Best Things to Do in Lesbos, Greece: 12 Lesbos Attractions

by Emil Backup
Lesbos Prefecture
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Thinking of taking a trip to Lesbos, Greece this year? Here are some of the most authentic, unique, and memorable things to do in Lesbos for all travelers to enjoy. These charming towns, ancient sites, and breathtaking beaches are sure to make your vacation memorable!

Nestled in the northeastern North Aegean Sea, the luscious olive-tree-lined island of Lesbos retains traditional Greek charm and provides an idyllic landscape for those wishing to experience authentic Greece. It boasts quaint fishing villages, endless sandy beaches, and a vast array of historical sites. Greece’s third-largest island is a treasure trove of natural wonders, cultural sites, and hidden gems waiting to be explored. 

With a Mediterranean climate, Lesbos enjoys warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine throughout the year. Heat-loves should consider visiting during the summer months of July and August, an ideal time for beach lovers.

Moreover, Lesbos is one of the best places to visit in Greece for food lovers. The island’s culinary scene is a gastronomic delight. It offers a variety of local dishes like sardines from Kalloni and the famous ouzo, a Greek anise-flavored aperitif.

Lesbos is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, such as Vatera and Eftalou. You can soak up the sun and enjoy the crystal-clear waters of the Aegean Sea.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, nature lover, foodie, or beach bum, there are a wide variety of things to do in Lesbos for everyone. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the best places to visit in Lesbos, Greece. Your adventure awaits!

The rustic charm of a traditional village in Lesbos.
The rustic charm of a traditional village in Lesbos.

Best Places to Visit in Lesbos, Greece

Are you ready to discover the best things to do in Lesbos? Look no further, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Lesbos. Keep reading to discover why it’s one of the best islands to visit in Greece!

If you’re looking for unique and authentic Greek experiences or if you want to enjoy the mesmerizing Mediterranean sun. Lesbos can accommodate your needs.

Here are all the best places to visit in Lesbos, Greece that you should know about for your next trip!

1. Discover the Petrified Forest

If you’re looking for unique things to do in Lesbos, head straight to the Petrified Forest, located near the village of Sigri.

This UNESCO Global Geopark is home to a vast collection of petrified tree trunks, roots. And leaves that date back 15 to 20 million years.

The petrified remnants, beautifully preserved by volcanic activity, offer a fascinating glimpse into the island’s ancient past.

Fossilized tree trunks in Lesbos' Petrified Forest under the Greek sky.
Fossilized tree trunks in Lesbos’ Petrified Forest under the Greek sky.

This UNESCO-designated site is coined by some as “the Pompeii of the plant world”. The Greek state declared the ancient forest a Protected Natural Monument in 1985, ensuring its wonders are preserved for all to explore. The multi-colored petrified trees and the surrounding landscape of volcanic landforms creates a truly unique and mesmerizing scenery.

Central to learning more about this UNESCO-protected site is to stop off at the Petrified Forest’s Natural History Museum. One of the best places to visit in Lesbos, the museum is constructed around ancient fossilized tree trunks. Offering impressive exhibitions of petrified artifacts and diverse species of flora and fauna, showcasing Lesbos’ enthralling geological history.

2. Explore the Castle Town of Molyvos

Exploring the charming cobblestone streets of Molyvos.
Exploring the charming cobblestone streets of Molyvos.

Molyvos, also known as Mythimna, is crowned by a majestic medieval castle that offers panoramic views of the Aegean Sea. It’s a charming town that retains authentic Greek charm. This makes it clear why it’s one of the best places to visit in Lesbos. 

Constructed during the Byzantine period in 1373, Molyvos Castle was a defensive stronghold against attacks from the Turkish city of Smyrna. It overlooks the harbor and offers spectacular views of the town and across the Aegean. The medieval fortress is one of the best places to visit in Lesbos, as is the charming town of Molyvos itself. 

The structure and style of the town have remained unchanged over the course of centuries. It offers a unique opportunity to gaze at Anatolian-style mansions with brightly decorated entrances. Stroll amongst cobblestoned alleyways and discover its array of Turkish fountains. 

Molyvos is not just about the past, though. It’s a lively town with a vibrant cultural scene. If you’re a music lover, one of the best things to do in Lesbos is to discover The Molyvos International Music Festival. Held every summer, the festival attracts musicians from around the world, filling the streets with the sound of music. The town is also known for its excellent restaurants. It’s here where you can sample local delicacies like grilled sardines and ouzo.

