About Lesvos (Lesbos) island
Lesvos is the third largest island of Greece and has a long
history that goes back more than 3.000 years. It has been the
birthplace of famous people, such as the poets Sappho and Alcaeos,
Arion the Guitarist, and Pittacus, one of the seven wise men of
ancient Greece. A tradition that even continues today and gives
the island that distinctive atmosphere which makes it so different
from the rest.
Sappho's reputation as a lover of her own sex, has given the
word "Lesbian" an international currency. Her reputation
is based on some of the fragments of her poetry: "I was in
love with you once, Atthis, long ago..."
Rich in olives and
fish, the island has an economic balance rare in the Aegean and
because of its relative prosperity the island is very easy for
travelers to reach even in the quiet months of winter.
By air, one
can get to Lesvos from Athens five times a day and from Salonica
seven times a week. By Ferry-boat, one can reach Lesvos every day
from Piraeus, and from Salonica on a less frequent schedule.
Mytilene is the capital of the island and has a population of
30,000 people. This is about one third of the total population of
the island. It is built amphitheatrically around its well
preserved Byzantine Castle. Not very far from there, on the
north-east side of town, one can find the Hellenistic Theatre with
its superb acoustics and capacity of 10,000 people. Further in the
suburb of Varia one can visit the Theophilos Museum.
Twelve kilometers from Mytilene, near the town of Moria, one
can visit the Roman Aqueduct that was built in the second century
AD. Going further up north by the east coast, thru a series of
beautiful little villages one will arrive in the town of
Mantamados, famous for its cheeses and the fine pottery. The next
stop will be Skala Sikaminias, one of the most charming fishing
villages one would ever see.
And then, at the northest point of
the island one will find the picturesque village of Molivos, with its mediaeval castle and the traditional
architecture. Molivos together with its sea-side resort Eftalou
are the island's and North Aegeans' best known resorts.
association with Arts is appropriate enough, for it was here in
Mithymna that the head of Orpheus is said to have been washed
ashore after his dismemberment of the Thracian women. Another
mythical citizen of Mithymna was the lyric poet and musician
Arion. It has been said that he has been saved by the music-loving
Only a short distance of 5 Km SW of Molivos the village of
Petra can be found. Petra has one of the best sandy beaches of the
island. Again further south the village of Agia Paraskevi is
situated. This village has a lot of old mansions and is known for
the Bull Festival that has been celebrated since more than two
hundred years. Near the village lay ruins of an ancient temple of
Napaios Apollo and the ruins of an Ionian temple dated from the
3rd century BC. This temple was dedicated to Zeus, Hera and
In the island's center, not far from Agia Paraskevi,
lays the modern town Kalloni. It is famous for its sardines which
are caught in the nearby bay called the Gulf of Kalloni. On this
gulf one will also find the popular summer resort Skala Kalloni
with its beautiful sandy beaches. Kalloni is also famous for its
plain that creates a unique refuges for birds such as ravines and
myrtles. The oleanders, ferns, pines, form the hydrobiotop of
Skala Kallonis and the salt pans of the gulf. The area
is filled with waters and their thickets of canes consist of a
great number of birds, animals and lepidopteran such as foxes,
winks, squirrels, hedgehogs, martens, turtles, martins, wild
pigeons, thrushes, pelicans, hens-fowls, blackbirds, storks,
herons, crickets and nightingales that brighten mornings and
evenings with music.
Also near the center of the island another well known town is
Agiassos. This town is famous for its pottery. Going
further south again we reach the towns of Plomari, Polichnitos and
of course Vatera which has one of most superb beaches of GREECE.
It is sandy, clean and about 10 Km long.
At the western tip of Lesvos, Sigri is a pretty fishing village
with a nice little beach and a castle that goes back to the 18th
century. Not far from there lies the Petrified Forest, dating back
fifteen million years. Finally, not far from Sigri, one will find
the town of Eressos. Eressos has been the birth place of Sappho
and Theoprastos. Its port, Skala Eressos, is a famous resort with
a magnificent long sandy beach.
Lesvos, as it can be seen from its classical history, its
abundance of poets, musicians, philosophers and lawgivers, was one
of the great cultural centers of the Greek world. It was second
perhaps only to Athens in its influence if not in its power. As a
place for a holiday, for a rest or for quiet work, Lesvos is HARD
to BETTER. It is big enough to permit that change of scene so
necessary if one is to avoid "island claustrophobia". It
has a further advantage that it is easy from here to organize a
trip to visit Troy or to explore the coastline of ancient Ionia.