There are breathtaking trails scattered throughout the island, some of which are still unexplored. Others are marked but equally unique.
A historical Trail
In the mountains north of Petra there is an abandoned little village called Klapados, which was the site of the final victorious battles of the Greek militia against the Turks for the liberation of Lesvos in December 1912. From there you can set out on an enchanting hike through a beautiful public pine forest. Along the way you’ll enjoy stupendous bird’s-eye views of the villages of Anaxos, Petra, Mithymna, Eftalou and Skamnia in all their glory.
Located in the mountains, this traditional “hanging” village has two churches and the rock of Ai Yiorgi. With tavernas in the square serving scrumptious meat dishes and mezes, it’s the perfect choice, winter or summer alike. The view of Petra is striking and the Ligonas ravine, with 20 abandoned watermills, holly-oaks, pear trees, wild shrubbery and ancient cobbled path, is unbeatable for walking.
Just outside Agiassos on the way to Polichnitos is a place called Agios Dimitrios. It’s an inviting place to stop and sample the homemade spoon-sweets made by a grandmother, mother and her daughters – three generations serving tradition. Continuing on your drive you come to the famous Tsingos springs. From there turn left at the fork of Megali Limni and take road that goes to the summit of Mt. Olympos, where you’ll find half the island at your feet.
To reach hillside Agiassos, you’ll pass through the most densely forested part of the island and across ravines, gullies and streams. There, you’ll also find an ancient trail with lush vegetation, which, if you enjoy hiking, will take you up to Olympos.
The Chestnut Tree Forest in Agiassos
An exciting trail with one of the most beautiful routes on the island begins at the Apesos quarter and ascends southward along the stream. You’ll pass through a chestnut grove alongside the gushing waters. After encountering chapels, farm houses, pine trees and gullies, you can then take the road to Megalohori, the old capital of Plomari. If you visit in October, in addition to the stunning route with its view of the Bay of Yera, you’ll be able to sample the most delicious chestnuts you’ve ever tasted.
Milies is a nearly deserted village at the top of the mountain. Several years ago, an idealistic local resident began a program of volunteer tourism that has breathed new life into the village. This is an excellent starting point for excursions into the mountains, hikes along the trails, free camping, or a stay in one of the renovated houses. Ask for Kostas Moukas, the heart and soul of the village.
If you encounter the old granny who lives in the “rag-house,” take a look inside her remarkable shack, which is covered from top to bottom in rags and cloths. Until a few years ago she was the village’s sole inhabitant. Nowadays in the summer you’re sure to find some locals returning from the big city to enjoy their holidays in the fresh air.
Your route next leads to an enormous olive grove and a marvelous view. At a crossroad you’ll see a sign to Kournela. Don’t miss out on seeing this virtually deserted village, perched like an eagle’s nest on the mountainside, with its olive trees, olive oil presses, wooden balconies, large terracotta storage jars, overgrown gardens and kalderimia all ravaged by time. These villages literally hang facing one another and have breathtaking views of the valley. The hamlet of Kournela was recently purchased by a private entrepreneur who plans to restore the entire village to attract visitors into the mountains of Lesvos.
The Everyetoulas River has irrigated the large fertile kambos, or plain, for thousands of years. Its waters descend from a network of tributaries through an enormous olive plantation that the Municipality shares with Agiassos.
The estuaries of the Dipi wetlands are home to a large number of plants, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and insects, as well as the now rarely spotted otter.
The waters of the tributaries have created deep gullies with areas of natural beauty, and the wetlands are included in the Natura 2000 program. Unique experiences await the traveler on the trails through this area.