A coastal gemstone
On the northern edge of Lesvos island, alluring shores and a lush green inland compose the magnificent background where the medieval city of Molyvos stands out with its quaint neighbourhoods, overlooking the Aegean.
Molyvos, one of the most scenic seaside cities of the Aegean, impresses the spectator from afar. The citadel unfolds on the root of a hill that is crowned by the medieval castle. A little further down, the red clay tile roofs seem to tumble all the way down to the sea. Its surrounding lush green beaches and leeway port, with the tasteful taverns and cafés, fill in the impeccable landscape that looks almost like the setting of a film.
Walks in town
Molyvos has been listed as a preserved traditional settlement since 1964. You can walk through the alleys, take a cool nip of water at the relief decorated fountains and look for the old baths and churches, like the church of Saint Panteleimonas(19th cnt) with its neoclassical features and Taxiarchis Basilica church(18th cnt).
Among many distinct traditional buildings, houses of Giannakos and Krallis are the ones maintained in an excellent condition.
In fact the latter, that has a remarkable interior decoration, houses the School of Fine Arts.
The Municipal Gallery is worth visiting (+30 22530 71313), as well as the City Hall where excavation findings from the region are displayed.
Need to Know
The ancient city of Mithymna, the predecessor of the modern small town, was an important centre for arts, trade and industry.
The later name Molyvos was possibly a paraphrase of the French description Mont d’olives, (Mountain of olives) as, even today, the region is still famous for its abundant production of fine olive oil.
The medieval Castle
At the top of the hill, the Byzantine walls pre-existed but they were reinforced in 1373 with extensive fortification works, by the Genovese family of Gatelouzi, who dominated the region for several centuries.
In 1462 the Ottomans took over the castle, and expanded its battlements. It is rightfully considered one of the best preserved castles of the Eastern Mediterranean, with an exceptional view. It is currently used for cultural events.(Mythimna castle +30 22530 71803)
To the south of the port, there is a long organized beach that attracts large numbers of bathers. Eftalou beach unfolds to the north-east of the port, with many hotels and rental rooms. It is worth visiting the Turkish baths, where tickets cost 4 euros each and healing spring waters are always at 43 degrees Celcius. When you finish your warm relaxing bath, dive into the sea for instant revitalization! (Thermal Spa of Eftalou 22530 71245 )
Skala Sykamnias is not famous for its great beaches. The best one for swimming is Kagia.
Starting from Molyvos, a good road network helps you easily access the other large resort of north Lesvos, Petra (6 km), with its amazing beaches.
East of Molyvos lies the mountainous village Sykamnia and its port, the beautiful Skala Sykamnias. The region is approached either via the coast road (14 km), or through inland via Vafeio and the rest villages of Mount Lepetymno (Molyvos-Skala Sykamnias 21 km). Mythimna Tourist Information +30 22530 71347
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Copyright photo & text: Germaine Alexakis/ Views Of Greece
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