Lesvos Village Hopping

Explore the timeless villages of Lesvos

As long as it takes to drink a glass of ouzo

One of the lesser explored Greek islands, Lesvos is famous as the home of ouzo and for its green forests and golden beaches. It is ideal for families and for anyone who appreciates relaxation and traditions, with a main town, Mytilene, that sets the tone with its atmosphere and cultural highlights. But to really get to know the soul of Lesvos, there’s no beating the villages. Some are on the coast and others in the hills and they all have year-round populations, meaning you can visit in any season. 

Spring and autumn (and winter if you’re feeling really adventurous) are ideal times to combine village hopping in Lesvos with hiking and other nature activities. And in the summer months, the mountain settlements offer a cooling contrast to the beach (and some of the best views in the North Aegean). Meanwhile, for unforgettable seafood meze (accompanied, naturally, by a glass of ouzo) there’s no beating a coastal village. 

We’ve highlighted some of the best villages for your holiday in Lesvos. You can cherry-pick one or two or go full-on village-hopping. It’s up to you.


Highlight villages in Lesvos


Molyvos (also known as Mithymna) is one of the best-known villages in Lesvos. Built amphitheatrically on the slope of a hill, it is a protected settlement, with colourful houses, a picturesque harbour and a popular beach. Exploring the cobbled streets of Molyvos is the highlight of any holiday in Lesvos, especially at night when its Venetian castle is lit up. The castle hosts cultural events and offers stunning views of the town and sea. And look out for the Ottoman Baths, a central part of daily life in Ottoman times and now a museum. On the outskirts of town is Cine Arion, an open-air cinema. The final bonus is Molyvos beach (a family favourite, with its mix of sand and pebbles and water sports), one of the best beaches in Lesvos.

  • Distance from Mytilene: 59.3 km
  • Nearby villages: Petra, Vafeios, Stipsi, Skala Sikamineas
  • Nearby beaches: Petra, Anaxos, Ampelia, Eftalou

Enjoy a walking tour of Molyvos 


Famous for its association with ouzo, Plomari is another must-visit village in Lesvos. Many merchant families from Asia Minor settled here in the 19th century, bringing with them their secret family recipes for distilling ouzo. They were soon exporting the anise-scented drink throughout Greece. A couple of museums in the village now tell the full story: The World of Ouzo Museum and the Barbayanni Distillery & Museum. And each June, Plomari’s Ouzo Fest allows guests to sample more than 40 ouzo labels and meet the distillers behind the label. For seafood meze with a glass of Greece’s favourite summer drink, head to the narrow streets near the Church of Agios Nikolaos near Plomari harbour, where you will find plenty of tavernas and picturesque cafes. Meanwhile, the Soap Factory Museum in the Plomari Cultural Centre is worth a visit. And in nearby Trigonas, the Protoulis Olive Mill & Museum offers a taste of Lesvos' olive oil history. And while you’re here… around half-an-hour by car from Plomari, the Toumba Eco Farm offers a range of outdoor activities (hiking, mountain biking, horse riding, mushroom picking, bird watching etc).

  • Distance from Mytilene: 38.9 km
  • Distance from Molyvos: 77.5 km
  • Nearby villages: Megalohori, Palaiohori, Vatera, Skopelos, Perama, Agiasos
  • Nearby beaches: Ammoudeli, Agios Isidoros, Evaggelistria, Tarti, Ligonari, Melinta, Drota


Agiasos, on the slopes of Mt Olympos, is surrounded by cherry orchards, olive groves and chestnut trees. It’s another Lesvos village that has held on tightly to its traditions, with stone-built houses and flower-filled courtyards. It is also a village that loves its crafts, as you’ll tell from the wooden furniture and handmade souvenirs. There are wood carving and pottery workshops and a Folk Art Museum, where you can learn more about the local craftsmanship. You’ll also find shops selling local products and a choice of tavernas and cafes, with treats including loukoumades (fried dough balls, drizzled with honey) to go with your coffee or a kainari (herbal tea made only in Lesvos). For traditional cafes (some more than 100 years old) head to the Central Market Square above the church of Holy Mary of Agiasos.

