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Where does one start describing Greece’s third largest island? In fact, how does one ‘visit’ and do justice to an island that can boast medieval and Ottoman architecture including castles from the late 14th century, not to mention the varied scenery that shifts from vast olive groves (some over 500 years old) to oak and pine forests to stark, apocalyptic, parched, boulder-strewn hills. Then there are the beautiful inland monasteries, the equally alluring hillside villages or the wonderful coastal regions where our accommodation is located. Frankly, not a fraction of this island can be visited on a standard 7 or 14 night single centre package holiday because the distances involved in getting around are totally prohibitive. Better, we believe, to have at least a two centre, or even better still, three or four centre arrangement thus enabling you to really see the whole of this enchanting Greek island. For this reason, all our holidays on Lesvos include car hire. We will of course defer if you prefer a single centre arrangement, and we will include standard transfers if you prefer not to drive, but you will miss a great deal.
Our accommodation on Lesvos is based in three main centres plus the island’s capital and port Mytilini which is where we will start. We would describe Mytilini as stimulating. Straddling a promontory capped with an impressive castle, this busy harbour town’s skyline is dominated by the pineapple-domed church of Agios Theodoros and is full of friendly locals and hardly any tourists. Immersing yourself in local Greek life comes easily here.
By complete contrast, a drive one hour and forty minutes north west of Mytilini will reveal Molyvos, Lesvos’ most famous village and tourist capital. It is easy to see why Molyvos is so attractive to the holiday maker. The small, taverna and café lined fishing port can adorn any picture postcard with ease. Likewise the backdrop of red-roofed mansions that cover the hillside and secret narrow, vine-shaded alleyways which in turn contain a myriad of shops and tavernas that snake ever upwards to the Genoese fortress.
Sigri, on the extreme western coastline of Lesvos, is a one hour 20 minutes drive south west of Molyvos. Whereas Molyvos is the island’s tourist capital, Sigri is a quiet haven, attracting far, far fewer visitors by virtue of its seclusion. A small port, home to the local fishing fleet and overlooked by an Ottoman castle, a smattering of low key tourist accommodation, the obligatory handful of tavernas and shops and a tree-fringed, sheltered sandy beach are what visitors can expect.
Last and far from least, we introduce Plomari and its neighbouring hamlet of Agios Issidoros on the south coast, two hours and 25 minutes drive time from Sigri. Plomari and Agios Issidoros manage to combine the best attributes of Mytilini, Molyvos and Sigri. Plomari itself is sustained by a vibrant economy anchored on the local ouzo distillery and farming and has little need of tourism, though visitors are made extremely welcome. The town’s scenic appeal is centred on the attractive harbour and tree-shaded, café-lined promenade. A pebble/shingle beach is located just 10 minutes walk from the town centre. Walk 25 minutes along the coast road to the east of Plomari and one enters the small tourist hamlet of Agios Issidoros. Here, there is a more conventional but low key tourist atmosphere. A long pebble/shingle beach is the area’s mainstay attraction along with a reasonable selection of tavernas, cafes and local tourist shops.
Space limits us in doing justice to all Lesvos has to offer. A good guide book is essential if one is to maximise ones stay, especially if you take our advice and move around. If this option is of interest to you, read our details in the “Fly-drive” itinerary. This may give you a more informed idea of what to expect.
Twin centre and Island Hopping:
Lesvos can be combined with Athens and Chios
Free Island Map
We will include with your tickets a free, comprehensive map of the island(s) you are visiting, subject to availability