Lesvos Island of astounding natural beauty is set like a jewel
in the Aegean Sea. Just five miles from the coast of Asia Minor, Lesvos (or
Lesbos) lies to the north of Chios and south of Lemnos. The breathtaking
landscape rolls through regions of pine-covered mountains to areas of barren,
yet dramatic volcanic stone. There are numerous sand and pebble beaches and
many sheltered and isolated coves dotted along the spectacular indented
coastline. The temperate climate, inland rivers and natural springs all
contribute to maintain the surprisingly lush vegetation of the island.
Lesvos is world renowned for it's many varied species of flora
and fauna. It is also host to a superb petrified forest located between Eressos
and Sigri in the Southwest. This is a land steeped in tradition and rich in
history and culture. The birthplace of musicians, poets, writers and artists who
have been inspired through time and still in present day, by the natural charm
and picturesque views allowing endless opportunity for exploration and
discovery. Located on the Northern tip, Mytilene is the largest town on
the island, the capital of Lesvos and host to the Airport and commercial
Seaport. The town is located approx. 5km from the airport and if arriving
by plane, you should consider taking one of the many taxis waiting
outside. You will find car and bike hire agencies near the sea port (or
try our LINK at left) and the main bus depot close by where you will find
details of routes servicing the whole island.
Public transport is a great way of seeing the island, but buses
can be slow and the temperatures can soar above 40 degrees especially in high
season. Be warned, and always travel with plenty of bottled water which is
readily available from most shops and cafes. If you can, spend some time
wondering the numerous back streets, where you will find many local cafes.
Try not to miss the market which is generally accepted as one of the best in
Greece. The usual afternoon siesta is taken from 1 till 4pm and all but the
larger shops will close. Further in the suburb of Varia one can visit the
Theophilos Museum. Twelve kilometers from Mytilene, near the town of Moria, one
can visit the Roman Aqueduct that was built in the second century AD.
Going further up north by the east coast, thru a series of
beautiful little villages one will arrive in the town of Mantamados, famous for
its cheeses and the fine pottery. The next stop will be Skala Sikaminias, one of
the most charming fishing villages one would ever see. And then, at the northest
point of the island one will find the picturesque village of Mithymna (also
known as Molivos), with its mediaeval castle and the traditional architecture.
Molivos is also the islands best known resort. By some it has been called
"the closed place to paradise, on earth". The association with Arts is
appropriate enough, for it was here in Mithymna that the head of Orpheus is said
to have been washed ashore after his dismemberment of the Thracian women.
Another mythical citizen of Mithymna was the lyric poet and musician Arion. It
has been said that he has been saved by the music-loving dolphin.
Only a short distance of 5 Km SW of Molivos the village of Petra
can be found. Petra has one of the best sandy beaches of the island. Again
further south the village of Agia Paraskevi is situated. This village has a lot
of old mansions and is known for the Bull Festival that has been celebrated
since more than two hundred years. Near the village lay ruins of an ancient
temple of Napaios Apollo and the ruins of an Ionian temple dated from the 3rd
century BC. This temple was dedicated to Zeus, Hera and Dionysos. In the
island's center, not far from Agia Paraskevi, lays the modern town Kalloni. It
is famous for its sardines which are caught in the nearby bay called the Gulf of
Kalloni. On this gulf one will also find the popular summer resort Skala Kalloni
with its beautiful sandy beaches. Also near the center of the island another
well known town is Agiassos. This town is famous for its pottery. Going further
south again we reach the towns of Plomari, Polichnitos and Vatera which have the
one of most superb beaches of the island, 10 Km long.
At the western tip of Lesvos, Sigri is a pretty fishing village
with a nice little beach and a castle that goes back to the 18th century. Not
far from there lies the Petrified Forest, dating back fifteen million years.
Finally, not far from Sigri, one will find the town of Eressos. Eressos has been
the birth place of Sappho and Theoprastos. Its port, Skala Eressos, is a famous
resort with a magnificent beach.