Greece: Lesbos Island (Mitilini)
The third largest Greek island (after Crete and Ewbei), Lesbos, or Mitilini (Lesvos, Mytilini), lies in the northern part of the Aegean Sea, a little south of the entrance to the Strait of Dardanelles.
The birthplace of great bards of antiquity – Sappo, Ezopa, Arion, Alkeya, Long and Tortrera, and later – the artist of theophilos, the Nobel laureate in the literature of Odyshaas Elitis and the novelist of Stratis Mirvilis, the island of the century, is famous as one of the centers of Greek culture. At the same time, it cannot boast of special beauty of landscapes – the rocky volcanic landscape is replaced here by extensive fields of grain, moving into salted lagoons, and in some way even in a semi-desert. But his ancient glory, extensive oak and pine forests, endless olive groves, cozy bays and many good beach areas attract thousands of visitors from all over the world. And at the same time tourism as such gives the island no more than 10% of its income – the rest falls on fishing, trade and trendy recently "Organic cultures", In the breeding of which Lesbos is an explicit leader of Greece.
The main port and the capital of the island – Mitilini lies at the base of the large Peninsula in the south-east, framed from the West of the protected Bay of Eras, and from the east – the bay of the Mitilini Strait, separating Lesbos from Turkey. This is clearly not the most beautiful center of Greek islands, chaotic and loaded by transport, rapidly growing in all directions without a special plan and order.
5 km south of Mitilini lies the town Varya (Varia) with excellent collections of theoophilos museums (open daily from 10.00 to 16.00; 2 euros) and the teriade (from Thursday to Sunday with 9.00 to 14.00 and from 17.00 to 20.00; 2 euros) dedicated to the two natives of the island – the artist-primitivist Hadzhimikhal Teoflos (1873-1934.) and publisher and patrons Stratis Eleftheriadi, respectively.
North of Mitilini, on the outskirts of the village Moria, Preserved Roman aqueduct (II B. N.NS.), providing an ancient city with water. It is believed that he walked from Lake Megali-Limni on Mount Olimbles and reached a length of 22 kilometers, but modern studies do not confirm this version. A little north of the village with speaking names Lutropolis Termis and Paralia-Termis, whose healing thermal sources (water temperature + 46-50 ° С) are used since antiquity times. And several picturesque ancient monasteries are concentrated around – Ayos Rafaili, Ayos-Alinitinos, Ayos-Traciahis, Ayos Ephymios, Ayos Haralambos, Ayia Marina And others (all X-XIV centuries.). South-west, on the shore of the Bay of the Eras, there are several other exits of thermal waters, around which traces of the term Roman and Ottoman periods can be found.
The closest to the city is a decent pebble beach lying at the village Kratigos (Kratigos) south of the airport, but it is better to go to the shores of the double bay Ayos-Hermoenis (3 km south-west Mitilini through the village of Loutra) with its beautiful sandy beaches. Also not bad shore Loutra Yeras (Loutra Yeras, 8 km on the main road to Caloni Bay) with their thermal pools.
Southern Lesbos Areas, especially squeezed between the bays Kaloni and Eras big peninsula, pretty colorful. Both of these shallow bays have access to the sea only through very narrow straits, and therefore water here is calm and is well heated even in the offseason. And the peninsula itself is the most green part of Lesbos – here produce more olive oil, and there are the most picturesque mountains, including the highest point of the island – Olimbles (967 m).
It is worth a visit lying in the throat of the Bay of Eras Town Peram (Perama) with its excellent taverns and picturesque panoramas, catacombs at the village Skopelos, Temple Zeus not far from Euriaki, southern coast Plomarion (Plomarion) whose business card is numerous distilts where they make the best Uzo on the island, a good resort area Ayos Isiorra (Ayios Isidhoros, 3 km east of Plomarion) and semisotmeter sandstone-pebble beach Melinda In the throat of the picturesque Canyon of the same name (6 km west of Plomarion). You can also visit the town lying at the foot of Olibos Ayasos With its narrow cobbled streets, tiled roofs and Church of Panayia-Ayia-Zion (IX-XIX centuries.) – The best starting point for climbing the mountain, Museum of Natural Science (daily from 9.30 to 17.00; 1.5 euros) in the town Vris (VRYSSA) with its thermal complexes, a huge sandy beach Water 2 km south of Vriza, as well as colorful town Polykhnitos (Polikhnitos) with its excellent taverns and lively everyday atmosphere.
Western Lesbos is incomplete and noticeably more deserted than Eastern regions. In the central part it can be seen Temple Aphrodite (XI-II centuries. to N. NS.) near the town of Mesa (Messa, Meson), early Christian Basilica Haliandu and big medieval Cremisti Bridge Near Ayia-Paraskevi with his attention Museum Olivoz (open daily, except Thursday, from 10.00 to 18.00, in winter – up to 17.00; 3 euros), modest resort Scala Colonis With a long but shallow sandy beach and nearby salty swamps, literally by birds, huge Monastery Limonos (1527 g.) with Spiritual Museum west of the town of Caloni, Museum of Folklore and Stories in colorful mountain village Vatuted (Vatoussa) at the foot of the Mountain Profitis-Ias (799 m), nearby Winery Methymneos In chidhira, 7 km south of vacuos) and numerous monasteries in the mountains southeast. Especially coloring the lying among the gardens from the shore Monastery perilis (XIII B.) with beautiful apocalyptic frescoes (XVI in.), reminiscent of the work of Bosch.
Through a picturesque mountain village Andis (Andissa) The road goes to the dry extreme west of the island, to a good beach in a quiet fishing village Gavatas (Gavatas), to the wedding vertex of extinct volcano Monastery Ipsil (1101 g.) with a small museum, to Odimnosa petrified forest, Ottoman Castle and Ayia-Triad church In the town Sigrion (Sigrion), not bad shores Pheromeni, Limen, Vigla and Scala Eres, as well as to the homeland of Sappo – a picturesque mountain town Eres (Eressos) with his Basilica Ayos-Andrea (VI in.) Behind the modern church.
Northern Lesbos is much more picturesque. The road from Kaloni crosses the sloping pines a small mountain range and escapes to the expanse of fields framed by poplars and olive groves. Silhouette rushes Molyvos Castle In Metify, the most beautiful and most ancient town on the island. To the east of Mietyna lies the picturesque ridge of leptimnos with Mount of Vigla (968 m) and dozens of colorful mountain villages. It is worth visiting thermal sources Loutra Eftalu (Loutra Eftalou, 5 km east of the city) with their dome-shaped Ottoman terms, long pebble beach at the village Ayi-Anariiri (Ayii Anaryiri) with two challenged nudists cozy bays, elegant mountain village Sikyna (Sykaminia, Sykamia, Skamnia) – the homeland of Romanist Stratis Mirvilis, the most picturesque fishing port on Lesbos – Scala Sikyneas (Skala Sykaminias) just north, sandy-pebble beach Kayes 1.5 km east, lying at the top of the same valley Cute Village Klio (Klio), beautiful beach from rose volcanic sand Zonia and surrounded by lush gardens village Ipsylometopon (YPSILOMETOPON) on the road Peter – Pelopi, famous for his old minaret without a mosque and the Ayia Marina festival (July 16-17).
The second point of attraction in the north, undoubtedly, is a 5 km south of Metyna Petra town. And 3 km from here begins the resort area Anaxos The cleanest beach (and water!) In the region, covered with the sea with three tiny islands.