Discover Lesvos – Hotel Defkalion

Castles and noble mansions, olive groves and beaches as far as the eye can see, a Petrified Forest and bird-rich wetlands, the land of the sardine and ouzo… and much more situated in the north-east Aegean, poised between Anatolia and the west, this was the birthplace of the poets Sappho and Alcaeus, the naïf painter Theophilos and the novelist Myrivilis.

Greece’s third-largest island possesses a rare natural beauty, architectural marvels, a petrified forest, mediaeval fortress towns and a Mediterranean climate. Olive trees carpet much of its surface, which is indented by two deep, almost closed, fish-filled bays. Other attractions include bustling traditional villages, beaches that stretch for miles, ouzo distilleries to visit and exquisite delicacies to accompany your drink. These are just some of the treats awaiting you on this fascinating island that Nobel laureate Odysseus Elytis compared to a “plane-tree leaf that someone threw into the sea”.

What to do in Lesvos.

Start your visit at Mitilene, the main port and biggest town, and from there cross to the north-east coast to check out Molyvos and Petra. Then head west to Eressos and Sigri, to see the Petrified Forest, before moving south to Plomari, where the ouzo factories are, and swinging inland to the mountain village of Agiassos. That’s Lesvos in a nutshell but we’ve left out the beaches, the spas, bird watching in the wetlands, the long leisurely feasts of local seafood and some of the most breathtaking views in the Aegean.

The island’s cultural and commercial hub.

The true capital of Lesvos and a magnet for visitors in the eastern Aegean, Mitilene displays its handsome old buildings along the waterfront with the impressive church of Agios Therapon as the centrepiece. All of this is crowned by the franko-Byzantine castle rising out of a pine wood on the hill behind. As the hub of the island’s cultural and business life, Mitilene offers a myriad ways to spend your time: whether looking at sights like the ancient theatre, Ottoman baths, the mosque; exploring streets lined with wonderful neoclassical buildings with an Anatolian flavour; or tracking down rare treasures in the archaeological museum, the teriade collection of modern masters, the Theophilos museum, libraries, galleries and folklore exhibitions.

Molyvos, castle town by the Aegean Sea

Molyvos can rival the most beautiful mediaeval fortress towns in Europe, while its only peer in Greece is Monemvasia, in the Peloponnese and like it, its houses grip the sides of a steep rock while turning their gaze to the Mediterranean. The structure and layout of the town and its 13th-century Genoese castle remain unchanged over the course of centuries. as you stroll up and down its alleyways, note the stone houses and the Anatolian-style mansions with their brightly coloured doors and windows and enclosed wooden balconies, as well as the elegant Turkish fountains scattered throughout.

The Petrified forest.

A rare phenomenon there are very few places in the world where you can see trees lying where they fell millions of years ago. Take the time to visit the ‘park’, which was declared a protected natural monument in 1985, and the adjacent museum, where you’ll learn about the island’s intriguing geology. this attraction is worth a visit during your holidays on the island.

The muse of the arts and letters over the centuries.

Lesvos has given birth to an astounding number of brilliant Greek intellectuals. starting with Arion, Terpander, Theophrastos, Alcaeus and Sappho in antiquity, it also inspired Theophilos, novelists Ilias Venezis and Stratis Myrivilis, artist Georgios Iakovidis, art critic and publisher teriade, and even claims Nobel laureate Odysseus Elytis as a native son, whose family hailed from the island. The Kalloni wetlands, a birders’ paradise more than 252 species of birds find refuge in the Kalloni wetlands. not surprisingly, it ranks among Europe’s ten most important habitats for avian diversity and rarity.

Thermal springs of Eftalou’s

This Island in the north Aegean is home to natural wonder, between the brushwood-covered rocks – geological sculptures emerging from the sea – can be found the thermal waters of Eftalou. The water from the spring emerges from underwater springs at a temperature of 43.6-46.5 degrees Celsius and is renowned for its therapeutic.

The sacrifice of the bull

A pagan holdover from ancient times, this island ritual is still enacted every July in the village of Agia Paraskevi. A healthy bull is decorated with wreaths of flowers and finery before being sacrificed and then cooked and eaten, amid parades on horseback, dancing and feasting for three days. Visit Lesvos – Hotel Defkalion – Petra Lesvos


Visit Lesvos – Hotel Defkalion

Beautiful Lesvos with many streams, rich flora and fauna, famous olives groves, the mild Mediterranean climate, charming traditional villages and remarkable examples of industrial architecture (olive presses, soap factories, tanneries) dating from the Island’s industrial development in the 19th century, impress all visitors.

Lesvos, is also known for the unique fossilized forest covering the Sigri-Eressos-Antissa area. It has been designated as a preserved natural monument since 1985. It is a forest ecosystem that has been fossilized 15-20 million years ago due to the intense volcanic activity in the area which included coniferous forests and mainly huge sequoias and primitive pine trees. It is one of the rarest natural monuments in the world (the only similar ecosystems today are the coniferous forests in north America), visited by thousands of tourists. The removal and transfer of fossilized material is prohibited by law. The forest includes six visitor parks in the area.

It is the third biggest island in Greece, after Crete and Evia, with an area of 1,630sq. km and a coastline of 370km. It has 90,000 residents. A few miles away from the SW coast of Turkey, it is located almost at the entrance of Adramytios Gulf, N of Chios. It belongs to the Lesvos Prefecture that includes Limnos and Ag. Efstratios. It is famous for two products, Ouzo and Olive Oil.

In prehistoric times, it was called Lassia due to its luxurient forest vegetation. It was also called Imerti (delicious), Pelasgia, Eolida and Makaria. The name Lesvos was from the mythical hero Lesvos who came here with Lapithes from Thessaly and married Mythimna, daughter of the settler Makaras. During prehistoric times it was a significant cultural centre of the NE Aegean Sea, and it flourished economically, commercially and culturally during Archaic times (7th – 6th century BC).

It is the homeland of the famous ancient poets Sappho and Alkaios. During the 1821 Greek War of Independence, many of the island’s residents were fighters and members of Filiki Etairia. Lesvos was liberated in 1912 under the Treaty of Lausanne. Many refugees from the Asia Minor coast settled on the island after the Asia Minor Disaster (1922), and the population exchange agreement.

The contribution of Lesvos to the arts and letters has been invaluable. Eminent personalities such as Arion, Terpandos, Theophrastos, Pittakos Mitilineos, Theophilos, Il. Venezis, Str. Myrivilis, Arg. Eftaliotis (Kleanthis Michailidis), G. Iakovidis and the plastic artist Str. Elefteriadis were born here. Additionally, the Nobel prizewinning poet Odysseas Elytis was of Lesvian descent.

Mytilini is the Capital of Lesvos and of the Prefecture (with approximately 30,000 residents), and is one of themost ancient Greek cities, the administrative centre and the seat of Lesvos Prefecture, the Aegean Marine Ministry, the North Aegean Region and the Aegean University. It extends over seven hills and the traditional houses coexist harmonically with neoclassic mansions, Byzantine temples, refugee neighbourhoods and ancient monuments.

Mytilini connects by sea to the port of Piraeus and by air to the Athens airport Eleftherios Venizelos. Visit Lesvos – Hotel Defkalion – Petra Lesvos