Lesvos’s (pop. 100,000) cosmopolitan, off-beat culture incorporates horse breeding, ouzo, and leftist politics. Huge, geographically diverse, and far from the mainland, the island attracts visitors who spend weeks exploring its therapeutic hot springs, monasteries, petrified forest, sandy beaches, mountain villages, and seaside cliffs. Most travelers pass through the modern Mytilini, the capital and central port city. At the new Archaeological Museum, 8 Noemvriou, visitors can walk on preserved mosaic floors dating from Lesvos’s Neolithic past. (Open Su and Tu-Sa 8am-3pm. ‚3, students ‚2. Under-18 and EU students free.) Only 4km south of Mytilini along El. Venizelou, the village of Varia is home to two excellent museums. Theophilos Museum features the work of the neo-primitivist Greek painter Theophilos Hadzimichali. (Open Su and Tu-Sa 9am-2:30pm and 6-8pm. ‚2. Students and under-18 free.) Musee Teriade dis-plays lithographs by Chagall, Matisse, Miro, and Picasso. (Open Su and Tu-Sa 9am-2pm and 5-8pm. ‚2. Students and children free.) The artist colony of Moly- vos has a quiet charm and is more affordable than the capital; take a bus from Mytilini (llhr. 5-6 per day, ‚4.70). Eftalou has beautiful pebble and black sand beaches, accessible by frequent buses from Molyvos. A 20-million-year old petrified forest 4km from Sigri, one of only two such forests in the world, has fossilized trunks preserved in amazingly precise detail. For more info, call the main parks office in Mytilini. ( 22510 40 132. Park open late July to Aug. daily 8am-7pm; Sept. to early July 8am-4pm. ‚2. Under-15 free.)

Ferries go from Mytilini to: Chios (3hr. 1-2 per day, ‚12); Limnos (5hr. 6 per week, ‚15); and Thessaloniki (13hr. 1 per week, ‚12). Book ferries at NEL Lines, Pavlou Koudourioti 67 (22510 46 595), on the far right side of the waterfront facing inland. The tourist police, on Aristarchou near the ferry docks, offer brochures and advice. ( 22510 22 776. Open daily 7am-2:30pm.) Mytilini domatia are plentiful and well advertised. Be sure to negotiate; doubles should run ‚20-23. ElNassos Guest House 0, on the hill just into Molyvos, offers cheerful rooms with balconies and a shared kitchen. ( 22510 71 432. Doubles ‚22-30; triples ‚24-34; discounts for longer stays.) Postal Code: 81100.

LESVOS Photo Gallery

Maybe You Like Them Too

Leave a Reply

+ 73 = 83