves, walnut, oak and pine trees to lunar landscapes of the western coastline. The unparalleled beauty of Molyvos with its traditional wooden houses and the castle of Mythimna, the therapeutic thermal springs of Therma, the flamingos in the bay of Gera, the eleven million olive trees, the majestic monastery of Limonos, the petrified forest of Sigri, the beach of Eressos and the ouzo capital of Plomari attest the rich history of the island and the spiritual tranquillity of it. Yet, the beauty and history of Lesvos will still enchant you. Even though it might sound absurd, the endless beauties of Lesvos was the result of the terrible explosion of the volcano that flooded the island with lava and changed the morphology of it creating all of this natural abundance; from the ferocity of chaos to the sophistication of harmony. Lesvos is the beginning and end for cultures that lasted over three thousands years with a rich natural environment, tasteful local products and breathtaking sceneries that literally has everything! The island stands like a sleepless guard at the eastern border of the country blessed with verdant vegetation and azure waters inviting you to drink ouzo alongside the fishing boats stuffed with sardines, and discover everything that inspired Elytis!

Discover Lesvos

Best of Lesvos

The Capital of Lesvos

The Town of Mytilene is the beautiful capital and harbour of the island located on the east side of the island. Considered as one of the most ancient cities of the country, Mytilene is built amphitheatrically between seven verdant hills. The entire area consists from old neighbourhoods and picturesque suburbs with exquisite archaeological and religious monuments. Mytilene is the artistic, commercial and industrial center of Lesvos with interesting museums, historical buildings, Ottoman monuments and archaeological sights. However, the jewel of the city is the Castle of Mytilene standing on the highest spot of the area. Every summer, the Festival of Lesvos is held in the city while the Ouzo Festival takes place in August.

The Ancient Town of Mythimna

The Ancient Town of Mythimna was one of the most powerful ancient cities of the island that occupies a peninsula of the northern coast of Lesvos. Archaeological excavations have brought to light remnants of an ancient settlement, almost identical to the modern traditional settlement. Today, Molyvos is considered as one of the most important preserved settlements of the Aegean.

The Church of Panagia Glikofilousa

The Church of Panagia Glikofilousa is one of the most important places of worship of the island standing on a high rock in the centre of the village of Petra. The church boasts a valuable wood carved iconostasis, a wooden carved episcopal throne and a rare collection of byzantine icons. The fortified architecture of the church indicated that it was built in a period of frequent pirate invasions during the byzantine times. Although you will have to ascent 114 steps to access the church, the views of the surrounding areas are stunning.

The Fortress of Mytilene

The Fortress of Mytilene is one of the biggest castles of the Mediterranean occupying the northwest part of the peninsula of Mytilene. The castle was built in the 6th century and it was renovated the Genovese Frangisk Gateluzi in 1355 while it experienced transformations from the Ottomans in 1462. The castle comprises from the upper part that occupies the higher part of the peninsula, the middle part with remnants of Turkish buildings and the lower part that is entirely a Turkish addition. On November of 1912, the fleet of Greece liberated Mytilene and the flag was raised in the castle.

The Monastery of Limonos

The Monastery of Limonos is the largest and most important monastery of the island located close to the village of Kalloni. The monastery was established in the byzantine period and worked until the Ottoman occupation. However, it was re established from Saint Ignatius along with the Limoniada School and became the intellectual center of Lesvos until 1923. Today, the monastery boasts an important library with rare manuscripts and ecclesiastical items. The traditional celebration in honour of the saint is held on the October 8. This is one of the most important religious festivals of the island.

The Ouzo Museum of Barbayiannis

The Ouzo Museum of Barbayiannis is located in the village of Plomari. The museum works as a distillery and presents the production process of ouzo, a traditional alcoholic beverage of Lesvos. The museum emphasizes the tradition related to one of the first rate quality products of the country.

The Petrified Forest of Sigri

The Petrified Forest of Sigri is one of the most beautiful monuments of the geological heritage of the world. It is a member of the Worldwide Network of Geoparks of Unesco. The forest extends over the northwest side of Lesvos in a region covered with volcanic stones. The Petrified Forest was created from the intense volcanic activity occurred throughout the greater Aegean twenty million years ago. The mission of the museum of the petrified forest is to promote, preserve and protect the fossils of the forest. The extensive collection of findings showcase the rich ecosystem of the Aegean. The Petrified Forest of Sigri has been declared as a Preserved Natural Monument from the State of Greece while it was integrated into the Global Network of Geoparks from Unesco.

The Roman Aqueduct

The Roman Aqueduct boasts the remnants of arches with a length of a hundred seventy meters located in the area of Moria. It is estimated that the aqueduct was built during the 2nd century with the intention of carrying water from the abundant resources of Mount Olympus to the ancient city of Mytilene. The roman aqueduct of Lesvos is considered as one of the most important engineering projects in the Mediterranean.

The Village of Agiassos

The Village of Agiassos is a picturesque village located on the west side of the island. The settlement is the main center of handicraft tradition of Lesvos and it is one of the most beautiful villages of the island nestling on the verdant mountainous slopes of Olympus with panoramic views of the endless blue. The village has been declared as a traditional settlement, as it has managed to retain its traditional and customs along with the traditional character of the area. Agiassos is famous for the Church of Panagia Vrefokratousa where the biggest religious festival of Lesvos is held on August 15. The biggest part of the area is offered for hiking adventures owing to the enchanting landscape of olive and pine trees. An exciting trail with one of the most beautiful routes of the island begins here passing through the beautiful chestnut forest of Agiassos.

The Village of Eressos

The Village of Eressos is one of the most beautiful villages of the island located on the west side of the island. The village has managed to retain its authentic character embellished with traditional houses and narrow alleys. However, the most intriguing part is the haven of Eressos, known as Skala Eressos. It has one of the best beaches of country stretching over a length of two kilometres. The birthplace of poetess Sappho is an ideal place for those looking for tranquillity and relaxation. Wander around the area, watch a movie at the open-air cinema and enjoy the local specialties at the seaside cafeterias and taverns with the beautiful sunset views. A few miles away from Eressos is the Petrified Forest of Sigri, one of the most interesting natural wonders of Greece and the Monastery of Pithari surrounded from beautiful surroundings.

The Village of Molyvos

The Village of Molyvos is one of the most beautiful medieval settlements of Greece located on the north side of the island. Declared as a preserved village from the State of Greece, the settlement distinguishes for its with mansions and stone roof houses between the labyrinthine cobblestone alleys crowned from the Castle of Mythimna. The charming harbour of the area offers breathtaking sceneries with panoramic views to the Aegean. Molyvos hosts an important archaeological collection as well as a municipal art gallery. Every summer, numerous cultural events are held inside the castle. A few kilometres away lies the settlement of Eftalou boasting the famous thermal springs with its therapautic properties. After enjoying your dive in the sandy secluded beaches, taste the local delicacies in the surrounding taverns.

The Village of Plomari

The Village of Plomari is the ouzo capital of Lesvos located on the south side of the island.  The village is built amphitheatrically among verdant hills around the natural bay with magnificent views to the Aegean. Plomari has a traditional character with stone houses and colorful courtyards, cobblestone alleys and beautiful churches. The settlement has rich cultural and musical traditional organizing festivities all year round. The shipyard of Plomari is considered as one of the best ancient shipyards of the Aegean. One of the main attractions of Plomari is the Barbayiannis Ouzo Museum that presents the production process of ouzo, the traditional alcoholic beverage of Lesvos. The museum emphasizes the tradition related to one of the first rate quality products of the country. Also, the beach of Agios Isidoros lies off the town. The beach is considered as one of the cleanest and biggest beaches of the island. The most notable cultural event is the Ouzo Festival held every August.

The Village of Sigri

The Village of Sigri is a fishing village located on the west side of the island. Known for the Petrified Forest that was created from the intense volcanic activity of the Aegean twenty million years ago, Sigri is one of the main attractions of Lesvos. Travellers can follow the special sign-posted footpaths on the entire hillside to discover the mysteries of the Petrified Forest. Sigri is the largest natural harbour of the island sheltered from the islet of Nisiopi. The islet can be explored through short boat tours with main attractions of the big lighthouse, the chapel of Agios Georgios as well as the famous trunks of the petrified tees lying in the sea. At last, it should be mentioned that Sigri is known for its exquisite fish taverns.

