On our previous visit to Lesvos, in the 80's, we had not found Gavathas particularly exciting. On this visit, we found a pretty coastal village with a very pleasant beach and a little harbour. Unfortunately, we didn't find anywhere for a drink but at least we had our own supply for such emergencies!
Bulidings here are a mixture of the old with the newand the whole place appeared to be very much closed up, as on our previous visit.
The harbour is pretty enough and we particularly liked the blue building in the photo.We chose to have our picnic lunch on a seat under a tree on the beach. The beach was large but again, like so many beaches, dried seaweed forms much of the beach, especially in and by the sea.
One sight that sticks in my memory was of a tank on a hillside at Gavathas, pointing at a church!
I expect this place may come alive in August for a few weeks.
We took the time to have a leisurely wander round the tiny village of Petri, perched high above Petra. These two places are worlds apart!!
Park in the small parking area as you arrive at Petri and head up the hill, past the first taverna. Wander along the small streets and paths and admire the beautiful houses, from simple to lavish. Everything is so clean and tidy and with friendly locals to create the picture, you can't go far wrong.
We called at the Cockerel Taverna, which also seems to be called Taverna Petri, in the heart of the village, where we were welcomed and complimented on our Greek! The other obvious taverna is at the beginning of the village, commanding magnificent views down to Petra.
Most people who visit this village are on foot. It is a great centre for walking and a trail passes through here to the old water mills of the area.
This was the first "off the beaten track" beach we visited on Lesvos, this year. When you finally arrive after travelling a fairly newly surfaced road, you are met by the end of the road on the beach and little room to park. You then have to do a ten point turn to be sure you are facing the right way to get out again!! Once you have managed to park, you are faced with a glorious sand beach with nothing else apart from the odd beach house and a taverna midway along the beach. I am unsure how you get to this by car, it certainly wasn't from the beach. There were two other couples on the beach, miles away and a couple at the taverna.
Being early in the season, there were drifts of dried seaweed on the beach and in the water but this soon gave way to soft sand. The water shelves quite steeply, making for a glorious morning swim.
While we were there, a man on a donkey arrived and walked along the beach and a couple of Greek women in a battered car, who weren't in the slightest concerned about parking sensibly or even being able to get back out onto the road. Someone was bound to come and park in front of them, blocking their way out. Still, they weren't concerned and it wasn't our problem!
This lovely beach can be reached from either Skoutaros or just west of Anaxos. The route in from Skoutaros looked more minor than the road we took west of Anaxos.
Adviseable if in a car to get there early to park.
This is a small, Greek resort/town/ fishing harbour on the narrow part of the south west of the Gulf of Gera.The long, straight road down from Skopelos is 4.9 kms.
We found this a strange place yet it had a kind of attrictiveness to it. The whole place seemed to be falling into ruin, with many old, derelict factories (ouzo?) and crumbling buildings set amongst the odd, abandoned skeleton of a new building.Around the harbour are an abundance of eateries, ranging in attractiveness.
There is an hourly passenger boat ferry from here to Koundouroudia, across the Gulf. From here, you can pick a bus up to take you into the capital of the island, Mitilene.
Apparently this is a popular service with the Greeks who come over to eat at the many tavernas in Perama.
There is a pleasant harbour area and a beach. The coast road runs north along here, with a smattering of little harbours with attendant tavernas, to join the main road close to the head of the Gera Gulf. It continues southwards to Pyrgi. It is a busy road and because it is flat,traffic travels fast, so be warned. We sat on a seat by the beach to have our picnic lunch and no sooner had I changed into my bikini for a swim than I think the whole male population went past in some form of vehicle or other!!! Although the beach is extremely narrow, it was one odf the best swims of the holiday, as it was sand under- foot all the way.
As we passed a modern road bridge, after the head of the Gulf of Kalloni, we noticed people had stopped and were peering into the water. We drove on but upon our return, when the place was empty, we stopped to see what the fuss was about.
This is a beautiful piece of woodland, I think where the River Vouvari? passes through and under said bridge and there are numerous woodland trails starting from around here.
Peering into the river, we soon saw what all the fuss was about. The river was teeming with terrapins!! All shapes and sizes, some sunbathing on logs, others swimming around. more snoozing on the river banks. Oh, this was amazing. I couldn't stop taking photos or video. These almost pre-historic creatures are so comical, especially as they come to the surface and all you can see are their necks and funny little heads gliding through the water. If you have some bread on you, feed the little darlings,they go mad for bread but the fish are usually too fast for them.
This is a spectacle not to be missed but be careful what you photograph around this area as there is a strong military presence.
One day, we decided to wander around the old village of Vafios, perched way above Molyvos and Petra. In order to do this we parked our car at the bottom of the VERY steep, cobbled street that climbed up to the village. Wow, that was a hard pull when we hadn't been expecting it!
The street winds around and leads eventually onto a level part with three or four closed cafeneons (would love to have visited when open) and the whole village consists of both old and newer houses, all in beautiful condition, with some extremely wealthy looking property. The streets are all very narrow and I wouldn't have believed you could actually get vehicles along most of them but as this was Greece, of course the locals drove through.
