Situated in the eastern Aegean Sea, near the Turkish coast, Lesvos is one of Greece's largest islands and well connected by air and sea to Athens, Thessalonika and other Aegean Islands. Quaint fishing villages and pale sandy beaches encircle this delightful destination, with olive groves and pine trees defining the interior. Despite its popularity, many parts of the island have remained virtually untouched and the crowds are much smaller than on other islands.
Mitilini is the main town. However, most holidaymakers head for the northern village of Molivos, and the south coast town of Plomari. Sigri is also popular, given its location near the world's largest petrified forest.
Apart from beautiful, secluded beaches and superb opportunities for walking and bird-watching, Lesvos has relics of a long and proud history. Indeed, the island has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, and rose to glory around the 6th century BC, when only Athens rivalled it as a centre of civilisation. Classicists know Lesvos as the ancient poet Sappho's birthplace.
Molyvos is Lesvos Island's most popular and picturesque holiday resort, where a pretty harbour and red-roofed houses offer holidaymakers a serene and laid-back atmosphere. The town's archaeological museum shows a history that pre-dates the Classical Age. Visitors typically enjoy snorkelling and sunbathing or strolling along the market's quaint, cobbled streets. Many end the day with sundowners and a delicious Greek dinner on the waterfront.
Lesvos' stunning beaches and breath-taking scenery make it a fabulous stop for sun chasers. That said, knowledge lovers will find much to their liking as well.
History buffs will appreciate the Archaeological Museum and the Theophilos Museum in the capital, Mitilini, as well as the roman aqueduct in Moria. Science enthusiasts should visit the highly-regarded Geological Museum in Sigri.
Visitors also enjoy exploring Mandamados. The scenic town produces very good cheeses. The war ruins at Pyrgi Thermis are another favourite. The holiday resort town of Molivos boasts a fantastic maze of winding streets, red-roofed stone houses, and exciting remnants of its medieval past. The town also offers donkey trekking through the surrounding mountains, with trails leading to views over the sparkling ocean. Sigri's Petrified Forest is one of the world's most important natural monuments, boasting fossilised remains that date back 15 million years.
Molivos' pebble beaches are great for sunbathing, while its turquoise waters provide excellent snorkelling conditions. Plomari and Vatera are also good beaches.
Molyvos has many traditional tavernas around the harbour and market areas. As it's a fishing village, seafood is naturally the pride of most local menus.
Though Lesvos isn't a renowned party destination, it has enough bars, clubs and tavernas to satisfy travellers looking for a night out. Most of the action takes place around the waterfront, where a good mix of establishments ensures that younger and older crowds will find appealing spots. The hilltop Byzantine castle occasionally hosts music and drama performances, providing a very special setting for night-time entertainment. Molyvos isn't top-of-mind among party goers, it does have some clubs and lively bars. The open-air cinema is worth attending and performances at the Castle are always a must.
Lesvos is a great stop for LGBT travellers both single and couples.
Greece's Mediterranean climate gives it long, hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Summer temperatures are tempered by breezes called 'Meltemia', and the Etesian wind which blows north across the Aegean Sea. Rainfall is generally low in most of the country and heaviest in the mountainous regions, where snow is likely and temperatures can get severe. Mercury on the mainland regularly hits the high spots.
Summer (between June and August) is Greece's peak holiday season and draws millions of beach lovers to its gorgeous coastline. Autumn is pleasant for travellers who prefer smaller crowds and milder conditions, while winter (December to February) sees the coldest, most variable weather and is the least popular time to visit. Travellers looking to explore Greece's cultural and historical attractions should not be put off by the winter months.
Same-sex sexual relations are legal in Greece and civil unions between same-sex couples have been legal since 2015. The age of consent of 15 is the same as for partners of the opposite sex. Transgender people are able to change their legal gender. Anti-discrimination and hate speech laws apply to gender identity.
Public attitudes towards homosexuality vary throughout the country; public displays of affection by same-sex couples may be frowned upon, especially in rural areas.
Attitudes are generally much more welcoming in Athens and on many Greek islands, particularly on Lesvos, Mykonos and Skiathos, which are well known for their gay and lesbian scenes.
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