  • Distance from Mytilene: 24.4 km
  • Distance from Molyvos: 53.9 km
  • Nearby villages: Asomatos, Ampeliko, Megalohori, Neohori, Plomari, Paleokipos, Vrisa
  • Nearby beaches: Skala Sikountos, Tarti, Vatera, Fara 


One of the biggest mountain villages in Lesvos, Mantamados has narrow, paved streets and stone or pastel-coloured houses. It’s got a rich history and is another Lesvos village known for its pottery (you can visit the workshops Dimitris and Stelios Stamatis) and honey & olive oil production. Most residents are involved in livestock farming, as you’ll tell from the local cheeses. And as with most Greek villages, life in Mantamados revolves around the tavernas and cafes of the village square, next to the 1750s-built Church of St Basil Mantamados.

  • Distance from Mytilene: 35.4 km
  • Distance from Molyvos: 59.4 km
  • Nearby villages: Kapi, Sikaminea, Lepetimnos, Pelopi, Ipsilometopo
  • Nearby beaches: Chrisi Ammos, Ksampelia, Lagkada, Tsonia, Tokmakia, Kagia, Skala Sikamineas


This tiny fishing village sits on the largest natural harbour in Lesvos, making it an ideal spot to eat seafood in a taverna with a sea view. Strolling around Sigri, look out for the church of Agia Triada and end your walk at the Castle of Suleiman, an Ottoman-era fortress built in 1757 to protect the area from pirates. Nearby is the famous Petrified Forest of Lesvos, part of UNESCO’s World Geoparks Network, which contains remnants of the forest that once flourished here before being destroyed by a volcanic eruption some 20 million years ago. The park’s Natural History Museum has exhibits from the forest and other artefacts from the Paleolithic period. End with a swim at Sigri, a sandy beach with shallow water, watersports (including kite surfing) and an epic sunset.

  • Distance from Mytilene: 88.4 km
  • Distance from Molyvos: 55.5 km
  • Nearby villages: Antissa, Eressos, Vatousa, Skalochori
  • Nearby beaches: Faneromeni, Skala Passatempo, Limena, Tsichliontas, Keramidi 

Sikaminea & Skala Sikamineas

Built on a hill, Sikaminea (or Sikamia as it is known locally) is the larger of these twinned settlements, with mansion houses, alleyways and a folk museum, while Skala (indicating that it is by the sea) Sikamineas is found around 3km below it. As well as being known for its beautiful surroundings of pine, plane and olive trees, Sikaminea is the birthplace of the famous Greek novelist Stratis Myrivilis and has ouzeries that are more than a century old. Meanwhile, Skala Sikamineas’ best-known feature is the church of Panagia Gorgona, so called because it once had a fresco by an unknown artist depicting the Virgin Mary with a mermaid's tail. There are beach cafes and restaurants here and local tips include almond-based sweets and hahles, a speciality that is unique to Lesvos, made from trahanas (cracked wheat and fermented milk or yogurt) shaped like a cup and stuffed with tomato, feta cheese and olive oil.

  • Distance from Mytilene: 46.3 km
  • Distance from Molyvos: 16.5 km 
  • Nearby villages: Kapi, Sykamia, Lepetimnos, Pelopi, Ypsilometopo
  • Nearby beaches: Kagia, Tsonia, Eftalou, Skala Sikamias, Lagkada, Tokmakia, Agios Stefanos, Aspropotamos

Skala Kallonis 

Skala Kallonis is a large coastal settlement, renowned for its small, juicy sardines, which are salted and served as meze. It is one of the more developed villages in Lesvos, with plenty of tavernas and cafes and accommodation options. The main beach is popular, with sunbeds and facilities, but there are also more secluded spots for those seeking tranquility. And nature lovers can explore the Natura 2000-protected wetlands, ideal for spotting more than 100 species of migratory bird. In autumn and spring, flamingos gather at the Kallonis salt marsh.

