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What's important: you can compare and book not only Lesbos hotels and resorts, but also villas and holiday cottages, inns and B&Bs (bed and breakfast), condo hotels and apartments, timeshare properties, guest houses and pensions, campsites (campgrounds), motels and hostels on Lesbos. If you're going to Lesbos save your money and time, don't pay for the services of the greedy travel agencies. Instead, book the best hotel on Lesbos online, buy the cheapest airline tickets to Lesbos, and rent a car on Lesbos right now, paying the lowest price! Besides, here you can buy the Lesbos related books, guidebooks, souvenirs and other goods.

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How to Book a Hotel on Lesbos

In order to book an accommodation on Lesbos enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Lesbos hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Lesbos map to estimate the distance from the main Lesbos attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Lesbos hotels and see their ratings.

When a hotel search on Lesbos is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel on Lesbos is waiting for you!

Hotels of Lesbos

A hotel on Lesbos is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger on Lesbos hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms on Lesbos are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Lesbos hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Lesbos hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels on Lesbos have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels on Lesbos
An upscale full service hotel facility on Lesbos that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Lesbos hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels on Lesbos
Full service Lesbos hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels on Lesbos
Boutique hotels of Lesbos are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Lesbos boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels on Lesbos may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels on Lesbos
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Lesbos travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Lesbos focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels on Lesbos
Small to medium-sized Lesbos hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Lesbos traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Lesbos hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs on Lesbos
A bed and breakfast on Lesbos is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Lesbos bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Lesbos B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels on Lesbos
Lesbos hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Lesbos hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels on Lesbos
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Lesbos hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels on Lesbos lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs on Lesbos
Lesbos timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts on Lesbos often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Lesbos on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels on Lesbos
A Lesbos motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Lesbos for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Lesbos motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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The main purpose of HotelsCombined hotel price comparison service is to help the travelers in finding a perfect accommodation option on Lesbos at the best price, eliminating the need to manually analyze hundreds of hotel booking sites and thousands of price offers. Through the partnership with the most popular hotel booking websites, online travel agencies and hotel chains, HotelsCombined allows its users to search for and compare the current rates on Lesbos hotels in a single search. It also provides an aggregated summary of hotel reviews and ratings from external sites.

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Travelling and vacation on Lesbos

Περιφερειακή ενότητα / Δήμος
Regional unit
View of Mytilene
View of Mytilene
Lesbos within the North Aegean
Lesbos within the North Aegean
Coordinates:  / 39.167; 26.333  / 39.167; 26.333
Country Greece
Region North Aegean
Capital Mytilene
• Total 1,632.8 km (630.4 sq mi)
Population (2011)
• Total 86,436
• Density 53/km (140/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Lesbian
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
• Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal codes 81x xx
Area codes 225x0
Car plates ΜΥ

Lesbos (/ˈlɛzbɒs/, US /ˈlɛzbs/; Greek: Λέσβος Lesvos, pronounced [ˈle̞zvo̞s]), sometimes referred to as Mytilini after its capital, is a Greek island located in the northeastern Aegean Sea. It has an area of 1,632.819 square kilometres (630.435 sq mi) with 320 kilometres (199 miles) of coastline, making it the third largest island in Greece. It is separated from Turkey by the narrow Mytilini Strait and in late Palaeolithic/Mesolithic times was joined to the Anatolian mainland before the end of the last glacial period.

Lesbos is a separate regional unit of the North Aegean region, and is one of five governing islands within it. The others are Chios, Ikaria, Lemnos, and Samos. The total number of islands governed by the North Aegean are nine: Lesbos, Chios, Psara, Oinousses, Ikaria, Fournoi Korseon, Lemnos, Agios Efstratios and Samos. The capital of the North Aegean Region is Mytilene. The population of Lesbos is approximately 86,000, a third of whom live in its capital, Mytilene, in the southeastern part of the island. The remaining population is distributed in small towns and villages. The largest are Plomari, Kalloni, the Gera Villages, Agiassos, Eresos, and Molyvos (the ancient Mythimna).

