Lesbos is one of the North Aegean islands of Greece. It is the third largest Greek island after Crete and Evia. The harbour stays the busiest area of Mytilene, the island’s capital, with its plenty cafes and restaurant choices. On the paved streets, which lead you from the harbour to the inner part of the city, you can find a variety of taverns, bars, and shops. Pay notice to the beautiful architectural structure of the buildings, do walk around. The scenery is colourful and can be much enjoyed during day and night! Places of interest: Eressos with its endless beach as well as the Petrified Forest, make a stop at the traditional Agiassos for a refreshing Greek coffee, visit Plomari village which is famous for its “ouzo” to grab a bite. Don’t miss the picturesque and cosmopolitan Molyvos with its imposing castle. Ask the locals about Agios Rafail and Mantamados, many pilgrims visit those locations and offer gifts to the well-known churches.



Sights and Activities

Lesbos is not just a wonderful touristic island of Greece. Lesbos is the home of the remarkable heroes, the place where the kindness and beauty constitute a heaven for those, who search for the taste of an alternative and forgotten way of life. Recharge your batteries in Lesbos, this special place to relax and feel positively refreshed.

The slow rustic rhythm of Greek life rules on the island of Lesbos. Towards the sea with the turquoise waters, the picturesque town with the stone-built houses, the alleyways and the small harbour with the octopus hanging to dry before grilling has hardly changed since the ancient times, when Sappho, the famous Greek poet from the 7th century B.C., wrote her erotic poems.

The greatest asset of Lesbos are the islanders, whose reputation is being tested these years, when thousands of refugees arrived in the shores of the island. In spite of the limited resources, the residents of Lesbos provided the refugees with food, water and shelter. Their efforts were recognized with a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016. These heroic islanders proved their hospitality with inspirational acts of compassion in response to the refugee crisis.

However, Lesbos has not only the kindness of its islanders to give to its visitors. The capital of the island, Mytilene, as well as its villages, such as Mantamados and Molyvos, are of unique beauty, while there are also many excursions you can do around the island. Man Katsa Waterfall is located 30 km north of Mytilene, but worth visiting is also the monastery of Saint Raphael, which houses a stunning baroque church. Don't miss out one of the most beautiful monuments of global geological heritage, the Petrified Forest of Lesbos, which is over 20 million years old.

You will also be impressed by the local cuisine of Lesbos, which has delicious dishes to offer, such as sougania (stuffed onions), kolokytholoulouda (courgette flowers stuffed with cheese or rice), fresh fish and salted sardines, which are famous all over the Mediterranean.

Lesbos has also astonishing beaches that will steal your heart. Eresos, Vatera, Molyvos, Anaxos, Xampelia and Tarti are only some of the organised beaches with crystal-clear waters and soft golden sand that are perfect for swimming and sunbathing with your family.

The best image that captures the essence of Lesbos is Alkeou Street in the capital town of the island, Mytilene. The natural light of Lesbos in the morning is captivating and has enchanted the famous Greek artist Yannis Tsarouchis in his homonymous painting. You will also find the the sunset in Eresos to be very charming, it reminds of Sappho's verse.

The newcomer to Lesbos should definitely have a walk under the Statue of Liberty at the central square of Mytilene and then stop at the olive grove that is home to the Theofilos Museum and the Museum of Stratis Eleftheriadis with original artwork by Picasso, Matisse, Miro and Tsarouchis.

Both the old and the new building of the Archaeological Museum are worth visiting. There, you can admire the ode to Lesbos, which is written by the poet Athenaeus in simple Greek and basically says that no one can find wine as aromatic as in Lesbos as it is like ambrosia.

In the Epano Skala neighbourhood of Mytilene, you can find many taverns with fresh fish and excellent view. In a short distance, other areas, where you can also enjoy the delicious cuisine of Lesbos together with a glass of ouzo or wine, are Panagiouda, Skala Loutron and Kountouridia.

Very interesting is the well-preserved village of Agiasos, where you can see the icon of the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus, made in the 1st century AD by Luke the Evangelist using mastic gum and candle wax. In the village, don't forget to taste tuna pies and pickled octopus in the traditional taverns at the square.