3. Sample Lesbos’ world-renowned Ouzo

One of the best things to do in Lesbos is to taste Greece’s most beloved spirit – ouzo. In fact, the island of Lesbos is responsible for 50% of Greece’s ouzo production. As such, it’s quality and reputation are second to none. 

To truly experience the birthplace of the spirit, take a trip to the ouzo capital of Greece, Plomari. Here, production of ouzo began in the 19th century, when merchants settled and produced the anise-scented liquor in copper barrels. Families would differentiate their ouzo by curating secret and individual blends of herbs and spices, producing an array of subtle differences in its distinctive licorice flavor. 

Plomari's Isidoros Arvanitis distillery is renowned for ouzo production.
Plomari’s Isidoros Arvanitis distillery is renowned for ouzo production.

Make sure to visit the historic Plomari Ouzo Distillery to learn about the production process, discover the secret behind its individual taste, and sample different varieties of ouzo to your heart’s content. 

Whether you’re an ouzo aficionado or a curious traveler, a visit to the ouzo distilleries of Plomari is a fascinating and enjoyable experience. It’s truly one that you should not miss on your next trip to Lesbos.

4. Bask in the Beauty of Lesbos’ Beaches:

Acclaimed for its charming beaches, Lesbos is a paradise for those seeking tranquillity, watersports, or purely an idyllic setting to soak up the Mediterranean sun. Whilst there are many to explore, the glimmering shores of Petra Beach on the northern tip of the island offer pristine white sands and crystal-clear waters. This provides a perfect location for families and couples alike. As such, this thing to do in Lesbos should not be missed!

For those seeking true serenity, head to Agios Stefanos Beach located a stone’s throw from the village of Madamados. Surrounded by olive trees and luscious vegetation, the beach remains unspoiled, free of sunbeds and umbrellas, with local eateries serving fresh Gigantes in close proximity following a refreshing swim. 

With their shimmering sand and refreshing blue waters, spending time at one of the island’s enchanting beaches is unquestionably one of the best things to do in Lesbos.

Pristine and sun-kissed beaches of Lesbos, Greece.
Pristine and sun-kissed beaches of Lesbos, Greece.

5. Visit the quaint capital of Mytilene 

If you’re looking for authentic places to visit in Greece, then look no further than Mytilene. The artistic and picturesque waterfront capital of Lesbos consists of quaint suburbs and streets filled with local tavernas, stone-built houses, and marvelous churches, with verdant hills to the north and the shores of Turkey to the south. 

Aside from its rich history, Mytilene provides an excellent base for tranquil getaways, with a strong variety of restaurants and white sand beaches just a stone’s throw away. Its narrow alleyways are a hive of activity from dawn till dusk, with numerous local bars and tavernas serving mouth-watering fresh fish throughout the day. 

History lovers should take time to explore Mytilene’s castle, one of the largest strongholds in the Mediterranean, possessing breathtaking views at its summit. Constructed on the ruins of an ancient Greek acropolis, its impressive structure showcases the island’s diverse cultural influences throughout history. Discover its Byzantine cistern, Islamic monastery, and Ottoman Hammam for a glimpse into Lesbos’ captivating past.

Mytilene truly offers something for everyone and showcases authentic Greece. This makes it one of the best places to visit in Lesbos.

The vibrant and historic Mytilene, Greece.
The vibrant and historic Mytilene, Greece.

6. Birdwatch at the Kalloni Wetlands

If you’re a nature enthusiast, the Kalloni Wetlands in Lesbos, Greece, is a destination that should be on your radar. This expansive wetland area, located near the town of Kalloni, is a haven for birdwatchers. It’s also a testament to the island’s rich biodiversity

Listed amongst Europe’s top ten most important habitats for avian diversity and scarcity, Lesbos’ Kalloni wetlands are home to over 60 species of aquatic birds. It’s also home to over 3,000 flamingos that reside within the wetlands throughout the year. 

Derived from the ancient Greek word “kallos”, meaning beauty, and “kallo-gea”, defined as ‘good earth’, the Kalloni wetlands attract thousands of birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts all-year round. As such, it’s remaining one of the most important wetlands in Europe. 

A haven for migratory birds, including falcons, herons, harriers, and buzzards, this impressive bay provides for spectacular viewing of unique bird species and diverse wildlife. This makes it one of the best things to do in Lesbos for nature lovers. 

