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Lesvos in Greece

Lesvos in Swedish.
Skala Eressos. Lesvos.

Lesvos is a very big island, in Greece it is only Crete and Evia that is bigger. In fact, Lesvos is the Mediterranean's eighth-largest island after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus, Corsica, Crete, Evia and Mallorca.

The island is a part - together with Chios, Fourni, Ikaria, Oinousses, Psara, Samos and Thymena - of the eastern Aegean islands. Lesvos is the island group largest (1,636 km2 and 86,500 inhabitants) and Thymena is the smallest island (10 km2, 120 inhabitants).

The capital Mytilini has more than 27,800 inhabitants. Nearest neighbouring island is Chios, south of Lesvos. Some people say Lesbos instead of Lesvos. The islanders themselves sometimes say Mytilini instead of Lesvos. While many airlines and shipping companies use Mytilini.

The highest mountains are Mount Olympos in the south and Mount Lepetymnos in the north. Both mountains are 968 meters above sea level.

The majority of islanders are working with agriculture, animal husbandry, fishing and manufacturing industry. Tourism is of course also important, but not like at Samos and Rhodes.

The capital Mytilini.

The capital Mytilini.

Lesvos is no ordinary island; it is the island of surprises. There are an incredibly large number of things to see and do. The landscape is vastly varying, here's the most you can imagine: flatlands, pine forests, petrified forests, olive groves, wooded hills, barren mountains, salt lakes, hot springs, volcanic areas and lots of nice beaches, ranging from miles-long sandy and pebbly beaches to beautiful small bathing bays.

Also the wildlife is rich and varied; not least the island is famous for its many species of birds, making bird-watchers from around the world to travel to Lesvos. Without exaggerating I can say that Lesvos fulfils everyone's wishes, no matter who you are or what you want to experience on your holiday.

Choose between a package holiday or travel independently. To travel independently is easy, either you go by air directly to Lesvos, or travel by air to Samos and continue by ferry to Lesvos, or go by air to Athens and from there by ferry or choose domestic flight to Lesvos.

Book boat tickets online here »

Car is a must if you want to see anything but the surrounding area. For the surrounding area it is enough with a moped. There are two types of buses: local buses that operate Mytilini and the neighbouring area, as well as long-distance buses operating almost the whole island.

Rent a Car online here »

Bird watching close to Skala Kalloni. Lesvos.

Bird watching close to Skala Kalloni.

As you can imagine, there are lots of villages on Lesvos. The most interesting villages in western Lesvos are Antissa, Sigri, Skala Kalloni, Skala Eressou and Vatousa.

Skala Eressos (see picture on top) is my absolute favourite village on Lesvos. The village is marked by Sappho, a Greek lyric poet who lived on Lesvos in the 7th century BC. Several of her love poems were addressed to women and therefore Sappho is regarded as the mother of lesbian literature. She is believed to have lived north of Skala Eressou, and for that reason it has become something of a pilgrimage place for lesbians. As Mykonos is for gays.

The village is located along the waterfront and is concentrated to two streets, one at the water and the other one above, and also a few cross-streets. The beach is one of the best on Lesvos, and one of the longest. Along the waterfront there are plenty of tavernas, cafes and bars.

In the north of Lesvos are the tourist resorts of Anaxos, Petra and Molyvos. Anaxos is a pleasant little holiday resort that suits those who wants peace and quiet on there holiday.

Petra is a popular charter destination, but still it feels quite genuine. Petra is a mishmash of old and new, of tourism and Greek everyday life. The beautiful beach is wide and runs along almost the whole bay.

Petra in Lesvos.


From Petra it is only 5 kilometres to Molyvos, Molivos or Mithymna. Molyvos is a lovely village with beautiful stone house that patiently climb by the cobbled lanes and alleys towards a castle, and down to a cosy harbour with welcoming tavernas. Not far from Molyvos is the little fishing hamlet Skala Sikaminias, which is well worth a visit.

The Ouzo town of Plomari, the tourist resort of Agios Isidoros and the capital of Mytilini town are some of the villages in the south of Lesvos. Plomari is the second largest town (3,000) on Lesvos and it is an unruly town built like an amphitheatre above a bustling fishing port. The architecture is a mix between new and old, there are old mansions, ruined factories, olive presses and tanneries in all sizes, shapes and colours.

Along the waterfront, the tavernas and cafes lie in a row. Do you like ouzo, you'll love Plomari. There are many shops that only sell ouzo, and one of the brands - Ouzo Giannatsi - can not be bought anywhere else.

Just before Agios Isidoros, lies the famous ouzo distillery Barbayanni where ouzo has been produced since 1860. Agios Isidoros is in my opinion a pleasant tourist resort with a fine beach. The village is small; here are a few tavernas, a few car hire places, a supermarket and a few souvenir shops. What is missing is a better choice of tavernas. But it is not far to Plomari where there are many choices.

Plomari is the ouzo capital of Greece.

Plomari is the ouzo capital of Greece.

Mytilini is a large town, and even a very large town with more than 28,800 inhabitants. Mytilini is chaotic, stressful and noisy. Traffic is more wild than tame. If you do not like this kind of boisterous cities, it is probably best to stay away. However, if you are fascinated by Greek cities, you'll love Mytilini.

The town spreads from the large horseshoe-shaped harbour up to a hill where a huge castle sits on a throne and look down over the town. Nearly all action in the town is at the harbour - and at the streets leading from the harbour. Almost the entire waterfront is lined with cafes, ouzeries and restaurants.

The beaches are plentiful. You'll find everything from kilometres-long sand and pebble beaches to small quiet bathing bays. Most popular are the beaches in Anaxos, Petra, Agios Isidoros and Skala Eressou. But the beaches in Sigri, Melinda and Skala Kalloni do also attract some tourists. The longest beach on Lesvos is the one in Vatera on the south coast, which is so long that if all tourists on Lesvos went there it would still be plenty of space.

Agios Isidoros beach close to Plomari.

Agios Isidoros beach close to Plomari.

There are sights of all kinds on Lesvos, and many of them are interesting. These include a petrified forest, fascinating monasteries, old bridges, a viaduct and hot springs that you can swim in. Not to mention the breathtaking and changing landscape and all beautiful villages.

In other words, there are plenty of things to discover.

If you are travelling on a package holiday - which you probably do - you most likely will stay in either Anaxos, Petra, Molyvos, Plomari or Agios Isidoros. What is best is a matter of taste.

I have stayed in Mytilini, Molyvos, Agios Isidoros and Skala Eresssou, and I have enjoyed staying in all villages. If you are travelling independently you can look for accommodation on the spot, but I think it's best to book ahead.

Book hotel, studios and apartments in Lesvos here »

The Roman aqueduct near the village Moria.

The Roman aqueduct near the village Moria.

The cozy port in Molyvos. Lesvos.

The beautiful port in Molyvos.

Here are several cozy taverns, bars and cafes. Excursion boat to Skala Sikaminias starts from here. Petra is 5 km from Molyvos.

Book hotels in Molyvos here »

Ferry timetable »

Book ferry tickets »

Photos from Lesvos »

Accommodation in Lesvos »

Chios - nearest island »

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