Lesvos island Greece
The green island of Lesvos or Mytilene is a popular summer resort without
being too busy. This is where the 7th century BC poetess
Sappho lived, as well as
Alcaios, another ancient poet and allegedly Sapphos lover. The
philosopher Theophrastus was born here in the 4th century BC, and the poet
and Nobel Prize winner Odysseas Elytis also came from Lesbos.
The Greeks call the island Lesvos or Mytilene after its capital. It is large and has a wonderful landscape, well worth exploring on your own. Because there is a big military camp here where young Greeks do their national service, the nightlife gets quite wild, without being extreme like on Ios or Kos. There are very quiet villages on Lesbos for those that want their peace and quiet, and it is very close to Turkey.
The island was
probably inhabited by peoples from Asia Minor in the 2nd Millennium BC,
or even earlier than that. It was a prosperous island, and
Sappho had her school for young noble women in the 7th century BC.
The famous philosopher
Epicurus also founded a school here.
Because of its location, Lesvos was ruled by the Persians during the 6th and 5th century BC, but the island was a member of the Athenian League, doing its best to sabotage the Persian enemy. The Romans invaded in the 2nd century BC, and archaeological remains tell us that many wealthy Romans had villas on the island.
Genuans took the island after the fall of Constantinople and Byzantium in the beginning of the 13th century, and the Turks came in the 15th century.
The war of Independence started in 1821, and 91 years later, Lesbos was finally freed.
What to see
The capital Mytilene has an interesting archaeological museum as well as
a folklore museum. You can also visit the 14th century Kastro, as well
as the Roman theatre from the 3rd or 2nd century BC.
The most beautiful part of the island is by the Kallanis Bay in the center of the island. There, you can visit the picturesque villages Kalloni and Molyvo. At the ancient town you can still see walls from the 8th century BC. There is a Byzantine castle.
Not far from there is Petra, a village with a strange, tall cliff with a church from the 18th century dedicated to the Virgin Mary the Sweet Kisser (Panagia Glykofilousas) on top of it.
The monastery Limonos holds invaluable treasures in its museum. Parts of the monastery can only be visited by men.
The nunnery Ag Raphael is also open to the public .
At the village Mantamado there is a church dedicated to the saint Taxiarchon. It has a famous icon which allegedly was made out of clay and blood.
Another famous icon is kept at the church of the Virgin Mary Zion (Panagia Sion). It was allegedly made by the evangelist Lucas, and is believed to have healing powers.
A little further north, the picturesque village Mithymna is situated by the sea. The village is full of traditional houses and winding streets, and there is an old Kastro here.
Eressos is another lovely village of special interest, since both Sappho and Theophrastus lived here. There is an archaeological and a folklore museum here, as well as a petrified forest well worth a visit..
What to do
: There are many places to visit, and several beaches have watersports. The island is also great for trekking and driving around, and many bird-watchers have found their paradise on the island.
Kalloni and Petra are just two of the island's wonderful beaches, which are also good for families with children. Ag Isidoros and Skala are also very nice places for swimming, but there are many, many more beaches here..
:Lesvos has a good nightlife, and you'll find bars and discos in Mytilene, Mithymnia and Skala for example.
In Mytilene and Mithymna you'll find both Greek and International restaurants, but all the villages also have small, traditional taverns with good food. The island is known for its olives and ouzo, and there are several local sweets.
You'll find everything you need in Mytilene. A typical souvenir from Lesbos is the olive oil and of course ouzo on of the most famous famous products of Lesbos.
The local buses all start in Mytilene, and there are connections to most villages around the island. There are also taxis and vehicles for rent, as well as boats that can take you to some of the beaches.
Taxi services: Taxis on Lesvos are useful for transportation around the island. Basically they run 24 hours daily. The drivers are kindly willing to drive you safely to your destination for economical prices. We transfer our guests from/to airport and port of Mitilini to the Northern part of the island which is mostly touristy, excursions and local fares. Theo the taxi driver based in Petra and much more fares can be executed from Petra to any part of the island. For further information you can visit the following website: www.freewebs.com/lesvostaxiservice.
Aeolian Gaea Hotel Lesvos.
This luxurious, exquisitely designed hotel, 500 metres from Kalloni Beach, was built in 2007 to a very high standard and combines a marvellous eclectic style garnered from the traditional and the modern. In particular the frescoes in both the reception area and the suites, by the renowned Greek artist, Ioannis Papaioannou, capture the wonderful art culture of Lesvos from its ancient history through to the modern day. The complex comprises four buildings as well as a 225 square metre swimming pool, sauna and gymnasium. The decoration of these, as well as the suites have all been designed to create a feeling of warmth and comfort. The services offered by the hotel are outstanding making the Aeolian Gaea Hotel something unique and special on the island.
Imerti Resort Hotel Skala Lesvos.
In the peaceful region of Kalloni, with its beautiful nature reserves, the Imerti Resort Hotel can offer everything you would wish for on your holiday. Nestling in its own beautiful gardens it offers comfortable and spacious accommodation and first-class entertainment facilities. All rooms have their own private balcony as well as a fully equipped kitchenette for self-catering. A buffet breakfast is served daily on the terrace garden. The hotel has wireless internet access that is freely available to guests as well as a free internet corner. There is a large outdoor pool, massage facilities and, also, we can arrange for you to take scuba diving lessons. We have arcade games available that all the family can enjoy.
Aphrodite Beach Hotel, Vatera, Lesvos
This seafront hotel is located on one of the most magnificent beaches of Lesvos, the beach of Vatera which is over 10km long. The attractive, modern Aphrodite Beach Hotel offers well furnished, air-conditioned rooms all of them enjoying either sea or mountain views. As well as double or triple rooms the Aphrodite Beach Hotel has spacious family rooms as well as sound-proofed rooms and no-smoking rooms. The hotel boasts a bar and restaurant which serves delicious traditional food. It also owns a seafront taverna where the same beautifully cooked food can be sampled. The friendly reception area will gladly take care of your valuables in the hotel’s safety deposit box. The Aphrodite Beach Hotel welcomes Gay visitors.
Panselinos Hotel, Molyvos, Eftalou Beach, Mithimna.
The Panselinos Hotel is located in a beautiful position overlooking Eftalou Beach. The pretty hotel complex is painted in soft pastels that gently harmonise with the clear blue of the Aegean and the magnificent gardens that surround the hotel. Here by the poolside or from your balcony you can unwind and relax in the comfort offered by the Panselinos Hotel. Children are loved and welcomed here and the facilities include children’s pool and playground which are supervised by qualified staff. Our restaurant offers delicious local recipes made from local produce and evening entertainment includes Greek music and dancing.
Lesbos has its own airport, and if you can't find a direct flight, it also has good connections with both Athens and Thessaloniki. There are also ferry-boats to and from Pireus, Thessaloniki and Alexandropolis, as well as islands like Chios, Samos, Rhodes and Kos.
Facts about Lesvos
Size: 1600 sq. km
International code: 0030
Population: about 110 000
Local code: 22510
Cash machine: Yes
Internet cafe: Yes
Port Police: 24115
Tourist Information: 71347
Bus company: 28138
Tour Operators:Libra, JMC, Apollo, Ving
Telephone company (OTE):