According to later Greek writers, Mytilene was founded in the 11th century BC by the family Penthilidae, who arrived from Thessaly, and ruled the city-state until a popular revolt (590–580 BC) led by Pittacus of Mytilene ended their rule. In fact the archaeological and linguistic record may indicate a late Iron Age arrival of Greek settlers although references in Late Bronze Age Hittite archives indicate a likely Greek presence then. The name Mytilene itself seems to be of Hittite origin. According to Homer's Iliad, however, Lesbos was part of the kingdom of Priam in what is now Turkey. Much work remains to be done to determine just what was happening and when. In the Middle Ages, it was under Byzantine and then Genoese rule. Lesbos was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1462. The Ottomans then ruled the island until the First Balkan War in 1912, when it became part of the Kingdom of Greece.

Lesbos: History

Sappho listens as the poet Alcaeus plays a kithara. (Painting by Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1881)
View of the Roman aqueduct.

According to Classical Greek mythology, Lesbos was the patron god of the island. Macar was reputedly the first king whose many daughters bequeathed their names to some of the present larger towns. In Classical myth his sister, Canace, was killed to have him made king. The place names with female origins are likely to be much earlier settlements named after local goddesses, who were replaced by gods. Homer refers to the island as "Macaros edos", the seat of Macar. Hittite records from the Late Bronze Age name the island Lazpa and must have considered its population significant enough to allow the Hittites to "borrow their gods" (presumably idols) to cure their king when the local gods were not forthcoming. It is believed that emigrants from mainland Greece, mainly from Thessaly, entered the island in the Late Bronze Age and bequeathed it with the Aeolic dialect of the Greek language, whose written form survives in the poems of Sappho, amongst others.

The abundant grey pottery ware found on the island and the worship of Cybele, the great mother-goddess of Anatolia, suggest the cultural continuity of the population from Neolithic times. When the Persian king Cyrus defeated Croesus (546 BC) the Ionic Greek cities of Anatolia and the adjacent islands became Persian subjects and remained such until the Persians were defeated by the Greeks at the Battle of Salamis (480 BC). The island was governed by an oligarchy in archaic times, followed by quasi-democracy in classical times. For a short period it was a member of the Athenian confederacy, its apostasy from which is recounted by Thucydides in the Mytilenian Debate, in Book III of his History of the Peloponnesian War. In Hellenistic times, the island belonged to various Successor kingdoms until 79 BC when it passed into Roman hands.

Map of Lesbos by Giacomo Franco (1597).

During the Middle Ages it belonged to the Byzantine Empire. In 802, the Byzantine Empress Irene was exiled to Lesbos after her deposition, and died there. The island served as a gathering base for the fleet of the rebel Thomas the Slav in the early 820s.

In the 10th century, it was part of the theme of the Aegean Sea, while in the late 11th century it formed a dioikesis under a kourator in Mytilene. In the 1090s, the island was briefly occupied by the Turkish emir Tzachas, but he was unable to capture Methymna, which resisted throughout. In the 12th century, the island became a frequent target for plundering raids by the Republic of Venice.

The entrance of Ipsilou monastery (St. John).
Ottoman flag flying over Mytilene in the last days of the Ottoman period.

After the Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) the island passed to the Latin Empire, but was reconquered by the Empire of Nicaea sometime after 1224. In 1354, it was granted as a fief to the Genoese Francesco I Gattilusio, whose family ruled Lesbos until it was conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1462. It remained under Turkish rule, named Midilli in Turkish, until 1912 when it was taken by Greek forces during the First Balkan War.

The cities of Mytilene and Methymna have been bishoprics since the 5th century. By the early 10th century, Mytilene had been raised to the status of a metropolitan see. Methymna achieved the same by the 12th century.

