Ancient sites

  • Mitilini: Ancient theatre. The remnants of the ancient wall lie at a short distance.

  • Pyrgoi Thermi: A large number of foundations, inscriptions, architectural parts from the region surrounding the baths can be seen at the open air archaeological site of Chorafa close to Sarlitza’s Palace.

  • The important Prehistoric settlement of Thermi is located on the seaside on Lesvos' east coast facing Asia Minor. The settlement spanned a period of about 1.200 years (3200-2000 BC). Thermi presents a picture of a genuine Prehistoric "city", with houses organized into blocks, peripheral roads, and workshop and storage places.
    Tel. site: (+30) 225 10 71705

  • Petri: Fountain of Achilles.

  • Klopedi: Archaeological site and ruins of an archaic and classical temple dedicated to Apollo. These are the only relics of the 6th century ''Aeolian'' order buildings with Greek territory. The Aeolian capitals have been removed and are exhibited at the Archaeological museum of Mitilini.

  • Agia Paraskevi, Sanctuary of Zeus at Messa: Archaeological site of a temple, relics, ruins and altars.
    By virtue of its geographical location, the sanctuary was the center of worship for all Lesvos and the seat of the commonwealth (koinon) of the five Lesbian cities. It is believed that this sacred place was dedicated to the Lesbian trinity "Zeus, Dionysos and Hera". Today, remains visible at the site include those of a 4th century BC Ionic temple. The site's sacred nature was never forgotten. An Early Christian basilica was built over the ancient temple, and a Middle Byzantine church succeeded the basilica. The worship of the Taxiarchs (the Archangels Michael and Gabriel) continues at the site today.
    Tel. site: (+30) 225 30 31786 

  • Eressos: Relics of an ancient city are to be seen in Xokastro whereas those of the Acropolis lie in Vigla. These are the walls of the Archaic period, a Genoese and a Turkish tower, a medieval castle and a Roman reservoir.

  • Ancient Arisvi: It's ancient acropolis, the Old Medieval Castle was built close to the coast. Its ruins spread out to either side of the community.

  • Ancient Makara: Between Parakila and Agra you can still see the 6m high ancient support wall built on the basis of the so-called ''Lesbian structure".

  • Near Achladeri you can visit the ruins of ancient Pyrrha. Pyrrha is destroyed by the earthquake in 231 BC. At the bottom of the sea you can see parts of the harbour facilities and traces of the temple.

  • Vatera: Achilles well.

Castles

Castle of Mitilini

The castle overlooks the city of Mytilini. With an area of 20 hectares, it is considered one of the largest fortresses in the Mediterranean. The castle concerned the following parts:

  1. The acropolis (upper castle) built at the southern and highest part of the hill.
  2. The main enclosure (central castle), the biggest part of which was constructed by the Genoese Gateluzzi.
  3. The lower entrance (lower castle) located at the northwest part of the hill and constructed during the Turkish occupation.

The most important monuments within the castle are the central western tower, the so-called “Queen’s tower” with the votive slab bearing the coat of arms of the Gateluzzi family, the eagle, and the four “B”s of the Byzantine Emperors Paleologus, the Koule mosque, the Ottoman gate Orta Kapou, the gunpowder depository, the Islamic monastery, the Ottoman theological school, the baths, the fountain and the reservoir.

Excavations and restoration works are still under way. 

Tel. site: (+30) 225 10 27970 or (+30) 225 10 21365.

 

Medieval castle in Molivos.
Methymna, renamed Molivos in medieval times, was from antiquity the island's second most important city after Mitilini. At the summit of the hill ensuring control of the narrow passage across to Asia Minor, a strong fortress was built in the Byzantine period. Its form today is largely the work of the island's Gattelusi and Ottoman rulers. The fortress, which has been shored up and conserved, crowns the historic landmark town of Molivos and is an extremely popular attraction for sight-seers.
Tel. site: (+30) 225 30 71803.


Castle in Sigri

The castle in Sigri is built by the Greeks for the Ottomans in 1757. Nowadays the castle is closed for the public.