The Wetland of Kalloni

The Wetland of Kalloni is one of the most important ecosystems of Lesvos located on the southern side of the island. The areas around the bay of Kalloni serve as a shelter and reproductive place for endangered, rare and protected bird species. These wetlands include the lagoon of Messa, the marsh of Skala Kallonis, the saltpans of Kalloni and Polihnitos and the torrents of Ennia Kamares, Mylopotamos, Tsiknia and Vouvaris. The wetland has been declared as a special area of nature preservation from the European Network of Natura 2000. The wetland of Kalloni is an ideal destination for bird watchers.

Archaeological Sites

The Ancient Town of Antissa was one of the ancient cities of the island located on the western point of Lesvos. Ancient Antissa was the birthplace of Terpandros, the founder of ancient Greek music. Archaeological excavations have unearthed the remnants of the ancient settlement along with the relics of the castle of Ovriokastro. The ancient city occupied the area that is today the medieval castle of the northern half of the peninsula. Within the city, excavations have identified the remains of houses and the relics of the medieval walls.

The Ancient Town of Eressos was one of the ancient cities of the island founded following the colonization of the Aeolians during the Hellenistic period. The citadel is built on a hill on the southwest side of the beach of Eressos. Today, architectural fragments of the ancient town and remnants of the walls of the medieval castle are the sole surviving remains.

The Ancient Town of Mesa was one of the ancient cities and the centre of worship dedicated to the Lesbian trinity of Zeus, Hera and Dionysus. Archaeological excavations have discovered the remnants of temples of the classical era, which are considered as one of the most interesting examples of architecture of this period. Today, foundations and architectural fragments of the temple along with the foundations of a byzantine church are the sole surviving remains. The archaeological site is located on the area of Koukala in Agia Paraskevi.

The Ancient Town of Mythimna was one of the most powerful ancient cities of the island that occupies a peninsula of the northern coast of Lesvos. Archaeological excavations have brought to light remnants of an ancient settlement, almost identical to the modern traditional settlement. Today, Molyvos is considered as one of the most important preserved settlements of the Aegean.

The Ancient Town of Pyrra was one of the ancient cities of the island located on the seabed close to the mouth of river Vouvari. A large earthquake destroyed the city and the tidal waves sunk parts of the settlement. On the hill of Pyrra, one can see numerous foundations of buildings and ancient fortifications. Close to the sea, there are still remaining parts of the ancient port visible when the seawaters are calm.

The Ancient Town of Thermi was one of the ancient cities of the island located on the eastern coast of the island. Thermi is considered to be the first city of the Mediterranean. Archaeological excavations have brought to light the remnants of the architectural design of the settlement including fortifications and roads. Thermi is one of the best researched settlements of the northeast Aegean. The position of Thermi was the most important harbour of the period, although evidence were not revealed due to the erosion of the land.

The Ancient Theatre of Mytilene was built in the Hellenistic period on the verdant hill of Agia Kyriaki. Today, the latest form of the theatre is visible as it was repaired from the Romans. The Ancient Theatre of Mytilene was regarded as one of the largest theatres in antiquity. According to tradition, the Roman Emperor Pompey decided to build a similar theatre in Rome during his visit to Lesvos.

The Roman Aqueduct boasts the remnants of arches with a length of a hundred seventy meters located in the area of Morias. It is estimated that the aqueduct was built during the 2nd century with the intention of carrying water from the abundant resources of Mount Olympus to the ancient city of Mytilene. The roman aqueduct of Lesvos is considered as one of the most important engineering projects in the Mediterranean.

The Temple of Klopedi is a characteristic example of archaic architecture lying on the top of a plateau close to the town of Agia Paraskevi. Archaeological excavations have brought to light the structural remnants of two ancient temples, now displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Mytilene. Klopedi was one of the most important sanctuaries of the island, which is believed to be dedicated to Apollo Napeos.

Castles and Fortresses

The Castle of Sigri was built from the Ottomans in 1757 with the intention of protecting the harbour of Sigri from pirate invasions, as it was one of the most important harbours of trade transportation in the times. The main walls of the castle stand on the edge of the bay of Sigri. Although there aren’t fortifications inside the site, the castle offers panoramic views of the Aegean.

The Fortress of Mytilene is one of the biggest castles of the Mediterranean occupying the northwest part of the peninsula of Mytilene. The castle was built in the 6th century and it was renovated the Genovese Frangisk Gateluzi in 1355 while it experienced transformations from the Ottomans in 1462. The castle comprises from the upper part that occupies the higher part of the peninsula, the middle part with remnants of Turkish buildings and the lower part that is entirely a Turkish addition. On November of 1912, the fleet of Greece liberated Mytilene and the flag was raised in the castle.

The Fortress of Mythimna is one of the best preserved castles of the Eastern Mediterranean dominating the top of the hill of Molyvos. The castle was built in the 13th century and it was renovated from the Genovese Frangisk Gualeluzo in 1373 while it experienced transformations from the Ottomans in 1462. It is a well constructed fortress with strong walls and distinctive elements divided in many levels. During the summer, a series of cultural events are held within the castle.

Churches and Monasteries

The Church of Agios Athanasios is an imposing church located in the centre of the city of Mytilene. It is the cathedral of the city distinguished for its remarkable structures and its huge bell tower with gothic elements. The church boasts a beautiful wood carving of the byzantine period and a stunning fretwork icon screen. The martyrdom of Saint Athanasios is celebrated on February 17.

The Church of Agios Therapon is a majestic church located in the city of Mytilene. The church was built from the local architect Argyris Adalis, a student of Ernst Ziller, in the 18th century. The church boasts an imposing architecture along with a beautiful carved wooden temple. The church combines architectural elements of baroque, rococo, neoclassicism and gothic. It is a must visit.

The Church of Panagia Glikofilousa is one of the most important places of worship of the island standing on a high rock in the centre of the village of Petra. The church boasts a valuable wood carved iconostasis, a wooden carved episcopal throne and a rare collection of byzantine icons. The fortified architecture of the church indicated that it was built in a period of frequent pirate invasions during the byzantine times. Although you will have to ascent 114 steps to access the church, the views of the surrounding areas are stunning.

The Church of Panagia Gorgona (Virgin the Mermaid) is located in the charming harbour of Skala Sikamnias. The church stands on a small rock by the sea, named after an icon depicting the Virgin with a fishtail. Panagia Gorgona is the patroness of fishermen.

The Church of Panagia Vrefokratousa is the religious centre of the island located in the town of Agiassos. The church boasts an impressive collection of old icons along with the icon of Virgin Mary holding Jesus, which was brought to Agiassos from Jerusalem in 803 AC. The church celebrates in honour of Virgin Mary on August 15.

The Monastery of Ipsilou, else known as the Monastery of Agios Ioannis Theologos, is one of the oldest monasteries of the island located close to the village of Andissa. The fortified monastery was built on the crater of a dormant volcano in 1101. Inside the monastery, there is a collection of byzantine icons, gold plated gospels, crosses with pearls and an interesting library with a valuable collection of manuscripts.

The Monastery of Limonos is the largest and most important monastery of the island located close to the village of Kalloni. The monastery was established in the byzantine period and worked until the Ottoman occupation. However, it was re established from Saint Ignatius along with the Limoniada School and became the intellectual center of Lesvos until 1923. Today, the monastery boasts an important library with rare manuscripts and ecclesiastical items. The traditional celebration in honour of the saint is held on the October 8. This is one of the most important religious festivals of the island.

The Monastery of Taxiarhis is one of the most important pilgrimage centres of the island located in the village of Mandamados. According to tradition, the monastery was invaded from the Saracen pirates, who slaughtered the monks, with the exception of a new probationary monk who managed to hide in the ceiling of the church. From there, he saw the form of the Archangel hovering over the corpses of the monks. Then, he took clay, wax and the blood of the monks and created the icon of Taxiarhis. From this incident onwards, Taxiarhis is the patron saint of the island. Up until today, the inspiring picture with the large eyes of Archangel awes inspiring. The monastery celebrates on Sunday of Myrrhbearer, two weeks after the Resurrection, with a one of the greatest religious festivals of Lesvos.

The Monastery of Perivoli spreads on a beautiful verdant valley close to the village of Andissa. The monastery has an interesting collection of wall paintings from the sixteenth century. There is a beautiful courtyard with olive groves outside the walls of the monastery, an ideal setting for picnics.

Ottoman Monuments

The Çarsi Hamam is part of the complex of Yeni Mosque located at the center of the Ottoman neighbourhood Asize. The building follows the conventional design of bath houses. Çarsi is the most impressive hamam of the island, which acts as a cultural center during the summer.

The Valide Mosque is the jewel of the harbour of Mytilene. It is one of the oldest mosques of the island built in 1615. In its interior, the roof has a colourful decoration, which was covered with brown colour after the occupation of the Ottomans.

