I have just returned from a wonderful family holiday on the Greek Island of Lesvos. Lesvos is the third largest of the Greek Island after Crete and Evia and is situated in the northern Aegean Sea off the coast of Turkey. The capital city is Mytilini and it is famous for its Ouzo. Lesvos is virtually unaffected by mass tourism of many other Greek Islands and is the perfect place for people to visit who want to experience the real Greece.
We started our journey travelling on Thomas Cook from Gatwick at 6.40am on Saturday 20th August, the flight was excellent and after three hours we landed in Mytilini Airport. We had booked to stay at the Hotel Anaxos in the small village of Anaxos on the north-eastern coast. The transfer journey took an hour, travelling over the lush green mountains to arrive at our destination. Anaxos is a small seaside resort which is ideal for holidaymakers wishing to stay in a tiny resort. There are several Greek style tavernas and bars and also places to hire cars and motorcycles. The Hotel Anaxos is absolutely superb and highly recommended in the heart of Anaxos. We were welcomed by family owners Efi and Paul and their sons Tony and Frank. We were allocated a lovely room overlooking the pool. All the rooms are large and airy with a small kitchenette including a kettle! The hotel also provides a cocktail bar, lounge and restaurant which serves Greek traditional cuisine and local fish. We tried a few other restaurants in the area and you cannot beat the food and service at Hotel Anaxos!
Many days were spend lazing by the pool relaxing although we did venture out to try the many water sports on Anaxos beach, a mere two minute walk away! Anaxos is also close to the town of Petra which has many shops, bars and restaurants and is either a short ride in a taxi costing €5 or a pleasant 45 minute walk. From Petra you can also catch the land train and venture a bit further to the stunning town of Molyvos.
Molyvos is the tourist capital of Lesvos and definitely worth a visit. A taxi from Anaxos cost us just €11. The town is situated on a small mountain topped by the impressive Castle of Mithymna. The town is built of stone houses and shops which surround the castle and follow the coast to one of the most scenic harbours in Greece. It is a fully working fishing harbour and if you sit in one of the cafes or restaurants in the morning your will see all the fishing boats arriving in and watch as they unload boxes of sardines, mackerel, tuna etc. We visited Molyvos during the day to visit the castle and then again in the evening to have dinner at the harbour.
I would recommend this island to anybody who wants to experience a real Greek holiday. There is an abundance of activities including castles and ancient sites, spas and thermal baths, traditional villages, birdwatching, monasteries and churches and for the more active cycling and hiking trails.
Lesvos was hard hit by the migrant crisis back in the summer of 2015 and the island is still trying to recover. The people of Lesvos helped the refugees, rescuing many from the sea, giving them warm clothes and food and assisting them on their onward journey through northern Europe. The refugees have stopped coming but Lesvos has been badly affected by all the negative media hype. Even the cruise companies have abandoned the island.
Please come to Lesvos and visit what I think is the most beautiful island in Greece, I promise you will not be disappointed.