Tourist’s guide to Lesbos island in Greece – a symbol of homosexuality

Lesbos Island is located in the north-east of the Aegean Sea. It is the third largest island in Greece and a popular resort. Lesbos was glorified by the poet Odysseas Elitis and the poetess Sappho, thanks to whom the island gained such ambiguous glory of a place where same-sex love is widespread. Lesbos is also famous for quality olive oil, delicious olives, cheese and a special anise tincture.

Lesvos Island

general information

Lesbos - island of Greece

Lesvos is an island of Greece with an area of ​​1636 km2, the eighth largest among all the islands of the Mediterranean basin. Almost 110 thousand people live here. The capital is the city of Mytilene.

For many centuries, the island was glorified by talented people living and working on its shores – the poetess Sappho, writer Long, Aristotle (he lived and worked on Lesbos for a while).

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Greek poetess Sappho
Poetess Sappho

Undoubtedly, the most controversial figure is the beautiful Sappho. Many call her the legislator of same-sex love between women, but this myth causes a lot of controversy. Sappho was not only a talented poetess, she sought to develop her aristocracy and ability to perceive the beautiful in the souls of other people. In 600 BC e. the woman led the community of young girls dedicated to the Greek goddess Aphrodite and the muses. Here, the students studied the art of living – good manners, the ability to attract and charm, delight the intellect. Each girl who left the community was a good conversationalist; men looked at the pupils as earthly goddesses. The situation of women on the island was fundamentally different from the situation on other Greek islands, where women were reclusive. On Lesbos, women enjoyed freedom.

Groves of olive trees

Another attractive feature of the island of Lesbos in Greece is the fertile land, on which there are groves of olive trees, and majestic pine trees, and maples, and exotic flowers.

There are many fascinating places for tourists – beaches, unique architecture, unforgettable cuisine, museums and temples, natural protected places.

How to get there

Airport on the island of Lesvos

On the island there is an airport named after Odysseas Elitis, located in the southeast, 8 km from the capital. The airport accepts international charter flights during the holiday season and flights from other parts of Greece throughout the year.

Almost all major cruise companies offer sea voyages between the islands of the Aegean. The cost of such a cruise will cost an average of 24 € (third class without a berth), if you prefer to travel in comfort, you will have to pay about 150 €. The route takes from 11 to 13 hours.

Ferry to Lesbos

Considering that Lesvos is located not far from the Turkish coast (which can be seen on the map), a ferry service was organized between the island and the port of Ayvalik (Turkey). Ferries depart all year round, in the summer every day, in the winter – several times a week. The route takes 1.5 hours, the price of a one-way ticket is 20 €, and there and back – 30 €.

The most popular transport on this island of Greece is the bus, tickets are sold in all stores with newspapers and in cafes. The main bus station is located in the capital near the Agias Irinis Park. Flights follow:

Such buses travel in Greece
  • to Skala Eresu, route 2.5 hours;
  • to Mithymna with a stop in Petra, route 1.5 hours;
  • to Sigri, route 2.5 hours;
  • to Plomari, route 1 hour 15 minutes;
  • to Vatera, the route is 1.5 hours.

Ticket prices range from 3 to 11 €.

It is important! Lesbos has a fairly cheap taxi, so many choose this particular transport. Meters are installed in the capital by cars – a little more than one euro per 1 km, cars are bright yellow, in other cities payment is usually fixed, cars are gray.

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Cities and resorts

Mytileni (Mytilene)

The largest city on the island, as well as the main port and capital of Lesbos. It is located in the southeast, ferries to other islands and Ayvalik port in Turkey regularly follow from here.

Mytileni main port and capital of Lesbos

The city is one of the oldest, already in the 6th century they minted here. Many talented famous people of Greece were born in the settlement.

Old port.  Mytilini

There are two harbors in the city – northern and southern; they are connected by a canal 30 meters wide and 700 meters long.

The most significant sights are the Mitilini fortress, the Archaeological Museum, the ruins of the ancient theater, the Ethnographic Museum, temples and cathedrals, the mosque of Eni Jami.

