Stately Mytilene: Stretching on a semicircular plan on seven hills, Mytilene is an island metropolis with vibrant spiritual and commercial life. Walking in the alleys of the island's capital, to the district named “Sourada”, you will admire traditional architecture on the well-preserved neoclassical buildings of the19th century, reviving scenes from eras past. Cobbled Ermou street, is the commercial centre of the city, while many beautiful mansions and shops are located on the city quay.
Byzantine Castle: The majestic castle, one of the largest in the Mediterranean, dominates the east side of Mytilene, in front of the port. It was built by Byzantine emperor Justinian, on ancient ruins. Today it survives in good condition, it is open to the public and used for cultural events.
Ancient Theatre: It is located on the pine-clad hill of Agia Kyriaki. It is considered to be one of the largest theatres in antiquity, with a capacity of 15,000 spectators and excellent acoustics.
Roman Aqueduct: At a close distance to Mytilene, in Morias area, on the verdant hill slope, you can see part of the 170m long impressive arcade of the Roman Aqueduct. One of the most important infrastructure projects in antiquity, the aqueduct was built by Romans for the transfer of water form the springs of mountain Olympos to the city of Mytilene, a distance of approximately 26 km.
Old and New Archaeological Museum: In the old building of Mytilene museum you can see important artefacts (pottery, coins, mosaics, etc.) while the new museum accommodates an exhibition on the everyday habits of the island residents, from the 7th century to the Roman period.
Old Museum - Address: 7, Arg. Eftalioti Street, Mytilene, New Museum - Address: Ogdois Noembriou Street, Mytilene.
Theophilos Museum: Self-taught painter, Theophilos Hatzimihail, is the main representative of 20th century Greek folk art painting. The museum, founded by famous art critic Stratis Eleftheriadis, includes 86 of his paintings.
Address: Vareia, Mytilene
Eleftheriadis (Tériade) Modern Art Museum - Library: A true gem-museum, it includes an excellent exhibition of the so-called “Great Books”, original works of art, numbered and signed by each one of the artists, with whom famous art critic Stratis Eleftheriadis worked with. In the museum halls, you will also see works by famous foreign and Greek artists, medieval manuscript copies and paintings by Greek artists such as Theophilos, Tsarouchis, Kanellis, Rorris and others.
Address: Vareia, Mytilene. Tel: +30 22510 23372
Municipal Art Gallery: The Municipal Art Gallery is housed in Halim Bey's old three-storey mansion, in the area of Epano Skala. It has one of the most important collection of works, signed by artists such as Tsarouchis, Gounaropoulos, Protopatsis, Picasso, Moralis, Fassianos, Botsoglou, etc.
Tel.: +30 22510 48002
Molyvos - Petra
This is the place for archeological excavations, medieval memories and golden glints on the blue Aegean Sea.
Welcome to enchanting Molyvos, one of the most beautiful destinations in the world.
Its traditional settlement, organized social life and hospitable residents will win your heart from the very first.
The city of Mithymna – today’s Molyvos – is located on the northwestern tip of the island. Archeological finds show that this village has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, and was a very important city in antiquity.
Its architectural appearance is living proof of its eventful and tumultuous history. The city-state, which was embedded in the cliff-face and dominated by the medieval fortress, reached to the sea.
Today’s settlement extends around and beneath the medieval fortress.
All the houses are constructed of stone or wood, and densely situated amid a network of kalderimia. The overall picture of the village, with its courtyards and balconies, is not only uniquely beautiful but also a most interesting example of town planning, well-deserving of its protected status.
Many mansions in Molyvos date from the late 18th century. One of these is the Giannakos Mansion, which is decorated with ornate murals.
On the northwest side of the island you’ll find Petra, Skoutaro, Lafiona, and the settlements of Petri and Anaxos, traditional villages with stone houses, running waters and lush vegetation.
The birthplace of many notables in the arts and letters, such as Thrasyvoulos Stavrou, Neoklis Kazazis, Takis Eleftheriadis, Orestis Kanellis, et al, it’s well known today for its active Cultural Center and its library housed in the neoclassical stone building of the former Girls’ Academy.
Petra has a marvelous sandy beach with hotels, rooms, colorful tavernas, trendy bars, and restaurants. It’s a lively place, day and night, and perfect for family holidays. Organized beaches in scenic bays provide umbrellas and lounges, beach-side service and water sports. Beautiful stone mansions with gardens filled with jasmine, palm trees and fruit trees give the village a particular elegance.
Petra is especially popular with painters, writers and poets, and its old landed gentry add a note of nobility. This was the birthplace of painter Orestes Kanellis. The family of the naïf painter Niki Eleftheriadi owns an excellent private collection of Çanakkale pottery – but it is not yet open to the public. The market district of Petra is very picturesque with little shops perfect for browsing and souvenir hunting.