The Yeni Mosque is the biggest mosque of the island located in the city of Mytilene, on Ermou Street in the old Turkish market. The mosque was build from Moustafa Aga Koulaksiz in 1825. The mosque distinguishes for its beautiful stone construction covered with buzantine and ottoman stylistic elements.

Monuments

The City Hall of Mytilene and the Building of the North Aegean Region are located in the city of Mytilene.  The buildings are examples of the neoclassical architecture.

The First Gymnasium of Mytilene is an imposing building of neoclassical architecture. It is a three storey building and its façade is covered with white marble. The building was built from Argyris Adalis, a student of Ziller, in 1888 financed from the benefactors of Lesvos namely Mitrelias and Vournazos.

The Mansion of Vareltzidena is one of the few surviving examples of the traditional mansions of Lesvos. The mansion was built in the late 18th century. Its architectural form is influenced from the fortified tower structures and the lightweight upper structure while its interior includes paintings with various scenes and richly decorated wooden ceilings. The mansion functions as a monument.

The School of Agia Paraskevi is an imposing building of neoclassical architecture. The construction of the building was financed with revenues of the oil press of the town. The school of Agia Paraskevi is one of the most attractive monuments of the island.

Museums

The Archaeological Museum of Mytilene is housed in a neoclassical building of Vournazos family. The museum exhibits the rich history of the island through a collection of archaeological findings found in the ancient settlements of Lesvos. These findings include tombstones, fragments of ancient temples, marble statues, coins and jewelry. The collection is also exhibited in another building in the area of Kioski Mytilene.

The Barbayiannis Ouzo Museum is located in the village of Plomari. The museum works as a distillery and presents the production process of ouzo, a traditional alcoholic beverage of Lesvos. The museum emphasizes the tradition related to one of the first rate quality products of the country.

The Byzantine Museum of Lesvos exhibits a rich collection of byzantine icons, pieces of screens, manuscripts, ecclesiastical books and verstments of priests. The museum is located in the city of Mytilene.

The Folklore Museum of Mytilene is housed in the building of the Old Port Authority. The museum exhibits folklore artefacts of the history of the island including unique artefacts like embroideries, traditional customes, silverware and figures of shadow theatre.

The Iakovidis Digital Museum is the first digital art museum of the country located in the village of Hidira. The museum displays the work of one of the most important painters of contemporary art of the 19th century.

The Olive Museum of Archipelago is one of the first steam powered factories of the Aegean. It was built in 1887 from Nicholas Vranas, the grandfather of Odysseus Elytis, in the village of Papados. In 1999, the building became the propety of the non profit organization of Archipelago who undertook the project of restoration and conversion into a museum.

The Olive Oil Production Museum is housed in an old olive press in the village of Agia Paraskevi. The main goal of the museum is to present the technological development of olive oil production along the centuries.

The Petrified Forest Museum is located in the entrance of the Petrified Forest of Sigri. The mission of the museum is to promote, preserve and protect the fossils of the forest. The extensive collection of findings showcase the ecosystem of the Northeast Aegean since 20 million years ago.

The Theophilos Museum was founded from Stratis Eleftheriades in 1995. The museum displays the paintings of the famous local folklore artist Theofilos Hatzimihael located in the area of Akrotiri, a suburb of Mytilene.

Natural Beauties

The Petrified Forest of Sigri is one of the most beautiful monuments of the geological heritage of the world. It is a member of the Worldwide Network of Geoparks of Unesco. The forest extends over the northwest side of Lesvos in a region covered with volcanic stones. The Petrified Forest was created from the intense volcanic activity occurred throughout the greater Aegean twenty million years ago. The mission of the museum of the petrified forest is to promote, preserve and protect the fossils of the forest. The extensive collection of findings showcase the rich ecosystem of the Aegean. The Petrified Forest of Sigri has been declared as a Preserved Natural Monument from the State of Greece while it was integrated into the Global Network of Geoparks from Unesco.

The Olive Forest of Gera is the most fertile area of the island. The harvesting season begins in October and ends in May. Lesvos is well known for its fine virgin olive oil, as there are approximately eleven million tress on the island.

The Thermal Springs of Lesvos have been known for their therapeutic properties since antiquity. They have healing properties for various treatments including chronic rheumatism, arthritis, myalgia pain, skin conditions and gynaecological problems. The thermal springs of the island are located in the areas of Polihnitos, Thermi, Eftalou and Gera.

The Waterfalls of Man’ Katsa is one of the most beautiful landscapes of the island located two kilometers from the intersection of Pedi to Aspropotamos. The area is a well hidden natural oasis, a perfect spot for exploration. The surrounding area is embellished from verdant vegetation and the unique spectacle of the waterfalls.

The Wetland of Kalloni is one of the most important ecosystems of Lesvos located on the southern side of the island. The areas around the bay of Kalloni serve as a shelter and reproductive place for endangered, rare and protected bird species. These wetlands include the lagoon of Messa, the marsh of Skala Kallonis, the saltpans of Kalloni and Polihnitos and the torrents of Ennia Kamares, Mylopotamos, Tsiknia and Vouvaris. The wetland has been declared as a special area of nature preservation from the European Network of Natura 2000. The wetland of Kalloni is an ideal destination for bird watchers.

Promenades & Villages

Andissa is a traditional mountainous village located on the northwest side of the island. The settlement distinguishes for its traditional houses that spread around the verdant mountain slopes offering stunning views to the surrounding areas. The life of the village is centred at the central square with numerous traditional cafeterias and taverns. Lovers of exploring the nature can wander around the surrounding area with lush vegetation. The main attraction of the wider region is the Monastery of Ipsilou, a must visit. Gavathas is the haven of the village with a beautiful sandy beach.

Agiassos is a picturesque village located on the west side of the island. The settlement is the main center of handicraft tradition of Lesvos and it is one of the most beautiful villages of the island nestling on the verdant mountainous slopes of Olympus with panoramic views of the endless blue. The village has been declared as a traditional settlement, as it has managed to retain its traditional and customs along with the traditional character of the area. Agiassos is famous for the Church of Panagia Vrefokratousa where the biggest religious festival of Lesvos is held on August 15. The biggest part of the area is offered for hiking adventures owing to the enchanting landscape of olive and pine trees. An exciting trail with one of the most beautiful routes of the island begins here passing through the beautiful chestnut forest of Agiassos.

Agia Paraskevi is a traditional village located on the central part of the island. The settlement has a traditional character with beautiful mansions and cobblestone alleys, known for its Bull Festival. One of the main attractions of the area is the old communal olive press that has been converted into the Museum of Olive. A few kilometres away lies the ancient temple of Klopedi, the sole sight of the country with remnants of the Aeolian architectural style and the ancient town of Messa that served as the center of worship for the ancient cities of Lesvos. An important folklore festival is held in the village known as the Bull Festival, a respectful feast in honour of Agios Charalambos, the protector of ploughmen.

Eressos is one of the most beautiful villages of the island located on the west side of the island. The village has managed to retain its authentic character embellished with traditional houses and narrow alleys. However, the most intriguing part is the haven of Eressos, known as Skala Eressos. It has one of the best beaches of country stretching over a length of two kilometres. The birthplace of poetess Sappho is an ideal place for those looking for tranquillity and relaxation. Wander around the area, watch a movie at the open-air cinema and enjoy the local specialties at the seaside cafeterias and taverns with the beautiful sunset views. A few miles away from Eressos is the Petrified Forest of Sigri, one of the most interesting natural wonders of Greece and the Monastery of Pithari surrounded from beautiful surroundings.

Evergetoula is a municipality with seven beautiful villages with unique history and heritage. The traditional settlement of Asomatos is known for its rusks while the verdurous village of Agioi Anargiroi is blessed with natural surroundings, an ideal place for resting. In the area of Mylelia lies a restored watermill open for visitors. Hidden in the olive groves, Mihou is known for its panoramic views from the chapel of Agios Ioannis Theologos. And lets not forget about the fresh fish of the village of Pigadakia. In the greater area of Evergetoula the roman aqueduct is located, a must visit sight!

Gera is a municipality spreading among verdant mountain slopes and olive groves on the northeast side of the island. Worth visiting villages include the village of Thermi for its thermal springs, the village of Papados for the imposing mansion of Vranas, once a residence of Nobelist Odysseus Elytis, the village of Mesagros for the beautiful minaret of an old mosque, the village of Skopelos for the tunnels of Magdalene, the longest early Christian catacombs, the village of Plakados for the magnificent forest of Soroko, and the beautiful beach of Tarti.

