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Hotels in Lesvos, Eastern Aegean, Greece


Destinations and Accommodation in Lesvos:

(Lesbos), Mitilini, Mytelene, Molivos, Vatera

Inhabitants: 110.000   Area: 1.600 km2  
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GEOGRAPHICAL FEATURES

The island is located in the Eastern Aegean and is approximately 180 miles in distance from Athens. It has an area of 1630², is 70 km long and 45 km wide with a stretching coastline of 320 km. It is the third largest island in Greece following Crete and Evia respectively. It has a population of approximately 100,000.

GEOPHYSICAL FEATURES

The greatest part of the island proves a thriving ground for olive groves, while pine forests occupy a large area in the centre. In the west the landscape is more ascetic, scattered with acorns and rocky mountain ranges. The two gulfs, Geras and Kallonis, add to Lesvos’ distinctive shape. There are small but fertile plains in the regions of Kallonis, Geras, Ippios and Eressos. Small valleys and springs, mountain ranges ad beaches-both sandy and pebble, conveying an image of island and mainland at the same time, form a landscape which at every turn resounds with the Aegean, with Greece. The “eco-tourist paths“ lead a traveler on a course of discovery into the uniqueness of the Lesvian landscape and the aesthetic pleasure of contact with the beauty of Lesvos’ natural environment. Amongst the most interesting features a traveler can discover trekking through Lesvos, include:

NATURAL HOT SPRINGS

Nature endowed Lesvos with yet another gift-the natural hot springs that are diffused throughout the entire island. The springs are the remains and the evidence of ancient volcanic activity in the region. The precious carbonated, chlorinated, sulphuric and radioactive waters, the range in temperatures and units of radioactivity are famous in Lesvos from time immemorial and attract a large number of visitors to the island. Today, in Therma, Polychnitos, Lisvori, Thermi, Eftalou, Argeno and elsewhere, there are therapeutic hot springs suitable for almost all forms of therapy. This richness makes Lesvos perhaps the most beautiful spot for therapy in the Mediterranean.
THE WETLAND MARSHES

The Kallonis Gulf region which includes the salt-pits, the region of Messon and the “Vouvari“ river, comprises one of the most important wetland areas in Greece one of the most important wetland areas in Greece and habitats to an exceptionally diverse species of rare birds, the most striking being the flamingo. This “basin“ is surrounded by the Tsiknia river, the Mylopotamo containing ruins of ancient water-mills and the island’s large pine forest, making it an extremely interesting environmental site and inspiring the development of eco-tourism and bird watching. Other noteworthy wetlands that are home to a significant number of rare birds include the wetland area in the “Dippi“ region, as well as Almyropotamos, the river of Vatera.

GASTRONOMY AND LOCAL PRODUCTS

Anyone traveling through Lesvos feels a strong sense that it is an island which sets itself apart for preserving a traditional texture and resisting the leveling affect of extreme modernity which afflict many urban, as well as rural regions of Greece. Older, in as much as newer generations remain, to a large extent, loyal to traditional standards of nutrition, marked by high demand for homegrown agricultural and meat products. The island’s produce constitutes the basic ingredients of Mediterranean cuisine, whose role is paramount to healthy nutrition. The production of ouzo, cultivation of olives and excellent olive-oil, dairy products and fish products are for the islanders, a part of their local tradition.

MYTILENE

The main entrance to the island is through the capital Mytilene. A city built on 7 adjoining hills, with a rich historical culture, it grabs the visitor’s interest at first glance, with its emblem, the Gatelouzon castle and the statue of Liberty, which tower over the surrounding port area. Notable historical monuments can be found all over the city, the most important of these being the famed Ancient Theatre, with seating capacity of 15,000, built during the Hellenistic period. Magnificent churches, the remains of settlements, baths and neo-classical noble homes indicating traces of a “rich“ past, are dispersed throughout the city and bear witness to its cultural course over the passage of time. As with the entire island, so too is the wider area of Mytilene covered in green, in some areas by a blanket of olive-groves, such as on the side of the Geras Gulf and in others by pine forests, stretching all the way from the south to the coast. Lovely beaches unfold along the coast and invite any traveler to relax in the hot Greek sun and lap-up the salty Aegean. There, alongside the shore, quaint, traditional taverns serve up the tastiest appetizers and the finest selected island tastes, including sun-dried octopus ad Kallonis sardines.

VATERA

Ten kilometers of outstretched sand, crystal-clear waters and a horizon that does not end but at an endless blue, constitute the best guarantee for sea-lovers. This is Vatera. One of the most beautiful beaches in Greece. A summer resort that promises any guest an unforgettable stay and a summer bathed in sun, light and sea. Along the coastline there are modern hotel units in business offering all amenities, restaurants and picturesque taverns for tasty gastronomic combinations and night spots for energetic and lively evenings. Furthermore, the region is ideal for beach sports, boat tours, to neighbouring beaches and hiking expeditions. The lush green mountains nearby are adorned with small churches and the remains of a civilisation of long ago. A history spanning thousands of years unfolds before the traveller’s eyes, in the face of marble ruins of ancient temples preserved in the foundations of old Christian churches, unearthed and testament of a glorious past. On the eastern side of Kallonis Gulf lies Polychnitos, one of the most scenic towns in the whole island. Imposing noble, neo-classical, public buildings, a beautiful cultural multi-centre and the famed Church of Agios Georgios-an impressive triple-aisle basilica-piece together an image of a city with a rich past in harmony with the present given its active and hospitable inhabitants.

A COLLECTION OF THE NATURAL HISTORY OF VRISSA-VATERA

The region of Vrissa-Vatera, with the most unique beach in the Mediterranean, is characterised as exceptionally rare for its Palaeolithic fossils, unique not only to Greece, but perhaps to the whole of Europe. During recovery excavations in the region of Vatera various fossils were found in lakes, lake-banks and river deposits. In clay deposits of the river the flowing, fossils of fish of various sizes were discovered, the largest of which was 80cm. It was a freshwater environment and apart from the fish, fossils of various plants were discovered that included aquatic carnivorous plants and various bulrushes, types of which no longer exist today. The banks of this lake were a watering-hole where various animals came to drink. Their animal prints have been preserved in certain areas. The most important of the fossilised animals discovered include: The jawbone, tusks and other parts of the skeleton of the proboscidean and mastodon Anancus arvenensis, which became extinct more than 1.6 million years ago. In various locations, fossilised horse bones of various size were discovered, one of which had attached hooves of greater dimension than the normal Equus Stenosis. The bones and jaw of the carnivorous Nyctereutes magamastoides were also discovered, a relative of today’s nyctereutis, as well as the bones of camels, rhinoceroses, various sized deer, antelopes, gazelles and other bovine creatures and tortoises. The fossilised bones discovered belonging to the giant tortoise are amongst the most impressive finds; the tortoise is believed to have been about 2.5 metres in length, a size that can be compared to that of a modern car. The most amazing amongst all the discoveries however, was the revelation of extremely rare types of animals, including that of a family of giant apes belonging to the species Paradolichopithecus, the earliest in representative age ever found in Europe. The abundance of fossils of gazelles, horses, deer, tortoises and antelopes indicate an early savannah environment while the deposits point to the existence of river systems which crossed the regions’ forest expanse and flowed into the lake. It is worth noting the existence of a rich fauna of fossilised freshwater fish, various sized shells and of fossilised flora. The age of the finds using magnetic methods of dating, is 2 million years old.

 Source: Georgios Ballis
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