Eressos - Sigri
Besides the towns of Eressos and Antissa, whose names come from the cities of ancient Lesbos, the Municipality of Eressos – Antissa also includes five other communities: Mesotopos, Vatoussa, Chydira, Sigri, and Pterounta.
It occupies the most mountainous region of western Lesvos, which is dominated by bare rocky hills and a volcanic landscape – the result of the huge volcanic eruption that shook the island and the entire Aegean region in Prehistoric times.
Traditionally an agricultural and herding area, it also contains some of the island’s major tourist destinations, including Skala Eressos and Sigri.
The area is inundated with a rare yellow shrub, the rhododendron, which blooms in the spring and intoxicates you with its scent.
Sigri is the largest natural harbor of Lesvos, as it is protected by the island of Nisotopos, which is in front of it. It is a settlement with stone houses and picturesque streets. Visit its castle, which was built in 1757 and is characterized by the Arabian bow that has over the gate with red and white stones.
Around the village you will find beautiful sandy beaches, with Panayia Faneromeni first and best. Sigri is an ideal place for peaceful, family holidays close to nature and the sea. If you are a surf lover, you will find many winding bays to enjoy the sport. The village is a well-known fishing spot and is also suitable for snorkeling and fresh fish enjoying in one of its picturesque taverns. The island of Nissiopi with the lighthouse and the fossil trunks is one of the most famous sights. You can visit it with one of the boats that run daily.
But the main reason that this small settlement is known all over the world is the petrified forest, the second largest in the world. Visit the Petrified Forest Park and the Natural History Museum within the settlement.
At the top of Mount Ordimnos, which dominates western Lesvos, there is the petrified fortress architecture and the tower-like cells of Byzantine monastery dedicated to Saint John the Theologian. Take some time and visit it. You will be enchanted by the view that stretches before you!
Further on, the road leads you to a peninsula that crowns the medieval Ovriokastro. This area with the surrounding hills is Ancient Antissa. Behind the cape is the plain where the river Voulgaris flows. In the next bay you will come across the small settlement and harbor of Gavatha plain. Houses, taverns, a shallow beach for swimming and a rocky island on the open bay are spread out in front of your eyes. Leaving from there, the asphalt will take you to Antissa and a bit later to the lithos lying on the hills of Liota, another remote village with a charming square and perennial plane tree. Try the grilled tavern located in the square and are famous in the area.
The southern coast of Lesvos, where the land lovingly commingles with the sea, is where you’ll find picturesque Plomari, the capital of the Municipality of the same name that includes seven villages, known as the Plomaritohoria: Akrasi, Ampeliko, Megalohori, Neohori, Palaiohori, Plagia, and Trygonas.
The region of Plomari is one of the most important in Lesvos.
In the mid 19th century, Plomari emerged as the island’s second largest industrial and commercial center after its capital Mytilene. Due to its coastal position, it further developed as an important junction for marine transport and trade.
Here, you’ll find yourself in a continuous olive grove that extends into the abrupt slopes, gullies, mountains, little gorges, and inaccessible semi-mountainous regions that touch the sea on the south.
The mountainous terrain on the north and east has helped isolate the region. Its picturesque little villages have golden beaches, lofty cliffs, fantastic mountain landscapes, lush vegetation, distinctive architecture, and age-old traditions that have remained unchanged through time.
Agiassos is located on the slope of Mt. Olympos at an altitude of 475 meters, 27 kilometers from Mytilene. With exceptionally lush vegetation, traditional architecture, and inquisitive residents, Agiassos is a listed artistic and religious settlement with a characteristic dialect and a cultural atmosphere that visitors are sure to find interesting.
The Agiassos Carnival is well-known, and is distinguished from other carnivals in Greece for its idiosyncrasy, and the caustic, spirited satirical verses recited by local folk poets in the classic vernacular idiom.
Agiassos also has a number of crafts workshops that contine a long tradition of pottery and wood carving.
The textile shops where you can watch women in traditional dress weaving on looms are completely authentic.
Mantamados is located on the northeastern side of the island. It is a large town with traditional architecture, picturesque little streets and cobbled kalderimia, as well as excellent produce, meat and other products including cheeses, honey, olive oil and pottery. Be sure to try the yogurt, the local ladotyri, fresh cheeses and meats.
You’ll also find beautiful ceramics at very good prices here, and you can visit the workshops to watch the potters at their wheels. Today only nine workshops are in operation of the 60 that were in existence in the 1950s.
Be sure to take a walk through the main square of the town. The Polykentro Cultural Center, housed in a renovated former olive oil press, is characteristic of the industrial buildings built on the island in the early 20th century.
An exhibition of pottery from all over Lesvos is held there every August.