REGION

The Other Side: ÇANAKKALE – ADATEPE – AYVALIK | The Other Side: MYTILENE – LESVOS

 

Lesvos Island

Lesvos Agiassos

The Lesvos Island is the largest island of the North Aegean, which is situated 8.5 km away from the Turkish coast (Ayvalik) and at a significant distance from the mainland of Greece.

The Lesvos Island was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1462 and it remained under Turkish rule until 1912 when it was taken by Greek forces during the First Balkan War.

With the 1923 population exchange, Turkish originated people living in the Lesvos Island moved back to Turkey while Greek people living in Anatolia were moving back to Greece.

Mytilene

Mytilene - Lesvos

Mytilene is the capital of the island of Lesbos. The town of Mytilene, which lies on the South Eastern coast of the island, is a modern town with many elements from the past. It is the chair of the Prefecture of Lesbos; an administrative, commercial and cultural centre with a population of 40.000. Present-day Mytilene occupies seven hills, while its fortress, one of the largest in the Mediterranean, lies on a pine-covered hillock to the east of the town.

The island is forested and mountainous with two large peaks. The island’s volcanic origin is manifested in several hot springs and the two gulfs. The island has a mild Mediterranean climate. The waterfront of the inner port (southern) lends the town its special colour; As the boat approaches the island, a combination of old manor houses and contemporary buildings comes into view. Along the waterfront, visitors come across the Prefecture Municipal Theater (under construction), the Town Hall, the well-restored neo-classical style buildings, as well as banks, hotels, coffee shops, sweet shops, restaurants, travel agencies, shipping company offices etc.

The church of St Therapon stands out among the other buildings with its imposing, elaborate dome, which virtually dominates the port. The waterfront is ideal for a promenade, particularly during the evening.There are 15 primary schools in Mytilene, along with seven lyceums, and eight gymnasiums. There are six university schools with 3671 undergraduates, the largest in the University of the Aegean. The Aegean University has greatly contributed to the regeneration of the city’s social, economic and cultural life.

Mytilene has a port with ferries to the nearby islands of Lemnos and Chios and Ayvalık and at times Dikili in Turkey. The port also serves the mainland cities of Piraeus, Athens and Thessaloniki. The city produces ouzo. There are more than 15 commercial producers on the island. The city exports sardines harvested from the Bay of Kalloni and olive oil and woodwork.

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