Lesbos Travel Guide for 2024

Written by James
 Last updated: February 11, 2024

Welcome to Lesbos, a captivating island in the Aegean Sea and a paradise of natural beauty, cultural richness, and historical significance.

As the third-largest Greek island, Lesbos, also known as Lesvos, is a treasure trove of unique experiences waiting to be discovered. 

From the ancient petrified forest to the charming village of Molyvos, let's embark on this exciting journey and explore the wonders of this beautiful island in the North Aegean.

Why visit Lesbos?

Lesbos is a captivating island with a unique blend of lush natural island beauty, rich Greek history, and vibrant culture. Here are some of our favourite things about Lesbos that keep us wanting to plan our next trip;

  1. Natural Beauty: With its stunning beaches, lush olive groves that cover 40% of the island, and the fascinating Petrified Forest, a UNESCO Geopark, Lesbos is a haven for nature lovers.
  2. Historical Significance: The island's rich history, dating back to ancient times, is evident in its numerous archaeological sites and historical landmarks.
  3. Cultural Richness: Experience the vibrant local culture through traditional music, dance, and festivals that are a testament to the island's rich heritage.
  4. Delicious Cuisine: Savor the taste of local delicacies like ouzo and sardines, and discover why Greek cuisine is celebrated worldwide.
  5. Friendly Locals: The people of Lesbos are known for their hospitality and friendliness, adding a warm and welcoming touch to your visit.

Reasons to Love Lesbos

There are countless reasons to fall in love with Lesbos. Here are just a few:

  1. Molyvos: This medieval town, with its impressive castle and stunning views of the Aegean Sea, is a sight to behold.
  2. Mytilene: As the capital and largest city of Lesbos, Mytilene is a cultural hub boasting an ancient theatre, Ottoman baths, and neoclassical buildings.
  3. Petrified Forest: This natural monument, a testament to the island's ancient geological history, is a unique attraction not to be missed.
  4. Ouzo: Lesbos is famous for its ouzo, a traditional Greek spirit that's a must-try for any visitor.
  5. Beaches: The island's beautiful beaches, perfect for relaxation and water sports, are some of the best in Greece.

Where to go & what to do

There's plenty to do in Lesbos. Here are some suggestions:

The Vibrant Mytilene

Mytilene, the capital and largest town of Lesbos, is absolutely worth a visit. It's a bustling hub of activity with impressive buildings lining the waterfront. The Franko-Byzantine castle is a must-see, offering a glimpse into the island's rich history. 

Insider tip: Don't miss the chance to explore the ancient theatre and Ottoman baths for a deeper dive into the town's past.

The Medieval Charm of Molyvos

Molyvos, with its picturesque cobblestone streets and an impressive castle, is a town that might steal your heart. This medieval fortress town rivals the most beautiful in Europe and offers a unique, authentic Greek experience. 

Insider tip: Take a leisurely stroll through the lanes to the castle for a truly immersive experience.

The Petrified Forest of Lesbos

The Petrified Forest of Lesbos is a natural wonder not to be missed. It's one of the few places in the world where you can see trees lying where they fell millions of years ago. Insider tip: Be sure to bring your camera, as the forest offers some truly unique photo opportunities.

The Ouzo Tradition of Plomari

Plomari is famous for its ouzo, a traditional Greek spirit. A visit to one of the local distilleries is a must for any food and drink enthusiast. 

Insider tip: Pair your ouzo tasting with local delicacies for a truly Greek experience.

The Therapeutic Springs of Eftalous

Finally, unwind at the Eftalou thermal springs. The thermal springs of Eftalous are renowned for their therapeutic properties, so whether you're looking for a relaxing experience or hoping to reap the health benefits, these hot springs are a must-visit. 

Insider tip: Don't forget your swimsuit; be prepared for the hottest hot springs you've ever been in! Visit in the late afternoon for a relaxing end to a day of exploration.

Kalloni Wetlands: A Birdwatcher's Paradise

The Kalloni wetlands are a haven for birdwatchers, with more than 252 species finding refuge there. It's among Europe's ten most essential habitats for avian diversity and rarity. 

Insider tip: bring a pair of binoculars and a bird guide to make the most of your visit.