So, pack your binoculars and get ready to explore the Kalloni Wetlands. It’s an experience that will leave you with a deeper appreciation for nature’s wonders.

7. Discover the Roman Aqueduct of Moria

Nestled in the hills above Mytilene, this ancient engineering marvel once spanned a distance of 26 kilometers. It provided a pivotal function by delivering water from the springs of Mount Olympos to the ancient city below. 

Construction of the aqueduct dates back to the third century, its arches partly produced with local marble. Take in the beauty of its remaining arches and imagine the ingenuity of the Romans who constructed this spectacular structure. The Roman Aqueduct of Moria is one of the best places to visit in Lesbos, and one I recommend everyone visiting the island to explore. 

The ancient Roman Aqueduct is a remarkable architectural feat.
The ancient Roman Aqueduct is a remarkable architectural feat.

8. Learn Lesbos’ past at the New Archaeological Museum

If you’re a history lover looking for things to do in Lesbos, look no further than the New Archaeological Museum. Located in Mytilene and spanning two buildings, the New Archaeological Museum offers an in-depth exploration of Lesbos’ rich heritage.

Displaying findings from Ancient and Roman times, exhibitions include marble statues, jewelry, tombstones, ceramics, and ancient artifacts, shedding light on what life was like on the island in historical times. 

A visit to the museum is sure to leave all travelers with a deeper understanding of the island’s cultural significance.

9. Visit the Ancient Theatre of Mytilene 

If you’re a history buff looking for things to do in Lesbos, The Ancient Theatre of Mytilene is one of the best places to visit in Lesbos, Greece. This impressive archaeological site, located in the island’s capital, Mytilene, offers a fascinating glimpse into the island’s ancient past.

Built during the Hellenistic period, the theatre was once one of the largest in Greece. Its capacity was up to 10,000 spectators. Today, you can still see the remains of the orchestra, the stage, and the seating area. Each offers a testament to the grandeur of the ancient structure.

The theatre is still used today for concerts and performances, bringing a touch of the ancient world to modern cultural events. Imagine watching a play or a musical performance in the same place where audiences gathered over two thousand years ago!

So, take a step back in time and experience the magic of The Ancient Theatre of Mytilene. It’s an experience that will leave you with a deeper appreciation for the rich history and culture of Lesbos, Greece.

10. Relax at the Hot Springs

Searching for relaxing things to do in Lesbos? Look no further! Whilst it might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Greek islands, Lesbos is home to numerous hot springs, offering visitors a unique blend of relaxation, healing, and wellness. 

The hot springs, with their mineral-rich waters, are believed to have healing properties. Whether you’re seeking relief from aches and pains, or skin ailments, or just looking for a relaxing soak, Lesbos’ hot springs are the perfect remedy.

One of the most popular hot springs is located in the village of Eftalou. Here, you can soak in the warm waters while enjoying stunning views of the Aegean Sea. Another notable hot spring is in Thermi, where the waters are known for their high mineral content.

So, why not add a spa day to your Lesbos itinerary? A visit to the hot springs is not just a chance to relax and unwind, but also an opportunity to experience a centuries-old tradition of natural healing.

11. Discover historical art at the Theophilos Museum

The Theophilos Museum is one of the best things to do in Lesbos
Unique folk art at Theophilos Museum.

Theophilos Chatzimichael was born in 1873 in the village of Vareia in Lesbos. A keen artist, his works were often expressive and color-filled, his paintings becoming increasingly challenging to find today with the values of his art reaching all-time highs. 

Theophilos enjoyed painting on buildings across Lesbos island, in particular the town of Mytilini, his works were found on doors, windows, houses, and shopfronts. Today, a museum dedicated to his works lies in Mytilini, presenting travelers with an opportunity to view his rare – and cherished – artwork. Don’t miss the hollowed-out tree where Theophilus resided during his residence in Lesbos. 

Theophilos Museum is home to distinctive Greek folk art.
Theophilos Museum is home to distinctive Greek folk art.

12. Visit the Gulf of Gera

If you’re looking for relaxing things to do in Lesbos, look no further than the Gulf of Gera. The Gulf of Gera, also known as the Bay of Gera, is a beautiful and tranquil area that’s perfect for those seeking a peaceful retreat. The gulf is surrounded by lush green hills. It’s also dotted with charming villages, olive groves, and beautiful beaches.