Hidira is a mountainous village located on the northwest side of the island. It is one of the most charming villages of Lesvos surrounded from wooded mountains and olive groves. The authentic character of the village is evident throughout the layout of its traditional architecture. The main attraction of the village is the Iakovidis Digital Museum, the first digital art museum of the country that displays the work of one of the most important painters of contemporary art of the 19th century. Hidira is known for its local wine produced from organically grapes. One can visit the Methymnaos Winery to discover the production method.

Kalloni is the nature capital of Lesvos located on the central part of the island. The settlement is built on the largest plain of Lesvos, which has been declared as a protected area from the European Network of Natura 2000. The most inriguing attraction of the area is the bay of Kalloni with rare migratory birds species. Also, Kalloni is known for its sardines and the Sardine Festival held in August. In a close proximity from the area, the imposing Monastery of Limonos is found, a must visit excursion. You can also visit the settlement of Parakila known for its natural beauty known for its orange groves as well as the beautiful beach of Apothika with its delicious seaside fish taverns.

Madamados is a traditional village located on the east side of the island. The settlement distinguishes for its traditional architecture and charming alleys. Madamados is known for its pottery crafts, livestock production and virgin olive oil.  The religious center of the island hosts the imposing monastery of Taxiarhes, which celebrates on Sunday of Myrrhbearer, two weeks after the Resurrection, with a one of the greatest religious festivals of Lesvos. The area is blessed with picturesque beaches including Agios Stefanos, Palio and Pedi. Also, the Museum of Olive Oil is located in the area. You can also visit the pottery shop of Stelios Stamatis and the cheese factory of Mistakeli, the best of the island. The dairy products of Madamados are produced with the traditional authentic way in clay pots.

Molyvos is one of the most beautiful medieval settlements of Greece located on the north side of the island. Declared as a preserved village from the State of Greece, the settlement distinguishes for its with mansions and stone roof houses between the labyrinthine cobblestone alleys crowned from the Castle of Mythimna. The charming harbour of the area offers breathtaking sceneries with panoramic views to the Aegean. Molyvos hosts an important archaeological collection as well as a municipal art gallery. Every summer, numerous cultural events are held inside the castle. A few kilometres away lies the settlement of Eftalou boasting the famous thermal springs with its therapautic properties. After enjoying your dive in the sandy secluded beaches, taste the local delicacies in the surrounding taverns.

Mytilene is the beautiful capital and harbour of the island located on the east side of the island. Considered as one of the most ancient cities of the country, Mytilene is built amphitheatrically between seven verdant hills. The entire area consists from old neighbourhoods and picturesque suburbs with exquisite archaeological and religious monuments. Mytilene is the artistic, commercial and industrial center of Lesvos with interesting museums, historical buildings, Ottoman monuments and archaeological sights. However, the jewel of the city is the Castle of Mytilene standing on the highest spot of the area. Every summer, the Festival of Lesvos is held in the city while the Ouzo Festival takes place in August.

Petra is a seaside village located on the northwest side of the island. The settlement spreads on a verdant valley surrounded from an endless sandy beach. Petra distinguishes for its old mansions and colourful gardens; pay a visit to he mansion of Vareltzidena, one of the few surviving examples of the traditional mansions of Lesvos. The surrounding islets namely Ai Giorgis, Glaronisi, Mikro Nisi and Mirmingi have been declared as protected wildlife bird zones, as they constitute an important place for migratory bird species. However, the main attraction of Petra is the Church of Panagia Glikofilousa built on a high rock. Although you will have to ascent 114 steps to access the church, the views of the surrounding areas are stunning. Within close distance from the village of Petra, you will find the village of Petri. Petri is a mountainous village with vegetation of chestnut trees. The view is astonishing. Here, you will enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets of the island. The fountain of the village is known as the Fountain of Achilles. According to tradition, Achilles moored his ship to this rock during the Trojan War!

Plomari is the ouzo capital of Lesvos located on the south side of the island.  The village is built amphitheatrically among verdant hills around the natural bay with magnificent views to the Aegean. Plomari has a traditional character with stone houses and colorful courtyards, cobblestone alleys and beautiful churches. The settlement has rich cultural and musical traditional organizing festivities all year round. The shipyard of Plomari is considered as one of the best ancient shipyards of the Aegean. One of the main attractions of Plomari is the Barbayiannis Ouzo Museum that presents the production process of ouzo, the traditional alcoholic beverage of Lesvos. The museum emphasizes the tradition related to one of the first rate quality products of the country. Also, the beach of Agios Isidoros lies off the town. The beach is considered as one of the cleanest and biggest beaches of the island. The most notable cultural event is the Ouzo Festival held every August.

Polihnitos is a seaside village located on the south side of the island. Known for its therapeutic thermal springs, the village has an attractive setting with stone houses, neoclassical building and cobblestone alleys. The thermal springs of Polihnitos are considered as one of the hottest springs in Europe. Worth visiting sights include the folklore museum and the Church of Agios Georgios with beautiful frescoes.

Sikaminia is a traditional village located on the north side of the island. The settlement is built on the verdant mountain slopes of Lepethymnos offering panoramic views of the endless blue. The village distinguishes for its traditional houses and beautiful gardens reaching the seashores of Sikaminia. The settlement is also the birthplace of Stratis Myrivilis, one of the most notable novelists of the country. However, the most intriguing part of the village is the panoramic views of the Aegean and the Asia Minor. Skala Sikamnias is the haven of the village, known for the chapel of Panagia Gorgona that inspired the novel of the novelist.

Sigri is a fishing village located on the west side of the island. Known for the Petrified Forest that was created from the intense volcanic activity of the Aegean twenty million years ago, Sigri is one of the main attractions of Lesvos. Travellers can follow the special sign-posted footpaths on the entire hillside to discover the mysteries of the Petrified Forest. Sigri is the largest natural harbour of the island sheltered from the islet of Nisiopi. The islet can be explored through short boat tours with main attractions of the big lighthouse, the chapel of Agios Georgios as well as the famous trunks of the petrified tees lying in the sea. At last, it should be mentioned that Sigri is known for its exquisite fish taverns.

Skalohori is one of the most charming villages of Lesvos located on the northwest side of the island. The settlement maintains its traditional character with stone houses and cobblestone alleys overlooking the endless blue of the Aegean. The main attraction of the area is the women agroutourism association that produces sweetspoons, marmalades and handmade pasta and the apiculture workshop of Melistagma that produces fine honey products. Kalo Limani is the haven of Skalohori.

Vatoussa is a mountainous village located on the southwest side of the island. Declared as a traditional settlement from the State of Greece, the village has maintained its traditional character with architectural features of the 19th century. Imposing stone houses with ceramic roofs and cobblestone alleys will impress immediately the visitors. Worth visiting sights include the Mansion of Gogos for its neoclassical architectural style housing an interesting folklore museum and a library collection and the Church of the Archangels for its constructions resembling the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Sunset Spots

Spot: Beach of Eressos, West Lesvos

Spot: Castle of Mytilene, East Lesvos

Spot: Church of Panagia Gorgona, North Lesvos

Spot: Village of Molyvos, Northwest Lesvos

Spot: Village of Plomari, Southeast Lesvos

Spot: Village of Sigri, Southwest Lesvos

Excursions

Boat Trip: The Island of Chios is unfolding in front of your eyes ready to be explored. Atmospheric medieval mastic villages and beaches of wild beauty with volcanic pebbles. Mansion houses with flowery gardens and citrus orchards and dense forests with miraculous tears of mastic. Impressive mosaics and geometric shapes with floral motifs. Hanging in a corner of the Aegean, the value of Chios is timeless blessed from the fragrant scents of mastic and the majestic diversities of the landscapes. Do you want to discover the unrevealed mysterious beauties of the island? Wander around the scenic meadows of tulips of Kambos and explore the beautiful geometric shapes of floral motifs of Pyrgi. Visit the impressive New Byzantine Monastery with its wonderful mosaics and be amazed from the evocative deserted settlement of Anavatos. Every corner of the island is hiding an unexpected surprise.

