North Aegean, Greece
Located in the northeastern Aegean, Lesbos is a Greek island of unique beauty. Famous for its stunning natural landscapes, traditional villages and delicious local ouzo, it is an ideal destination for relaxation and adventure. Find all the information you need for your holiday in Lesbos: how to get there, what to do, best beaches, and ferry schedules. Book cheap ferry tickets to Lesbos on Ferryhopper with no hidden fees!
Magnificent sea view from the Castle of Molyvos
Holidays in Lesbos
Lesbos, also known as Lesvos, is the third biggest island in Greece. It is often referred to as “Mytilene” after its capital and main port.
Lesbos has a rich history, which you can discover by visiting the island’s numerous archaeological sites and monuments. It is also the birthplace of ancient Greek poet Sappho, famous for her homoerotic themes, which is why the island remains popular among the lesbian community.
The lush island offers amazing beaches, a diverse landscape and picturesque villages. Travel to Lesbos and relax by the sea, try exceptional food and the island’s renowned ouzo, and enjoy the nightlife at the bars of Mytilene!
How to get to Lesbos
You can take a ferry to Lesbos from the port of Piraeus in Athens or from the port of Kavala, a town in northern Greece. Most ferries arrive at the port of Mytilene. There are also less frequent ferry crossings to the port of Sigri in the summer.
Find out more about ferry schedules and tickets to Lesbos.
What to do in Lesbos
There are so many things to do in Lesbos, that you would have to spend the entire summer there to experience all the island has to offer! From outdoor activities and water sports, to unique cultural attractions and natural sights, this island has something for everyone.
Sounds exciting? Read on to find out all you need to know about your trip to Lesbos.
Amazing crystal-clear blue sea waters in Lesbos
Beaches in Lesbos
Along the coastline of Lesbos, you will find many beautiful beaches with crystal blue waters. Some of them are easily accessible and have umbrellas, sun-loungers and beach bars, while others are more peaceful and secluded.
Our favorite beaches in Lesbos are:
- Eresos: long and sandy, this is one of the most famous beaches in Lesbos. Eresos is ideal for water sports and activities.
- Vatera: this is an endless sandy beach with crystal-clear waters. Ιn one part of the beach, you will find umbrellas, sun-loungers, tavernes, and beach bars.
- Sigri: this is a small cove with golden sand and shallow waters. There are hotels, restaurants and cafés in close proximity.
- Molyvos: this long sandy beach is very popular and can be busy during the summer. It is ideal for water activities and has umbrellas, sun-loungers and showers, as well as cafés and restaurants.
- Eftalou: this endless coast is full of quiet, pebbly beaches with crystal-clear cool waters. Eftalou is also known for its therapeutic warm springs.
- Agios Isidoros: this is a long beach with small pebbles and glassy waters close to the village of Plomari.
- Agios Ermogenis: this stunning small beach is surrounded by pine trees and has a little fish restaurant.
- Tarti: this is a popular wide beach with crystal waters. After your swim, you can try delicious local dishes at the tavernes right next to the sea.
- Chrisi Ammos (Golden Sand): this is one of the very few golden-sand beaches on the island and is popular with campers. It is only accessible by a dirt road.
The golden sand beach of Sigri
Sightseeing in Lesbos
Lesbos (Lesvos) is famous not only for its natural beauty, but also for its impressive architecture and monuments. Castles, museums, archaeological sites, monasteries, wetlands, and a petrified forest are there for you to explore!
Take a stroll around the big town of Mytilene and you will come across gorgeous neoclassical buildings and magnificent churches, as well as beautiful mosques and hammams from the island’s Ottoman era.
Here are some of the best attractions in Lesbos:
- the Castle of Mytilene
- the Roman aqueduct in Moria
- the ancient Temple of Messon (or Sanctuary of Messa)
- the Castle of Molyvos
- the Castle of Sigri
- the petrified forest in Sigri
- the wetlands of the Gulf of Kalloni
- the acropolis of ancient Eresos
- the Limonos Monastery
- the mansions in the town of Mytilene
- the Museum-Library Stratis Eleftheriadis-Tériade
- the Theophilos Museum, with an extensive collection of the famous local painter’s work
Tip: if you visit Lesbos during the summer, you can go on a day trip to Ayvalik, a popular holiday resort on the west coast of Turkey. The ferry journey lasts approximately 1.5 hours.
