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Lesvos Island

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Lesvos or Lesbos (and also simply known as Mytilini) is located between Chios and Limnos, close to the coast of Asia Minor, Turkey. It's the third largest island of Greece after Crete and Evia respectively and the seventh largest in the Mediterranean. Lesvos belongs to the islands of the northeastern Aegean Sea, and is approximately 180 miles distant from Athens. It has an area of 1630 sq. km, is 90 km long and 45 km wide, with a stretching coastline of 320 km.

Photo by www.odoiporikon.com Photo by www.odoiporikon.com
Photo by www.odoiporikon.com Photo by www.odoiporikon.com

Together with the islands of Lemnos, Agios Efstratios and the islets around them, it belongs to the Prefecture of Lesvos. It has a population of approximately 108,000 about a third of which live in the capital city Mytilini, located in the southeastern part of the island. The remaining population is distributed in small towns and villages. The capital city Mytilini is the administrative center of the Prefecture of Lesvos, the seat of the Ministry of the Aegean Sea, of the District of the North Aegean and of the University of the Aegean. The island is divided in 13 Municipalities.

The largest towns on Lesvos Island are Kalloni, Plomari, Agiassos, Eressos, and Molyvos (ancient Mithymna).Two almost land-locked gulfs - those of Geras and Kallonis - penetrate the interior so that no part of it is farther than a few miles from the sea. The island is verdant, aptly named the Emerald Island, with a variety of flora that belies its size.

The greatest part of the island is covered in olive groves. Olive trees, eleven million of them, cover 40% of the island together with other fruit trees. Pine forests occupy a large area in the centre. These forests of pine and some oak occupy 20%, and the remainder is scrub, grassland and urban. In the west the landscape is more ascetic, scattered with acorns and rocky mountain ranges. The two gulfs, Gera and Kalloni, add to Lesvos' distinctive shape.

Photo by www.odoiporikon.com Photo by www.odoiporikon.com
Photo by www.odoiporikon.com Photo by www.odoiporikon.com

The island is mountainous; two peaks Lepetymnos (3,176 feet) and Olympos of similar height dominate its northern and central sections. The island’s volcanic origin is manifested in several hot springs. The main plains are the plains of Kalloni, Ippeos, Perama and Eressos. The flora and fauna of the island are extremely rich. The climate of Lesvos is mild and healthy: the winter is warm and the sun shines throughout the year.

The local economy is based on the agricultural production with an emphasis on olive oil production (of exceptionally high quality), cattle-raising (mainly dairy products such as cheese) and fishing. Distillery is developed and its main product is the world famous ouzo. Many of the island's inhabitants are professionally engaged in tourism.

There are small but fertile plains in the regions of Kalloni, Gera, Ippios and Eressos, small valleys and springs, mountain ranges and beaches - both sandy and pebble, convey an image of island and mainland at the same time, and form a landscape which at every turn resounds with the Aegean, with Greece.

Lesvos is a fertile and historic island. This jewel at the edge of the Archipelago projects its undoubtedly Hellenic character through the centuries, carved in ancient quarries, prehistoric relics, archaic temples, ruins of cities, Byzantine castles, churches and monasteries. It exudes a great sense of Greek history that begins with the ancient poetry of Sappho, touches the paintings of Theophilos and continues through the petters and woodcarvers, who give Hellenic shape and soul to their humble materials.

Photo by www.odoiporikon.com Photo by www.odoiporikon.com
Photo by www.odoiporikon.com Photo by www.odoiporikon.com

Nature has generously and beneficially endowed it with fertility and beauty. In the western part of the island is the world’s second largest petrified forest of Sequoia trees. The Fossilized Forest, the trees of which were petrified millions years ago, proves that the island had a rich vegetation also the remote past.Olive and pine-trees touch the fine beaches in many places and the crystal sea that girdles Lesvos is a source of wealth for the locals and of delight for all of us.