Lesvos - Abbey Travel, Ireland



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Welcome to Lesvos


Lesvos (alternatively spelt Lesbos), the third largest of the Greek islands, is a little different from the rest, being largely self-sufficient thanks to its commerce in olive-growing and fishing. Despite being a popular summer holiday destination it remains unspoilt and natural, untainted by most tourist trappings, and its size precludes it from becoming overcrowded or claustrophobic like some of the other Greek resort islands.

Situated in the Aegean, Lesvos is very close to the Turkish coast and well connected by air and sea to Athens and Thessalonika, as well as some of the other Ionian Islands like Rhodes and Kos.

The delightful island is encircled with quaint fishing villages and pale gold sandy beaches, while inland the fertile soil is rich with olive groves, the uplands covered in pine and holme oak. Two gulfs, which penetrate deep into the interior of the island, provide for an interesting, sheltered coastline.

The main town on the island is Mitilini, a city of 30,000 inhabitants clustered around its well-preserved Byzantine castle. The favourite spots for holidaymakers, however, are the northern village of Molivos; the south coast town of Plomari (where it is reputed the finest ouzo in the world is still made); and Sigri, at the western tip, near the world's largest petrified forest.

Apart from beautiful, secluded beaches and superb opportunities for walking and bird-watching, Lesvos has relics of a long and proud history to explore. The island has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, and rose to glory particularly around the 6th century BC when it was rivalled only by Athens as a great centre of civilisation, home to the legendary poets Sappho and Alcaeus.

Lesvos is known as the birthplace of the ancient poet Sappho, and in recent years tourism has increased for lesbian and all-female tour groups who come to pay homage. Lesvos is known as a lesbian-friendly island, and resorts like Skala Eressos are focused on women-only holidays.

Today it is easy for visitors to wax poetical when enjoying the serenity of this beautiful lush island with its balmy Mediterranean climate.

Information & Facts


Lesvos has a Mediterranean climate with short, wet winters and warm, dry summers and a high percentage of sunshine throughout the year. May, June and September are the most pleasant months to visit, with little rain and cooler temperatures than the suffocating heat of the summer months, where temperatures can reach 104°F (40°C).

Getting Around

Fortunately Lesvos has a reliable, cheap and efficient public transport system with public buses running regularly between the major towns and resorts. Yellow or grey taxis can be easily hailed in Lesvos and there are taxis stands in Molivos and other resorts. Taxis can also be booked in advance at no extra charge. Boats depart every day from Pireaus to Chios and Mytiline, and during peak tourist season the trips become more frequent. Several days a week the ferry continues on to Lemnos, Kavala and Thessaloniki.

Kids Attractions

Lesvos may not boast as many child-friendly attractions as some other Greek islands, but with stunning natural beauty, long beaches and lush green vegetation, children on holiday in Lesvos can enjoy the endless outdoor activities that abound here. Head to Molivos or Petra for some donkey trekking through the mountains and views over the sparkling ocean, or for a really special sight, the Petrified Forest of Sigri near Eressos is one of the world's most important natural monuments and children will be amazed that the fossilized remains date back 15-million years. On days when the weather is not good and outdoor activities for children are not an option, take the kids for a dip at the Eftalou Thermal Baths to warm up and 'let off some steam'. Many hotels offer kids clubs and these are great for kids to mingle and play with children of other nationalities.

Greek is the national language, but English is widely spoken.

The Euro (EUR) is the official currency, divided into 100 cents. Banks and bureaux de change are widely available and travellers cheques and major credit cards are widely accepted. ATMs are widespread and are generally the cheapest and most convenient method of obtaining euros.


It may not be known as party central, but with enough bars, clubs and tavernas, Lesvos has plenty to offer those looking for a good night out. Nightlife in Mitilini is focused around the waterfront, with a younger, trendier crowd frequenting the eastern side where the drinks are cheap. The older, more mature crowds enjoy the south side where more relaxed and stylish places can be enjoyed without the thumping of bass line in the background, or a riveting conversation can be shared over dinner in a vibrant taverna. The Byzantine castle at the top of the hill occasionally hosts music and drama performances.

Molivos doesn't attract the same young crowds as other Greek holiday resorts, but a few clubs and discos keep the nightlife scene alive with popular spots including Cafe Sun Set for a few sundowners, or Molly's Bar. Skala Eressos has a lively gay-friendly nightlife, with a number of music bars and cafes spilling onto the beach.


Like most holiday shopping, Lesvos has its fair share of gift shops selling the usual tacky souvenirs, but there are also great finds if you know where to look. Head to Molivos for fantastic markets to explore as well as dinky cobblestone streets lined with little stores. Villages such as Plomari, Eressos, Agiassos, Agia Paraskev have a few shops, but nothing compared to the calibre or variety travellers will find in Mitilini or Molivos. Popular buys include local produce like graviera cheese and Ouzo Wine, as well as crafts, leather goods, ceramics, unique Greek designed jewellery, woven goods and interesting folk art. Villages such as Plomari, Eressos, Agiassos, Agia Paraskev have a few shops, but nothing compared to Mitilini or Molivos. Tourist shops tend to be open from 9am to 10pm, while others close earlier.


One of Greece's quieter destinations, Lesvos may not have the high-profile attractions of other islands, but breathtaking scenery, stunning beaches and natural, unspoilt beauty make this island a fabulous place to explore.

History buffs will love the Archaeological and Theophilos Museums in Mitilini and the roman aqueduct in Moria, which was built in the second century AD, while science enthusiasts will want to be sure to visit the highly-regarded Geological Museum in Sigri. Don't miss a visit to the most scenic town on the east coast of the island, Mandamados, famous for its cheeses, or the war ruins at Pyrgi Thermis. The holiday resort town of Molivos boasts a fantastic maze of winding streets, red-roofed stone houses, and remnants of its medieval past.

The pebbly beaches in Molivos are also great for sunbathing, while the crystalline turquoise waters provide excellent snorkelling conditions. The beaches in Plomari and Vatera are known as the best on the island, or for an interesting day out, head to Eftalou to enjoy the therapeutic thermal baths, or walk along mile-long beach of Eressos.

Donkey trekking is a great activity for the whole family to enjoy and even the little ones will be thrilled to ride on the gentle animals. Day-treks from Molios to Vafios are available, travelling through verdant green valleys, past olive groves and along mountain paths to the village of Vafios. Sunset-treks to Eftalou reward with a tasty barbeque on the beach, drinks and even a swim while the sun sets over the sea. Booking recommended.

A trip to the Eftalou Thermal Baths is a wonderful excursion for anyone on holiday in Lesvos. Children will be captivated by the warm waters and stunning scenery and parents can explain about the healing properties and the source of the warmth to amaze the younger ones. Highly popular with tourists, the Eftalou's Springs are located at the beach and are one of the few springs in Greece where men and women can bathe together. A novelty for children, this is one activity the whole family will enjoy.

One of the two largest petrified forests in the world, the Petrified Forest of Sigri on the western edge of the island, dates back 15 million years and is protected as a natural monument. A visit to the Petrified Forest of Sigri is an interesting and fascinating outing for families with children.

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