Lesvos is not an easy destination to include in an island hopping itinerary.
Its size, and the distance of the main tourist centres from the port at Mitilene,
make it more suitable for an extended stay than a brief visit.
Its relative isolation in the north-eastern Aegean, away from the main island groups,
and the near monopoly until recently of the local ferry company NEL (now in liquidation) on routes to the mainland,
only increased the problem for anyone hoping to visit other islands.
Apart from daily Chios and Piraeus services from Mitilene,
there are usually two or three sailings a week to Kavala.
currently operated by Hellenic Seaways.
All these call at Limnos on the outward and return voyages, and continue south to Chios and Samos,
before calling at several mid-Aegean islands and terminating at Piraeus.
Finally, there are daily services to Ayvalik and Dikili in Turkey
These are operated by much smaller boats,
and are mainly used for day excursions, but tickets are also available for normal travel.
Please note that all schedules are subject to change at short notice and we cannot promise to keep up.
Even the ferry companies' own websites are not necessarily up-to-date:
check with www.ferries.gr before making final plans.
They will almost certainly all have major changes,
or disappear completely for the winter, at the end of September.
Also, schedules can be disrupted by bad weather at any time of year
(what would be regarded as slightly rough in the English Channel will,
under Greek government regulations, often keep Greek internal ferries in port)
Most ferry companies now offer some form of on-line booking,
but be aware that government regulations still insist that you obtain a
standard computer-produced ticket from the company's agents or port office,
although Hellenic Seaways now sends printable tickets with its online confirmations.
There are one or two daily flights to Thessaloniki by Olympic and Aegean Airlines,
plus regular flights to and from Limnos, Chios, Samos, Rhodes, and Crete.