Lesvos

Lesvos

Verdant with pine forests and olive groves Lesvos has many natural beauties, a perfect climate and many sights all of which compose a beautiful picture.

The city of Mytilini, capital of the island is spread out on seven hills. Mytilini is also the capital of Lesvos prefecture which includes the islands of Limnos and Agios Efstratios.

The enchanting village of Mythimna also known as Molyvos with the traditional stone houses, the paved streets and mansions, is inhabited since the ancient times and is the homeland of poet and citharoedus Arion.

Don’t forget to buy the famous local products of Lesvos. Olive oil, ouzo, ladotyri cheese, traditional preserved products, spoon sweets, pottery, pastas and bakery products.

Sights

Λέσβος - Μονή Υψηλού Μονή Υψηλού Ipsilou Monastery Λέσβος - Ρωμαικό Υδραγωγείο Ρωμαικό Υδραγωγείο Roman aqueduct Λέσβος παραλία παραλία Lesvos beach Λέσβος - Κάστρο Μόλυβος Κάστρο Μόλυβος Molyvos castle Λέσβος - Απολιθωμένο δάσος Απολιθωμένο δάσος Petrified trunk

The Petrified Forest
The island has many sights with most important the Petrified Forest in the region of Sigri-Eressos (birthplace of Sappho) where one can see the 20 million years old petrified trunks as far as the steep coasts and even in the sea. The petrified forest is 20 million years old and its trunks are unique worldwide.

Castles
On the island are the ruins of three castles, the medieval castles in Mytilini and Mythimna (Molyvos) both of them built in the ancient years and renovated by Gatelouzous and the third in Sigri built during the Ottoman rule in Greece.

The Roman aqueduct “Kamares” of the 2nd – 3rd cent. in Moria.

At the settlement Ahladeri, in the sea are the ruins of ancient Pyrra, one of the ancient fivetowns of Lesvos and in Messa and Klopedi are the remains of the ancient Aeolian temple of Apollo and an Ionian temple.

Near Chorafa region mosaic floorings of the 3rd cent. AD have been found, portraying Orpheus and scenes from the work of Menandros with titles accommodated today in the Archaeological Museum of Mitilini.

The ancient Hellenistic theatre of Mitilini with a capacity of 10.000 spectators. It is said that the emperor of Rome Pompiios was so impressed that he decided to build a similar theatre in Rome.

The biotope of Kalloni that includes a significant number of smaller ones, a place where find shelter many rare birds species.

The hot springs in Therma, Geras gulf, Polichnitos, Lisvori, Thermi, Eftalou etc. effective for various diseases.

Admire mansions all over the island like the residence of the Vareltzidena family in Petra.

Religious pilgrimages

  • In the picturesque village of Mantamado known for its stone houses, visit the Monastery of Taxiarch, with the famous holy icon of Archangel Michael, which according to tradition was made with soil and the blood of the monks who were slaughtered by pirates.
  • The Byzantine Church of Agios Stefanos in Mantamado.
  • The church of Dormition of Virgin Mary in Agiasos with it’s famous icon which according to tradition was transferred form Jerusalem in 803 AD.
  • The Byzantine Monastery of Limonos with rare books and manuscripts.
  • In Antissa the Monastery Ipsilou with a rare collection of manuscripts.
  •  The church of our lady of the Sweet Kiss built on a rock.
  •  The paleochristian basilica Chalinados of the 6th cent. – Agia Paraskevi
  •  in Thermi the monastery of St.Raphael
  •  In Polichnitos, the church of St.George and the Damandrio monastery.
  •  The paleochristian basilica of Ypsilometopo
  •  The paleochristian basilica in Messa

Museums

  • The Archaeological Museum in Mitilini
  • The Collection of Natural History in Vrisa village with exhibits of the Paleolithic age.
  • The Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest – Sigri
  • Theophilos Museum
  • Museum of Modern Art Teriant
  • Oyzo Museum

History

The island was named after Lesvos who came with the Lapiths from Thessaly and settled in the region.
Lesvos reached to the top of its economic and cultural prosperity during the Archaic Period (7th 6th cent BC), due to its shipping and viticulture. The people of Lesvos established a lot of colonies in Asia Minor coasts, in Thrace and Egypt. Two of the most important personalities during its prosperity period were the poet Alkaios and poetess Sappfo. Besides poetry, particular blossoming had known the letters, the arts and music. The island was a member of the 1st and 2nd Athenian Alliance and was twice subjugated with its Asia Minor colonies to the Persians.

During the Byzantine period the island was a big commercial and intellectual center, due to its many monasteries with most important the Monastery of Limonos. Lesvos was given to Gatelouzous in 1355 as a dowry of the sister of the Emperor Ioannis Palaiologos, Maria E. The Turks occupied it in 1462 but the intellectual contribution of the island was important even then. It was liberated and became a part of Greece on November 8, 1912 by the Greek fleet under the command of admiral Kountouriotis. After the destruction in Asia Minor in 1922, 24.000 refugees inhabited on the island.

Apart from the ancients Alkaios and Sappfo, Lesvos is the homeland of many intellectual people like Stratis Myrivilis, Argyris Eftaliotis and Odysseus Elytis (Nobel price winner poet), Theofilos, Stratis Eleytheriadis, Georgios Iakovidis etc.

Information

Access-Transportation

By Plane
Mytilini airport “Odysseas Elytis” 0030 22510 – 38700

By Ship
From Piraeus, Thessaloniki, Kavala and the surrounding islands.
Mytilini port authority 0030 22510 40827

By Bus
Local transportation.
Lesvos Local Bus service
0030 22510 28873

Useful

Area: 1.633 sq km

Capital: Mytilini

Lesvos prefecture administratively belongs to the North Aegean Region and includes the municipalities of Lesvos, Agios Efstratios and Lemnos.