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About Lesvos

EASTERN

Continuing on the same road, and going by the hamlets of Kedro, Pyrgi and Alifanta you will be travelling to the east of Lesvos and heading towards the capital - Mytilene. Mytilene is arguably one of the oldest towns in the Aegean Sea. It was founded during the early 10th Century BC.

 

Castle of Mytilene Statue of Mother of Minor Asia

 

 

Archaeological ruins and excavations indicate a historic past, firmly placed in the Classic, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods. The modern town of Mytilene spreads amphitheatrically along the southeastern part of the island and it has a population of app. 30.000 inhabitants, not counting the 3500 Uni students, attending the University of the Aegean each year.

 

Panagiouda Moria-Roman Aquaduct

 

 

You can return to Mytilene via Loutra and head towards the northern port of Epano Skala. On the way there you can admire the Castle of Mytilene looking over the port. Further down past the industrial zone on the left is Moria, the site of the Roman Aqueduct. On the right you can visit the village of Panagiouda with the seaside tavernas.

 

Church of Afalonas Tower in Pamfila

 

 

You will travel by the small villages of Afalonas and Pamfila to reach the area of Thermi, which consists of three parts: Pyrgi, Paralia and Loutropolis where the thermal springs and the old bathhouse can be located.

 

Thermi Towers Sarliza-Thermi Beach

 

 

A road passing through Thermi leads uphill to the villages of Pyrgi and Komi and even higher up to the Convent of Saint Rafael, a destination for countless pilgrims from all over the Christian world every year.

 

Horse Riders in Komi Saint Raphael

 

 

Returning to the main road and heading further north, you can see the church of Agios Georgios set amongst pines. Not far from there you can visit the sandy beach of Petalidi. The same road will take you to the villages of Mystegna and Nees Kydonies.

 

Petalidi Beach Nees Kidonies

 

 

Each of them have their Skala - coastal area, where you can swim and enjoy the open views of the sea. The next stop to your journey has to be the small town of Mantamados. The town is known for its pottery workshops, free range beef and tasty cheeses. At the entrance of the town, you can visit the Cultural Centre, housed in a renovated old olive press and at the centre of the town, the church of Agios Vassilios, build in 1750.

 

Mistegna Mandamados-Archangel Michael monastery

 

 

The Byzantine Monastery of the Archangel Michael (patron saint of the island) is located just outside of Mandamados, It is one of the most significant pilgrimages of the island. Among the valuable icons and other ecclesiastical objects, a sculpted icon of Archangel Michael is most revered. According to tradition, when invading  Turks destroyed the Monastery (1462), the icon was made by a surviving novice using clay and the blood of the slaughtered monks.

 

                                  

Kapi Klio

 

 

Further north, you can visit the rural village of Kapi and the picturesque coastal settlement of Yeni Limani. To the west are the mountain villages of Pelopi, Ipsilometopo and Stipsi but if you continue north, you will arrive at Klio and then Sikamia and Skala Skamias where the small church of Panayia the Gorgona (Virgin Mary the mermaid) stands on a rock practically in the sea.

 

 

To the right of Skala is Kaya, a long, quiet beach lined with trees.

 

 

 

 

NORTHERN

To the west, towards Mythemna (Molyvos), there is another beautiful beach, Ammoudeli, and the villages of Lepetimnos, Argennos and Vafios amongst lush vegetation the green slopes of Mt Lepetimnos. Molyvos perched on the western tip of the island is another important resort. Its roots are lost in the prehistoric period.

 

Petra Beach Panagia Glikofilousa

 

 

Its one of the most picturesque and well-preserved medieval settlements in the Mediterranean build amphitheatrically on a rocky hill, complete with its medieval castle.

 

Attractive Molyvos

 

 

While there you can visit the Public Library, the Public Gallery and the Archaeological Collection. To the east of Molyvos, at the very top of the island is Eftalou, with a good beach and the thermal springs for swimming and relaxation.Heading south from Molyvos, you will arrive at Petra, another well known resort.

It was build at a plain around a huge rock, on top of which stands the church of b. Other sites worth visiting are: the church of Agios Nikolaos (basilica of the 17th Century) and Vareltzidena's Mansion, build in 1740.