The best place to swim is Skala Eresou, and then you can relax in the taverns behind the beach, drinking the local alcohol beverage of Lesbos, ouzo, and eat sea urchins.

Generally, a road trip to the villages of Lesbos can be a stunning experience. People are hospitable, villages are traditional and well-preserved, and even in the smallest tavern of the tiniest village, you will find small gastronomic treasures.

If you are a fan of health tourism, you can also visit the hot springs of Lesbos, the rare natural phenomenon that gives you the opportunity of free-spa!

The sacred waters of Lesbos

Lesbos is not only the island that the whole world admired for its hospitality during the refugees crisis. Lesbos is something more and unique. This stunning island of Aegean Sea in a very close distance to Turkey has not only kept its special, Greek character, but also managed to turn its authenticity into a wonderful combination of traditional villages, unspoiled beaches and really nice people, who smile in spite of their difficulties. Furthermore, Lesbos is an island with astonishing natural beauty, which is combined with rare phenomena, such as its natural springs.

Lesbos is a volcanic island, enriched with hot springs. Thus, it is considered as one of the best destinations in the Mediterranean Sea for health tourism.

The hot springs of Eftalou are situated in a unique location next to a calm beach, with pebbles shaped by air and volcanic lava. According to the New York Times, Eftalou springs are ranked among the finest on-the-water destinations due to the therapeutic properties of its waters, which are rich in radium, chloride, sodium and other minerals with healing properties.

At Polichnitou, you will find 16 hot springs, only 60 metres above sea level. With their waters ranging between 67 and 92 Celsius degrees, Polichnitou springs are the warmest in Europe.

The natural spring of Panagia Krifti (=Hidden Virgin Mary) is one of the smallest springs in the Mediterranean Sea. Located under the chapel, which was discovered in 1864, this romantic spring offers a natural bathtub only for two people, filled with warm and healing water bubbling from the rock.

In the Gulf of Gera, you can find one of the best-organised and popular springs in Northern Aegean, which has been constantly used since the Ottoman Empire. The place is also fully equipped for inhalation therapy.

In the village of Thermi, there are modern hydrotherapy spa facilities, but very impressive are also the ancient domed pools that show the constancy of the area's springs, which were famous during the antiquity. The therapeutic properties of these springs were known since then, and they continue until today to attract visitors, who want to make a present to their body and revitalize it.

Lesbos is an Aegean island that has admirable richness and quality of local products, including an ouzo culture, which is the culinary trademark of this destination, as well as a captivating cuisine where West meets East.

Ouzo, the famous product of Lesbos and also the national drink of Greece, has a unique taste you will love. To really understand the history and importance of ouzo in Lesbos, visit the World of Ouzo Museum, at the distillery of Ouzo Plomari Isidoros Arvanitis. The distillery is located in an olive grove in Plomari. On the tour, you can watch how the spirit is distilled and bottled, and afterwards, follows a tasting section. Generally, the island has many distilleries, such as Barbayanni, Pitsiladis, Giannatsis in Plomari and Spentza in Mytilene.

Lesbos is also known for its dairies and produces three cheeses with Protected Designation of Origin, feta, kasseri and ladotyri. You can find many producers with quality products and excellent prices around the island.

The island also produces olive oil, such as the awarded Aegean Gold, Meropi and Ktima Geras. Very interesting are also the Olive Oil Museums. The Museum of Industrial Olive Oil Production in Agia Paraskevi showcases the olive oil production history of Greece. The Vranas Olive Press Museum is located in one of the first steam-powered factories on the island, which was built in 1887 by the grandfather of poet and Nobel Prize winner Odysseus Elytis. Beyond the well-preserved machinery, the museum also has a collection of art inspired by the old mill and created by popular Greek artists, as well as an exhibition dedicated to Elytis.

Lesbos was one of the first places in Greece that started women's cooperatives, which have played a very important role in salvaging the island's culinary traditions. The cooperative in Skalochori produces delicious pasta and trachanas, while the one in Mesotopos is renowned for its sweet olive preserve. The cooperative in Parakila is famous for its chachles (trachanas baked with a tomato and cheese stuffing). The cooperative in Agia Paraskevi prepares really nice myzithrohalva (trachanas mixed with semolina and myzithra cheese), while the cooperative in Agra is a must for diples fritters with syrup.




