The third largest island in Greece , Lesvos is rich in history and culture besides being a fashionable holiday destination. Olive groves, forests, beaches and fertile farmlands make up the nature of this island. Lesvos has many villages and towns of charm and interest. The island is perfect for mountain walkers and ornithologists, with mountains and rich wildlife. Famous artists, writers and poets have been born on Levros. Arion the poet and Terpander the composer were born here in the 7 th century BC. In recent times, the artist Theophilos who died in 1934 and the Nobel Prize winner for poetry O. Elytis (1811-1996) had there roots on Levros. However, the most legendary is Sappho, who was born in the village of Eresos . Her poems extolling the love between women, are well known, but she was a prolific writer of other works among them hymns and love songs. Very little of her personal life is known, only that she was married and had a child, and later was sent to Sicily in exile. Modern day Levros in addition to being a tourist destination, is also a centre for learning, the University of the Aegean is located here.
Mytilini, the capital of the island, is a vibrant town with winding streets lined with cafes and bars. The town’s architecture is a combination, of grand 19 th century mansions, along side buildings that are more modern. The shops sell a wide variety of goods, ceramics, jewellery and antiques. The fortress built in the Byzantine era is imposing. The museums of Mytilini, are not to be missed the Archaeological Museum , has a remarkable display of exhibits consisting of ceramics and gold jewellery. The town has two Archaeological Museums the new one has some wonderful mosaics set under a glass walkway. To the northeast of the town is an old Hellenistic theatre, which once seated 10,000 people. The Theophilos Museum in the village of Varia (4km from the town), has on display works of art by this internationally known artist. Next door is the Teriade Museum , containing works of art by the great artists Matisse, Picasso and Chagall. Also on display are reproductions of Teriades own works, he lived and worked in Paris , and through his efforts, the artist Theophilos became recognized.
This utterly charming town, with its traditional architecture is the main town of northeast Lesvos . The town is popular with artists and tourists alike. Winding cobbled streets tempt you to wander and shop, while small tavernas and cafes tempt you to rest awhile. The Genoese castle on the summit of the hill overlooks the coast and offers views over to Turkey . In the summer, drama and dance festivals take place in the castle. Local boats will ferry you to the nearby beaches of Eftalou, Sykaminias and others. The hot springs at Eftalou, which have a temperature of 46 degrees, are beneficial for a number of ailments.
Petra is a popular resort with a good beach, an enormous rock dominates the village on top, is the 18 th century church of Panagia Glykophilousa . From here, good views are worth the climb up the 114 steps. The village is appealing with its traditional dwellings. The nearby village of Petri is equally attractive.
This village situated on the slopes of Mt. Olympus , is a popular for day-trippers, where one can see tradesmen still making traditional furniture and pottery. It has two museums, which have exhibits from the region.
This large village with a decent beach, nearby are other villages with good beaches and friendly tavernas. Plomari is famous in Greece for one of the best ouzos of the same name.
With a beach 8km long, Vatera is a popular holiday resort, with nearby Polyhnitos where one can take a dip in the hot springs .
Levros is famous for its cheese made out of sheep’s milk (ladotyri), as well for it olives, which is said to be the best in Greece if not the world. The region around Plomari, offers some of the finest walking tours, well marked trails lead you some of the finest nature in the region.
Hot springs abound on Levros, the bath houses are quaint in themselves, small domes set low in the earth, with pools usually made of marble where one can soak and get relief from their ailments.
Festivals occur during the months of July to August, where the order of the day is eat, drink and be merry