North Aegean Islands
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Lesvos is the third biggest island in Greece, after Crete and Evia, with an area of 1,630sq. km and a coastline of 370km.
It is also known for the unique petrified forest covering the Sigri-Eressos-Antissa area. It has been designated as a preserved natural monument since 1985. It is a forest ecosystem that has been fossilized 15-20 million years ago due to the intense volcanic activity in the area. It is an island mostly famous for its ouzo but also its olive oil.
Lesvos is also homeland of the famous ancient poets Sappho and Alkaios. The contribution of Lesvos to the arts and letters has been invaluable and amongst those is the Nobel prizewinning poet Odysseas Elytis was of Lesvian descent.
Mytilini is the Capital of Lesvos and of the Prefecture (with approximately 30,000 residents), and is one of the most ancient Greek cities, the administrative centre and the seat of Lesvos Prefecture, the Aegean Marine Ministry, the North Aegean Region and the Aegean University. It extends over seven hills and the traditional houses coexist harmonically with neoclassic mansions, Byzantine temples, refugee neighbourhoods and ancient monuments.
Gastronomy – No chance of leaving Lesvos without having tried some of their delicious spoon sweets, marmalades and liquors made by women’s cooperatives, all done with local fruits. Not to forget the thyme, pine and flower honey that are ingredients used in many delicacies but can be tasted as they are or in tea. Fresh fish and shellfish are utterly tempting especially when served with a tantalizing ouzo drink.
Over 1.400 species and subspecies make up the flora of this botanical heaven: aromatic flowers, healing species, rare ones, trees, bushes. With the exception of the rather barren western Lesvos, the rest of the island is a feast of olive groves (more than 11.000.000 olive trees) and pine forests, beeches, fir, plane, chestnut and oak trees.
- LIMNOS - Island of Hephaestus
Serenely floating in the north of the Aegean Sea, Limnos is a destination for a peaceful holiday in close contact with nature. Sheltered gulfs, extensive beaches and landscapes of volcanic rocks, alternate with small hills and traditional villages of stone houses. The volcanic island of Hephaestus, god of fire, lends its fertility to fruitful plains, which the locals make the best of by producing goods of unique taste and excellent quality.
Sand Dunes - At the northern part of Limnos, you will discover the impressive sand dunes. It is a sandy area which the locals call “Pachies Ammoudies”. They are protected habitats with plants and animals that have been adjusted during a period of thousands years in difficult environmental conditions. The rarity of the phenomenon lies to the fact that they are inland dunes which change form because of the wind.
Wine & Gastronomy - Limnos has always been a wine producing island and it has been well known for its wines since ancient times. Homer mentioned in the Iliad that the Achaeans delighted in wine from Limnos during the siege of Troy. Since then, the wine of Limnos has continuously been included in the main products of the island. Their white Muscat is renowned and almost exclusively cultivated on Limnos. This fine wine can be accompanied by the local types of cheese such as kalathaki (brine), kaskavali, and melichloro or melipasto cheese. Do not miss out on tasting traditional home-made pasta, such as flomari, trachanas and aftoudia made with high quality flour from local cereals.
Thermal spa - If you want to combine your holidays with relaxing well-being moments, at the western side of the island, 6km from Myrina, you can visit Therma. The thermal spring is located at the foothills of the Profitis Ilias Mountain. The spring, known from the ancient times, streams from the opening of a big geological fault, 1200m deep, having 42 οC all year long. The water at Therma is appropriate for therapeutic bath and drinking since it has a small quantity of salt/silicate. You can enjoy your bath at an organised spa.
Reborn 2017 (11 & 12 August) at the beach Akrotiri in Moudros (www.rebornfestival.com/)It is an electronic music festival taking place every summer on Limnos since 2013. It aims to be established as a unique expression and entertainment suggestion while becoming a summer dance music gathering point for North Greece, presenting electronic music culture to the Lemnians.
All over these years Reborn has hosted artists like Navid Mehr, G.Pal, Echonomist, Adrianos Papadeas, Tash, Paul Anthonee, CJ Jeff, Jorgio Kioris, Dino Grand, Paris76, Undertone, George Trek + more
Short excursion to Agios Efstratios
If you would like to combine a visit to another island while being on Limnos, you can take a boat and make a short excursion to the near-by island of Agios Efstratios. It is an island of unique natural wealth and beauty. Picturesque beaches, rare geological formations, and sea caverns compose the enchanting scenery, while the countless oak trees that decorate its beaches offer their rich shade, a welcome coolness in the hot summer. Agios Efstratios belongs to the “NATURA 2000” network of protected areas, since it includes important land and sea habitats.
Chios is located in the North East Aegean Sea. It is known as one of the most likely birthplaces of Homer, and also the ancient mathematicians Hippocrates and Enopides.
The Regional Unit of Chios includes the islands of Chios, Psara, Antipsara and Oinousses.
The main local products are mastic, citrus fruits, olive oil, figs and wine. Chios mastic is a unique product. Apart from the local agricultural products, Chios is famous for its maritime tradition. A lot of Chiots work in the Merchant Navy sector whereas some of the most important Greek shipping companies have been founded by families that come from the island. The town of Chios, called “Chora” by the locals, is the capital of the island.
