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Lesvos:
The island of wellness and pleasure

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Lesvos

Forests, olive groves, hot springs, miles of beaches and hidden coves. A petrified forest, Byzantine castles and Ottoman baths. Art and culinary delights. Neoclassical manors and pastures, waterfalls, and wetlands… Lesvos is the third largest island in Greece, endowed with many natural gifts and remarkable sights.

The beloved island of the poet Odysseas Elytis, the place that gave birth to the ancient poet Sappho and the folk painter Theophilos, the land of the mythical hero Lesvos, this place will definitely enchant you.

Routes & attractions

Visit aristocratic Mytilene, the capital of Lesvos, built on seven green hills, with its history stretching into the depths of antiquity.

Discover the Byzantine castle at the top of the pine hill and tour the aristocratic Kioski neighborhood. Admire the imposing dome of Agios Therapon, but also the Statue of Liberty and the Ottoman buildings, such as the Yeni Mosque and the Baths.

Visit the Archaeological Museum with its mosaics and the Byzantine - Ecclesiastical Museum with its rare icons and folk art. In Kamares stand in the ancient theatre with over 10,000 seats and admire the acoustics which is similar to that of Epidaurus.

The seaside Sigri will be an unforgettable experience with its picturesque scenery and cold waters. Combine your visit with a tour of the unique petrified forest of Lesvos, one of the two largest petrified forests in the world and a listed natural monument and part of the UNESCO Global Geoparks Network. Fossilized logs, scattered over an area of 150 sq. km. form proof of the "cosmogony" that shaped the Aegean 20 million years ago. It is worth visiting the amazing Natural History Museum of the Petrified Forest taking us back to the distant past.

Visit the evergreen Agiasos, with its paved and colourful traditional houses. Discover the local art in wood carvings and vases and admire the church of Panagia with the miraculous icon dating back to the 4th century.

Pottery and wood carving tradition can also be found in Mantamados, where you can visit the craftsmen’s workshops. This beautiful village is also famous for the monastery of the island’s patron saint, Taxiarchis, where his legendary miraculous icon is found. Looking towards the sea, you will admire the Tukmakia, a cluster of volcanic islands.

Wander through the alleys of the beautiful, listed medieval castle of Molyvos (Mithymna), built high on the hillside, overlooking the town and harbour.

Visit Plomari, with traces of industrial development in its old mills, tanneries and soap factories, and don’t miss some of the ouzo producers museums.

Wander in Museum of Works by Theophilos in the village of Varia, and admire the works of the great Greek folk painter. Also in Varia you will find the impressive The Museum – Library Stratis Eleftheriadis – Tériade with handmade publications and works of great artists such as Picasso, Chagall, Matisse, Miró, Le Corbusier, Giacometti, Tsarouchis etc.

In Agia Paraskevi, don’t miss the unique Museum of Industrial Olive-Oil Production of Lesvos, in the area of an old olive press, to learn all about olive oil production.

Walk up the 114 stone steps of the imposing rock above the village of Petra, to admire the church of Panagia Glykofilousa, a listed monument of the 18th century, with rare icons.

Explore the famous Eresos, the birthplace of the ancient poet Sappho and philosopher Theophrastus.

Enjoy a wonderful sunset in the picturesque Skala Sykamias, the birthplace of writer Stratis Myrivilis. Here you will see the church of Panagia Gorgona and the so-called Myrivilis’ mulberry tree.

Beaches & Activities

The island has many, vast beaches, but also some small bays to meet every need. Visit Vatera, the largest sandy beach of the island and Tarti, also vast, popular beach with crystal-clear waters, and the infinite beach of Eftalou with its clear waters and thermal springs. Enjoy the cool crystal-clear waters of the bay of Sigri and the scenery of the enchanting Agios Ermogenis with the picturesque chapel from where the area got its name.

Petra is another organized and beautiful beach and Skala Eresou, known for its wonderful sunset, is a go-to for water sports lovers.

Since Antiquity, Lesvos has been rich in thermal hot springs and visitors can explore and profit from the beneficial properties of the hot springs. Enjoy a warm mixed bath under the dome of Eftalou, which can be even more beneficent if you then take a swim in the sea just outside thermal springs. Visit one of the warmest springs in Europe in the atmospheric springs of Polichnitos, as well as in the hot spring of Lisvori.

Don’t miss Thermi, where you will also find the settlement of Pyrgi, with impressive towers from the 18th and 19th centuries and, of course, the famous monastery of St. Raphael.

If you are a hiker, do not forget to visit the Petrified Forest, Sigri, Plaka and the islet of Nisiopi, discover the petrified wealth of the island through a grid of paths and walk the "Lava Paths" from Kalloni to the entire Geopark.

Tastes of the island

Lesvos is famous for its culinary delights and spirits. Go to Kalloni and taste its famous sardines, also known as papalines, of which the taste you will never forget! The village is also famous for its sweet black wine.

The Greeks of Asia Minor took advantage of the aromatic anise that grows on the island and its fertile vineyards and developed the art of distilling ouzo, making Lesvos the queen of this intoxicating aperitif.

Along with your ouzo, enjoy the island’s delicacies, such as sougania (onions stuffed with minced meat and rice), giouzlemedes (fried cheese pies with cheese and mint), hahles (trahanas or frumenty prepared in the shape of a boat and dried in the sun), sfougano (omelette with zucchini, eggs and herbs), stuffed zucchini flowers, lamb and stuffed goat. Try the island’s delicious octopus with dozens of variations, grilled or stuffed with tomatoes or aubergines.

If you find yourself at a local feast or celebration, try the kiskek which is beef with bulgur.

Sweeten-up with the different local varieties of baklava, such as plazenda, with dough sheets and walnuts or baklava with almonds and rose water. Check out the products of local women's cooperatives. You will also find sweet pumpkin pie. Aidinia, figs of Lesvos are also a famous delicacy.

Traditions & Events

If you are in Lesvos on the last weekend of June you will have the opportunity to witness the famous Festival of the Taurus in Agia Paraskevi, but also in Mantamados and Napi.

On June 24, the town of Mytilene celebrates "Kapsala". On July 24, don’t miss the revival of the custom of St. John Klidonas in Sigri, with the most courageous jumping over the fires. On the 15th of August, go to the feast of the Virgin Mary in Agiasos. In Skala Kallonis you will enjoy the famous Sardine Festival. In Vatoussa you can take part in the events of "Vatousianos Augustos" and in Plomari you can enjoy yourself in "Veniamineia". On the Sunday of the Myrrhbearers, the second Sunday after Easter, don’t miss the feast of Taxiarchis in Mantamados, where you will also taste the famous kiskek. On October 14th, the great feast of St. Ignatius is held in the Monastery of Leimon in Kalloni, while during the Carnival season, there is a Carnival in Agiasos with sketches in the characteristic local dialect. Every September, the International Women's Festival takes please in Eressos. Many other festivals still take place on the island, such as ouzo, gastronomy or wellness festivals. The atmospheric music festival in Molyvos is also famous.

Don't miss...

Lesvos is famous for its kafeneia, the traditional coffee shops! In every outing, make sure you enjoy coffee, ouzo or local spirits, accompanied by the island’s specialties in one of its innumerable, traditional cafes!

MAP OF LESVOS
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