Other castles: 

  • Ancient Antissa: Medieval castle (Ovriokastro).
  • Skala Eresos: Xokastro
  • Vrissa: Paleopyrgos of the Gateluzzi family.
  • Papados: Remains of medieval castle of Kastreli
  • Ruins of a Byzantine castle are found near Skamnoudi.
  • Close to the village of Stipsi there are ruins of a Byzantine castle from which part of the walls and tower can be seen.
  • On the road of Klio to Tsonia are ruins of a Byzantine castle known as Paleokastro. You still can see the parts of the walls and towers.
  • Watchtower near Skala Mistegnon

Basilica

  • Tsonia: Chapel of Agia Anastasia, remnants of an early christian basilica.
  • 2 km outside Ypsilometopo you can find remnants of an early christian basilica (6th century) with mosaic floor and Ionic columns.
  • Lafionas: ruins of an early christian church and the chapel of Agios Alexandros (an ascetic from Alexandria). Close by a larnax (stone coffer) of grey trachyte has been preserved in which it is believed the saint was buried.
  • Agia Paraskevi: early christian basilica of Chalinados.
  • Skala Eressos: ruins of the early christian basilica (5th century) of Agia Anastasia and Aphentellis.
  • Vatera, Agios Fokas: ruins of an old temple dedicated to Dionysos Bresagenes (1st century BC) and traces of an early Christian basilica.

Turkish remnants

The island is occupied by the Turks for more than 400 years. Everywhere on the island you can find Turkish fountains, minarets, etc. Some examples:


Mitilini:

  • Koulbara, the quarter with the traditional houses dating back to the Turkish occupation. You can find this quarter on the road parallel to the main road in front of the port.
  • Yeni Tzami (1825) and Tsarsi Hamam (19th century), both these buildings are remnants of the Turkish occupation and serve nowadays as exhibition halls.
  • Kioski, one of the most aristocratic districts of Mitilini. Here you can find the former Ottoman Governor's Office which presently houses the Ministry of the Aegean and the form Ottoman High School which now serves as a Court of First Instance.
  • Behind the airport you will find the remnants of a Turkish aquaduct.


Taxiarches: Public watertap of Valide Chanoum.


Thermi: Sarlitza palace in Thermi: it was a luxurious hotel built in 1909 and based on the plans of French architects, ordered by the Turk Sovereign Hasan Mola Moustafa, but fell in decay from 1933. Sarlitza is formed by 2 Turkish words: “sari” which means yellow and “litza” which means underground healing water (=hot spring).


Ypsilometopo: Turkish hamam and minaret of an old mosque


Parakila: Turkish minaret and hamam just outside Parakila.


Filia: Turkish minaret


Skalachori: Turkish minaret


Mesagros: Mosque with a peculiar minaret

Roman Aquaducts

The Roman aquaduct is dated from the 2nd century and it is  used to supply the town of Mitilini with water flowing out from the springs of Agiasos. It covered a distance of 26 km. It was equipped both with underground clay pipes and arches.

You will find remains of the aquaduct at Moria (170m long arches, 17 in total) and near Lambou Mili. The direction to the aquaduct near Lambou Mili is only given when you drive from Lambou Mili towards Kalloni.


There is also a remnant of a Roman aquaduct (4th century BC) in Molivos/Eftalou. This aquaduct started from Lepetymnos.

