Lesbos is the third largest Greek island, which is the main reason behind its great diversity.
Beautiful cinnamon colored beaches, emerald water, centuries-old castles, picturesque old villages, olive groves and lively coastal towns promise a complete and unforgettable holiday.
Adding the great variety of exciting dive sites, different kinds of museums and delicious traditional meals or drinks, the island is definitely worth visiting.
Here is a list of the 25 best things to do and sea while on this fairy tale Aegean island.
More from Greece:
1. Enjoy the beautiful Skala Eressos beach
With its color of milk and cocoa, Paralia Skala Eressos is a typical local beach.
It is located on the southwest coast of the island of Lesbos and is one of the most attractive places to swim here.
Because of its gentle and warm brownish shades, the beach is often referred to as the “Greek Malibu”.
It is particularly beautiful at sunset, when the sea water turns dark blue and the sand shines like gold.
2. Visit the Mytilene Archaeological Museum
Most people visit Greece because of the combination of stunning beaches and rich culture.
And probably the best way to get to know the place of your choice is to visit as much as possible of the museums in the area.
One of the most recommended museums to visit is the Mytilene Archaeological Museum.
This is the fastest and easiest way to get to know the culture and rich history of Lesbos.
Most of the tourists leave the museum strongly impressed with this extraordinary place.
Of particular interest are the authentic mosaics which have been moved here from the places they were initially found.
3. Visit a 16th century Bizantine monastery
Limonos Monastery (or as they also call it “Agios Ignatios”) is a very beautiful 16th century monastery, which is located in the interior of northern Lesbos.
The first impression of most visitors is that the building looks really huge.
Situated in a really scenic area, this place is a very good choice if you want to see something more than beaches and if you want to find your inner peace.
One or two hours is enough to get to know this lovely place and even to have a cup of coffee in the small restaurant here.
4. Take an unforgettable walk in the village of Molyvos
Located on the northwest coast of the island of Lesbos, the village of Molyvos is definitely the most beautiful and charming settlement here.
This lovely place is well known for its narrow cobbled streets and authentic old houses.
Little craft workshops, traditional local taverns and cozy cafes offer the opportunity to spend a wonderful day here.
When already tired, you can easily find a pleasant shade at some quiet restaurant which is a great way to recharge you energy after the long walk.
5. Spend an entire day in Plomari
Plomari is considered the best place to spend your holiday in Lesbos.
However, if you have already decided to stay in another village on the island, you should definitely spend at least a day in the lively coastal village.
It is located on the southern coast of the island and is a popular tourist destination.
It is famous for its beautiful beaches, its marina and traditional restaurants as well as for its beautiful architecture.
6. Take advantage of the mineral water
The island of Lesbos is famous for its mineral springs, and you should definitely take advantage of some of them while on the island.
They offer a wide range of beneficial properties that can positively influence a number of health conditions.
Effalou Mineral Springs and Yera Thermae are considered the most popular healing springs on the island.
7. Visit the Mithymna fortress
The fortress of Mithymna dominates the landscape of the village of the same name and is one of the top attractions on the northern coast of Lesbos.
The ancient fortress dates back to the 6th century but is actually one of the most well preserved in Greece and in the region of the Mediterranean as a whole.
If you take a short walk to the fortification, you will be able to take amazing pictures.
8. It is a top spot to dive (don’t miss it!)
The island of Lesbos is considered one of the best dive sites in Greece, and the reason is the combination of huge biodiversity and numerous historical artifacts under the smooth sea surface.
We should mention also that the island is known for its large number of places to practice and enjoy your favorite underwater sport.
There are dozens of spots of interest to choose from.
The underwater visibility is excellent and reaches up to 30 meters.
9. Visit the Ouzo Distillery
While most of the other Greek islands are well known and associated with their wonderful wines, Lesbos is rather famous for its top quality ouzo.
The alcoholic drink is considered one of the best in Greece.
Ouzo Plomari Isidoros Arvanitis Distillery is a place that attracts a large number of visitors with the production of the popular traditional product.
Here you can learn a lot about the process of distillation as well as to feel the taste of the real ouzo.
10. Visit the castle of Mytilene
Despite its age, the castle of Mytilene is very well preserved.
The fortification dates from the 6th century, and parts of the enormous stone structure are in surprisingly good shape even today.
It is one of the top places to visit on the island, and the good news is that it is located on the coast of the lively city of Mytilene, which is a popular tourist destination too.
11. See the Greek Statue of Liberty
Few people know that the American Statue of Liberty has its smaller equivalent in Europe.
The Greek Statue of Liberty is erected on the Greek island of Lesbos and is really very similar to the American prototype.
It symbolizes the struggle for independence and liberation from the Ottoman rule.
The statue is 15 meters high along with its marble base. It rises at the entrance of the harbor since the 1930’s.
12. Explore the wonder of the Petrified Forest
Traveling along the west coast of Lesbos, you should definitely stop at the village of Sigri.
Together with some other places of interest in the area, you will find the remains of a unique fossilized forest.
Petrified Forest is under the auspices of UNESCO and is considered the largest phenomenon of its kind in the world.
It was formed about 20 million years ago when, as a result of volcanic eruption, the huge trees in the entire were fossilized forever.
13. Don’t miss St Therapon Church
Saint Therapon is the most beautiful church on the island of Lesbos.
It is located in Mytilene and is very interesting for tourists.
Travelers describe the church as a work of art. Its interior is richly decorated.
