A guide to things to do in Lesvos

Lesvos is one of the most important islands in Greece‘s ancient history, and in mythology was reported to have been visited by Achilles many times in the Homeric epics. Today it’s one of the most photogenic of all the islands, and provides countless opportunities for visitors on cheap package holidays to Greece to experience its rich cultural heritage.

Climb the battlements

Top of the list of Lesvos holiday activities is undoubtedly a visit to Molyvos Castle, which sits atop a hill in Molyvos looking out to sea. These ruins are grand and stretch out over a huge space. Many visitors have said that when they stand within its grounds they really feel as if they have been transported back to the time of the ancient Greeks. This spot also provides great photo opportunities, so don’t forget to bring your camera.

Historic church with beautiful views

Located in Petra, which translates into English as ‘rock’, the Panagia Glykofilousa church sits atop a 40-metre high rocky outcrop, up 114 carved steps. The interior of this church is charming, with frescos and decoration that hark back to the era of its original construction. From the church you can see over the town, and at night the twinkling lights of the village cast a magical ambiance over the place. This is the perfect place for a romantic evening stroll.

Heal your body, calm your mind

Lesvos is considered to be a place of healing and restoration, thanks in no small part to its many hotels and resorts that offer spa services and treatments. However, if you want something a little more authentic for your Greek island holiday then take a trip to the Eftalou salt marshes, which are just a €6 taxi ride from Molyvos. The hot springs in this area are said to have invigorating properties that help clear your mind and sooth your skin.

A spooky forest

The beautiful national park near Sigri has an installation of over 20 petrified trees – petrification being the natural process by which wood is turned to stone over hundreds of years. The brown cracked bark which forms the trunks seems to creak in the hot air and the deserted plains where they lie is like the set of an eerie film, just waiting for a ghost story around a camp-fire. Although, of course, you’re not allowed to use the wood.

A boozeum

Ouzo Barbayannis is one of the oldest and most loved distillers of the island’s famous ouzo aniseed liquor, and they’ve placed their personal history on display in Lesvos. This is a great opportunity to learn all about the traditional Greek spirit, what makes it turn white when added to water, and who started the family tradition that eventually earned the drink its very own museum.

Ancient heritage sites

Lesvos’ unique ruins have been very well maintained, so if you have an interest in history you really can’t beat this island. The Roman Aqueduct in Moria stands high above the trees as a testament to the ingenuity of the Latin population that once occupied this land. The Temple of Aphrodite is a great place to celebrate love, beauty and pleasure, as the Romans once did. In addition, Messon Sanctuary was erected to Zeus, the father of the Gods – so you can pay your respects to this classical giant.

All of this on horseback

Everything worth doing in Lesvos is accessible by foot but journey times can be cut by taking to a bicycle or horseback, and many resorts have hire companies that provide access to these methods of transportation. So if you’re looking for an opportunity to make a fast friend, pay a visit to a stables and pick out a trusty steed of your own. The Lesvos wilderness looks better when riding through it, and you’ll see more in less time.