Bridges

Bridge of Kremasti near Agia Paraskevi: 

This bridge which is 8.5m high, is one of the most notable technical works of medieval architecture in Lesvos. Its light, single-arched, but long-lasting structure, embodying the surface rock, has afforded, through the ages, incessant bridging between the banks of the rapid stream of Kakara (a tributary of the Tsinias river). The construction of the weight-bearing part is visible: bases, towers and arch – made from rectangular stone plinths, which, as it is presumed, have been taken from the ancient sanctuary of Klopedi, while ‘kourasani’, the strongest traditional mixture, has been used as binding mortar. The way the thin row of stones on the crown are connected, is admirable, as is the well-kept cobbled deck. The bridge of Kremasti served an important road artery that linked the east part of Lesvos to the north and west parts. Legend has it that it was constructed during the period of the Gatelousi Occupation (14thcentury), however, comparative architectural – historic research places it chronologically in the 15th century. The medieval folk legend of the master builder’s wife’s body having been built into the foundations, also applies to this bridge; a legend, which denotes the sense of responsibility on account of the significance of this necessary, for that time, public welfare project. In the area, there are also other smaller old arch bridges. The trekking trail continues on the historic passage of the bridge.


Parakila: Old bridge

Filia: Old small bridge with 3 arches

Vrissa: Old bridge

Buildings

Mitilini:

  • Statue of Liberty at the edge of the port of Mitilini.
  • The historical high school built in 1888-1890 following the plans of the architect Argiris Adalis.
  • Towards the airport you will find impressive mansions and residences.

Loutra: Oil mills and press still in operation.

Pamfila is surrounded by soap production factories, oil mills and presses.

Paralia Thermi: Windmill in the harbour used as exhibition hall.

Molivos: Mansions dating back to the late 18th century

Argenos: A little bit further at the upper part of the street you can find the ruins of the abandoned village of Chalikas.

Agia Paraskevi:

  • Mansions dated back from the second half of the 19th century.
  • School (1923).

Plomari:

  • Soap production factories, abandoned oil mills and presses.
  • Old mansions.

Paleochori: Old olive press.

Perama:

  • Industrial buildings with traditional architecture
  • Monuments of the Byzantine era
  • Windmill.

Dipi: Industrial buildings

Petra: Vareltzidina Mansion is one of only a few preserved mansions on Lesvos belonging to the late 18th-early 19th century. It is in the center of Petra in the northern part of the island, and has a stone-built ground floor and wooden upper story. Its architecture follows what was at the time the typical arrangement for mansion-residences, which were normally built in the midst of agricultural estates and surrounded by an enclosure wall. There is noteworthy mural decoration in the mansion's main rooms, including landscapes, cityscapes, and popular motifs of the era such as palmettes, vases, and flower garlands.
Tel. Vareltzidinas Mansion: (+30) 225 30 41510

Watermills

Ligonas mill valley near Petra
The 18 watermills of Ligona are situated in a valley with an unspoilt natural environment and geological wealth. The valley is bounded by the area known as Monastirelia and the chapels of St. Demitrius, St. Photeine and Our Lady Porpatichtra. The watermills were very important in the late 18th century till 1946-47. With their water-power they ground the grain and then irrigated the whole of the plain of Petra. So it's not only worth visiting the Ligona valley for the watermils, but also for its totality of natural features - the flora and fauna, its water, the volcanic formations of the tectonic fault, as well as the host of farm buildings, threshing-floors and terraces, and cobbled pathways. You can reach the valley via Petra or Petri, but the last part you have to go by feet. You have also a beautiful view on Petra and surrounding.

 

 

Other watermills: 

  • Old watermill in Milelia.
  • Watermill near Lafionas

Others

  • The old harbour (shipyard) in Mitilini
  • Ermou street, the central commercial market of Mitilini.
  • Pedestrian ferry between Perama and Kountouroudia (bay of Geras)
  • Ceramics, cheese, honey, olive oil in Mandamados
  • Sikamineas: This is the birthplace of Stratis Myrivilis (1860-1969), a prose writer, a journalist and academic. You can visit his residence here.
  • Skala Sikamineas is a picturesque fishing village.
  • Kouroumichali Company (1884) in Petra which produces ouzo.
  • Petri: You can enjoy here one of the most beautiful sunsets of the island.
  • Famous honey of Stipsi
  • Agiasos is a traditional village with ceramic, wood sculpture handicraft, workshops with looms and weaving.
  • Karini: Hollow tree of the painter Theofilos
  • Mesagros: Old bakery with wall paintings of Theofilos.