Boat Trip: The Island of Ikaria has this distinctive human element associated with the magical spirit and the colourful opticism that remains unique in its kind.Verdant mountain slopes drown in the deep blue sea with the intention of giving their position on steep bare slopes and revert to even richer landscapes that hide priceless mysterious treasures. The south side is characterized from rare wild beauty sceneries while the beautiful beaches are the absolute protagonists of the north side. The pace of life of Ikaria exudes a peaceful aura with a complete lack of sense of time. Indeed, the island moves in relaxing rhythms showcasing its unique philosophy of life, only the first reason you will fall in love with her amongst others. Seaside villages perched on the rocks, exceptional beaches fringed with turquoise waters, traditional authentic festivals and hospitable people give to the island a unique colour. Ikaria has notorious laxity flirting dangerously with mythical creatures exuding an aura of extraordinary authenticity. Feels like people in Ikaria are required to laught, drink, talk and dance by law, envied from millions others. The smiles of the people are so bright and powerful, one of the most irrepleacable ways to make you forget everything. All suggest a different way of life, turning your experience into an adventure. The carelessness of the inhabitants is rolling in their life without anxiety and stress. Follow the magical world of the inhabitants of Ikaria. Loosely, as only they know, since time in the island never stops, as it never started counting. All of the above are the exceptional reasons to fall in love with Ikaria. We will not reveal to you the recipe for longevity, but Ikarians themselves will show you their distinctive way of living.

Boat Trip: The Island of Psara is a dry island in the middle of nowhere. Imagine a dry rock emerging from the Aegean Sea. Try to visualize Zeus throwing a massive rock into the sea in one of his fights with jealous Hera. It could be Psara, a mysterious island! A place filled with people with a calm smile of pure sufficiency. Cubic houses and ceramic roofs. Fuchsia bougainvillea and cobblestone alleys. Cultural heritage and traditional character. Pristine landscapes and virgin seashores.  Do you need something else?

Activities

Bird Watching: Lesvos has the perfect environment for thousands native and migratory birds. The most famous wetland is located in Kalloni serving as a refugee and breeding site for numerous endangered bird species. Another significant wetland is located in the area of Ntipi-Larsos while the estuaries of the rivers Almyropotamos and Vourkos create an interesting wetland with various bird species. Discover more on the website of Lesvos Birding.

Camping: Are you a camping lover? You will find a campsite in the village of Molyvos.

Diving: The varied coastline of Lesvos offers numerous exciting explorations for diving enthusiasts. The reef of Mirmingi, the wall of Orgy, the cave of Agios Vasilios, the reef of Mersinia, the cave of Fara, the wrecks of Agios Fokas, Korakas, Lamna, Toukmakia and Vatera and the reefs of Feggameni and Molyvos are some of the most interesting diving spots. One will find diving centres at the beaches of Haramida, Mytilene and Petra.

Driving: The countryside of Lesvos is an ideal place for driving explorations. (1) One of the most beautiful routes of the island starts from Plakado, the smallest village of Gera, following an agricultural road that leads to the beautiful forest of Soroko with panoramic views. (2) Another interesting driving route starts from the village of Eressos towards the village of Sigri. The route passes through rugged mountains, lunar landscapes and astonishing views to the Aegean. (3) It is also worth driving from the area of Kountouroudia to the area of Perama in the time of the sunset. You will be amazed!

Hiking: Lesvos can be characterized as the paradise for hiker lovers. The abundant natural beauty sceneries with scattered cultural monuments and spectacular views of the Aegean create an interesting opportunity for exploration. (1) Visiting the waterfalls of Man ‘Katsa is one of the most beautiful routes of the island. On the road from Mytilene to the village of Mandamados, take the dirt road on your left a hundred meters before turning to Aspropotamos. Follow the dirt track for 1,2 kilometres and search for the wired gate on your right. You will be able to see the park and walk to the numerous paths of the area. (2) An exciting trail with one of the most beautiful routes of the island passes through the chestnut forest of Agiassos. If you visit in October, you will be able to taste the most delicious chestnuts! (3) Begin your walk from the village of Molyvos that leads uphill to the medieval castle of Molyvos and the beautiful forest of Kastelia. (4) It is also worth wondering to the trails of geological park of the Petrified Forest. . It is a member of the Worldwide Network of Geoparks of Unesco. The forest extends over the northwest side of Lesvos in a region covered with volcanic stones. The Petrified Forest was created from the intense volcanic activity occurred throughout the greater Aegean twenty million years ago. (5) Another beautiful route starts on the west side of the village of Mihos in the municipality of Evergetoula. There, you will witness abundant landscapes of nature with plane trees, small waterfalls and olive groves. The route leads to the chapel of Agios Ioannis Theologos standing on the top of the hill. The views are fantastic!

Kitesurfing: Lesvos is known for its ideal conditions for lovers of kitesurfing, as the island gets really windy especially in the summer. The beach of Sigri is an ideal place to practise you favourite sport. You will also find a kitesurf center on the beach.

Mountain Biking: The rich natural diversity of Lesvos is highly suitable for mountain and road biking. Exciting trails from rural roads to specially designed cycling routes are available in various parts of the island. (1) One of the most beautiful routes starts from the river of Selounda in Plomari towards the village of Agiassos. (2) Another interesting route starts from Karyonas Mount in Gera and leads to the villages of Skopelos, Papados and Plomari. Discover the routes of the island through the Lesvos Mountain Biking Association.

Off Road: Lovers of off road driving can follow the dirt roads leading to the mountains of Lesvos in order to explore the mysterious beauties of the island. (1) One of the most beautiful routes begins from the village of Sigri to the village of Eressos. An amazing route! (2) Another beautiful route starts from the verdant location of Agii Anargyroi. Then, you will have to pass through the imposing mountains of Mihou and the chestnut forest of Agiassos. Descending to the south coast, drive along the gulf of Gera to Avlonas. (3) Another interesting route starts from the bridge of Kremasti. It passes through the waterfalls of Man ‘Katsa towards the village of Mandamados. (4) It is also worth following the dirt road between Plomari and Agiassos as well as the dirt road between Stypsi and Vafios. You will be rewarded from the excellent views! (5) The dirt track from the beach of Eftalou to the village of Sikaminia is also quite interesting.  Make sure you always check the maps of the destination before you get into your car!

Thermal Springs: The thermal springs of Lesvos have been known for their therapeutic properties since antiquity. They have healing properties for various treatments including chronic rheumatism, arthritis, myalgia pain, skin conditions and gynaecological problems. The thermal springs of the island are located in the areas of Polihnitos, Thermi, Eftalou and Gera.

Beaches

Agios Isidoros, else known as the beach of Plomari, is a long sandy beach with blue waters located on the south side of the island. The beach is organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas, beach bars and taverns. Agios Isidoros has been voted as the seventh cleanest beach of the country.

Anaxos is a long sandy beach with blue waters located on the west side of the island. It is one of the most popular beaches of the island with various amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas, beach bars and taverns.

Agios Ermogenis is a sandy beach with emerald waters located on the south side of the island. It is a secluded beach ideal for those looking for tranquility. The idyllic scenery offers beautiful views of the endless blue. Also, there is a tavern at the beach.

Eftalou is a long pebbled beach with thermal healing waters located on the north side of the island. The beach is extremely tranquil and an ideal spot for those looking from relaxation.

Eressos is one of the most beautiful beaches of Lesvos located in the west side of the island. It is a long sandy beach with cold blue waters stretching over a length of two kilometres. The beach is partially organized with sunbeds and umbrellas while there are numerous beach bars, taverns and cafeterias in the surrounding areas. The beach of Eressos is a stunning sunset spot!

Haramida is a long sandy beach with blue waters located close to the town of Mytilene. It is one of the most beautiful beaches of the island with rocky formations and verdant vegetation. The beach has also a diving center.

Gavathas is a long sandy beach with blue waters located on northwest side of the island. The beach offers beautiful views to the homonymous islet, and sometimes you might have the opportunity to watch the seagulls that live on it. It is a secluded beach ideal for those looking for tranquility.

Hrousos is an isolated sandy beach with blue waters located on the west side of the island. It is one of the wildest beaches of the island with cold waters, as the river Lagada flows into the sea on the one edge of the beach. During the summer, a canteen operates at the beach.

Kalloni is a long sandy beach with blue waters located on the central part of the island. It is a well organized beach with numerous amenities including sunbeds, umbrellas and taverns.

Kanoni is a sandy and pebbled beach with blue waters located in the area of Thermi close to Mytilene.  The beach is organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas, beach bars and water sports. It is one of the most popular beaches of Lesvos due to its close proximity to the town.

Kambos is a long sandy beach with blue waters located on the west side of the island. It is a secluded beach ideal for those looking for tranquility and isolation.

Melinda is a sandy and pebbled beach with blue waters located on southeast side of the island. The beach is tranquil ideal for those looking for seclusion with beautiful surrounding. Amenities can be found in the nearby village of Paleohori and the town of Plomari.

Molyvos is a sandy beach with blue waters located on the north side of the island. It has been awarded from the Blue Flag of the European Union for its clean waters. The beach is well organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas, water sport facilities and taverns.

