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Located in the Aegean Sea off the west coast of Turkey is Lesvos Island. It is steeped in over 3,000 years of history, with stunning beaches and fascinating scenery. Renowned as the birthplace of many illustrious ancient poets, the island’s capital of Mytilini has something for every visitor. Mytilini can be found along the island's south east coast, facing mainland Turkey.
Mytiliini has many historic buildings and is built like an amphitheatre around one of its most famous structures, the Byzantine castle. Equally renowned structures include the Theophilos and Teriade Museums, which house works by Greece’s most loved folk artist of the same name and an art gallery containing works of many famous 20th century artists.
Mytilini’s Old Town is negotiable by foot and there's much to see. The interesting Archaeological Museum exhibits a collection of findings from all eras and is located near the popular Lesvos Art Museum. 17th century Saint Athanasios Cathedral and Saint Therapontas are the town’s most visited churches. Ruins of a Hellenistic theatre can be found northwest of the centre and are definitely worth the uphill hike.
Despite Mytilini’s historical roots, its Old Town offers a variety of modern restaurants and cafes. The harbour’s waterfront is also home to many fine seafood taverns. Mytilini’s marketplace is one of the most active in Greece, with shops of every variety and is closed to automobile traffic during the day. The main shopping street starts in front of Saint Therapontas.
Lesvos’ eastern coast has many charming villages that are worth exploring. To the northeast, Mantamados is known for its fine pottery and delicious local cheeses. Lesvos also has many therapeutic springs. Polichnitos is the site of the hottest natural spring in Europe and home to many stone ruins of old bathhouses.
To see the most out of Lesbos Island we it is best to hire a car. It takes no more than two hours to travel the length of the island so hiring a car is a great way to explore all of the beautiful coastal villages as well as the island's national parks.
Mytilini has a small modern airport. Four flights arrive daily from Athens International Airport, as well as flights from Macedonia, Scandanivia and many major European cities. Car hire is available at Mytilini Airport, so book now for the cheapest deals online. Don't leave it until you arrive at the airport as you'll find yourself in some very long queues, and a limited choice of cars.
By sea, nightly ferries depart from Athens’ Piraeus Port to Mytilini (duration: 13 hours). The recommended 'Mytilini' and 'Theopholis' are both modern comfortable ships with relaxing bars, restaurants and lounges.