LESVOS - THE ISLAND OF ARTS AND LETTERS
Lesvos in the northeastern Aegean, the third largest Greek island after Crete and Evia, hosts unique attractions. The city of Mytilene is located in the south of the island on seven hills. The island has a unique wealth of geological monuments, landscapes, and habitats. In September 2012, the island of Lesvos joined the UNESCO World Geoparks Network. Traditional settlements, historic buildings, kilometers of beaches, two huge bays, and the best ouzo in Greece, are located on this island. It is "the maple leaf that someone threw in the middle of the sea", Odysseas Elytis used to say. The ancient poets Sappho and Alcaeus also came from Lesvos.
Its contribution to the arts and letters is invaluable as Arion, Terpandos, Theophrastus, Pittakos, Theophilos, Venezis, Myrivilis, and the visual artist Eleftheriadis were born on the island, as well as the Nobel Prize winner Odysseas Elytis. The most important town of southern Lesvos is Plomari with its famous local ouzo, cobbled streets and folk architecture that retain the traditional color of the city. Molyvos is one of the most beautiful villages preserved and traditional in which there are houses with tiled roofs, mansions, old churches, architectural monuments, narrow cobbled streets and the port which is one of its characteristic places. It is also world famous for the pilgrimages of the Virgin of Agiasos, the Holy Monastery of Agios Raphael and Taxiarchis Mantamados all with their own history.
The Olive Museum in Agia Paraskevi presents the olive collection and the basic stages of preparation of olive oil with machines of the past but also modern ones that are exhibited in a small outdoor amphitheater. The Castle of Mytilene, which is one of the largest in Europe, occupies an area of 60 acres in which one can admire the Ottoman and Byzantine interventions, while it has a central courtyard and five towers. In the district of Epano Skala is the Geni Mosque of Mytilene from the 19th century, where the Turkish market was once located and is considered the largest and newest mosque in the city. The Ancient Theater of Mytilene, built in Hellenistic times, has a circular orchestra and the concave Theater, which could hold 10,000 spectators, while its acoustics are considered equal to that of Epidaurus.
The thermal spring of Loutropolis Thermi twelve kilometers from the city is a resort with a modern hydrotherapy center in which there are two ancient vaulted tanks. The Municipal Gallery in the district of Epano Skala in a three-storey mansion, is a typical example of local architecture. The Museum of Fossil Forest Natural History of 1994 deals with the preservation, conservation and study of fossils, is 286 acres, 17 million years old and is one of the most beautiful geological heritage sites in the world. The Archaeological Museum of Mytilene exhibits ceramics and jewelry from Prehistoric to Roman times. The new building of the Archaeological Museum, in the area of Kiosk, includes mosaic floors and frescoes from the luxurious Roman villas of the 2nd century BC.
In Lesvos the sea is clear, with crystal clear waters and all the beaches of the island have something unique. At Tsamakia beach, in Molyvos, in Anaxos, in Sigri, in Skala Eressou, in Skala Kalloni, in Vatera, in Agios Isidoros, the island offers incredible water sports. You can also relax in the quiet coves in Charamida, Agios Ermogenis, Kanoni, Petalidi, Skala Mystegnon, Skala Baltzikiou, Pedi, Tsonia, Kaya, Eftalou, Faneromeni, Nifida, Melinda,Tarti and in Evreiaki. You will definitely discover more small or large beaches, by boat or if you decide to explore the island. One of the unique natural beauties of Lesvos, are its 14 waterfalls that together with the dam of Eressos compose a unique aquatic environment.
Lesvos is famous for its local products such as oil, soaps, spoon sweets, Agiasotikos halva, ouzo, oil cheese, alipasta, wood carvings, ceramics, textiles, pasta, local jams, local wine, local walnuts, nuts, apples, cherries,herbs, honey, antiques and textiles. Incomparable in taste and aroma is the olive oil with its thin texture, its light golden yellow color, the pleasant aroma and the delicate taste that has been awarded in many International Exhibitions. A typical product of the island due to the climate and the rich sea are the Sardines Kalloni, the kolios, the mackerel, the anchovies, the lakerda but also a large variety of fresh fish. Ouzo was born in Lesvos and its history is directly related to the history of the island and its inhabitants, special for the taste of anise. Its special taste makes it worthy of competing in taste with the most internationally known alcoholic beverages. An important product of Lesvos, although less famous is its wine, known since antiquity as the nectar of the Olympian Gods.