Lesbos has a Mediterranean climate with dry and warm summers, and mild but wet winters. Temperatures during summer are mostly around 30 °C with balmy nights. Winters see highs of around 15 °C. Most of the annual 750mm of rain falls from November to March.




Ouzo the king of Greek spirits

Ouzo is known as the national spirit of Greece. Except Greece it is also consumed in Turkey where it is known as raki. Some people compare it with absinthe and it has also a similar flavor to tsipouro, another Greek spirit which is produced with different method. Today its name and origin is protected by EU laws which ensure that it can be produced only in Greece.

This spirit is a mixture of alcohol, water and a variety of aromatic herbs (coriander, fennel, anise) with most dominant the anise. Sometimes it is produced from grape distillation but this is very rare. According to legislation, the grape based ouzo cannot surpass the 20% of the whole production.

The distillation is done in special kettles, which are made of copper. After the mixing of the ingredients follows the boiling process, which is done more than once. The final product has 40% to 50% alcohol by volume.

Ouzo has it's origins in ancient Greece, it was called "Lesvios Oinos" which means wine from Lesbos. It was also very popular in the Byzantine empire. The production and consumption of ouzo went on during the Ottoman period and it was a very popular drink in areas of contemporary Turkey and the Middle East. After the liberation of Greece its production rose in different areas of the country.

After the catastrophe of Smyrna in 1922, it found its home in Mitylene, Lesbos. Its heyday came in 1967 when 17 producers created the hellenic cooperative of ouzo producers which brought ouzo in every greek home and exported it all over the world as a P.D.O. product.

A well-balanced ouzo may contain 46% alcohol in order to be able to travel all over the world without being by the weather conditions so to preserve its aromatic and flavor properties. Ouzo with anise is consumed with or without ice, with nuts but it best accompanies as an appetizer, seafood.



Keep Connected


Internet access is widely available throughout the country. Almost all hotels provide internet access, either free or paid. Local coffee shops usually offer free Wi-Fi access, as many other public places do. Feel free to ask for the password, if the network is locked. Internet cafes however tend to be expensive, about €1.5-2 per hour.


See also: International Telephone Calls

The cheapest way to call someone abroad is to use a pre-paid calling card and call from a land line anywhere (also from your hotel room). Pre-paid calling cards are sold in many shops and kiosks. The calling card is not much more than a phone number and a pin code, which you dial prior to dialing the usual phone number. If you want to call internationally, ask for an international calling card. For one euro you can call for about 45 minutes, so buy a card in the cheapest value (which is about €3). Calling someone for half an hour is cheaper than sending one email from an internet café. Cards expire usually 90 days after first use. You can also use this pre-paid calling card at public phone boxes, which are widely available.

Mobile phones are prevalent in Greek's communication, and if you need to talk with your co-travelers it is advised that you buy a local prepaid plan instead of using roaming, as it is far cheaper. There are at least three mobile carriers, Cosmote, Wind and Vodafone all of which require by law presenting some form of identification in order to activate your prepaid plan. Choose whichever has better reception in your area, keeping in mind that GSM 900, GSM 1800 and UMTS 2100 bands are supported. Data usage is cheap, costing about €3 per 100 MB. Ask the mobile carrier for more information.


Hellenic Post is the Greek postal service. On their website you find more information about options to send letters, postcards and parcels and there is a search function regarding post offices and post boxes. It also has information on services like paying bills, transferring money, financial products etc. Greek post codes are five digits long and are usually written as follows; 123 45. The first three digits are used to identify the city, municipality or prefecture, for example the digits between 100 and 180 relate to the city of Athens. The last two digits identify a street or part of a street. Most post offices are open Monday to Friday from 07:30-14:00, although the largers ones usually have longer opening hours. For sending packages, you can also use international courier services like DHL, UPS or TNT.


Lesbos Travel Helpers

This is version 6. Last edited at 16:22 on Apr 23, 18 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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