  • Distance from Mytilene: 39.5 km
  • Distance from Molyvos: 21.8 km
  • Nearby villages: Dafia, Filia, Anemotia, Skalochori, Agia Paraskevi, Stipsi, Ipsilometopo
  • Nearby beaches: Parakila, Skala Kallonis, Anaksos 

Eressos & Skala Eressou

Eressos and Skala Eressou are another mountain and seaside combo. Skala Eressou offers a choice of cafes, tavernas and restaurants and has one of the most popular beaches in Lesvos, with clear water and a Blue Flag certificate, as well as beach bars and water sports. It also has one of the best sunsets in Lesvos and was one of the first LGBT-friendly spots in Greece. Beyond the beach, Skala Eressou also has an archaeological museum. For something quieter, head to Eressos, the birthplace of the lyric poet Sappho, famous for praising love between women. You will find traditional tavernas and cafes, as well as a Turkish hammam dating from 1850 but luxuriously restored as part of a hotel. 

  • Distance from Mytilene: 83.7 km
  • Distance from Molyvos: 52.2 km 
  • Nearby villages: Chidira, Mesotopos, Vatoussa, Pterounta, Agra, Sigri
  • Nearby beaches: Limena, Tsichliodas, Skala Eressou, Chrousos, Tavari, Podaras, Skala Passatempo


Your final Lesvos village is Petra, around 4km along the coast from Molyvos. It is a fishing village with cobblestone streets and terracotta-coloured buildings with red-tiled roofs, interspersed with tavernas, souvenir shops and cafes. It also has the bonus of a Blue Flag beach. According to legend, Achilles anchored here on his way to the Trojan War. The main landmark is the Church of the Virgin Mary Glykophilousa, dating from 1747 and built on a rock (Petra means rock in Greek) in the middle of the village. You can climb more than 100 steps carved into the rock and admire the view from the church. Elsewhere, the Vareltzidaina Mansion displays 18th-century Macedonian architecture and woodcarving. And there are a couple of galleries for art lovers, selling interesting sculptures and other artwork.

  • Distance from Mytilene: 55.2 km
  • Distance from Molyvos: 5.6 km 
  • Nearby villages: Kapi, Sykamia, Lepetimnos, Pelopi, Ypsilometopo
  • Nearby beaches: Chrissi Ammos, Ksampelia, Lagkada, Tsonia, Tokmakia, Kagia

* See the FAQs below for more details on museums and sites.

The timeless villages of Lesvos

So what’s it going to be on your holidays in Lesvos … a mountain village surrounded by greenery or on the coast with a seaside taverna and a chilled glass of ouzo? Either way, the villages of Lesvos lock in all the authenticity of the North Aegean.

FAQs about the villages of Lesvos

Lesvos is located in the northeastern Aegean Sea. It is the third-largest Greek island and is approximately 10km from the Turkish mainland. It belongs to the administrative region of North Aegean and the capital and largest town is Mytilene, which is also the capital of the North Aegean region.

  • By plane: The fastest way to get to Lesvos is to fly from Athens, as there are daily connections all year round. 
  • By boat: There are regular ferry connections with Piraeus throughout the year (daily during the summer months), with journeys taking 11-17 hours depending on the number of stops. There are also regular ferry connections throughout the year with the ports of Kavala (6.5-10.5 hours) in northern Greece. 
  • Lesvos has regular boat services with other North Aegean islands, such as Chios and Lemnos, as well as some Cycladic islands
  • The best way to get to know the villages of Lesvos and have flexibility is to rent a car.
  • Lesvos is Greece’s third-biggest island, so if you want to get a taste of a number of different villages, it is best to choose 2-3 a day that are relatively close to each other.
  • Suggested combinations are Molyvos – Petra – Sikamia; Sigri – Eressos; and Kalloni – Mantamados – Agiasos.
  • You can visit the villages of Lesvos and find them alive with locals going about their daily life all year round
  • Lesvos gets busy in the peak summer months (July-August) so if you visit in early or late summer you will enjoy your holidays even more, whilst still being able to swim. The villages also offer a change of tempo (and temperature) to the beach in the summer.
  • The villages of Lesvos often host festivals in the summer months.
  • Depending on which village you visit, you will likely need a whole day to do it justice. 
  • To take your time and explore each one in depth, you will need a minimum of 5 days.
  • Naturally, you can dedicate the time you want and pick and choose between the villages.

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