The nature lovers will be excited by the rich biodiversity of Chios, Psara and Oinousses. The flora and fauna of Chios is very diverse - an example of the island’s geographical position at the crossroads of east and west and several unique species are found in the island.
The medieval mastic villages - In the south and most fertile part of the island in the only place in the world where mastic grows, there are the 24 mastic villages. Built in the Middle Ages, these villages display exquisite architecture and unique decorative elements, such as the ksistá, “scratched surfaces”, on the facades of the houses in Pyrgi, the biggest of the villages.
Chios Beaches - No one who loves the sea could ever leave Chios dissatisfied. You don’t want to go far from the town? The beaches of Ormos tou Lo (=Lo’s Bay) and Tagma are at your disposal. Are you into sea sports? Bella Vista and Afanis Naftis (=Unknown Sailor) are perfect for wind surfing.
Do you want to combine legend with pleasure? Swim at the beach of Daskalopetra, where Homer was supposed to sit on a stone and teach. “Daskalopetra” actually means “teaching stone”.
- If you like white pebbles, the endless beach of Yossonas, the Bay of Nágos and the crystal waters of Yaliskári await you a short distance from Kardamylla.
- Mavra Volia is the only beach with black sand on the island. Go there to enjoy the magic of the volcanic scenery and the taste of fresh fish at the tavernas by the beach.
- For lovers of fine white sand, the cosmopolitan beach of Komi in the south of the island is a must.
- For families there is Karfas, 5 km from Kampos.
- If your ideal beach has crystal waters and white sand, then Elinta, in the Northeast, will blow your mind!
- If you fancy beach bars, enjoy yourselves in Limnia and Managros, a 40,000-square-metre beach.
- SAMOS - The island of Hera and Pythagoras
Samos is an island ruled by legend and beauty. It is the island of the father of mathematics, Pythagoras, the astronomer Aristarchus and the philosopher Epicurus. It is the home of Hera and the land that hosted Herodotus and Aesop. An important center of trade in the Aegean and a major naval force in antiquity, it came into contact with important Mediterranean cultures.
Nature- Samos is a place of overwhelming vegetation. Everything around the virgin landscape is made of colour and light. Each step one takes is a revelation. Whether in the imposing mountains, such as Mt. Kerkis and Mt. Ambelos – with alpine winter temperatures and endless rain – or in caves and canyons, the environment of Samos reminds one of the Greek hinterland in miniature.
Hiking - Walk along Mt. Kerkis, from Votsalakia in Marathocampos, to its peak, Mt. Vigla, at an altitude of 1,400m. Along your hike you will see over 1,400 species of rare plants, many of which are endemic to the island, as well as dozens of species of birds of prey.
Adventure-seekers: The terrain of Samos is a challenge to those who choose to ride mountain bikes on their travels. Each summer, an increasing number of cyclists, fully equipped for their adventures, visit the island's trails. Local cyclists meet at the architecturally innovative chapel of Agios Ioannis, at Potami, above the pebble beach of Potamos, and ride towards Karlovassi, Konstantinos and Kokkari. Birdwatchers set up near the Alyki habitat or Glyfada Lake to photograph herons, Dalmatian pelicans and pink flamingos that rest here before continuing their migration. When the flamingos ascend into the sky at dusk, their colour mingles with the red sunset, creating a visual extravagance that visitors can’t forget!
According to tradition, the Goddess Hera was born and raised here. For this reason her Temple in Heraion is the biggest in the whole ancient world. The most significant archaeological site of the island includes the enormous (109m long, 55m wide and 25m high) Ionian style Temple of Hera, the big Altar and the Sacred Road (the road leading from the city of Pythagorio, to the Temple). Both Pythagoreion and Heraion were designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1992.
Samos is a modern island, with immaculately organized beaches, such as Tsamados and Lemonakia, Votsalakia in Marathocampos, Chryssi Ammos (= “golden sand”), which more than lives up to its name, and Psili Ammos (= “fine sand”). Αlso a cosmopolitan island if you stay at Vathy, Kokkari or Pythagoreion. For those who prefer a more isolated holiday, you may prefer Marathocampos, Kerveli or Mykali. It is a place of late-night revels, as well as a place of peace, ideal for rest, relaxation and contemplation.
Wine culture and…culture - Muscat is the wine festival organized during the first ten days of August at Vathy, where you only buy one glass and refill it as many times as you like – or can handle. Samos wine has its own history.
The Vatican once kept its own winery on the island and today, the Catholic Church has conceded the privilege of producing church wine for Holy Communion to the island. Samos Muscat holds a special place in the French wine market, one of the most demanding in the world, and has won numerous international accolades, while its rich, fruity aroma continues to win over an increasing number of fans.
Especially in August, during ‘Manolis Kalomoiris’ Music Festival or ‘Heraia-Pythagoreia’ Festival, one can attend numerous drama performances at the ancient theatre of Pythagoreion. There is also a rock music festival usually organized at Heraion for a weekend each summer