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Lesvos , The Island of Ouzo

 

Introduction

Lesvos Travel Guide – 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.

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?

How to Travel to Lesvos

Ferries From Turkey

There are daily boats in the summer and several boats a week in the off-season between Mytilini and Avalik in Turkey . The schedule seems to change by the year, month, week or whatever. That means you need to contact one of the agencies in Lesvos and ask them if you want to get from Turkey to Lesvos. In high
season, ferries run almost daily between Ayvalik an Mytilini but less frequently at other times of year ; usually Thursday is quite busy for the big market (bazaar)
and Saturday’s for the smaller version. There is currently just the 1 ferry route running between Turkey and Lesbos operated by 1 ferry company – Turyol. The Ayvalik to Mytilene ferry crossing operates weekly with a scheduled sailing duration from about 1 hour 30 minutes.Price for round trip ticket is : 25 Euro (schedule and prices are subject to changes)

Ferries from Athens and islands

You can easily reach Lesvos from Athens, since ferries depart from Piraeus port around 4 to 5 times per week. Lesvos is also connected by ferry with the port of Kavala on the northern side of the Greek mainland and with some islands, including Syros, Mykonos, Ikaria, and Chios. The ferry to Lesvos from Athens takes about 10 hours.

Best of Greece | 11 Days

Flights to Lesvos

Mytilene International Airport “Odysseas Elytis” receives flights from Athens and Thessaloniki all year round. The flight time from Athens is about 1 hour. During summer, the airport receives flights from Heraklion, Rhodes, Samos, Chios and from some European countries, too. The airport is located about 3 km away from the city center of Mytilene. Upon your arrival, you can reach your destination either by taxi, or using the public transportation of the island.

Let’s Discover Lesvos

Lesvos Greece is a beautiful island sitting on the eastern part of the Aegean Sea. One of the largest Greek islands, Lesvos is a popular destination for family holidays and relaxing holidays off the beaten tourist trail. Thanks to its close distance to Chios island, Lesvos is also a great base for island hopping! Lesvos island Greece is dotted with many picturesque villages, such as Molyvos, Petra, Kalloni, Skala Sykamias, and Mytilene. A drive around the island to explore these villages is a total must!

Lesvos Travel Guide – Map

Except for quaint little villages, a drive around the island will also get you to many monuments. From Roman aqueducts to Byzantine monasteries and castles, you’ll have the chance to visit sites that date back to several historical periods! Some must-visit monuments are the Medieval Castles of Mytilene, Molyvos, and Sigri, which used to protect the island from pirates’ invasions. Another impressive site in Lesvos is the Petrified Forest in Singri, on the western side of the island. This forest had been petrified about 15 to 20 million years ago due to volcanic activity and is considered a rare geological monument. Don’t give it a miss! Another reason why Lesvos island Greece is a wonderful destination is its beautiful monasteries. The island is dotted with many monasteries, such as the Monastery of Ipsilou and the Monastery of Saint Raphael, the protector of the island.

If you love destinations with a long history and breathtaking natural beauty, Lesvos needs to be on your travel wish list!

Highlights of Lesvos

Mytilene
Lesvos Travel Guide – Mytilene

The Town of Mytilene is the beautiful capital and harbor 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 neighborhoods 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 Village of Agiassos
Lesvos Travel Guide – The Village of Agiassos

The Village of Agiassos is a picturesque village located on the west side of the island. The settlement is t he 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 a s 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 L esvos 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
Lesvos Travel Guide –  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. W ander 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 Monasteryof Pithari surrounded from beautiful surroundings.

The Village of Molyvos
Lesvos Travel Guide -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
Lesvos Travel Guide – The Village of Plomari

The Village of Plomari is t he 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
Lesvos Travel Guide – 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.

Appendix

Best Things to do

Lesvos Travel Guide

Find out everything about your holidays in Lesvos on our travel guide! Lesvos is a lovely island in the North-Eastern Aegean. It is another of the worldwide famous Greek islands due to the poet Sappho, a symbol of female homosexuality. Having a long history and rich tradition, Lesvos mostly attracts families and travelers who want private holidays. Packed with olive groves and mountains, Lesvos island boasts a wonderful setting. The island is renowned for its high-quality olive oil produce!

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.

Lesvos Travel guide : Mithymna Town

The Ancient T own of Pyrra was one o f the ancient cities of the island located on the seabed close to the mouthof river Vouvari. A large earthquake destroyed the city and the tidal waves sunk p arts 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 2 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.

Lesvos Travel guide : The Roman Aqueduct

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.

Lesvos Travel guide :  The Temple of Klopedi

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.

Lesvos Travel Guide : Beach of Plomari

Anaxos is a long sandy beach with blue waters located on the west side of the island. I t 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 v iews 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 n umerous beach bars, taverns and cafeterias in the surrounding areas. The beach of Eressos is a stunning sunset spot!

Lesvos Travel Guide :  Eressos beach

Haramida is a long sandy beach with blue waters located close to the town of Mytilene. It i s 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. I t 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 s andy 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.

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 o f Mytilene. The castle was built in the 6 c entury 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 13 c entury 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 18 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.

Events & Festivals

Every Shrove Monday, the Carnival of Lesvos takes place in the v illage 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 tradition.

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

Every 26 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 v illage 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 15 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.

 

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 19 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 t he 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 e xtensive collection of findings showcase the rich ecosystem of the Aegean. The Petrified Forest of Sigri has been d eclared as a Preserved Natural Monument from the State of Greece while it was integrated into the Global Network of Geoparks from Unesco.

Lesvos Travel Guide : The Petrified Forest of Sigri

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 o f 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 t he 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 p lace 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 a nd 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.

Ottoman Monuments

The Çarsi Hamam is part of the complex of Yeni Mosque located at the center of the Ottoman neighborhood 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 colorful decoration, which was covered with brown color 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 built from Moustafa Aga Koulaksiz in 1825. The mosque distinguishes for its beautiful stone construction covered with byzantine and ottoman stylistic elements.

Recommended

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 14 century.

Lesvos Travel Guide – Ousoz

The one version was flavoured with anise, eventually becoming ouzo. Following the Independence of Greece, the modern distillation of ouzo took place in the 19 c entury 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 w ater is added to ouzo, crystal clean in colours, it t urns 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

Lesvos Travel Guide – the Carnival of Agiassos

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 o f 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

Lesvos Travel Guide – Taxiarhes

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 v isit 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

Did you know?

Sappho

Lesvos Travel guide : Sappho

Sappho was the first female homosexual of the ancient world.

 

The Petrified Forest of Sigri has been awarded as the top sustainable tourism destination of Greece in 2009 from the European Commission Program namely “European Destinations of Excellence”. The theme of the competition was “Tourism and Protected Areas”. On Lesvos, there are three protected areas that belong to the European Network of Natura 2000. These include the Gulf of Gera and Mount Olympus, the Wetlands of Kalloni Gulf and the Petrified Forest of Sigri.

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