The most visited beach of Mytilene is Vatera. The coast is more than 8 km long. There are many hotels, sports fields, restaurants and cafes. Vatera is recognized as the most organized beach on Lesvos in Greece.


It is located in the north of Lesvos, 2-3 km from the settlement of Petra and 60 km from the capital. In archaic times, the city was considered a large, developed settlement. The first name – Mithymna – is given in honor of the royal daughter, the name Molyvos appeared during the reign of the Byzantines.

Night city of Molivos
Port of Molivos, Lesvos Islands

This is one of the most beautiful cities where festivals, concerts, holidays are often held. At the top of the hill there is an ancient fortress. Visitors love to relax in a picturesque harbor with boats. On the streets of the settlement there are many jewelry shops and shops, restaurants and cafes.

Molivos has one of the most popular beaches on the island of Lesvos. Here, tourists find everything necessary for a comfortable stay – deck chairs, showers, cafes, playgrounds for active games.

Peter settlement
Beach in the settlements of Petra

This is a cozier miniature settlement in the north of the island, located about 5 km from Molivos. The tourism industry is well developed here, this is the main income item of the settlement. Everything is provided for a comfortable stay – hotels, shops, restaurants and the beach, recognized as the best on the map of the island of Lesvos. Petra is a traditional place to relax with children. The coast is almost 3 km long; sun loungers, umbrellas, cafes, souvenir shops and a diving center are equipped along the entire length.

The most significant sights are the huge rock that rises in the city center, the Church of the Virgin Mary, the Church of St. Nicholas, the local winery and the mansion of Valerdzidenas.

Scala Eressu
Skala Eressu harbor city of Eressos
Tavern on the beach of Skala Eresu beach

A small resort in the west of the island. Tourists note the developed infrastructure, located 90 km from the capital. Skala Eressu is the harbor of the city of Eressos.

In ancient times there was a large shopping center, outstanding scientists and philosophers lived.

In Skala Eressu is the best beach where you will find everything you need for a comfortable stay. The coastline stretches for 3 km. There are many hotels, cafes and restaurants near the beach. The beach has been awarded the Blue Flag several times. It offers vacationers equipment for sports.

It is important! Travelers recommend booking accommodation in Skala Eressa in advance, because the resort is very popular.

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Mytilene Castle

The most famous fortress on the island in the city of Mytilene, is located on a hill between two ports – northern and southern. The construction was supposedly built in the VI century on the site where the ancient acropolis was previously located.

Mytilene Castle

In 1462, the defensive structure was captured by the Turks and suffered serious damage. After restoration, the fortress was restored, but in the year of the war between the Ottomans and the Venetians it was again destroyed. In the period from 1501 to 1756, the fortress was rebuilt, strengthened, additional towers, ditches and walls were completed. On the territory of the fortress were a mosque, an Orthodox monastery, and imaret. Today, part of the fortress is destroyed, but remains one of the most interesting sights of the island. The royal tower and the Turkish tower and numerous underground passages are perfectly preserved. In the summer, various festivals and concerts are held here.

Monastery of the Archangel Michael
Monastery of the Archangel Michael

The Orthodox temple is located near the settlement of Mandamados. The last reconstruction was carried out in 1879. The church is named after the patron saint of the island of Archangel Michael.

The first mention of the monastery was found in 1661, later, in the XVIII century the church was reconstructed.

A legend is associated with the monastery, according to which in the XI century, pirates attacked him and killed all the priests.

Icon of the Archangel Michael

One young monk Gabriel managed to escape, the pirates chased after the young man, but Archangel Michael blocked their path. After that, the attackers fled, leaving everything looted. Gabriel fashioned a sculpture of the Archangel from the land saturated with the blood of the slain, but the material was only enough for his head. Since then, the icon has been kept in the temple and is considered miraculous. Many tourists note that the face has a unique energy, when you look at the icon goosebumps run through the body.

The courtyard is very cozy, in colors. Candles in the church can be put on for free.

