Anaxos is great for families due to the organised beach as well as several outdoor, salt-water swimming pools for public use. Watersports on the beach range from tube rides to canoes, wake boards and speedboat trips.
It takes half an hour to walk the three-kilometre sandy beach. Or you could just sit under your parasol with a view out to the bright blue Aegean Sea, dotted with a few mini islands.
These three islands are a haven for local and migratory birds and small wildlife, and you’re close enough to get out to them by pedal-power. Rabbit Island is a particularly good spot as it’s a nature reserve with an observation centre. It’s also perfect for barbecue parties and taking part in spear-fishing from the islet’s coastline.
Eat at the beach
Anaxos beach is lined with tavernas and a couple of cafe-bars that serve home-cooked Greek food – simplicity at its best. Explore the eateries along the beach and up into the village and you can sample gyros with chips for lunch or platters of grilled fish and mezze when you’re feeling hungrier.
Many restaurants, such as Sarandos on the main street, play live music later in the evening so you can settle in with some ouzo after dinner. There are also a couple of beach and music bars but even these keep things quite chilled.
Another way of mixing food and music is during the festival of Saint Pandelehimon day on 27th July. The celebrations at this annual event include a feast and live traditional music.
The busy northwest
In this part of Lesvos, you’re just along the coast from the charming village of Petra with its church perched on top of rocks and a good selection of quirky shops. In fact, you can walk along the coast and be there in 35 minutes. Another way of getting there is on the mini train that departs from Anaxos to Petra and then on to Molyvos. There’s also a bus that connects them and carries on north to Eftalou.
On the way to Molyvos you can gaze in awe at the imposing castle and old buildings spilling down the hillside towards the harbour and beach. This stunning town has lots to see around its cobbled streets and you can take one of numerous boat trips from the harbour here and at Petra.
Travelling north from here during your holidays in Lesvos you’ll reach the hippy hangout of Eftalou, which has hot springs, a yoga centre and the gloriously peaceful Golden Beach.
A beach to yourself
There are plenty of quiet coves along the north and west coasts of Lesvos around Anaxos. For somewhere wild and virtually deserted, take the short walk along the coast to Baloutsas beach, on the way to Petra. Once you’re there you can appreciate the rugged countryside and serenity.
Another chance to swim alone can be found at Tsichranda beach on the road towards Filia. This long strip has other-worldly rock formations created by a volcano and dark grey sand. There are also a couple of particularly good cafes here.