Around the Island...
"...the whole island has a singular charm which is hard to analyse....
Is one being seduced by the literary association connected with its famous name?
Even if I am accused of romancing I would say 'no',
and insist that Lesvos belongs to a special category of place which holds a secret magic of its own ....
these select places still echo with a sort of message that the visitor receives"
Lawrence Durrell, 'The Greek Islands'
As all the guide books will tell you, Lesvos is a large island, the third largest in Greece after Crete and Evia
(though at 1630sqkm to Crete's 8259 and Evia's 3580, rather a long way after).
They will also tell you that it supports over eleven million olive trees
(which is more than a hundred for each of the approximately 100,000 inhabitants),
though not how many litres of oil, reputedly the best in Greece
(and therefore, of course, in the world) and kilos of soap a year this represents.
Other major products are ouzo, in a bewildering variety of brands
from Plomari and Mitilene (again, of course, the best in Greece),
many varieties of cheese, including the local hard cheese, ladotyri,
made from sheep and goats' milk with the addition of olive oil,
honey - in late summer you will pass hundreds of hives lining both sides
of the main road through the pine forests between Mitilene and Kalloni -
and sea salt and tinned sardines from the Gulf of Kalloni.
The two large gulfs of Gera and Kalloni in the south affect both geography and communications.
The landscape and character of the different regions varies enormously,
from forested mountains in the south to heath in the east
and barren upland and gorges in the far west.
Meanwhile the position of Mitilene, the regional capital and main transport hub, in the far south-east,
makes exploring by public transport almost impossible if you are based in Molivos, Petra or Anaxos.
So if you want to spend time exploring a hire car and a map are essentials.
There is a good choice of both local hire companies and international franchises
in Molivos, with two or three local companies in Petra and Anaxos.
Remember that even 'fully comprehensive' insurance will not cover damage to tyres
or the underside of the car: take care if you venture off main roads.
These pages are about our favourite places - the ones we go back to year after year.
And as we are still exploring doubtless the list will change and grow.
Click a grey button on the left for more...