The views, not unnaturally, are superb.
We stopped off at the Vafios taverna, back on the main road, which has an extensive menu and is rated as one of the best places to eat on the island.The food prices didn't appear to be anything out of the ordinary but the drinks prices did. We paid a little over the odds for a beer, €2.80. In hind sight, I wish we had tried the place lower down, called an ouzerie/estiotorion.
This is a very wild beach on the north coast of Lesvos. It remains quiet, probably even in peak season, due to the access roads being rather tricky and confusing!!
After calling in at Gavathas, we thought we'd press on to Kampos beach. There are supposedly three routes (all dirt tracks) from the Antissa/Gavathas road, I'm really not sure which one we took but I know we ended up on some dreadful road that in actual fact was a dry, concrete river bed. Strangely, there are a couple of tavernas opposite each other out of the river bed.There were so many roads off we got completely disorientated but somehow, we eventually ended up on the back shore of what we presumed to be Kampos beach. There was a sort of wooden shelter/garage with a hire car in it (no sign of it's occupants) and this spectacularly long, wild beach. I think it was sand mixed with stone, if I remember rightly. It was blowing a gale so not swimming weather.
The road on the map shows it heading to the eastern end of the beach, but we didn't find this route. This should have taken us to the ruins of Ancient Antissa and I think, Antissa beach. The whole area is difficult to navigate, owing to the high vegetation growing at either side of the river beds. It's major farm and garden land with orchards and olive groves and is extremely lush.We ended up following yet more river bed and eventually hit the more major route, after a spectacular drop onto the road. Quite hairy, really!!
If we had had a four wheel drive, this would have allowed us to explore much more of this area. There are so many dirt tracks heading off to the coast, all round the island, that it really must pay to have a suitable vehicle to enable you to try them.
Now this took some finding!! It is not far from Aghia Paraskevi and we thought we would attempt a short cut on a dirt track off the Molyvos to Kalloni road. This turned out to be a mistake, as after a couple of kms. the road became too rough and we didn't want to run the risk of damaging the hire car. So, it was the long way round, travelling to Kalloni and and beyond.
We stopped off in Aghia Paraskevi for a drink, a bustling, all Greek town with the usual chaotic streets.We parked in the car park and found ourselves a street taverna. We got chatting to a young Dutch couple who were staying in Molyvos and touring round. They had just been to see Kremasti Bridge so gave us directions. A beer here cost €2 but when Nick offered a €20 note, he ended up paying €1.40, that being the only change he had!
Kremasti Bridge is apparently sign posted down a wide dirt track on the outskirts of A. Paraskevi. Whether we missed the turn, I don't know but we took the first left we thought we had seen, unsignposted, which took us in a bout two Kms. to the Bridge. This road was pretty rough in parts so take care. Just as we thought we were on the wrong track, the bridge appeared, in the middle of nowhere.
It was built during the Venetian occupation (1355 - 1402) for the Military to transport supplies to Lepetimnos and also used as an important trade route from Mytiline to the north of Lesvos. The bridge is 8.5 metres high and is built entirely of stone. It is in amazingly good condition, all complete and is still used today! Legend has it that the master builder's wife's body is built into the bridge. I can't say I spotted it!!
The river Tsiknias flows under the bridge and we were thrilled that there was water in it. Guess what we saw? Terrapins and frogs!! Well worth the rough road!! We had the whole place to ourselves and the only sound was the frog chorus and the birdsong. Occasionally the undergrowth rustled as lizards made brief appearances.What a beautiful place.
We had our picnic lunch sat on the bridge, quite tricky walking as the stones were worn smooth and the gradient is fairly pitched!
There are numerous walking trails in this area, with maps and routes on information boards.
If you follow the rough dirt track beyond Eftalou, you eventually come out at Skala Sykaminias. As we were in a hired Fiesta, we were a little unsure about this drive, it being our first minor road of the holiday. It turned out to be ok, just some parts are worse than others and we took it fairly slowly. The biggest problem on these roads is obviously the weather, especially the rain which tends to come down monsoon- like and wash away much of them.
It is a very scenic route, with green meadows full of wild flowers, in May. This is farmland, very much evident from some of the smells we passed!!
There is a rustic country taverna along here, probably closer to the Skala Sykaminias end, which looked very enticing. We were short of time and vowed we would return to sample whatever the taverna had to offer. Unfortunately, that never happened, it was too far and rough to travel at night for a meal and we simply never took this road again.I have heard great reports on the place, however. Again, this is another reason we shall have to return!!
Finally, the road runs along the narrow shore running into S. Sykaminias proper. This bit is quite narrow so take care.
Unfortunately we chose to visit here on a Sunday when the world and his wife were also there! This was such a shock, after having many places all to ourselves, all the locals were here!!
It is a lovely beach, however, pinkish soft sand backed by a few tavernas. There is a decent parking area, as there would be being so popular and showers and changing rooms on the beach.
We had a drink at a taverna here where an English family were eating. Strangely, the Amstel was €2.51!!