Mytilene is the main beach of the town located close to the harbour. It is a pebbled and sandy beach with blue waters with various amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas, beach bars and fish taverns.

Petra is a long sandy beach with blue waters located on the northwest side of the island. It is a well organized beach with sunbeds and umbrellas, watersport facilities and ideal for snorkeling. There are taverns in a close distance. The beach offers stunning views to the surrounding islets.

Sigri is a long sandy beach with blue waters located on the west side of the island. It is a tranquil beach with verdant vegetation with panoramic views of the surrounding areas. The beach is ideal for windsurfing lovers.

Tarti is a sandy beach with blue waters located on the south side of the island. It is a well organized beach with numerous amenities including various amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas, fish taverns and cafeterias.

Tsamakia is a sandy and pebbled beach located close to the town of Mytilene. It is one of the most popular beaches of the town with many amenities including umbrellas, sunbeds, beach soccer courts and showers.

Tsilia is a sandy cove with blue waters located in the bay of Geras. It is a beautiful cove with beautiful surroundings ideal for those looking for tranquillity.

Vatera is a long sandy beach located on the south side of the island. The beach stretches over an area of seven kilometres and it is considered as one of the most beautiful beaches of Lesvos sheltered from the northeast summer winds. The beach is well organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas, cafeterias and taverns.

Coffee Corners, Gastronomic Delights and Cocktails Inspirations

Coffee Corners

Jazz: Coffee, Plomari
Lionas: Coffee, Agiassos
Loukoumades Mandamados: Coffee and Pastries, Mandamados
Margaritaraki: Coffee and Pastries, Eressos
Mousiko: Coffee, Mytilene
Navagio: Coffee, Mytilene
Rematia: Coffee, Sikaminia
Sunset: Coffee, Molyvos
Veranda: Coffee, Sigri

Gastronomic Delights

Achivada: Seafood, Plomari
Amvrosia: Seafood, Skala Kalloni
Anemoesa: Seafood, Skala Sikamias
Angelos: Greek Cuisine, Molyvos
Baluhanas: Seafood, Perama
Cavo Doro: Seafood, Sigri
Ermis: Ouzo and Meze, Mytilene
Hrisi Akti: Greek Cuisine, Eftalou
Htapodi: Seafood, Molyvos
Mouria Mirivili: Seafood, Sikaminia
Sarandos: Greek Cuisine, Anaxos
Soulatso: Seafood, Eressos
Stavri: Greek Cuisine, Agiassos
Taverna tou Panai: Greek Cuisine, Plomari
Thalassa: Greek Cuisine, Petra
Vafios: Ouzo and Meze, Molyvos
Women Cooperative of Petra: Greek Cuisine, Petra
Venizelos: Greek Cuisine, Petri

Cocktails Inspirations

Congas: Cocktails and Drinks, Molyvos
Lemon: Cocktails and Drinks, Petra
Mousiko: Cocktails and Drinks, Mytilene
Parasol: Cocktails and Drinks, Eressos

Local Products & Specialties

The local products of the island include the renowned alcoholic drink of ouzo, the fine virgin olive oil of Lesvos, the dairy products of cheeses, yogurts and milk, the thyme honey and the wine of Methymneon.

The local specialties of the island include shrimp saganaki, a dish made from shrimps fried in olive oil with tomato and feta cheese, fried zucchini served with cheese and onions, dolmadakia, a dish made of vine leaves stuffed with rice and onions, lakerda, a fish dish made from bonito fillets that bloat with sea salt, sardines of Kalloni, one of the most renowned local dishes, and salted mackerel, a fish dish served with onions, oregano and vinegar.

Events & Festivals

Every Shrove Monday, the Carnival of Lesvos takes place in the village of Agiassos. It is one of the most famous carnivals of Greece, where thousands of people take part every year. The carnival of Agiassos distinguishes for its eccentricity, its mordacity and its satyrs. It is a unique sample of local folklore traditiuon.

Every June, the Bull Festival takes place in the village of Agia Paraskevi. The feast is accompanied through celebrations of three days including horse racings and animal sacrifices. The Bull Festival is a movable feast as it is held fifty days after Easter Sunday.

Every June, the Festival of Lesvos takes place in the island. Numerous cultural and musical events are held for a period of three months.

Every July, the Festival of Ouzo takes place in the village of Plomari. It is one of the most important gastronomical events of Greece celebrating one of the finest alcoholic drinks of the country. The festival lasts for three or five days.

Every July, the Festival of Molyvos takes place in the village of Molyvos. The festival hosts numerous cultural and musical events within the castle of Molyvos.

Every 4th of July, the traditional celebration in honour of Agios Andreas takes place in the village of Eressos.

Every 26th of July, the traditional celebration in honour of Agios Ermolaos takes place in the village of Paleokipos.

Every August, the Festival of Ceramics takes place in the village of Madamados.

Every August,  the Beach Street Festival takes place at the beach of Vatera. The festival hosts numerous musical events.

Every August, the Veniaminia Festival takes place in the village of Plomari. The festival hosts numerous cultural happenings during the last ten days of August.

Every August, the Festival of Sardine takes place in the village of Kaloni. The festival usually takes place in the first weekend of August accompanied from free ouzo and sardines followed from traditional music and dance.

Every 15th of August, the traditional celebration in honour of Virgin Mary takes place in the church of Panagia Vrefokratousa in the village of Agiassos. It is one of the most important religious celebrations of Lesvos.

Every September, the International Women Festival takes place in the village of Eressos. The festival celebrates the achievements, culture and diversity of women regardless their race, age, interests, or sexuality.

Every autumn, the Chestnut Festival takes place in the village of Agiassos. Usually, the festival is held in November.

History & Mythology

Mythology

According to mythology, Lesvos was the patron god of the island. The daughters of Makarios, the first king of the island, bequeathed their names to some of the present cities of the island.

History

Archaeological excavations show that Lesvos has been inhabited since the Neolithic times reaching the peak of an advanced civilization in the Bronze Age. The first settlers of the island were the Pelasgians, the Achaeans and the Aeolians. Lesvos became a centre of artistic, philosophical and maritime achievement during the 7th century BC. However, the Persians conquered the island in the next century and the Athenians captured Lesvos in 479 BC, becoming a member of the Delian League. In 334 BC, the island became a part of the Macedonians falling under the rule of the Ptolemies after the death of Alexander the Great, followed from the Roman Empire, the Saracens and Latin and finally becoming a part of the Byzantine Empire. In 1354, Lesvos fell under the domination of the Genoese until 1460 when the Ottomans ruled Lesvos. The admiral Kountouriotis and his fleet liberated the island on 8th of November 1912 and Lesvos became a member of the Greek State in 1923 under the Treaty of Lausanne. Lesvos was conquered for the last time from the Germans during the Second World War and was set free on September of 1944.

Other Historical Information

Historical evidence shows that Alcaeus and Sappho were lyric poets who lived in Eressos. Alcaeus was known for love pieces while Sappho was known as an activist defying all conventions of the times who was exiled temporarily to Cecily, returning back to Lesvos to create a dance and music school. Moreover, Lesvos was the birthplace of other great Greek men of the arts and letters including Odysseus Elytis, the Nobel laureate poet, the novelist Stratis Myrivilis and Theophilos, the Greek primitive artist.

Travel & Transport

By Air: Lesvos has a national airport operating flights on a daily basis from the International Airport of Athens. The journey usually lasts from thirty to forty five minutes. Book your tickets with AirTickets.com!

By Boat (240 Nautical Miles): Lesvos is accessible by boat from the harbour of Piraeus. The journey lasts from nine to fifteen hours.  Lesvos is also connected with the islands of Chios, Fourni, Ikaria and Lemnos amongst others. Book your tickets with FerriesinGreece.com !

Mysterious Greece Tips

About Lesvos

Lesvos, else known as Mytilene, is the third biggest island of Greece located between the islands of Chios and Lemnos. With an area of 1,532 square kilometers, Lesvos definitely deserves a bungee of days to discover it. The hinterland of the island is blessed with beautiful sceneries, mountainsides and huge olive groves. If you want to explore the entire island, you might even need three weeks! Lesvos is an ideal destination for lovers of nature, religion and culture, extreme sports, gastronomy and thermal springs. As the size of the island is big, it does not feel like being in an island. Rather, it feels like a tiny universe. If you really want to discover the Lesvos, it is recommended to rent a car.

