There are hundreds of things to do in this island. But we wanted to put together a list of 10 things to do in Lesvos, so to understand the variety. We wrote many posts about things to do and you can dive into them from here. However we wanted to presented a list of “snapshots”. Let’s call it a kind of handpicked experiences where only locals will “pass the word” for them.
It was the second time we visited the island and the first time we wrote about the many outdoor adventures we had there (see our posts for Eressos, Molyvos, Sigri Museum and Petrified Forest, Horseback riding, rock climbing and mountain bike, as well as sailing).
Here we go!
1. The waterfall of Man’Katsa
This is a pretty nice picnic area. You just walk no more then 700 meters from a dirt road and you arrive there. The waterfall is not directly visible but you need to walk down a path to get there. At the time we’ve been there water amount was not much, but we were informed that it is at least 5 times that. It is good to pay a visit.
Man’Katsa is located 1500m from the intersection of Pedi – Aspropotamos, and 30 km North of Mytilini, on your way to Mantamados village.
2. The Museum of Industrial Olive-Oil Production of Lesvos, at Agia Paraskevi village
If you like museums that depict how traditional industries were in Greece then this is one of them. The museum is amazingly renovated and people there are extremely helpful. We were provided with lots of info.
We went through the museum, where we found out that the original machines were properly maintained and also… working. Of course no oil production happens in nowadays in that museum but it was interesting to see the whole process on how oil was produced from olives.
It was interesting to learn about the effort and work of people back then, on how they produced so much with the means they had.
Definitely one of the museums to visit. Ask for Manto. She is quite knowledgeable.
3. Learning pottery from Mr. Stelios Stamatis
This was the most laughing experience, in the sense that the person responsible for the pottery shop and workshop was one with great humor. That was Mr. Stamatis. A pottery maker that learned his art from his father.
That person was really enjoying his work and this was beaming. He spoke about it with so much love. Most of the things he said about what how you make all these clay based objects, would also stand in a philosophy class.
His wife was responsible for painting beautiful patterns on each item.
Mr Stelios was showing how to make simple and/or complex things and at the same time he spoke about gentleness, being centered, focus, enjoy, feel what you are doing, not pushing too much or too little.
Along with us was the daughter of a friend (Titos from Lesvos Ride), who jumped in and learned right there on the spot, how to make something beautiful out of clay.
We really love when we meet people who confront their work not just as business, but as a way of joy too. Here is a video of him making art. You can see more videos in our YouTube channel.
The shop/workshop is located inside the village of Mantamados (around 1km from the village entrance, coming from Mytillini).
4. Skala Sykamnias or Sykamineas
This place is famous for mostly 3 things.
One of them is that it is near the location where refugees from Turkey were coming to shore before they were moved to another location. A special video (named as “Ode to Lesvos”) has been made about this place presenting the courage, bravery and altruism of locals who helped all those people. It is rather emotional and you can watch it here:
The second reason is that this village is well known as the birth place of Stratis Myrivillis (1890-1969), a hugely famous Greek writer.
The third reason is the food. There are many little taverns with excellent “mezedes” and ouzo. We ate there and we have to admit that food is great. There is a tavern called “Mouria tou Myrivilli” (Mulberry of Myrivillis) . Highly recommended.
Skala is located at 31 kilometers distance from Mytilini, east of Molyvos, on the north side of the island.
5. The Church of Taxiarchis
That is one big eyes pleasing church that is -allegedly- related with many miracles. Many army man (mostly pilots) come here and make offerings. Taxiarchis is also famous to pilots of other countries (like from Turkey) who have claimed that they have seen him up in the skies above Greece. The church is located at Mantamados village.
Taxiarchis is the patron saint and the guardian angel of Lesvos. The church inner yard and surroundings are very very beautiful. An old (maybe pagan) ritual revives every year here, that involves the sacrifice of a bull.
6. Therma Spa
A modern installation that also kept the old thermal spa building and added new installations. The installation is literally next to the sea and the main indoors pool area is rather big and imposing.
Water comes from hot springs and has therapeutic properties.
They also have outdoor pools aligned to the horizon and a separate modern cafe and juices bar.
Many come here to spend the day and relax, as the place is near they city but really isolated (easily approachable by car). So it is very serene.
Therma Spa is located at the 7th Kilometer of Mytilene towards Kallonii. Their services include massage, aromatherapy, reflexology, and many as such.
We tried the indoors thermal pool. Tradition dictates separate indoor pools for men and women.
7. Polichnitos Hot Springs
That is one place that someone must tell you it exists. It is a very small hot springs installation on the road leading from Polichnitos village to Vatera village.
It consists of two small pools inside a building (separate for men and women) and… that is all. The area outside the building is very beautiful. You can see the “well” where boiling water from the hot spring creates a variety of colors from the minerals it consists.
That water is used inside the pools but is cooled down first (of course). Polichnitos hot springs reaches a temperature of 87.6 C, thus making it the warmest natural spring in Europe.
8. Eat any local fish that has “Pasto” before its actual name
Eat “pasto” mackerel, “pasto lakerda”, “pasto”…. anything. The word “pasto” means fish that has been “baked” into salt only. It is otherwise know as… “alipasto”, meaning salted.
That “simple” thing is the main dish in many tables, especially when you eat/order “mezedes”. It is the proper one for drinking “ouzo”.
But don’t stop there. Lesvos produces lots and lots of foods. Their fish is great, as well as their salads, Fava (comes from Lathouri plant). Don’t forget to eat their oil-cheese (Ladotyri) and taste the rather big variety of Ouzo of course.
9. Stay in a tower
If you can, book one of the few rooms of “Pyrgos of Mytilene” hotel. It is located inside Mytilene. We stayed there and it was a pretty nice experience as we got one of the top rooms that provided a pretty nice view. It was a round room and that was pleasantly weird to stay in a round room.
Their breakfast was had quite a variety. Owners kept the original style and interior decoration of an old mansion, as Pyrgos was like that. You feel and see the “old” aristocracy style everywhere.
10. Visit the Healing Springs of Eftalou
That is another modest small building which hosts another hot spring with therapeutic properties. It is located at the village of Eftalou. it is located at 4.5 km for Molyvos.
The bath area is a 17th century domed bath house with holes to allow sun to come through.
So, here we complete our list with the 10 top things to do in Lesvos along with the hiking we had over Agiassos. This trip was organized by Diageo and Johnie Walker. A very special thanks belongs to the whole North Aegean Prefecture team who arranged many things for us to experience, as they did the last time we’ve been at the island.