Find more information about how to travel by ferry from Greece to Turkey.
Tree stub in the petrified forest of Lesbos
Activities in Lesbos
The island’s diverse landscape makes it an ideal destination for outdoor activities. Lesbos is a hiker’s paradise, with an extensive network of well-marked trails that offer breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea and the neighboring Turkish coast.
Water sports lovers can go kayaking, windsurfing and kitesurfing or try water skiing and scuba diving. The island has several bike rentals and you can enjoy guided cycling tours as well.
For those looking for a more peaceful experience, we suggest birdwatching, as Lesbos is a Mediterranean migration hotspot and has an impressive variety of resident birds. You might even see flamingos!
Tip: the watchtowers over the wetlands along the National Road Mytilene - Kalloni are the best spot for birdwatching on the island.
Nightlife in Lesbos
Compared to other Greek islands, nightlife in Lesbos is more low-key but still exciting and unique!
The lively capital of Mytilene has several cafés and bars, where you can mingle with the locals, enjoy live music gigs or go dancing. Concerts, theater performances and other cultural events take place throughout the year, while there is also a beautiful open-air cinema for more quiet evenings.
The villages of Molyvos, Skala Eresou and Petra also offer many options for night owls. Enjoy your drink right next to the sea, watch the sunset while drinking summer cocktails, and dance in the bars and beach-bars of these popular seaside resorts!
The beautiful town of Mytilene at night
Festivals in Lesbos
If you are interested in the island’s lesbian culture, we urge you to visit the International Eressos Women’s Festival. Held in September in Eresos, the birthplace of Sappho, it is a two-week festival that celebrates women who love women, and includes elements from the larger LGBTQ+ culture.
During the festival, there are loads of parties, live bands, DJs, and dinners. There are also arts and craft workshops, sports, yoga, Greek dancing, nature walks, etc.
Food in Lesbos
In Lesbos (Lesvos) you can try some of the most delicious dishes in Greece. Its cuisine features locally-produced ingredients and has been influenced by the culinary tradition of Asia Minor. The island is well-known for its fish-based delicacies, the perfect accompaniment to the island’s world-famous ouzo!
You can find countless restaurants, tavernes and ouzeri (traditional restaurants that serve ouzo and meze), not only in Mytilene but in most towns and villages of the island. There are also plenty of shops that sell high-quality traditional products.
During your holidays in Lesbos, we recommend that you try:
- ladotyri (local cheese made of sheep’s milk or sheep’s and goat’s milk)
- ouzo, of course!
- sougania (onions stuffed with mince meat and rice)
- chachles (rusk-like trachanas, traditional Greek product made of milk and wheat)
- sfougato (omelet with zucchini and lots of herbs)
- salt-cured sardines and anchovies
- sun-dried fish with olive oil and lemon
- kolokythoanthoi gemistoi (zucchini flowers stuffed with rice and herbs)
- jams and glyka tou koutaliou (“spoon sweets,” traditional desserts made from fruit preserved in syrup)
- liqueurs made from delicious local fruit
Tip 1: you can also try delicious Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food at Nan, a restaurant whose philosophy focuses on adding quality to the lives of the island’s refugees.
Tip 2: for an authentic ouzo experience, you can visit the Barbayannis Ouzo Museum and learn about the family’s 160-year tradition in the production of ouzo. Plus, there’s ouzo tasting!
Tasty traditional aperitif “ouzo”
The town of Mytilene and villages in Lesbos
Unlike the capitals of most Aegean islands, Mytilene is a big town. We definitely recommend exploring Mytilene to marvel at its unique architecture and numerous monuments that testify to the island’s rich history and diverse influences.
The island also has many beautiful villages, small towns and popular resorts that we urge you to discover. Enjoy amazing landscapes and gorgeous views, stroll the picturesque alleys and try fresh fish and mouth-watering delicacies in the villages of Lesbos!
