(Lesbos) - Lesvos is the third biggest island of Greece and has the most sunshine in Europe. It's very green and has crisp clear beaches of which some are awarded with a blue flag. Lesvos has only one Municipality which is located in Mytilene (capital city) and it is called the "Municipality of Mytilene". It governs all the villages of Lesvos and of course the capital city (Mytilene) of the island, but also the islands of Limnos (Lemnos) and Agios Efstratios. The population of Lesvos is approximately 90.000.
About 35% of the inhabitants are involved with tourism and the other 65% are involved with agriculture, fishing, etc. The main local products are: olive oil, olives, ouzo, fish, meat, yoghurt, cheese, honey, art, pottery and herbs. Some villages have a "Womens Agricultural Co-operative" which is a group of ladies that make needlework art, traditional foods, cakes, sesame cakes, sweets, spoon sweets, hand made short spaghetti, pasta, pies, marmalade, liqueur, etc. People can buy these products directly from the "Womens Agricultural Co-operative", from festivals, from shops that sell local products and from supermarkets.
Lesvos has the most number of olive trees in the world according to its geographical size. There are 11 million olive trees registered and it is estimated that there are a lot more that cannot be cultivated because the land morphology is either too steep or rocky for man, animal or machinery to reach the area. There are about 250 bird species, 24 species of mammals, 24 species of reptiles, 24 species of amphibians and 11 invertebrate animal species registered of which many are protected by the international animal foundation. There are also 376 plant species of which 39 are rare and protected.
Many tourists return to Lesvos every year because they find the island a real paradise. Here you can find traditional sea and mountain villages, beautiful scenery, walking and cycling routes, yoga classes, bird watching areas, sandy beaches, nudist beaches, fishing spots, scuba diving, monasteries and churches, museums, ancient monuments, the petrified forest, etc. You can enjoy a good meal in one of the traditional tavernas and later make your way for some active nightlife.
Places worth visiting:
- Petra: with the beautiful church of Panagia Glikofilousa, which is located on a rock hill with 114 steps to the top. There is a sandy beach and a good stretch of tavernas for many pleasant meals.
- Anaxos: with a sandy beach, good restaurants and pleasant scenery.
- Molivos/Mithymna: with the ancient castle and the fabulous harbour where you can have a drink or a meal while you enjoy the breathtaking views. You can discover small shops that sell souvenirs, clothing, local art, food products and jewelry. Molivos is one of the most touristic areas of Lesvos and also provides active nightlife.
- Skala Sikamineas: with a picturesque fishing harbour providing a great atmosphere and fresh seafood meals. The church of Panagia Gorgona stands on a rock next to the sea.
- Mantamados: where the Taxiarchis Monastery (Archangels Michael & Gabriel) is located. You can find pottery, traditional cheese and yoghurt in the village.
- Agia Paraskevi: a traditional village that has famous mansions, an olive press museum and the ancient Kremasti bridge.
- Moria: with the famous ancient Roman Aqueduct.
- Thermi (Karies): where the Agios Raphael Monastery is located.
- Mytilene (capital city): with a castle which is one of the biggest in the Mediterranean and also a beautiful port. You can also find nice museums. There is a protected beach called Tsamakia which is ideal for sunbathing or swimming (a small fee will apply to use it). Mytilene is also good for sightseeing, shopping and has an active nightlife.
- The Gulf of Gera: which is surrounded by natural scenery.
- Agiasos: a traditional mountain village with pottery, artwork and herbs. The church of Virgin Mary is ideal to visit because tradition says that the icon of Virgin Mary is made by the hands of Lucas the Evangelist. In the surrounding area of Agiasos you will find a beautiful chestnut and pine tree forest.
- Mount Olympus: close to Agiasos. The view is breathtaking from the top of the mountain.
- Plomari: that has the famous worldwide ouzo, a big harbour and the crisp clear beach of Agios Isidoros.
- Vatera: with an amazing long beach and a stretch of little tavernas.
- Skala Kalloni: with a nice centre (plateia), great restaurants and the beautiful Gulf of Kalloni, that has a unique specie of sardine. There is a sandy beach. Close by are the salt plains for bird watching and sightseeing.
- Skala Eressos: the birthplace of the famous poetess Sappho and with a fabulous long beach.
- Sigri: with an old castle, a fishing harbour, two nice beaches and the museum which explains how the geological, volcanic structure and the petrified forest of the west part of Lesvos became millions of years ago.
- The Park of the Petrified Forest (close to Sigri): with the petrified trees standing on their original location.
- The Ypsilou monastery on a high mountain (close to Sigri): with a panoramic view from the top of the monastery.
- Antissa: a traditional mountain village with the famous centre (plateia).
- The Limonos Monastery (Agios Ignatios): close to Kalloni.
- Stipsi: a traditional mountain village famous for its good honey and local agricultural food products.
- The hot springs: Eftalou, Gulf of Gera (Therma), Thermi, Polichnitos, and Agios Ioannis in Lisvori. They are all recommended for patients with arthritis, rheumatism, skin infections, gynaecological problems and circulatory system diseases.
- The beach of Agios Ermogenis: which has a nice church on the seafront and is ideal for a picnic. You can find it in the southeast of the island.
- Theofilos and Teriade museums: they are both in the area of Varia, close to Mytilene.
- Mount Lepetimnos: which is the highest mountain of Lesvos and close to the village of Pelopi. The panorama is breathtaking from the top of the mountain. To mention that Pelopi is the village where Michael Dukakis (a former American President Candidate) family roots are from.
For more information about the island you can visit the following website: Lesvos island. You can also visit our photo gallery to see photos of the island that we have taken.