Panagia of Glycophilus (Church of the Virgin “Sweet kiss”)
Church of the Virgin "Sweet kiss"

This is the main attraction of the city of Petra. The temple, named after the icon, is located in the center of the settlement on a rock 40 meters high. 114 steps lead to the entrance, so tourists mark the difficult path to the temple.

The steps that lead to the temple

From the observation deck offers amazing views of the town and its surroundings. Previously, a convent was located on the site of the church, the last reconstruction was carried out in 1747. Inside there is a beautiful wooden iconostasis, a throne and a unique icon. The guide will tell you amazing legends associated with the icon.

Not far from the foot of the mountain there are other attractions – the church of St. Nicholas, the mansion of Vareldziden.

Petrified forest

An amazing attraction, which received the status of a natural monument in 1985. The petrified forest is located in the west of the island, between the villages of Eressos, Sigri and Antissa. Petrified plants are scattered across almost the entire island – it is the largest cluster of petrified trees in the world.

Petrified forest

20 million years ago, after the strongest eruption of the volcano, the island was completely covered with lava and ash. As a result, a natural monument appeared. More than 40 plant species have been identified – birch, persimmon, maple, alder, lime, poplar, various palm trees, willow, hornbeam, cypress, pine, laurel. In addition, there are unique plants that have no analogues in the modern plant world.

The tallest petrified tree with a height of more than 7 m and a diameter of more than 8.5 m.

People who have been here recommend coming here early in the morning, because it is hot in the afternoon. Take water with you and, if possible, visit the Natural History Museum of the island in Sigri.

Kalloni Bay and rare bird species
Birds in the Gulf of Kalloni

The bay is located in the center of the island and covers an area of ​​100 km2. 6 rivers cross land, there are many vineyards, ancient monasteries. This part of the island has not changed much since ancient times.

Translated from the local language Kalloni means – Beautiful. The pearl of the bay – Skala Kalloni Bay – is the center of ecotourism, it is here that the famous sardines are grown – small fish with an unsurpassed taste.

The Pearl of the Gulf - Rock of Kalloni Bay

The bay is the sunniest place on the island of Lesvos, there is a shallow, warm beach suitable for families, where in addition to noisy, crowded places you can find nooks and crannies. But the main purpose of visiting the bay is to observe rare birds and leisurely walks among exotic vegetation. Perhaps the best photos of the island of Lesbos can be done here.

Byzantine fortress, Mithymna (Molivos)

The town is located in the north of the island, just a few kilometers from the settlement of Petra and 60 km from the capital. Scientists believe that people lived in this territory in the prehistoric period.

Byzantine fortress, Mithymna

The Byzantine fortress is built on a mountain and majestically rises above the city. It is clearly visible at the entrance to the settlement. If you travel by your own transport, please note that there is no parking at the entrance to the fortress.

Excursion buses regularly come here, tourists drop off at the entrance and pick up after a few hours at the exit of Molivos.

View from the Molyvos Fortress

There is enough time for exploring the surroundings, towers and ancient buildings. Not far from the fortress there is a restaurant serving delicious dishes traditional for Greece. If you go down to the shore, you can admire the yachts, boats, stroll through the narrow streets of the town and visit miniature shops.

Travelers recommend visiting the fortress with a warm season, strong winds blow in autumn and winter. For romantic couples, the best time is evening, because the sunsets are amazing.

Weather and Climate

The island of Lesbos in Greece has a typical Mediterranean climate – dry, hot summers and mild, rainy winters.

Weather on Lesbos

Summer begins in mid-May, the highest temperature – +36 degrees – is recorded in July and August. At this time, strong winds blow, often turning into storms.

From spring to autumn, the sun shines brightly on the island for 256 days – this is a great reason to choose Lesvos for relaxation. The highest water temperature is +25 degrees. In October, there are also many vacationers, but most of the time they spend by the pool.

The air on the island is healing – saturated with coniferous aroma, and there are thermal springs near Eftalu.

Lesvos Island (Greece) is an amazing place where good weather and a unique atmosphere create ideal conditions for any vacation – romantic or family.

Look at the beaches of the island of Lesbos, see the video.

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