Lesvos (called Lesbos in the history books) has entered legend as the birthplace of Sappho, a brainy woman who started a girls’ finishing school and fell in love with one of her students – hence the term lesbian. Though it wouldn’t be wise to remind the island’s macho males of that uncomfortable fact, Lesvos is a destination for international lesbian meetings. Also a native of Lesvos was Aesop, the great storyteller and originator of fables such as the tortoise and the hare. After centuries of foreign rule Lesvos was ceded to Greece in 1912 after the Greek Navy trounced the Turkish fleet near the island.
The capital city is Mytilini, a port town that has valiantly attempted to preserve some of its architectural charms. The castle above the town contains relics from the Venetian rulers of the 14th century, while there are enough museums for even the most particular historical tastes.
Worth seeing on Lesvos are the petrified forest at Sigri, a preserved natural monument with the fossils of trees that were buried under lava three million years ago. Agiasos is the most characterful mountain village of Lesvos, nestling among the wooded heights, with narrow stone-paved alleys and multicoloured houses. To the south is Plomari, once a bustling entrepot of trade and manufacturing, and now a major producer of quality ouzo. Plomari ouzo is definitely worth taking home.
Festivities & Local Traditions
At Kalloni on the island of Lesvos the Sardine Festival is held in the first week of August. The “Tavros” (Bull) Festival is held in the beginning of spring at Mantamados on Lesvos, which lasts for three days. At Plomari they celebrate the Ouzo Festival at the end of July for a whole week. The “Kastano” (Chestnut) Festival is held at Agiasos every autumn.
10 Blue Flag Beaches
Agios Isidoros, Kanoni Thermis, Molyvos, Eftalou/ Ag. Anargyri, Kagia, Petra, Anaxos, Skala, Vatera, Eressou, Nyfida
Theophilos Museum, The Teriade Library and Museum of Modern Art, Georgios Iakovidis Digital Art Museum, The Archeological Museum of Mytilini, The Ecclesesiastical-Byzantine Museum, The Folk Art Museum,
The Old Lesvos House, The Museum of Costume and Embroidery of Lesvos, The Gogo Museum of Vatoussa, Archeological Museums of Erressos and Mithymna, Barbayannis Ouzo Museum, Museum of Natural History.
The Petrified Forest of Lesvos
The Lesvos Petrified Forest Geopark is a founding member of the European Geoparks Network.In February 2004 was decided its integration in the Global Network of Geoparks assisted by UNESCO.
Lesvos island – the Petrified Forest protected area, awarded as the top sustainable tourism destination in Greece for 2009 by the European Commission-sponsored program “European Destinations of Excellence” (EDEN). The theme of the competition was “Tourism and Protected Areas”.
The Natural History Museum of the Petrified Forest of Lesvos, NHMPFL, overseen from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, was founded in 1994 aiming at the study, research, appointment, preservation and protection of the Petrified Forest of Lesvos.
Mytilini Port Authorities Tel. 0030 22510 40827
Tourist Police Tel. 0030 (+30) 22510 22776
Mytilini Airport Tel. 0030 22510 38700
Bus Service Tel. 0030 22510 46436
Hospital Tel. 0030 22510 43777
Official website: http://travelplan.lesvos.gr
Sources: www.travelplan.lesvos.gr, www.petrifiedforest.gr, www.lesvos.gr, www.lesvos.com