Here are some of the best villages that you should visit in Lesbos:
- Skala Eresou
- Agia Paraskevi
The picturesque village of Plomari in the south of Lesbos
Useful information about Lesbos
Mytilene is the main port of Lesbos and the commercial, financial and cultural center of the island. There, you will find supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, ATM machines, gas stations, and a hospital. There are also amenities for travelers in most towns and major villages in Lesbos.
As for accommodation, the island offers several options, from hotels to boutique studios and luxurious villas. Most of them are in Mytilene and other popular tourist resorts, such as Skala Eresou and Molyvos.
Lesbos also has an airport, which is located approximately 8km (15 minutes by car) from the port of Mytilene.
Useful phone numbers for your stay in Lesbos
Here are some useful contacts to keep handy during your trip to Lesbos:
- Mytilene Port Authority: +302251024115
- Mytilene General Hospital “Vostaneio”: +302251057700, +302251351100, +302251351400
- Tourist Police: +302251022776
- Intercity buses of Lesbos (KTEL): +302251028873
- Taxis: +302251025900
- Mytilene International Airport “Odysseas Elytis”: +302251038700
- Citizen Service Center: +302251037625
- European emergency number: 112
Transportation in Lesbos
Lesbos has intercity buses (KTEL) that run services from Mytilene to the island’s major towns and villages. There are also taxis, but the ride can be quite expensive.
Lesbos is big, so if you want to explore it, we recommend that you bring your own vehicle. You will find gas stations in the capital and on some of the main roads.
Here are the distances between Mytilene and some of Lesbos’ main towns and villages, to help you plan your trip around the island:
- Mytilene - Eresos: 86km (approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes by car)
- Mytilene - Agiasos: 25km (approximately 30 minutes by car)
- Mytilene - Molyvos: 60km (about 1 hour and 10 minutes by car)
- Mytilene - Plomari: 40km (approximately 1 hour by car)
- Molyvos - Eresos: 55km (about 1 hour and 15 minutes by car)
Breathtaking view of the green island landscape at sunset
Ports in Lesbos
The main port of Lesbos is Mytilene, which serves most ferry routes to mainland Greece and other islands.
There is also a smaller ferry port in Sigri, a village on the northwestern coast of Lesbos. Keep in mind that it takes about 2 hours by car to get from Sigri to Mytilene.
Island hopping from Lesbos
Throughout the year, there are regular ferry connections from Lesbos to other North Aegean islands, such as Chios, Lemnos, Samos, and Ikaria. From Lesbos, you can also travel by ferry to popular islands of the Cyclades, like Mykonos and Tinos.
There are direct ferry routes from the port of Mytilene to:
On Ferryhopper’s Map of ferries, you can see all the available ferry routes from Lesbos, so that you can easily plan your island hopping in the Aegean.
Lesbos ferry: schedules and tickets
You can easily travel by ferry from Athens to Lesbos throughout the year, while there are also regular ferry connections to Lesbos (Lesvos) from the port of Kavala in northern Greece. More specifically:
- Athens - Lesbos: in the summer, the ferry route Piraeus - Mytilene is served daily, as well as ferry connections from Piraeus to the port of Sigri. In the winter, there are at least 5 weekly ferry crossings from the port of Piraeus to the port of Mytilene. The journey from Athens to Lesbos can take from 11 to 17 hours, depending on how many stops the ferry makes on the way.
- Kavala - Lesbos: in the summer there are usually 3-4 ferry weekly crossings from Kavala to Mytilene, while in the winter ferries depart at least 2 times a week. The ferry trip from Kavala to Lesbos lasts from 7 to 11 hours, depending on the number of stops.
Tip: ferries to Lesbos usually travel at night, so we recommend booking a cabin for a more comfortable journey. You can also bring your vehicle with you, as all ferries have a car deck.
Majestic Roman aqueduct in Moria
Where to book ferry tickets online to Lesbos
On Ferryhopper, you can find all available ferry schedules and crossings to Lesbos at a glance! Compare prices and timetables and book ferry tickets online, easily and quickly. Your dreamy holiday in Lesbos is just a few clicks away!