Thanks to the colorful stained-glass windows, light comes in different colors in the church.
Typically to the Eastern Orthodoxy, the decoration of the church is very impressive.
Entering into the temple, you instantly feel relaxed and fascinated.
14. Learn more about the olive-oil production
If you want to feel the real cultural heritage of Lesbos Island, the Museum of the Industrial Olive-Oil Production offers a very good opportunity to do that.
It is located in Agia Paraskevi and is housed in an old historical building.
This is a good way to get an idea of how the process of olive oil production looks like, and what usually happens before we buy the healthy and tasty product in the supermarket.
15. Explore the remains of the best preserved amphitheater
If you love to explore the ruins of ancient historical sites, you will find one of them not far from the village of Mytilene, in the eastern part of the island of Lesbos.
It comes to one of the best preserved amphitheatres in the Aegean region.
It is known as the Epidaurus Theater and is highly recommended to visit.
The enormous size of the ancient facility is another interesting feature.
In fact, during the times of exploitation, the theater could comfortably accommodate between 10 and 15 thousand people.
16. Take a long walk to the Klapados Falls
What is a holiday in Lesbos without visiting the popular Klapados Falls?
Considered one of the most attractive natural sites on the island, it is located about 6 km from the northern coast.
But the waterfall itself is not the only reason to take the long walk into the wild.
The route passes through some of the most wonderful olive groves with some of the trees being more than 500 years old.
A few people know but the island is home to more than 11 million olive trees.
17. Kite and windsurfing near Sigry
With its wide cappuccino colored beaches and cobalt blue sea waters, the little fishing village of Sigri is one of the most attractive vacation spots on the coast of Lesbos.
If you love kite or windsurfing, this is the perfect location to enjoy the summer water sport.
Since Sigri is located on the west coast of the island, the sea breeze is usually quite intense here.
However, because of its direction and the topographic features of the area, the sea water here is ideally flat and smooth.
18. The catacombs of Maria Magdalena
In the interior of the southern part of the island of Lesbos, not far from the village of Skopelos, you can visit a place which is of major importance to the Christians around the world.
It comes to a legendary place that is said to be the catacombs of Maria Magdalena.
The area is charged with a strong positive energy and is related to a number of miraculous events.
If you are in Lesbos, it is deeply recommended to visit this place, even if you are not religious or if you belong to another faith.
19. Visit the castle of Sigri
Built by Suleiman Pasha in 1757, the fortress of Sigri is located in the western-most part of the island.
Nowadays, this is one of the top tourist attractions to visit in Lesbos.
Facing the centuries old structure, you will remain speechless to see its solid stone walls.
At the times of its exploitation, the fortification was able to successfully withstand even the most persistent invaders.
Today it is still very well preserved and you can easily get an idea of how it looked centuries ago.
20. Enjoy the Roman aqueduct Moria
If you want to take maximum advantage of a short holiday in Lesbos and to see as much as you can before you go home, the Roman aqueduct Moria is one of the first places to visit.
The ancient structure is situated in a scenic area and is surrounded by thousands of olive trees.
This aqueduct is really huge, and you can get a good idea about its size even today.
One of the most preserved parts of the structure is about 170 meters long.
The ancient facility is located near the village of Moria, just over two kilometers from the coast, in the easternmost part of the island.
21. Snorkeling at Saint Hermogenes Beach
If you love snorkeling, and if you want to practice it while on the island, Saint Hermogenes is a popular spot to do that.
It is quite famous beach and is well known for its clear waters and underwater visibility.
This is a very good choice to practice the relaxing underwater sport since there are excellent conditions to enjoy your favorite activity here.
The underwater visibility can reach up to 30 meters and is complemented by the great variety of species of sea creatures.
22. A day trip to Ayvalik, Turkey
A holiday in Lesbos can easily be combined with a short day trip to the Turkish tourist town of Ayvalik.
The distance in a straight line is about 20 km, and the regular ferry line makes it even easier to get there.
If you are interested, you can visit some of the local travel agents.
Most of them offer similar kind of day trips by boat to the coast of neighbouring Turkey, and the prices are very good and affordable.
23. Swimming in Ampelia beach
If you love swimming, Ampelia beach is a must for you.
It is considered one of the best places on the island of Lesbos to practice your favourite water sport.
The sea surface is always smooth and calm here, and the sea water is clear and transparent.
Its emerald color in combination with the cocoa-colored sand make this beach irresistible during the hot summer days.
In addition, because of its rather remote location, Ampelia beach is always quiet as it attracts very few visitors.
24. Visit the Petra Rock Church
Reminding the specific rock formation of Meteora in the northern part of mainland Greece, Petra Rock Church is one of the most important sites to visit during your stay in Lesbos.
Built in 1609, it is unique and impressive.
“The church on the rock” (as they also call it) is located in the coastal village of Panagia Glykophilousa, which in itself is a very beautiful and charming place to enjoy a long walk.
The most specific feature is its location.
The century-old building is situated on the top of a rock and rises up over the surrounding houses.
25. Snorkeling along the coast of Aspronissi
Before you leave the island of Lesbos, don’t forget to take a day trip to the little neighbouring islet of Aspronissi.
It is a small piece of paradise located less than three kilometers west of Lesvos.
It is considered to be the best place to snorkel in the area of Lesbos and it’s no accident.
The seawater here is the most crystal clear and transparent in the area.
In addition, the distance between Aspronissi and the main island is very small.
Even so, this place remains very quiet even during the height of the summer tourist season.
More from Greece: