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Lesvos

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Lesvos (Λέσβος) [1], also spelled Lesbos and often also referred to by the name of its capital city, Mytilene (Greek: Μυτιλήνη), is the third biggest island in Greece, after Evvia and Crete. Located in the Aegean Sea, it belongs to the prefecture of Lesvos along with islands Lemnos (Λήμνος) and Agios Efstratios (Άγιος Ευστράτιος).

Regions

Cities

The capital city of Lesvos is Mytilene (Μυτιλήνη).

Other destinations

  • Pirgi Thermis
  • Molivos (Mithimna)
  • Eresos (Sigri) - Petrified forest.
  • Thalia
  • Madamados
  • Vatera

Understand

The Ancient Greek poet Sappho, whose erotic poems gave rise to the word lesbian, was born in Eressos (Ερεσός) in the South-Western part of Lesvos.

Talk

Greek is most common but many people, especially younger ones, know English as a second Language.

Get in

By plane

The island is served by Odysseas Elytis (Οδυσσέας Ελύτης) airport, named for the 20th century Greek poet of the same name, which is located in the far South-East of the island, around 8km South of Mytilene. Flights run regularly to/from Athens, Thessaloniki, Chios and Lemnos. Internationally, the island is a popular holiday destination so is served by regular charter flights.

Olympic Air [2] and Aegean Airlines [3] provide daily scheduled services from Athens.

By boat

The island is also connected with the mainland and other islands by ship. Many major companies offer routes between Lesbos and Athens. The main shipping company is NEL Lines. Third class tickets (No bed) is about 42 Euros return from Athens. First class with a bed and tv cost 120 Euros. I suggest not travelling third class as the bathrooms are disgusting! The trip is 11-13 hours depending on which ship you board. There are four, Agios Rafael is the slowest and Mitilini is the fastes taking 11 hours. It is a tiresome journey, so it would be better to try book on ships that depart late in the afternoon and travel by night, arriving at their destination a couple of hours after dawn. You won't miss any scenery, since the ship crosses the Aegean Sea and for hours you would only be viewing endless water.

Recently (since 2005), Hellenic Seaways also connected Mitilini with Piraeus (Athens' port) with a faster ship, Nisos Mikonos. With a stop at Chios, the trip lasts about 8-9 hours.


Get around

Local buses run all around the main roads, tickets are 1 Euro each for a single trip. You can buy tickets at local coffee shops or small Deli shops over the counter. The major bus stop and information station is located at Mitilini(Major city).

Taxis are cheap and most use the meter. They do drive like crazy though. Taxis based in Mitilini are yellow and most are turbo Opels. Taxis not based in Mitilini are grey-coloured and rarely use the meter. The latter taxis use mostly fixed fares for trips connecting various locations outside Mitilini, with a cost of around 1 Euro per Km.

Good way to see the island is to rent a car. A local, good quality and affordable car rental place, Auto Moto, can be found at the airport and the city harbour. Recommended if you are a confident driver! The locals drive pretty fast.

The island offers nice hiking routes between the villages. The hiking maps are available in tourist offices.

See

The big beach of Vatera at the south part of the island.

The medieval (Genovese) castle at Mytilene

Town of Agiasos, Pirgi Thermi

Molyvos, a traditional, touristic village with a medieval fort on the top of a hill overlooking the area.

The petrified forest on the Western part of the island. Be sure to visit the Geological Museum in Sigri, one of the best museums in Greece.

Do

  • Safari tours [4] Visit traditional old villages, and hidden paths with Jeep safari tours.

See The small village of Pirgi Thermis on the East side of the island.Very friendly people, Small beach, War ruins near the beach. And also forein Uni students between May 2nd till the whole of summer. There is also a 4 star Hotel there that offers rooms from 50-100 Euros a night and excellent service. Its called the Lesvos Inn, every Taxi driver knows them. They also speak english, they also have internet facilities for you to do internet banking as well.

Eat

The island offers a variety of sea-food with reasonable prices.

Also the sweets of the island and the local spirit "Ouzo" are quite an experience.

Drink

Coffee is the most available drink on the island, even more than water. Prices start from 1-5 Euros

Alcohol is sold at every Coffee shop in every village or bars in the capital Mitilini near the wharf where the ferry will drop you off. Almost all Major hotels serve Alcohol as well.Price : 3-12 Euros.

Lesbos is famous for its Ouzo.

Sleep

  • Vatera Beach Hotel, Vatera Beach, [5]. Budget Hotel and Studios - run by very friendly family and staff, situated right on the sea front.

Tradition

Lesvos is quite well-known for the great number of its local, traditional products. As mentioned before, Lesvos is very famous for Ouzo, as it is considered one of the places it originates from. Also, Lesvos is quite famous for its pottery. Agiasos and Mandamados are the two villages that have the biggest tradition in ceramic art. Many ceramists live and work in these villages. Some of the ceramists there are Antonia Gavve( and Demetrios Hadjigiannis. Except for ceramics, woodcraft is also very developed in Lesvos.

Stay safe

Never take photos of Military compounds/bases.

The Greeks are quite friendly and traveling around would be very safe.

Get out

  • Daily ferries connect Lesvos with Ayvalik in the Turkish mainland during the high season. A round trip costs € 30/person.



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