4 Seasons

Indeed, Lesvos is a destination for spring and summer, autumn or even winter! The natural diversity of nature, the island literally has everything. It is a volcanic island, which has suffered from numerous earthquakes. Numerous mountains are scattered throughout the island. The  highest peaks include Prophet Elias Mount (968 meters) and Olympus Mount (967 meters). In fact, the western side of Lesvos is dominated from the Petrified Forest that was formed out of intense volcanic activity. The north part is dominated from verdant plains and olive vineyards. Lesvos is admirable for its rich fauna, as numerous bird species found refugee on the wetlands of Kalloni. So, which season will you choose?

Spring in Lesvos

In spring, the beauty of the countryside and the verdant mountainous sceneries of the island are outstanding! Filled with vegetation, the mountains of Lesvos are blessed with the richest flora of Europe. The waterfalls of Man ‘Katsa is one of the most beautiful natural oasis of nature that will fill you up with moments of explorations while the blooming vegetation of Agiassos will take your breath away. Bird watchers will have the opportunity to encounter more than 130 endangered, migratory and protected bird species in various parts of the island. Lovers of nature will get ecstatic from the verdant sceneries of Lesvos, as it holds the reigns of a botanical paradise. The eastern and southern parts of the island are cloaked with eleven million olive trees, pine forests and plane trees. Cycling and hiking through the island is an ideal way to admire the impressive natural sceneries. Grab a map and explore the unexplored!

Summer in Lesvos

As all the islands of Greece, so Euboea is an ideal destination for summer explorations. With an endless coast of more than 300 kilometers, the island boasts numerous beautiful beaches and seaside villages. If you are looking for romantic places, head towards the secluded beaches of Agios Ermogenis, Eftalou, Haramida, Melinda and Tarti. Find your peace at the beaches of Agios Fokas, Apothika, Hrousos, Tsihlioda and Yeni Limani. One of the most beautiful beaches of Greece, however, is the beach of Skala Eressos. Extending over an area of two kilometers, it is the ideal destination for ultimate relaxation while Tarti and Vatera beaches are some of the unique areas of Lesvos. As for villages, Molyvos and Skala Eressos are some of the most charming villages for summer. Others include the village of Petra with the imposing church of Panagia Glikofilousa, the Ouzo Capital of Lesvos, aka Plomari, the charming settlement of Sikaminia with the chapel of Panagia Gorgona, and the fishing village of Sigri. Grab a map and explore the unexplored!

Autumn in Lesvos

In autumn, the captivating colours and the blossoming flowers will definitely capture your attention! Autumn is also beginning of harvesting of the products of Lesvos. Agroutourism activities can be found on the hinterland of the island! Bird watchers will have the opportunity to encounter more than 130 endangered, migratory and protected bird species in various parts of the island. Lovers of nature will get ecstatic from the verdant sceneries of Lesvos, as it holds the reigns of a botanical paradise. One will have the opportunity to taste the most delicious chestnuts in the chestnut forest of Agiassos while the golden colours of the village of Karini will take your breath away. Walk in the verdant sceneries of Petra village, hike to the Petrified Forest of Sigri, explore the beautiful landscapes of Agra and Kambos, drive to the autumnal colours towards Eressos, enjoy the thermal springs of Polihnitos, admire the desert-like sceneries from the Monastery of Ipsilou. Cycling and hiking through the island is an ideal way to admire the impressive natural sceneries. Grab a map and explore the unexplored!

Winter in Lesvos

Who said that the islands are only for summer? You will be dazzled from the winter sceneries that Lesvos has to offer! The colours change dramatically from bright blue to steely greyish while the Aegean produces powerful natural drama. Temperature rarely falls below zero while the highest points are covered with snow. The clouds over the gulf of Kalloni, the snow on Mount Olympus and the mountain breeze full of oxygen makes the hinterland villages an ideal destination for the winter. Known for their rich flora and fauna, the villages are ideal for hiking and mountaineering excursions. Grab a map and explore the unexplored!

Adventure Experiences in Lesvos

On the slopes of the rugged mountains of Lesvos there are amazing hiking trails ideal for the lovers of enduro, mountain biking. However, those landscapes are crossed from numerous dirt roads, also ideal for the lovers of off road driving! The unique ecosystem of Lesvos has numerous “ecotourism” trails tha lead to unique sceneries. Hiking lovers can follow any of the paths that start from the village of Agiassos and cross the imposing mountain slopes of Mount Olympus on the south side of the island. There are more interesting  trails in the areas of Evergetoula and Petra. Other include the dirt road between Plomari and Agiassos as well as the dirt road between Stypsi and Vafios. You will be rewarded from the excellent views! The dirt track from the beach of Eftalou to the village of Sikaminia is also quite interesting.  Make sure you always check the maps of the destination before you get into your car!

Agroutourism in Lesvos

Are you looking for simplicity, harmony, clean air, warm hospitality and relaxed atmosphere? If yes, you should definitely visit the farm of Toumba in Plomari. Toumba is a completely organic farm hosting eight horses, hundred of olive and fig tress and a small vineyard. In the village of Hidira, one will have the opportunity to explore the rich wine tradition of Lesvos at Methymnaos Winery. Lesvos is also known for its fine virgin olive oil. One can discover the rich tradition in olive oil at the Olive Forest of Gera. The harvesting season begins in October and ends in May. The dairy products of Mystakellis are of excellent quality. The cheese factory of Mystakellis, in Mandamados, was founded with the primary purpose of improving the quality of products without altering the traditional character.

Bird Watching in Lesvos

Lesvos has the perfect environment for thousands native and migratory birds. The most famous wetland is located in Kalloni serving as a refugee and breeding site for numerous endangered bird species. Another significant wetland is located in the area of Ntipi-Larsos while the estuaries of the rivers Almyropotamos and Vourkos create an interesting wetland with various bird species. Discover more on the website of Lesvos Birding.

Buy a Bottle of Ouzo

Ouzo one of the finest products of the country and Lesvos is known for its ouzo. The precursor of ouzo is tsipouro, else known as raki, a drink distilled from the Byzantine Empire to the Ottoman times. Traditionally, tsipouro is said to have been the product of the monks living in a monastery on Holy Mount Athos during the 14th century. The one version was flavoured with anise, eventually becoming ouzo. Following the Independence of Greece, the modern distillation of ouzo took place in the 19th century with the majority of the production centered on the island of Lesvos that claims the origin of the ouzo. When absinthe fell into disfavour, ouzo became one of the favourite products as a substitute for absinthe. In 1932, ouzo producers developed a distillation method using copper still, which is now considered as the proper method of production. The production method of ouzo starts by distilling 96% of alcohol by volume with pure ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin in copper stills together with anise and optionally others flavourings including coriander, cinnamon and coriander. Ouzo is a flavored alcoholic solution known as flavoured ethyl alcohol or as ouzo yeast. The yeast is then usually mixed with 96% pure ethyl alcohol and sugar may be added and the mix is diluted with waters usually around 40%. The most common method of serving ouzo is by mixing it with water and ice in a small glass. When water is added to ouzo, crystal clean in colours, it turns milky white. This happens because the essential oil of anise, anethole, is soluble in alcohol not in water. In 2006, Ouzo became a product with a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). Discover more information at the Barbayiannis Ouzo Museum.

Carnivals and Satyrs: The Mecca of the Carnival of Lesvos

Every Shrove Monday, the Carnival of Agiassos takes place in the village of Agiassos. It is one of the most famous carnivals of Greece, where thousands of people take part every year. The carnival of Agiassos distinguishes for its eccentricity, its mordacity and its satyrs. The festival hosts distinct theatrical elements held in open air, combining stairic verdes and carnival floats. The Carnival of Agiassos is a vibrant cultural symbol and a unique sample of foklore cultural and artistic creation!

Dedicate a Day to the Architectural Masterpiece of Byzantine Architecture

Perched on a rock, the church of Taxiarhes is an architectural masterpiece of Byzantine architecture located in the village of Mandamados. According to tradition, the monastery was invaded from the Saracen pirates, who slaughtered the monks, with the exception of a new probationary monk who managed to hide in the ceiling of the church. From there, he saw the form of the Archangel hovering over the corpses of the monks. Then, he took clay, wax and the blood of the monks and created the icon of Taxiarhis. From this incident onwards, Taxiarhis is the patron saint of the island. Up until today, the inspiring picture with the large eyes of Archangel awes inspiring. The churchyard offers astonishing views under the shade of cypress and pine trees. You can taste the local specialties at the nearby taverns.

Discover the Abandoned Village of Klapados

Hidden on the mountains north of Petra, one will have the opportunity to discover the abandoned village of Klapados. From there, you can set out for an enchanting hike through a beautiful pine forest and enjoy a magnificent bird-eye-view of the villages of Anaxos, Eftalou, Sikaminia, Molyvos and Petra!

