Eastern Lesvos Island Greece

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Continuing on the same road, and going by the hamlets of Kedro, Pyrgi and Alifanta you will be travelling to the east of Lesvos and heading towards the capital - Mytilene. Mytilene is arguably one of the oldest towns in the Aegean Sea. It was founded during the early 10th Century BC. Archaeological ruins and excavations indicate a historic past, firmly placed in the Classic, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods. The modern town of Mytilene spreads amphitheatrically along the southeastern part of the island and it has a population of app. 30.000 inhabitants, not counting the 3500 Uni students, attending the University of the Aegean each year.

The quay of Mytilene, is the first view that meets the visitor's eyes. Most of the buildings surrounding it were constructed sometimes during the start of the 19th century and all together they all compose a sight of rear beauty. Mytilene has two ports, the northern (at Epano Skala) and the southern within the town, which was constructed at the end of the 19th century and is the busier of the two. It has been recently renovated to accommodate all manner of sea faring vessels (passenger/car ferries, commercial ships, fishing boats, private yachts, customs & excises, university research etc.). In the town there are two excellent Archaeological Museums to visit, as well as the Museum of the Byzantine Art, the Folk Art Museum, The Traditional Lesbian House, Yeni Tzami (old mosque-relic of the Turkish occupation), the Church of Agios Therapon and the Cathedral of Agioi Theodori.

The town has been progressively developing over the years, with many modern apartment buildings to accommodate the growing population and a very good town centre with boutiques, jewellery shops etc. However old neighbourhoods, such as Kioski, Sourada, Aklidiou and Chalicas keep their elegant style, since most of their aristocratic mansions have been renovated. At the next village of Varia you can visit the Theophilos Museum (the  most significant self taught representative of Greek folk painting in the 20th century) and the Eleftheriades -Teriade Modern Art-Library Museum. Travelling southwards and past the airport you will enjoy wonderful views and reach Charamida and its beach for a cooling dip. Rounding off from Charamida you can visit another coastal picturesque location of Agios Ermogrnis

You can return to Mytilene via Loutra and head towards the northern port of Epano Skala. On the way there you can admire the Castle of Mytilene looking over the port. Further down past the industrial zone on the left is Moria, the site of the Roman Aqueduct. On the right you can visit the village of Panagiouda with the seaside tavernas. You will travel by the small villages of Afalonas and Pamfila to reach the area of Thermi, which consists of three parts: Pyrgi, Paralia and Loutropolis where the thermal springs and the old bathhouse can be located. A road passing through Thermi leads uphill to the villages of Pyrgi and Komi and even higher up to the Convent of Saint Rafael, a destination for countless pilgrims from all over the Christian world every year.

Returning to the main road and heading further north, you can see the church of Agios Georgios set amongst pines. Not far from there you can visit the sandy beach of Petalidi. The same road will take you to the villages of Mystegna and Nees Kydonies. Each of them have their Skala - coastal area, where you can swim and enjoy the open views of the sea. The next stop to your journey has to be the small town of Mantamados. The town is known for its pottery workshops, free range beef and tasty cheeses. At the entrance of the town, you can visit the Cultural Centre, housed in a renovated old olive press and at the centre of the town, the church of Agios Vassilios, build in 1750. The Byzantine Monastery of the Archangel Michael (patron saint of the island) is located just outside of Mandamados, It is one of the most significant pilgrimages of the island. Among the valuable icons and other ecclesiastical objects, a sculpted icon of Archangel Michael is most revered. According to tradition, when invading  Turks destroyed the Monastery (1462), the icon was made by a surviving novice using clay and the blood of the slaughtered monks.

Further north, you can visit the rural village of Kapi and the picturesque coastal settlement of Yeni Limani. To the west are the mountain villages of Pelopi, Ipsilometopo and Stipsi but if you continue north, you will arrive at Klio and then Sikamia and Skala Skamias where the small church of Panayia the Gorgona (Virgin Mary the mermaid) stands on a rock practically in the sea. To the right of Skala is Kaya, a long, quiet beach lined with trees.


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