It is a symphony in the Aegean, an island that offers so many variations on a theme in its landscape, history, culture and humanity. And like a masterwork by any of the great composers, no matter how many times you go back to it, you’ll always find something new to enthrall you; the more you explore the more you’ll find there is to discover. With a scale which gives you the freedom to find your own voice, it makes a note perfect holiday experience.
Imagine Lesvos as a piece of music, with different moods and movements, the calm and the crescendo, the reassuring and the rambunctious in one compelling composition. At a point where two great continents meet, in the middle of the Aegean Sea there’s an island that will delight you with its rapturous melodies in a living breathing testimony to nature, history and tradition; a paean to the artistry of man and nature. Rest a while, take a deep breath and allow it to conduct you through all its glorious twists and turns.
Long ago a volcano, venting its Wagnerian fury on the island, forged a geography by turns both pastoral and stunning; always spellbinding. It created one world of lush greens, a hiker’s paradise, and an expanse of salt flats and wetlands to keep the avid bird watcher in clover; a lilting timbre for quiet reflection. The other world; a rousing visceral landscape replete with caves and healing springs that the word ‘rugged’ scarcely does justice to.
As the sun exposes every line, nook and cranny in the bare rock, the music of the earth swells to its grand climax and for a few moments it’s volcano day again. And striking a surrealist tone in the midst of it all is the island’s undoubted centerpiece, the petrified forest on the march from land to sea, the legacy of an ancient lava flow twisting nature into scarcely credible guises of which Dali himself would have been proud.
Awe-inspiring monasteries, tiny chapels perched on clifftops, stately mansions, stone-clad homes of frugal elegance all vie with the natural wonders for your attention (like the different sections of an orchestra.) The imposing mediaeval fortress of Molyvos lends a bombastic strain, the breathtaking vistas of Geras Bay, an operatic sweep. The capital, Mytillini, with its warren of cobblestone lanes, marble staircases, lovingly tiled rooftops, grand neo-classical dwellings, ornate fountains and Ottoman baths resounds with the influences of East and West and in the villages, there is an echo of pagan mystery in the infectious warmth of their time-honoured customs.
All that remains for you to do is to let the melodies of the island captivate you and impart that wonderful sense of well-being and acceptance. Feel the friendship of the people; relax with your loved ones on the beaches; take a boat and uncover some new secrets. Then perhaps delve into an idyllic agrarian past, harvesting olives bathed in the autumnal glow. And when the day is done, enjoy a medley of flavours in a beach side restaurant. Lesvos awaits and invites you to add your own voice to the magnificent Aegean symphony.