Lesvos Mini Guide
Tell me something about Lesvos
Lesvos is the third largest Greek Island and the largest in the Aegean. It’s very close to the coast of Turkey and ferry boats can take tourists to the mainland on day trips. The island is best known as the birthplace of Sappho whose poems have inspired lesbians over the millennia. Many lesbian couples visit the island seeing it as a ‘spiritual home’ causing consternation amongst the strictly Orthodox Christian authorities. The island itself is beautiful with verdant hillsides, towering peaks and over 60% of the island covered with forests. It has beautiful beaches and volcanic springs, reminders of its geologically violent past.
How do I get to Lesvos?
Mytiline International Airport is five miles south of the island’s capital Mytilene and accepts seasonal charter flights from major European destinations. The airport also accepts year round scheduled domestic flights together with a flight from Larnaca
in Cyprus. Transfers from the airport are quick and easy, despite the island’s size, with a shuttle bus calling at the major resorts and a wealth of taxis eager to take your euros.
What should I see and do when there?
There is a lot to do on Lesvos, most of it revolving around the beautiful scenery and its geological past. Hire a car to drive up to the twin peaks of Lepetymnos and Olympus. From the top of these mountains that stretch over 3,000 feet into the sky you can see all of the island and across the water to Turkey. The little unspoilt villages are great for photo opportunities especially Agiasos and Skala Sykamineas. For those that like beauty treatments there are a number of sulphur springs with accompanying spas around the island. Another must-see is the petrified sequoia forest in the west of the island, the second largest in the world. Birdwatching is a popular activity on the island as Lesvos is on the migratory path of many species that spend their summers in Northern Europe.
What should I buy when in Lesvos?
The island is famed as the inventor of ouzo, the aniseed liqueur, and a bottle or two often goes down well for friends back home. The island is also known for its sweets which include candied fruit and nuts.
What is the food like in Lesvos?
Fish and other seafood is cheap and plentiful, often served fresh from the day’s catch. Elsewhere, the island’s abundant water allows for the production of much fruit and vegetables which become an intrinsic part of your meals there.
And what about entertainment?
The island is very easy going despite its animosity towards some sectors of the tourist market. Entertainment there is fairly low key although there are a number of resorts with lively bars and clubs. Most evenings are spent in conversation over an ouzo or beer, simply watching the sunset and the lights of the resorts reflecting in the water.
There’s so much to see on the island of Lesvos, and that’s before you get to the beach! Hire a car and visit the stunning Roman aqueduct or tour the twelve churches which are on the UNESCO endangered sites list.
Head off to the island’s second largest town of Mythymna and look out over the town from the heights of its Genoese fortress. Finally those beaches! Lesbos is the sunniest island in the Mediterranean and so, on almost every day of the year you can work on getting that perfect tan!