Greece has a number of great islands that are popular, inexpensive, and have great weather and amenities. But how about an island that has a great historical connection as well as plenty of room to spread out and relax? Try Lesvos (Lesbos).
Lesvos, also known as Lesbos, is the third largest island in Greece and records of the island date back centuries – it has a huge role in Greek history. Several famous poets were born here, and some spots on the island come up regularly in classic Greek mythology. Perhaps this is why the island has retained many traditional customs and has well preserved some of the oldest structures in the country and some culturally significant artefacts.
Because of the historic link with poets, many writers come to Lesvos, and some say it is one of the most inspiring spots in the Mediterranean.
Lesvos has a huge diversity of attractions – I hate saying “something for everybody,” but it certainly seems that way. Hiking is popular, with the miles of olive trees and fruit orchards, as well as the huge petrified forest. Bird watching tours are popular given the island’s wetland area.
Then there’s the island’s historic churches, some on “endangered” attractions lists. This is on top of the religious cultural stops, such as the Moni Perivoli, a stop for pilgrims to view the beautiful wall paintings.
If you didn’t want to hike, you could also bike, a relaxing way to enjoy the surroundings and get some physical exercise at the same time.
The first place many travellers head after a long trip is to the famed Lesvos hot baths. Travellers have been coming to these healing waters for centuries – Thermi and Polichnitos being two of the most popular, and Polichnitos are the hottest in Europe, so careful before diving in!
Another popular thing to do on the island it seems is to drink coffee. Not that I’m complaining, but just be careful you don’t overdo it on the caffeine buzz – after a few cups it doesn’t seem quite as relaxing!
Most of the tourist accommodations are in Petra, a village in the northwest that’s quiet and peaceful, complete with quaint tavernas and cobblestone streets. Molyvos (or Mithymna) is in the north and very popular also, tucked away under a historically important fortress, and perfect place to eat fish pulled from the sea that day. And don’t miss one other dish of Lesvos’s famous cuisine, the stuffed pumpkin flower.
Posted : Thursday, January 19th, 2012 at 11:00
Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.