Lesvos is dotted with gorgeous traditional villages which are definitely worth a visit during your trip to this unique Greek island. Here’s a guide to some of the charming villages of Lesvos which we explored and loved.
The Charming Villages of Lesvos Worth Exploring
The villages of Lesvos are scattered across the island, some can be found higher up in the mountains and others graciously line the coastal area. The few of the villages which we visited have not been touched by time and have maintained their rural, authentic charm.
Situated on the northern side of Lesvos, Molyvos is a melting pot of all the right influences — traditional architecture, stunning views and cultural importance.
This protected settlement sprawls across the landscape, as it sort of hugs the Byzantine castle which dominates the highest point of the town. A highly important city in antiquity, Molyvos has preserved its historical charm.
Here you can admire the gorgeous mansions made of stone and wood, traverse through the picturesque cobblestone alleys shaded by wisteria blooms and bougainvilleas, or simply savour local delights paired with a refreshing glass of ouzo in one of the local taverns by the harbour.
Read more about Molyvos: From Molyvos with Love
The quaint village of Agiassos is situated on the slopes of Mount Olympus, surrounded by a stunning chestnut forest.
The village is also a starting point for numerous hiking routes where visitors can admire unique flora and fauna. The area has been referred to as a botanical paradise as it is home to some of the most impressive and rare species of orchids found in Greece and Europe.
Agiassos is also famous for its pretty ceramics which are displayed in the tiny stores that line the central square of the village. Do stop and enjoy a cup of coffee in one of the local coffee shops known as the kafenio — it will definitely be a highlight of your trip.
Learn more about our hiking experience: Let’s talk about birds, hiking and natural Lesvos
Asomatos is one of the top villages to visit in Lesvos. It is smaller than Agiassos but as equally charming.
It is home to the church of the Taxiarchis which was built in 1796, here you will also find a small folklore museum that houses various items which have been donated by the people of the village. One of the artisan makers in the village is Giorgos Sicomitelli who makes uniquely carved wood creations.
For an ultimate local experience sit down for an ouzo break at Maria and Stratos Kafeneio which is also great for people watching. As we sat and enjoyed a beautiful spread of local delights which included salamoura cheese, salted fish and mashed green pea spread, school children started to arrive in taxis (as we found out this is the only means of transportation due to the small village size — children go to school in another town).
The tiny village of Vatousa is included in the list of the five traditional villages of Lesvos and was first inhabited as early as the 10th century.
It is famous for its two churches “Taxiarchis” and “Kimiseos tis Theotokou”, as well as the Gogos Mansion which houses the local folklore museum.
It is also the birthplace of the Greek movie producer James Paris (Dimitris Paraschakis) who was born in this small village in 1921.
This tiny village seemed almost deserted when we arrived here we didn’t see a soul. Tzithra is home to only about 20 inhabitants or so who are mostly involved in agriculture.
Its landscape is wild and beautiful, dotted with trees and blooming poppies — as we wandered around we came across a cute little goat and a cat that happily posed for our photos.
The small coastal village of Sigri is located on the western tip of Lesvos. Its name comes from the Greek word sigouros meaning safe — this was based on the safety of its harbour.
One of the attractions of the village is the Turkish castle which was built in 1746 during the Ottoman occupation and its remains are still visible to this day.
One of the highlights of Sigri is the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest, that was founded here in 1994. The village is the centre of the protected area of the Petrified Forest which is included Global Geoparks Network of UNESCO.
I highly recommend a visit to the museum where you can learn all about the geological history of the Aegean. Greece was once a united land mass named egida. Twenty million years ago there were four active volcanoes in the area what today is known as Lesvos.
Following volcanic activity over the course of millions of years the forest which once stood here was petrified. The Petrified Forest of Lesvos is a member of the Global Geoparks Network and the European Geoparks Network and has been declared a Protected Natural Monument of Greece in 1985.
Situated at a close distance from Skala Kalloni, to the right-side from the salt pans the small village of Agia Paraskevi is known for The Metochi of Taxiarchis Klopedi, a 16th century monastery which is an important pilgrimage site.
The monastery was founded by St. Ignatius Galliano in the 16th century and is dedicated to the Archangels Michael and Gabriel.
There is a residence priest at the monastery and a museum which houses a collection of historical artefacts.
This authentic village is located in the heart of the island and has been a crossroad for centuries. We stayed in this pretty coastal village during our trip to Lesvos. Skala Kallonis is lined with numerous traditional eateries and is also close to the Lesvos wetlands.
Here you will find a few artisan makers such as the workshop of Takis Psarodelis who has been repairing and making wooden boats for almost 70 years as well as a small wood-fired oven bakery.
One of the most famous villages of Lesvos, Eressos is famous for its ancient residents — Aristotle’s pupil, a philosopher and botanist Theophrastus and the archaic Greek poet Sappho.
We sat down for lunch at Sam’s place located on the village’s main square that serves a selection of local dishes as well as Lebanese specialties.
The beach town of Skala Eressos is one of the most picturesque coastal town on the island of Lesvos. It has a very laid-back vibe and a gorgeous long stretch of beach.
We were here in April which was still before the summer season, but I could already feel the lively vibe of this cool place.
Lined with hip summer bars and fish tavernas, Skala Eressos is an ultimate holiday destination for all ages, families included.
Only one shop was open when we arrived in the afternoon, the lovely owner showed us her gorgeous art creations and artisan souvenirs. She also kindly posed for a photo.
Further down, towards the end of the coastal walk you will come across impressive sculptures dedicated to the famous Sappho known for her lyric poetry. The sunset here was spectacular.
These are just some of the most charming villages of Lesvos, although there are plenty of more to discover. Have you been to Lesvos?