The oldest artifacts found on the island may date to the late Paleolithic period. Important archaeological sites on the island are the Neolithic cave of Kagiani, probably a refuge for shepherds, the Neolithic settlement of Chalakies, and the extensive habitation of Thermi (3000–1000 BC). The largest habitation is found in Lisvori (2800–1900 BC) part of which is submerged in shallow coastal waters. There are also several archaic, classical Greek and Roman remains. Vitruvius called the ancient city of Mytilene "magnificent and of good taste". Remnants of its medieval history are three impressive castles.

Lesbos is the birthplace of several famous people. In archaic times, Arion developed the type of poem called dithyramb, the progenitor of tragedy, and Terpander invented the seven note musical scale for the lyre. Two of the nine lyric poets in the Ancient Greek canon, Alcaeus and Sappho, were from Lesbos. Phanias wrote history. The seminal artistic creativity of those times brings to mind the myth of Orpheus to whom Apollo gave a lyre and the Muses taught to play and sing. When Orpheus incurred the wrath of the god Dionysus he was dismembered by the Maenads and of his body parts his head and his lyre found their way to Lesbos where they have "remained" ever since. Pittacus was one of the Seven Sages of Greece. In classical times Hellanicus advanced historiography, Theophrastus, the father of botany, succeeded Aristotle as the head of the Lyceum. Aristotle and Epicurus lived there for some time, and it is there that Aristotle began systematic zoological investigations. In later times lived Theophanes, the historian of Pompey's campaigns, Longus wrote the famous novel Daphnis and Chloe, and much later the historian Doukas wrote the history of the early Ottoman Turks. In modern times the poet Odysseus Elytis, descendant of an old family of Lesbos received the Nobel Prize.

File:The Roman Aquaduct at Mória (Lesvos).ogvPlay media
The Roman Aqueduct at Mória

Lesbos: Landmarks and architecture

  • Petrified forest of Lesbos
  • Castle of Molyvos
  • Castle of Mytilene
  • Castle of Sigri
  • Church of Panagia Agiasos
  • Monastery of Agios Raphael
  • Monastery of Taxiarchis
  • Roman Aqueduct of Lesbos
  • The Bridge at Kremasti
  • Early Christian Basilica Agios Andreas Eressos
  • Temple of Klopedi
  • Christian Temple of Chalinados
  • Ancient Sanctuary of Messa
  • Acropolis of Ancient Pyrra
  • Monastery of Ipsilou
  • Monastery of Limonas
  • Ouzo Museum - The World of Ouzo
  • Barbayannis Ouzo Museum
  • The Mosque in Parakila
  • Sourlangas Leather Factor
  • Catacomb of Mary Magdalene Lesbos

Lesbos: Endangered sites

Twelve historic churches on the island were listed together on the 2008 World Monuments Fund's Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the world. The churches range in date from the Early Christian Period to the 19th century. Exposure to the elements, outmoded conservation methods, and increased tourism are all threats to the structures. The following are the 12 churches:

  • Katholikon of Moni Perivolis
  • Early Christian Basilica Agios Andreas Eressos
  • Early Christian Basilica Afentelli Eressos
  • Church of Agios Stephanos Mantamados
  • Katholikon of Moni Taxiarchon Kato Tritos
  • Katholikon of Moni Damandriou Polichnitos
  • Metamorphosi Soteros Church in Papiana
  • Church of Agios Georgios Anemotia
  • Church of Agios Nikolaos Petra
  • Monastery of Ipsilou
  • Church of Agios Ioannis Kerami
  • Church of Taxiarchon Vatousa

Lesbos: Geography

Topography of Lesbos.
Olympos peak rises 967 metres over Lesbos
Agiasos village

Lesbos lies in the far east of the Aegean sea, facing the Turkish coast (Gulf of Edremit) from the north and east; at the narrowest point, the strait is about 5.5 km (3.4 mi) wide. The shape of the island is roughly triangular, but it is deeply intruded by the gulfs of Kalloni, with an entry on the southern coast, and of Gera, in the southeast.