 

Eftalou- Thermal baths

 

 

  If you follow the coastal road westwards you will arrive at the cosy beach of Anaxos while a secondary road to the south east will take you to the green hamlet of Pyrgi. Continuing on the same secondary road you will arrive at the village of Stipsi and from there skirting around mountain Lepetymnos you will reach the Monastery of Ypsilometopo.

 

 

WESTERN

Re-tracing your steps to Anaxos, you can continue southwards to Skoutaros, Filia, Anemotia and Skalochori, all traditional mountainous villages. Further on you will come to Vatoussa a calming traditional village with a Folk Art Museum. To the south of Vatoussa you will come across the villages of Revma, Pterounta and Chidira, while if you continue west you will come to the Monastery Perivolis. During the Byzantine times it was a Convent dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It was rebuild in 1630. Worthy of note are the icons of the fretwork icon-screen and the hagiographies painted during the 16th century.

 

Square in Dafia Leimonos monastery

 

 

At a short distance from the monastery you will come to Antissa. The present day town was build near the site of ancient Antissa, the first Aeolian settlement in the island, with its ruins still visible. While there you can visit its Cultural Centre. To the north of the town there are two coastal areas worthy of a stopover : Gavathas and Lapsarna. To the west the road that leads you out of the town forks into two directions: the eastern to Sigri and the southern to Eressos. Following the eastern route you will reach the Monastery of Ipsilou, built on the rocky top of  Mt. Ordymnos which is dedicated to Agios Ioannis Theologos. The choice of it location denotes its medieval origin (800 AD).

 

Ipsilou monastery

 

 

A few more kilometres to the west, you will come to the Petrified Forest- a unique natural phenomenon, which was created by a volcano eruption some 15-20 million years ago. The road ends at the coastal village of Sigri, where you can visit the The Museum of Natural History-Petrified Forest, which also aims at the study, preservation and protection of the forest. At the western edge of Sigri there is a small castle build by the Ottomans. Exactly opposite of Sigri is the islet of Nissiopi where one can see petrified tree trunks under water. Additionally Sigri is a commercial port linking the western part of theb island to the port of Rafina (near Athens) once or twice weekly.

 

Petrified forest Natural History Museum

 

 

Returning to the junction leading to Eressos, you will be travelling downhill through an equally rocky landscape before you reach the interesting, medieval Monastery Pythariou dedicated to The Archangels. It has a plethora of interesting icons, ecclesiastical objects and hagiographies. Leaving the monastery and returning to the main road you arrive at Eressos a small town with ancient roots. Here the Lyric Poetess Sappho (the 10th Muse) and Theophrastus were born. Three kilometres to the south, you will find Skala Eressou, another well known coastal resort with its sheltered sandy beach.

 

Sigri Skala Eressou

 

 

The ruins of the ancient town were discovered, at the site of Xokastro, northeastern of Skala Eressou, The findings include walls, the theatre, the prytaneum, the agora and the ancient temples. At the site of Vigla, there are the ruins of medieval and Turkish small towers and an early Christian church (5th AD Century). You can see the findings of the excavations at the Archaelogical Museum. To the east of Skala Eressou you can visit the picturesque village of Mesotopos, and from there reach the beach at the hamlet of Tavari. Returning to  the main road, you will be heading inland to Agra, another small village with traditional customs.

 

Mesotopos

 

 

Leaving Agra you are going downhill again towards the coast of the Bay of Kalloni and you will reach the beaches of Makara and Apothika. The ruins of ancient buildings in this area prove the existence of ancient settlements. Travelling now coastally along the Bay of Kalloni, the landscape changes to a verdant plain. Build on the green slopes of a hill, you will find Parakila and its Skala, where you can swim in the warm waters of the bay of Kalloni and enjoy traditional hospitality. Continuing your journey north eat you will reach Kalloni, the beginning of this travelogue.

 

SOUTHERN

This part is consist of Gera Gulf and the eastern part of Kalloni Gulf. Our start point is the city of Mytilene but now we take the eastern exit of the city. The road pass through an area full of olive trees, while the first crossroad lead us to the small settlements of Alifanta, Pirgi and Kedros.