One of the highlights of the Gulf of Gera is the Loutra village, known for its thermal springs. The hot mineral waters, rich in healing properties, are a great way to relax and rejuvenate. The village also has a beautiful beach where you can enjoy a swim in the clear waters of the gulf.

The Gulf of Gera is also a great place for outdoor activities. You can explore the area by bike or on foot, go fishing, or take a boat trip around the gulf. The wetlands around the gulf are a haven for birdwatchers, with many species of birds to spot.

With its natural beauty and relaxing atmosphere, the Gulf of Gera is one of the best places to visit in Lesbos. It offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Best Things to Do in Lesbos

Looking for more information on the best things to do in Lesbos, Greece? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Lesbos:

What are the top tourist attractions in Lesbos, Greece?

The top tourist attractions in Lesbos include the picturesque towns of Molyvos and Petra, the Petrified Forest of Lesbos, the Monastery of Saint Raphael, and the ouzo distilleries of Plomari.

What is the best time of year to visit Lesbos?

The best time to visit Lesbos is from late spring to early fall when the weather is warm and sunny. However, the island has a mild climate year-round, making it a great destination any time of the year.

What is tourism like on the island of Lesvos?

Lesvos, also known as Lesbos, is a Greek island that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and traditional charm. Here’s an overview of tourism on the island:

  • Natural Beauty: Lesvos is known for its beautiful beaches, unspoiled landscapes, and vast wildlife. The island’s Mediterranean climate, rich flora and fauna, and natural springs make it a haven for nature enthusiasts.
  • Cultural and Historical Significance: The island has a great mythological history and is the birthplace of many famous personalities. It boasts picturesque villages like Molyvos, Petra, Kalloni, Skala Sykamias, and Mytilene, each offering a glimpse into the island’s rich history and traditions.
  • Attractions: Some of the popular attractions on the island include the Petrified Forest of Lesbos, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and The Museum of Industrial Olive-Oil Production of Lesvos. The island is also home to castles, noble mansions, and olive groves.
  • Cuisine: Lesvos is famous as the home of ouzo, a popular Greek alcoholic beverage. The island’s cuisine is a delightful blend of traditional Greek flavors, fresh seafood, and locally produced olive oil.
  • Tourist Hotspots: The towns of Mytilene and Molyvos are among the main tourist drags on the island. Mytilene, the capital, offers a mix of modern amenities and historical sites, while Molyvos is renowned for its medieval castle and charming streets.
  • Beaches: Lesvos offers a variety of beaches, from sandy shores to pebbled coves. The clear blue waters of the Aegean Sea provide a perfect setting for relaxation and water sports.
  • Proximity to Turkey: Located just 6 miles west of Turkey, Lesvos is strategically positioned, making it a significant point of interest for travelers exploring the region.

In summary, Lesvos is a destination that offers a mix of natural wonders, historical sites, and traditional Greek experiences.

What are the best beaches in Lesbos?

Lesbos is home to many beautiful beaches. Some of the best include the beaches of Molyvos, Petra, Skala Eressos, and Plomari.

What local dishes should I try in Lesbos?

Local dishes to try in Lesbos include grilled sardines, local cheeses, and ouzo, a traditional Greek spirit.

What are some historical sites to visit in Lesbos?

Historical sites to visit in Lesbos include the Castle of Mytilene, the ancient city of Eressos, and the Monastery of Saint Raphael.

Explore the diverse beauty and culture of Lesbos, Greece.
Explore the diverse beauty and culture of Lesbos, Greece.

Wrapping Up Your Lesbos Itinerary

Lesbos’ captivating charm, rich history, and picture-perfect landscapes offer a truly authentic Greek experience, undisturbed by mass tourism development. From exploring medieval castles to wandering the petrified forest, the island of Lesbos is one of the best places to visit in Greece.

Whether you’re dreaming of a relaxing beach getaway or a cultural adventure, Lesbos is certain to captivate you with its timeless beauty, warm local hospitality, and fresh flavors from the Mediterranean. From the charming cobblestone streets of Molyvos to the awe-inspiring Petrified Forest, from the serene beauty of the Monastery of Saint Raphael to the lively atmosphere of Skala Eressos, there are a wealth of things to do in Lesbos that promise an unforgettable vacation. 

So why wait? Plan your visit to this hidden Aegean gem and immerse yourself in the wonders of Lesbos Island.

This traditional village is one of the coolest things to do in Lesbos.
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