The best thing about Tsonia is the other end of the bay where there is a tiny harbour and the beach curves round emptily. We took the long dirt track here (as there is no road along the beach) that wound it's way inland for what seemed like miles,through lush countryside before finally arriving at the harbour. There wasn't a soul here so I took the opportunity to have a quick dip as it was rather hot by now.
The bad thing about Tsonia is that you have to decend extremely steeply through the centre of the village of Klio to get there. Believe you me, it is steep, especially on the way back, and it's cobbled and narrow. Thank goodness we didn't meet anyone on either our decent or ascent. Could have been an interesting hill start!!The road beyond Klio, although shown as a dirt track on the Road Editions map, is newly surfaced. There had to be some compensation for the drive through the village!
This was one of our earlier trips out and we headed off on a dirt track for Geni Limani. It was a long, rough road but we made it to Limani, but not quite to the beach at Langada. The track to the shore looked just a tad too narrow and rough for our little Fiesta so we made the most of Limani. A delightful little place with a narrow beach almost up to the road and a pretrty little harbour.
We whiled away half an hour or so over an Amstel at the taverna that was open here. What a lovely little place it was, with it's blue wooden furniture and it's collection of friendly cats. It was so peaceful here, we fell in love with the place.Again, we were fooled into thinking the beer would be at the bottom end of the price range. Wrong, it was the usual €2.50!!!
I have to admit, a lot of these places run into each other in my memories. Skamnioudi is another of those long,narrow beaches with a small harbour, on the south side of the Gulf of Kalloni. There were at least two tavernas and they were open, but we were not hungry, unfortunately. It seems such a shame we discoverd all these off the beaten track places with tavernas and rarely felt like eating.
It was fairly picturesque and a pleasant enough seaside place but nothing spactacular. I do remember it's in a very green landscape, fields and rich vegetation all around.
This was undoubtedly the best beach we found on Lesvos. It is just a few kilometres east of Tavari, along a bumpy unsurfaced road. We did wonder whether to turn back a few times but pressed on. We were very glad we did, we were rewarded with a magnificent sandy cove backed by trees. There were even toilets, changing rooms and a shower here!! The place was deserted although there were a couple of large tents under the trees, the occupants were undoubtedly not at home.
We had our lunch on the wooden floor of a non existent snack van,in the middle of the beach, which obviously puts in an appearance in the peak summer weeks. It was great, there were two chairs to sit on and we appreciated the seaview from the luxury of our "borrowed" chairs. Later, the beach was mobbed by one local lad on a motorbike who came for a sunbathe and a dip. He obviously appreciated the beauty and solitude Podaras had to offer.
The area is surrounded by rich vegetation and there is a river running into the sea which you cross by a small bridge. Naturally we looked for terrapins and we were not disappointed.
This place is sheer bliss.
This lovely beach is south of Mesatopos, of which you have to naturally drive though to get there, but it is not as hairy driving as through most villages!
Tavari is almost on a grid layout, being quite a modern coastal village. It has a harbour with a closed cafeneon (pity as there were some tiny kittens here), a sandy, curving beach and a few tavernas behind. We found the place not unattractive and I had a quick dip, in the shallow waters and stopped for a beer.There was a menu board offering food but we weren't hungry enough for a meal and anyway, we had a basic picnic with us. A Mythos was €2 so once again, this was a cheaper part of the island. There were a couple of foreign women eating here so there were signs of visitors! I suspect this was another place that only really "happened" in peak season and only for a few short weeks.
Tavari's location, in the far west means the surrounding landscape is fairly barren.
Driving back through the village after we had been further along the coast turned into a nightmare as major works were just happening and all the roads had been concreted but hadn't been joined together so at the end of them all, to join another road there were huge drops. All the manholes were left sticking up above the road surface as well so it took us a while to battle our way back out of the village!! Typically Greek, of course.
I noticed to the west side of the bay a very large, modern house with walls all round. Who owned this, I wonder?
We will return....
What a find this little place was! I had read about Melinda and really wanted to have a look so off we set, knowing it would be a long journey from Molyvos.
It is a beautiful white pebbly beach with a huge rock sticking out of the water, almost on the shore. There are two or three tavernas, difficult to find in a car and parking is not at a premium. Make the effort and enjoy a drink at one of them, looking out over the pretty beach. The Taverna Melinda we chose was at the end of a road and had some Greeks eating and drinking, it was the weekend after all. We just had a Mythos which was€2. Now that's more like it. There appeared to be some very basic rooms for rent here, as well as others in the little "resort."
I fell in love with the place and would definitely return here.
Amazingly, Melinda remains very low key, considering it is only 6kms. from Plomari, along a good surfaced road. I believe it is popular in peak season with the locals and I can well believe it.
There are two routes in to Melinda, from Plomari or from the north, through a very twisting but beautiful route from the main road north and heading down through the hectic town of Paleochori. This was one of those typical Lesvian villages with the road through the town disappearing into a cobbled donkey track, blind corners with old men sitting on street corners waiting to get their feet run over and sheer chaos for the novice driver on Lesvos! Once again, it looked a delightful place but our nerves were shot by the time we had cleared the town!