The island is forested and mountainous with two large peaks, Mt. Lepetymnos at 968 m (3,176 ft) and Mt. Olympus at 967 m (3,173 ft), dominating its northern and central sections. The island's volcanic origin is manifested in several hot springs and the two gulfs.

Lesbos is verdant, aptly named Emerald Island, with a greater variety of flora than expected for the island's size. Eleven million olive trees cover 40% of the island together with other fruit trees. Forests of mediterranean pines, chestnut trees and some oaks occupy 20%, and the remainder is scrub, grassland or urban.

Lesbos: Climate

The island has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Csa in the Koeppen climate classification). The mean annual temperature is 18 °C (64 °F), and the mean annual rainfall is 750 mm (30 in). Its exceptional sunshine makes it one of the sunniest islands in the Aegean Sea. Snow and very low temperatures are rare.

Lesbos: Lesvos Geopark

Petrified forest of Lesbos.

The entire territory of Lesbos is "Lesvos Geopark" which is a member of the European Geoparks Network (2000-) and Global Geoparks Network (2004-) on account of its outstanding geological heritage, educational programs and projects, and promotion of geotourism.

This geopark was enlarged from former "Lesvos Petrified Forest Geopark". Lesbos contains one of the few known petrified forests called Petrified forest of Lesbos and it has been declared a Protected Natural Monument. Fossilised plants have been found in many localities on the western part of the island. The fossilised forest was formed during the Late Oligocene to Lower–Middle Miocene, by the intense volcanic activity in the area. Neogene volcanic rocks dominate the central and western part of the island, comprising andesites, dacites and rhyolites, ignimbrite, pyroclastics, tuffs, and volcanic ash. The products of the volcanic activity covered the vegetation of the area and the fossilization process took place during favourable conditions. The fossilized plants are silicified remnants of a sub-tropical forest that existed on the north-west part of the island 20–15 million years ago.

Lesbos: Administration

Lesbos is a separate regional unit of the North Aegean region, and the only municipality of the regional unit. As a part of the 2011 Kallikratis government reform, the regional unit Lesbos was created out of part of the former Lesbos Prefecture. At the same reform, the current municipality of Lesbos was created out of the 13 former municipalities on the island:

Skala of Eresos-Antissa
  • Agia Paraskevi (Αγία Παρασκευή)
  • Agiasos (Αγιάσος)
  • Gera (Γέρα)
  • Eresos-Antissa (Ερεσός-Άντισσα)
  • Evergetoulas (Ευεργέτουλας)
  • Kalloni (Καλλονή)
  • Loutropoli Thermis (Λουτρόπολη Θερμής)
  • Mantamados (Μανταμάδος)
  • Mithymna (Μήθυμνα)
  • Mytilene (Μυτιλήνη)
  • Petra (Πέτρα)
  • Plomari (Πλωμάρι)
  • Polichnitos (Πολίχνιτος)

Lesbos: Economy

The building of the former Lesbos Prefecture, and now of the Lesbos Regional Unit
Ouzo Plomari of Lesbos.

The economy of Lesbos is essentially agricultural in nature, with olive oil being the main source of income. Tourism in Mytilene, encouraged by its international airport and the coastal towns of Petra, Plomari, Molyvos and Eresos, contribute substantially to the economy of the island. Fishing and the manufacture of soap and ouzo, the Greek national liqueur, are the remaining sources of income.

Lesbos: Tourism

Lesbos: LGBT tourism

In the English-speaking world, the term lesbian is commonly (though not universally) used to refer to homosexual women. This use of the term derives from the poems of Sappho, who was born in Lesbos and who wrote with powerful emotional content directed toward other women. Due to this association, Lesbos and especially the town of Eresos, her birthplace, are visited frequently by LGBT tourists. This use of the term is considered offensive to many Lesbos islanders to such a degree that, in 2008, a group of Lesbos islanders litigated unsuccessfully a court case against the LGBT community of Greece. The islander group had requested a legal injunction to ban groups from using the word lesbian in their names, which the petitioners claim violated their human rights as it is "insulting" and disgraces them around the world.

