Lesvos has been the scene of mythology and heroic sagas within its more than 3000 years of history.
The island was the birthplace of the luminous daughter of Helios, the later wife of King Minos who became the mother of the terrifying Minotaur. Lesvos is mentioned for a first time by the the Hittites. When on on Lesvos you will be able to imagine how the Greek fleet sailed to war with Troy for the sake of a single woman. The famous lyrical poet Sappho lived here and composed her sensual poetry which she taught to the young girls of the island.
Theophrastis of Erressos, a student of the great Aristotle worked here as a philosopher and natural scientist, studying the flora and fauna. Lesvos was also the setting for the war between Athens and Sparta and the following naval battle of Arginuse. Irne of Byzantium, who brought an end to the first iconoclastic period, died here in exile. In the 14th century, the Genoese were given the island as a reward for their military assistance in fighting the rival-emperor. After the fall of Constantinople the Gattelusio lost Lesvos to the Ottoman Empire. The Sultan’s myrmidons searched here for young men to conscript to the ranks of the elite corps of the Janizariens and they also sought attractive young girls for the harem of what was known as the “Sublime Port” on the Bosphorus. Theofilos, the great representative of Greek naive painting, lived here in the 19th century.
In 1912, the island was liberated by the Greek fleet during the Greek War of Independance. The Greeks of Smyrna fled here during the Greek-Turkish War of 1922/23 and saved not only their lives, but also a historical record of the 3000 years of Greek colonisation in Asia Minor. The family of Odysseas Elytis, the great writer and Nobel Prize winner came from here, as well as the family of Michael Dukakis, the 1988 US Democratic presidential candidate.
An island is always a mythical place. You will feel more disconnected from time and reality here than in many other resorts.
In the north of the Aegean Sea, only 8 miles off the Olive Reviera of Asia Minor between Homer’s Orient and Occident, the beautiful island of Lesvos floats lazily like a silver leaf in the sea. Lesvos seems to have escaped the tight grip of the Asian coastline. In the north it is bordered by the mountains of the ancient landscape of Mysia and Troas, in the east it faces ancient Aeolia and Lydia.To the the south you will see the Bay of Izmir and the Karaburun penisula thats extends far into the Aegean. Make a trip to Troy, Pergama or Assos and follow the giant footsteps of Hellenism here, there and everywhere. Lesvos is the third largest Greek island after Crete and Eubea. Thanks to its size, Lesbos offers many forms and faces to interest those who are enthusiastic for culture, those who love to be close to nature and those who simply want to relax.
Lesvos is one of the gems of the Levant. The hustle and bustle of its capital Mytilene with its dominating castle, its churches, museums and the oriental-style bazaar contrasts with the evergreen pine forests in the east and the timeless beauty of secluded mountain villages at the foot of Mount Olympus. From the endless beaches to the south you can sea Chios, Psara and Oinouses. To the west you will discover the rugged and bizarre rock formations around the extraordinary Petrified forest, which gives us impressive evidence of the island’s volcanic prehistory. This arid landscape reflects a merciless light and clear blue skies. There are picturesque villages in the north from where you can see the most western point of Anatolia and respectively all Asia. All around you, the 13 million olive trees that cover vast parts of the island’s surface give the landscape a silvery glow. You can also discoversome of Greece’s most famous monasteries and ouzo distilleries.
There are two big bays that lend unique form to the island. The smaller but deeper Bay of Gera with its amazing Cypresses. The other is the bigger and extensive bay of Kalloni, famous for its special sardines. Together, these bays ensure that you will never be far from the sea, even when you are in the very heart of the island.
Lesvos offers so much of interest, at any time of the year, but especially in spring, summer and autumn. And being an island, you will never have to travel to far to discover its magic.