 

Gera Gulf Gera Gulf-Evriaki Beach

 

 

Focus on the main road, our journey continues to Gera Gulf. Is a rout that has as basic colors the green of the trees and the blue of the sea. Characteristic are the Hot baths "Therma", settled by the sea, the old commercial buildings from 18th and 19th century (olive presses e.t.c.), times that the area had great developement. Going west we can see the villages and settlements of : Dipi, Pigadakia, Kato Tritos, Michou, Palaiokipos, Plakados, Perama. The main road leads to Papados, Mesagros and Skopelos.

 

Papados square Plakados

 

The southern road goes to the seaside area named Tarti, while the central road leads to Plomari and the villages Trigona and Plagia, built amphitheatrically through the olive trees. After driving through the trees and nature we reach the wonderful beach of Agios Isidoros.

 

Gera City Hall Perama

 

 

Going back to the main road, we move to the peripheral road that leads to the town of Plomari.

 


Plomari

 

Almost 10 klm higher from Plomari is settled the village of Megalochori a very nice settlement and Palaiochori also. Melinda beach is ideal for swimming. Contuining N.E. from Palaiochori, the road lead us to Akrasi and Drotas and to Panagia Krifti beach.

 

Agios Isidoros Beach Melinda Beach

 

                                   From Akrasi we keep Northern. The crossroad to the North leads to the villages Ampeliko, Stavros and Kato Stavros and finally we reach Vatera, one of the best beaches of Mediterranean.

 

Vatera

 

 

Taking the central road of Vatera, we pass through Vrisa, whle if we continue we reach Polichnitos and Skala of Polichnitos. The same road can lead us to Nifida, a wonderful seaside area.         

 

Polichnitos Nifida

 

 

Through the path that goes to mountain Olympos we can go to Agiassos and the Temple of Virgin Mary. Walking down the road from the mountain we see the place named Karini and through the road we can reach the village Asomatos.

 

Agiassos Virgin Mary of Agiassos

 

CENTRAL

The main town of Central Lesvos is Kalloni, a thriving commercial and cultural centre since ancient times. The  archaeological finds of the area prove that it has known days of prosperity during the Byzantine and Medieval periods. At a distance of 4 km south from Kalloni, after the picturesque hamlets of Ariana, Kerami and Papiana you can find Skala Kallonis, which in resent years has developed as a tourist resort. In the springtime of each year, birdwatchers that visit the island in large numbers come to observe the flying population (indigent and migrant).

 

Temple of Messa Kalloni waterland

 

At a distance of 3 km northwest of Kalloni is the Monastery Limonos. During the Turkish Occupation it was the only intellectual centre in the island and the spiritual centre of Christianity. It has a library, a museum of Ecclesiastical Art and a museum of Geology. In the near vicinity you can find the Convent of Panayia Myrsiniotissa. Inside the Cathedral you can admire valuable Byzantine icons, an old fretwork icon-screen and significant wall paintings.

 

Agia Paraskevi City Hall Kalloni Beach

 

 

Returning back to Kalloni and continuing southeast, you will go through the hamlet of Arisvi. If you then head north, you will come to the small town of Agia Paraskevi, a place where the ancient custom of animal sacrifices on festive days has not died. Notable buildings to admire are neoclassical mansions, the imposing church of the Archangels and a beautiful school. To the north of Agia Paraskevi, you will find the mountain village of Napi and near it the remains of the ancient temple of Klopedi, the early-Christian basilica of b and the bridge of Kremasti. If you continue south from Arisvi, you will go past the Kalloni Salt Works and the remarkable Wetland which attracts the birds. After that you will find the ancient Temple of Messa build by the Aeolians in the 3rd century BC, where the gods Zeus, Hera and Dionysus were worshipped.

 

Panagia Mirsiniotissa Panagia Mirsiniotissa

 

 

At the fork junction, taking the right fork south and following the Gulf of Kalloni coastline, you will come to coastal location of Achladeri, a fertile place full of natural beauty and the tranquil cove where the ancient town Pyra, sank into the sea after an earthquake in 231 BC. These days at the same site you will find only a small roadside taverna, where you can enjoy, a drink or two anytime of the day, the catch of the local fishermen and a few farming buildings on the hillside.