Lesbos: Cuisine

Local specialities:

  • Kydonato
  • Revithato
  • Sardeles from Kalloni
  • Selinato
  • Sfougato
  • Skafoudes
  • Sougania
  • Platzenta
  • Amygdalota (dessert)
  • Retseli (dessert)

Lesbos: Sports

  • Aiolikos F.C.
  • Kalloni F.C.

Lesbos: Notable residents

The Nobel Prize winner in Literature Odysseas Elytis was from Lesbos.
  • Sappho (7th and 6th centuries BC), poet
  • Terpander (7th century BC), poet and citharede
  • Alcaeus of Mytilene (7th century BC), poet and politician
  • Aristotle (384–322 BC), philosopher, was born in Chalkidike but lived for a time on the island.
  • Longus (2nd century AD), ancient Greek author
  • Theophrastus (370–285 BC), philosopher and botanist
  • Theoctiste of Lesbos (9th century), hermit saint
  • Constantine IX Monomachos: Byzantine emperor (1042-1055), resident of Mytilene prior to accession.
  • Christopher of Mytilene (11th century), poet
  • Hayreddin Barbarossa (1470s–1546), Ottoman admiral
  • Georgios Jakobides (1853–1932), painter
  • Gregorios Bernardakis[] (1848–1925), classical philologist and palaeographer
  • Theophilos Hatzimihail (c. 1870–1934), painter
  • Georgios Emmanouil Kaldis (1875–1953) lawyer, journalist and politician
  • Tériade (1889–1983), art critic, patron, and publisher
  • Hermon di Giovanno (c. 1900–1968), painter
  • Hüseyin Hilmi Pasha Ottoman Grand Vizier 1909–1910
  • Odysseas Elytis (1911–1996), poet, Nobel Prize in Literature 1979
  • Tzeli Hadjidimitriou (b. 1962), photographer and writer
  • Stratis Myrivilis (1890–1969), writer
  • Ahmed Djemal (1872–1922), Ottoman commander, politician
  • Kostas Kenteris, athlete (running, 200 meters), Gold Olympic medal Sydney 2000, World and European championship gold medal
  • Alex Martinez, graffiti artist, illustrator, muralist

Lesbos: See also

  • Adobogiona-an inscription in Lesbos honors this Celtic princess.
  • Aeolic Greek
  • Assos
  • Lesbian wine
  • List of islands of Greece
  • List of traditional Greek place names
  • University of the Aegean

Lesbos: References

  1. "Population & housing census 2001 (incl. area and average elevation)" (PDF) (in Greek). National Statistical Service of Greece.
  2. "Sappho and Alcaeus". The Walters Art Museum.
  3. Gregory, Timothy E. (1991). "Lesbos". In ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6.
  4. Harissis H.; Durand P.; Axiotis M.; Harissis T. (2000). "Traces of Paleolithic settlement in Lesbos". Archaiologia kai Technes. p. 76:83–87 (article in Greek with English abstract).
  5. "The World of Ouzo".
  6. Churches Of Lesvos accessed July 31, 2014
  7. "Lesbos".
  8. "The Petrified Forest of Lesvos, A Unique Natural Monument Recording the Evolutionary Process of Life on Earth". UNESCO Global Geoparks Network.
  9. Global Geoparks in Greece (UNESCO)
  10. "Kallikratis reform law text" (PDF).
  11. "lesbian". Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
  12. Carolyn, Bain; Clark, Michael; Hannigan, Des (2004). Greece. ISBN 1-74059-470-3.
  13. Lesbos islanders dispute gay name
  14. Lesbos locals lose lesbian appeal
  • Official website
  • News website
  • Prefecture of Lesvos (Hellenic Ministry of Culture)
  • Guide of Lesbos Island (Greek) (English) (Turkish)
  • News of Mytilene and Lesvos Island (Greek)
  • 2008 World's Monuments Watch List
Source of information: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. We're not responsible for the content of this article and your use of this information. Disclaimer
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