Local foods to try

When in Lesbos, make sure to try these local delicacies:

  1. Ouzo: This anise-flavoured spirit is a local favourite and a must-try for any visitor.
  2. Sardines: Lesbos is famous for its delicious sardines, often served grilled with a squeeze of fresh lemon.
  3. Olive Oil: The island is known for its high-quality olive oil, a staple of Greek cuisine.
  4. Local Cheeses: Try ladotyri, a local cheese matured in olive oil, for an authentic taste of Lesbos.

Souvenirs to buy

When it comes to souvenirs, Lesbos offers a variety of local products that make for perfect gifts or souvenirs:

  1. Ouzo: A bottle of local ouzo is a great keepsake to remind you of your trip.
  2. Olive Oil: Lesbos produces some of the finest olive oil in Greece, making it a perfect gift for food lovers.
  3. Local Crafts: Handmade crafts, such as pottery and textiles, are a great way to support local artisans.
  4. Local Honey: Lesbos is known for its delicious honey, a sweet souvenir for loved ones back home.
  5. Local Wines: The island produces some excellent wines, perfect for the wine connoisseurs in your life.

Flights to Lesbos

Where to stay

Is Lesbos expensive?

Accommodation, dining, and activities can suit a range of budgets. As with any travel destination, the cost of a trip to Lesbos can vary greatly depending on your travel style and preferences. However, compared to other famous Greek islands, Lesbos is generally more affordable.

Lesbos weather

Lesbos enjoys a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. The best time to visit is typically between May and October when the weather is warm and sunny, perfect for beach-going and outdoor activities.

Helpful recommendations

  1. Local Transport: Consider renting a car or a scooter to explore the island at your own pace.
  2. Local Customs: Respect local customs and traditions, especially when visiting religious sites.
  3. Stay Hydrated: The Greek sun can be intense, especially in summer, so remember to stay hydrated.
  4. Try Local Cuisine: Don't miss the chance to try local dishes and products, such as ouzo and olive oil.
  5. Respect the Environment: Lesbos is known for its natural beauty, so be sure to respect the environment during your visit.

Nearby locations

If you have time, consider visiting some of these nearby locations:

  1. Chios: This nearby island is known for its medieval villages and mastic production. A short ferry ride from Lesbos, it's a great day trip option.
  2. Ayvalik: This charming Turkish town is across the Aegean Sea and can be reached by a short ferry ride. It's known for its beautiful old houses and excellent seafood.
  3. Izmir: Although a bit further, this vibrant Turkish city is worth a visit for its rich history and culture. It's accessible by a longer ferry ride or a short flight.
  4. Samos: Another nearby Greek island, Samos, is known for its wine production and beautiful beaches. It's a bit further away but can be reached by ferry.
  5. Lemnos: This Greek island is located north of Lesbos and is known for its beautiful beaches and ancient ruins. It's an excellent option for a multi-island trip.

Lesbos is a destination that offers something for everyone. From its stunning natural beauty to its rich history and culture, this Greek island promises a travel experience you will never forget.

Whether you're exploring the charming streets of Mytilene, tasting local delicacies, or simply relaxing on one of the island's beautiful beaches, you're sure to fall in love with Lesbos.

So why wait? Start planning your trip to this fantastic destination today!

Lesbos Weather

Lesbos boasts a Mediterranean climate with warm, sunny summers and mild, rainy winters. The sunniest months are July and August with virtually no rain, while the warmest months for swimming are also July and August when the sea temperature peaks. The rainiest months are January and February.

JAN

10.4°C / 50.7°F

8 days rain

FEB

11.9°C / 53.4°F

5 days rain

MAR

14.2°C / 57.6°F

5 days rain

APR

18.9°C / 66°F

4 days rain

MAY

23.6°C / 74.5°F

3 days rain

JUN

28.7°C / 83.7°F

1 days rain

JUL

31.2°C / 88.2°F

0 days rain

AUG

31.7°C / 89.1°F

0 days rain

SEP

27.2°C / 81°F

1 days rain

OCT

21.6°C / 70.9°F

3 days rain

NOV

16.9°C / 62.4°F

4 days rain

DEC

12.3°C / 54.1°F

5 days rain

Best time to visit Lesbos

The best time to visit Lesbos depends on your preferences. If you're a sun-seeker or a swimmer, the warm, sunny months of July and August are perfect. However, if you prefer milder temperatures and fewer crowds, the shoulder months of May, June, September, and October offer pleasant weather and lower tourist numbers. For those who don't mind a bit of rain and want to experience Lesbos without the summer tourists, the winter months could be an option.

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