Dramatic Sceneries and Wild Landscapes

The Monastery of Pithari lies in the bottom of a ravine close to the village of Eressos. The dramatic setting of the monastery is surrounded from an abundant grove of oak and sycamore trees, ideal for enjoyable promenades in nature.

Enjoy your Coffee at the Square of Messotopos

The Square of Mesotopos is one of the most beautiful cobblestone squares of the island. Perrenial tress cover the entire area with their dense brances giving a refreshing shade to the square. If you visit the square, make sure you stop for a traditional Greek coffee in Meraklidiko, Palia or Loukas!

Enjoy your Cocktail at Parasol

Can you imagine enjoying a frozen delicious cocktail with views to the endless blue of the Aegean? Parasol in Eressos is the best place for this!

Explore the Unexplored: Lesvos Villages

The natural diversity of Lesvos hides millions of surpizes! However, the true gems are the villages of Lesvos! Head to the village of Andissa for the imposing Monastery of Ipsilou and visit the traditional settleemnt of Agiassos for its handicraft tradition, the glorious church of Panagia Vrefokratisou and the chestnut forest. Discover the bull festival in the vilalge of Agia Paraskevi and enjoy the tranquility of Skala Eressos. Explore the verdant vegetation of Agioi Anargyroi and Karini villages and admire the views from the chapel of Agios Ioannis Theologos in the village of Mihou. Taste the fresh fish in Sigri and Pigadakia and observe millions of birds in the wetland of Kalloni. Visit the thermal springs of Polihnitos and discover the tunnels of Magdalene in the village of Skopelos. Hike at the forest of Sokoro in the village of Plakados and taste the delicious wine of Lesvos in the village of Hidira. Pay your respects to the religious center of Lesvos, namely the monastery of Taxiarhes of Taxiarhes in Mandamados village and visit one of the most beautiful medieval settlements of Greece, aka Molyvos. Admire the views from the church of Panagia Glikofilousa, taste the delicious ouzo in the town of Plomari and fiscover the trunks of the Petrified Forest of Sigri. Grab your keys, wear your belt and start driving!

From Lesvos With Love: Handicrafts from Agiassos

Agiassos is a picturesque village located on the west side of the island. The settlement is the main center of handicraft tradition of Lesvos and it is one of the most beautiful villages of the island nestling on the verdant mountainous slopes of Olympus with panoramic views of the endless blue. The village has been declared as a traditional settlement, as it has managed to retain its traditional and customs along with the traditional character of the area. Agiassos is famous for the Church of Panagia Vrefokratousa where the biggest religious festival of Lesvos is held on August 15. The biggest part of the area is offered for hiking adventures owing to the enchanting landscape of olive and pine trees. An exciting trail with one of the most beautiful routes of the island begins here passing through the beautiful chestnut forest of Agiassos.

Hiking Higher than Highest

Hiking to Mount Olympus is an experience of a lifetime! The trail starts from the southern entrance of the village, opposite of the Monument of the Soldiers, in the village of Agiassos. The paved path runs through the orchards of the area Folidi to Kadi Vrysi and continues uphill to Milandra until the rural road at Kameno Aloni. Although the road to the right is a dead end, it meets the trail at the location Marmaro, that climbs up to the rocky top of Mount Olympus. The views are really compensating!

It’s Sunset Time

You will have the opporutnity to enjoy the best sunset of Lesvos at the beach of Eressos, the village of Petri and the medieval settlement of Molyvos!

Movies Under the Stars of the Aegean

The open air cinemas in Molyvos, Kalloni and Skala Eressos offer a relaxed vista under the bright stars of the Aegean. The cinemas operate from June until September.

Natural Springs with Therapeutic Properties

The thermal springs of Lesvos have been known for their therapeutic properties since antiquity. They have healing properties for various treatments including chronic rheumatism, arthritis, myalgia pain, skin conditions and gynaecological problems. The thermal springs of the island are located in the areas of Polihnitos, Thermi, Eftalou and Gera.

Off the Beaten Track: Verdant South and Volcanic West

Lesvos is a getaway that will take you off the beaten track. Do you want to explore the verdant sceneries of the south or do you desire to discover the barren and wild landscapes of the west? Be prepared for an adventure of the lifetime!

Ouzo and Meze

You must have heard many times Greek people saying …let’s go for a meze… and wondering what could they possible mean, right? Meze is a selection of appetizers served with alcoholic drinks! The best meze for ouzo is seafood! So, head to the seaside taverns of Lesvos to have meze and ouzo!

Observing like an Olympian God

Ikaria is like an observation point to the Aegean. You will enjoy one of the most incredible views of the island from the church of Panagia Glikofilousa in the village of Patra. The castles of Molyvos and Sigri also offer breathtaking views while the charming settlement of Sikaminia also offers beautiful views. If you are courageous enough, climb up to Mount Olympus to admire one of the most spectacular views!

One of A Kind Museum: The Soap Factory Museum

The Soap Factory Museum is one of the most interesting museums of Lesvos exhibiting different tools of soap making, wooden and metal stamps, labels, drying equipment, packaging and wrapping, and a collection of photographs. The museum is located in the town of Plomari open daily except weekends from 08.00 until 14.00.

Orange Groves and Fragnances in the Village of Parakila

Parakila is an overgrown village in the western coast of the bay of Kalloni, 12 kilometers away from the center of the town of Kalloni. It is one of the most scenic and productive villages of Lesvos built on a hillside between the rivers of Kardakis and Taxiarhis. The endless orange groves of the area give beautiful fragrances to the village. On the north side of the settlement, there are traces of the castle and the chapel of Agios Georgios on the top of the hill. This spot offers panoramic views of the surrounding areas!

Taste Loukoumades in the Monastery of Taxiarhes

Except for its importance as the patron saint of Lesvos, the monastery of Taxiarhes is renowned for its wonderful loukoumades, aka donuts! You can taste them at the beautiful churchyard!

Taste Fresh Fish in Sigri, Sikaminia, Kalloni and Pigadakia

The islands of the Northeast Aegean are known for their delicious fresh fish. The most famous areas in Lesvos for its fresh fish are the villages of  Sigri and Sikaminia, the town of Kalloni and the settlement of Pigadakia.

Tranquility at its Extemity: Eressos Beach

The beach of Eressos is considered as one of the most beautiful beaches of the country. A visit to the area is must! Secret Gem: Enjoy a tropical cocktail at Parasol with magnificent sunset views!

Unique Natural Phenomenon: The Petrified Forest of Sigri

Twenty million years ago, the intense volcanic activity of the Aegean created a unique natural phenomenon.  The Petrified Forest of Sigri is one of the most beautiful monuments of the geological heritage of the world. It is a member of the Worldwide Network of Geoparks of Unesco. The forest extends over the northwest side of Lesvos in a region covered with volcanic stones. The extensive collection of findings showcase the rich ecosystem of the Aegean. The Petrified Forest of Sigri has been declared as a Preserved Natural Monument from the State of Greece while it was integrated into the Global Network of Geoparks from Unesco.

Why Visit Lesvos?

To explore the third largest island of Greece. To experience the authentic character of Greece. To enjoy the healing springs of Lesvos. To admire the medieval settlement of Molyvos. To make sure you have new things to do everyday. To drive to desert like sceneries. To explore the verdant south and the wild west. To enjoy the beautiful beach of Eressos. To hike to the petrified forest of Sigri. To taste the famous alcoholic drink of ouzo.

Photo Credits

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Note: All the images are copyrighted from their owners. Please see Terms & Conditions. You can find the original images at the following links:

Agiassos Village: Giorgos Malakos by DigitalCamera.gr

Eressos Beach: Mimis Galinos by Skaikairos.gr

Flamingos in the bay of Kalloni: Gvb by Panoramio

Houses in the village of Molyvos: Panagiotis Markou by Panoramio

Mandamados Village: GKard69 by Panoramio

Melinda Beach: Freebeezzz by Panoramio

Molyvos town: Shutterstock

Monastery of Taxiarhis in Mandamados: Gerwin Fillius by Flickr

Mytilene City: Mary Palaiologou by Panoramio

Petra Village: Michael Sveikutis by Flickr

Petrified Forest: Jaep Kees Reitsma by Flickr

Plomari Village: N. Kouvel by Panoramio

Sigri Village: Oleve Family Estate and Products by Flickr

Tarti Beach: Costas Stamatellis by Mytiliniadialektos.gr

View of Olympus Mount: Nikos_33 by Panoramio

Wetland of Kalloni: Sylvietsak by Panoramio