ABOUT LESVOS (LESBOS)
HISTORY OF THE ISLAND:
archaeological findings on Lesvos (or Lesbos) show that the
island was inhabited from early antiquity due to its fertile
hinterland and its advantageous geographical
organized communities developed about four thousand years ago
and soon enough trading began with Asia Minor, other islands
of the Aegean Sea and the wider Greek area. The nature and
position of the island often made it a target for the powers
of those times, but also contributed to the development of a
particularly distinguished civilization marked by Sappho,
Arion, Pittacus, Alcaeus, Terpandrus, Theophrastus, Theophanes
and numerous other poets, writers and philosophers.
the Great liberated the island from the Persians only for it
to later fall under the domination of the Romans.
Byzantine Empire, the island became a place of exile for
officials who had fallen out of the Court's favour. In 1462
Lesvos was conquered by the Turks.
centuries, the economy of Lesvos has had close connections
with the coast of Asia Minor, which due to the small distance
between the two, allow thw mainland to act as hinterland, with
Smyrni as the "metropolis".
From the mid-19th century until
the first decades of the 20th, the island experienced
prosperity based on the cultivation of olive trees.
almost total catastrophe in 1850 dye to extremely severe
weather conditions, the revival of cultivation both in terms
of the variaties cultivated and the area of land under
cultivation marked the beginning of a new period.
Manufacturing units and industries were established to process
olive products and byproducts, while commercial networks were
set up to transfer the local produce to the Balkans, Europe,
Asia Minor, and Northern and Central Africa.
The methods of
standardization and processing used competed with those of the
became a gateway to the East, with Western standards, a fact
which left its mark on the island's culture. Buildings,
churches, and luxurious residences were erected combining
cultural elements from both East and West. The island became
international and actively participated in the social,
economic and cultural development of the times.
At the end
of the 19th century, considerable wealth was accumulated on
the island as commerce developed. A Commercial Club was
established and in the 1915 the Commercial Association of
Mytilene was set up. In 1919, the Chamber of Commerce and
Industry of Mytilene was established.
1912, the date of liberation, and the catastrophe of 1922, the
island's economy gradually turned away from Asia Minor and
towards Greece and its capital. In 1922 the stream of refugees
dramatically changed the social and economic life of the
island and a gradual shrinkage of the industrial production
was observed as the huge market for local produce declined. At
the same time, the arrival of refugees provided cheap manpower
thus new cultivation developed and older ones
THE ISLAND TODAY:
1960, an effort to break dependence on the cultivation of
olive trees has started because unstable production has led to
failing populations. Instead, the focus has turned to tourism
and the immediate need to develop infrastructure - hotels,
roads and transport set against a background of modernization,
something which became more evident after Greece's accession
to the EC.
Nowadays, the prefecture revolves around the
processing of agricultural produce, mainly olive oil, cheese,
ouzo (which is particularly profitable), wine, salted
preserves as well as tourism. In recent years, great emphasis
has been placed on the production of olive oil and wine using
organic cultivation methods.
is the capital of the island and has a population of
30,000 people. This is about one third of the total
population of the island. It is built amphitheatrically around
its well preserved Byzantine Castle. Not very far from there,
on the north-east side of town, one can find the Hellenistic
Theatre with its superb acoustics and capacity of 10,000
people. Further in the suburb of Varia one can visit the
kilometers from Mytilene, near the town of Moria, one can
visit the Roman Aqueduct that was built in the second century
Going further up north by the east coast, thru a series
of beautiful little villages one will arrive in the town of
Mantamados, famous for its cheeses and the fine pottery. The
next stop will be Skala Sikaminias, one of the most charming
fishing villages one would ever see.
at the northest point of the island one will find the
picturesque village of Mithymna (also known as Molivos),
with its mediaeval castle and the traditional architecture.
Molivos is also the islands best known resort.
association with Arts is appropriate enough, for it was here
in Mithymna that the head of Orpheus is said to have been
washed ashore after his dismemberment of the Thracian women.
Another mythical citizen of Mithymna was the lyric poet and
musician Arion. It has been said that he has been saved by the
Only a short distance of 5
Km SW of Molivos the village of Petra can be found. Petra has
one of the best sandy beaches of the island.
south the village of Agia Paraskevi is situated. This village
has a lot of old mansions and is known for the Bull Festival
that has been celebrated since more than two hundred years.
Near the village lay ruins of an ancient temple of Napaios
Apollo and the ruins of an Ionian temple dated from the 3rd
century BC. This temple was dedicated to Zeus, Hera and
island's center, not far from Agia Paraskevi, lays the modern
town Kalloni. It is famous for its sardines which are caught
in the nearby bay called the Gulf of Kalloni. On this gulf one
will also find the popular summer resort Skala Kalloni with
its beautiful sandy beaches.
Kalloni is also famous for its
plain that creates an unique refuges for birds such as ravines
The oleanders, ferns, pines, form the hydrobiotop of
Parakoila, Skala Kallonis and the salt pans of the gulf. The
area is filled with waters and their thickets of canes consist
of a great number of birds, animals and lepidopteran such as
foxes, winks, squirrels, hedgehogs, martens, turtles, martins,
wild pigeons, thrushes, pelicans, hens-fowls, blackbirds,
storks, herons, crickets and nightingales that brighten
mornings and evenings with music.
the center of the island another well known town is Agiassos.
This town is famous for its pottery. Going further south again
we reach the towns of Plomari and Vatera which have the one of
most superb beaches of the island, 10 Km
At the western tip of Lesvos, Sigri is a
pretty fishing village with a nice little beach and a castle
that goes back to the 18th century. Not far from there lies
the Petrified Forest, dating back fifteen million
Finally, not far from Sigri, one will find the town
of Eressos. Eressos has been the birth place of Sappho and
Theoprastos. Its port, Skala Eressos, is a famous resort with
a magnificent beach.
it can be seen from its classical history, its abundance
of poets, musicians, philosophers and lawgivers, was one of
the great cultural centers of the Greek world. It was second
perhaps only to Athens, in its influence if not in its
As a place for a holiday, for a rest or for quiet
work, Lesvos is HARD to BETTER. It is big enough to permit
that change of scene so necessary if one is to avoid "island
claustrophobia". It has a further advantage that it is easy
from here to organize a trip to visit Troy or to explore the
coastline of ancient
ABOUT LESVOS ISLAND
Molivos town, Lesvos island GR-81108 | Developed by EURObit