Limnos or Lemnos is a beautiful island situated in the north Aegean sea. It is a
volcanic island, and therefore was the god of fire Hephaestus
especially worshipped here in antiquity.
A very green and lush island, it has blessed its people with fertile soil where they grow olives, fruit and wheat, breed animals and make honey of the many flowers that covers Limnos. In general, the islanders here are quite traditional, which means they still hold hospitality as something almost sacred, and have kept many old customs.
For holidaymakers, Limnos offers nice beaches and lot of things to see. The island is a popular summer resort for both Greeks and foreigners but has kept its genuine atmosphere.
According to mythology, the goddess Hera
got very angry with her son Hephaestus
one day, and threw him off Mt. Olympus. He landed on Limnos, where he was
taken care of by the people, making the island his special place. Although
some myths refer to Sicily as his workshop, others hold that he worked on
Limnos. What is certain, though, is that Hephaestus
was the patron god of this island, and that at least one temple was built
to his honour here.
Another story tells us about the angry women of Limnos who murdered all the men of the island after a long time of feeling neglected by their husbands. They chased away their king Thoas, and ruled their island as they liked. When Jason and the Argonauts made a stop at the island, they stayed for while with the women, made them pregnant, and so, Limnos was to have a male population once more.
Archaeological excavations have found evidence of very early settlements on Limnos. There are theories that one of the first peoples were the Etruscans.
Limnos was part of the Persian empire in the 5th century BC, and when Greece had defeated their enemy, it joined the Athenian League. Then followed the same line of rulers as in the rest of the Aegean: the Macedonians , Romans, The Byzantine empire, the Genuans, Venetians and the Turks.
The island also suffered several pirate attacks, and when the war of independence begun in 1821, Limnos fought bravely. The island was liberated in 1912.
What to see
Above Myrina, Limno's capital, towers the kastro. It was probably an acropolis in antiquity, but what we see today dates back to the Venetians. There is also an interesting archaeological museum in Myrina, with findings from around the island. In Myrina there is an archeological museum that is worth a visit as it houses many ancient relics and ceramics excavated from nearby Polyohni and dating from prehistoric times. As well as finds from Polyohni there are also relics from Myrina, Hephaestea and Kavirio
Poliochni is also an ancient settlement that has been excavated on the island. Its people left in the middle of the 2nd Millennium BC, probably because of an earthquake. At Repanidi there ruins of a castle from the Byzantine era.
The Church of Life-giving Source (Zoodochos Pigis) is important for those interested in history, since there is a statue here of the young girl called Maroula, and who fought the Turks on her own in the 15th century .Not far from Myrina is the large picturesque village of Kondias with its traditional island mansions. 28 km from Myrina is the village of Kaminia. Here you can see the ruins of the ancient settlement of Polyohni . Close to Kaminia is the village of Moudros which used to be the old capital of Limnos. Heading north-east from here is the village of Kondopouli where the two ancient settlements of Hephaestea and Kavirio can be seen. At Hephaestea are the ruins of an ancient settlement that you can visit. Even though the place was settled way before then, there are findings of temples and a Roman theatre here. Nearby is located the Temple of Kavirio which was probably used for religious ceremonies in ancient times. At the north-east tip of the island is the village of Plaka where you will find the spa at Agios Haralambos. At Skandali you can also visit the monastery of Agios Sozon.
What to do
You can do watersports on several of the beaches of Lemnos, and there are also tennis courts and a golf course. In Mirinia there is a cinema, and all films are shown in their original language with Greek subtitles.
:Limnos has many beaches. You can go searching for your own, quiet spot if you want, or visit the more popular ones, for example Fanaraki, Riha Nera, Romeicos Gialos and Kaminia.With a coastline of 259km there are many beautiful sandy beaches to be found all over the island. Close to Myrina you can enjoy the shallow waters and golden sands of beaches like Romeikos Gialos, and Riha Nera. Beautiful sandy beaches are not hard to find. Try too the beaches of Avlona and Plati . At the village of Kondias is the pretty sandy beach of Evgati and enjoyable swimming to be had at Kotsinas near Repanidi. The beach of Varoskopos, close to the village of Kaminia is attractive whereas south-east at Moudros is the beach of Fanaraki with the beach of Agios Gianis close by. On the north-east coast of the island, not far from Plaka is the small village of Panagia. There are some lovely beaches also around this whole area, such as Agia Sotiras and, a little further, Kolokithi beach.
:The nightlife here is quite good, without being too wild. You'll find several bars and clubs in Myrina..
Limnos is an excellent island for trying out some really genuine meals. There are many restaurants in Myrina and the villages, but you should ask for the local specialties if you really want a taste of Limnos. There are various seafood specialties, local cheese, honey and wine, as well as a renowned halva - a kind of sweet.
:You'll find quite a few shops in Myrina. There, they sell textiles and jewellery, but the most typical thing you can get from Limnos is some of its wine or honey.
:Transportation on the island is good with local buses connecting all the main villages and towns., there are also taxis and vehicles for rent on the island, as well as boats that go to the various beaches.
:There are flights to Limnos from Athens, and you can also get a ferry boat from Rafina to get here.There is also ferry connections to Limnos from Lesvos, Chios and Thessaloniki. Limnos has ferry connections with Mykonos, Paros Syros, Kos, Patmos and Rhodes as well as Volos Kavala and Alexandropoulis in Northern Greece.
Facts about Limnos
Size: 476 sq. km
International code: 0030
Population: about 16 000
Local code: 22540
Hospital: 22222. 23333
Internet cafe: Yes
Port Police: 22823
Highest Mountain: Skopia 470m
Tourist Police: 22221
Fire Brigade: 22199