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Monastery of Ypsilos

The monastery of Ypsilos, an active men's monastery is dedicated to St John Theologos and is located in the west part of Lesvos, on the top of Mt Ordymnos, at a height of 634 m and at a distance of 81 km from Mytilini. Tradition places the foundation of the monastery in Byzantine years, before A.D. 800, and mentions it as "Monastery of Korakas", a name which was modified to "Monastery of Zisira" in the years of the Turkish occupation.

From its Byzantine phase very little information has been saved and is believed that the monastery was abandoned and devastated in late Byzantine years. The monastery flourishes again in post-Byzantine years but it is destroyed by fire. The existing katholikon (main church) was built in 1832 and constitutes part of a monastic complex, which develops around the katholikon.

In the monastery there is a particularly interesting vestry as well as a library with important manuscripts.

Western Beaches

Ancient Antissa

The beaches at Ancient Antissa are rocky and generally shallow. Surrounded by farms and green fields there are also a few tavernas with fresh fish and cold beer. Coming from Campo Antissa you have to ford a river in your car. It's no big deal for the car and the kids love it.

Campo Antissa

The long and usually empty beach at Campo Antissa is one of my favouites. The beach itself is rocky but it gives way to soft sand a few meters into the water. There is a turtle pond here too. Very secluded and even more so if you walk west.

If you are swimming naked keep in mind that you may have an occasional visitor. To get to Campo Antissa take the Gavatha exit on the road to Eressos, just beyond the Perivoli Monastery.


Faneromeni beach is a couple of kilometers north of Sigri, easy to get to by car and wild when the wind blows from the North


The beach at Gavatha below Antissa is quite beautiful but used to suffer from an inferiority complex. The problem was the seaweed that got deposited in mounds on the shore with certain currents. The problem is solved and Gavatha is as nice as any beach on the island.

Kalo Limani

This beach near Kalo Limani we were unable to find out the name of but it is easily recognized because there are only two structures on it. On one side of the beach is a small church and on the other is a camper trailer. So we called it Trailer Park Beach. It's near Skalahori.


The enormous sheltered bay of Kaloni has several beaches. The most popular is the beach at Skala Kaloni which is a resort style with umbrellas, beach chairs, cafes and restaurants. The water is very shallow and easy for kids but not really that crystal clear sea most people come to Greece for.


The beach at Sigri is long, sandy and shallow. It's in a sheltered bay and there are some tourist facilities. Nice view of the castle from the beach.

Most of the people who come to Sigri are the remnants of the British package tours, which have gone elsewhere. Good riddance. Nice restaurants, cafes and village. Plenty of hotels too.

Skala Eressos

The best beach in Lesvos, if not all of Greece is Skala Eressos. The beach can be divided into several sections. The photo here is in front of the cafes and restaurants that are built out on decks. The sea is usually not this rough. Looking west is the main part of the beach. Beyond the umbrellas people bathe nude.

There is also a lake full of turtles. To the east of the town is the sheltered beach in the fishing harbor and a rocky beach beyond that is great for snorkeling.

Skala Eressos is a perfect beach for families with kids, honeymooners, young and old people too. Everything is within walking distance of the beach. In fact everything is within crawling distance of the beach.


The beach of Tavari, below Mesotopos is sandy and shallow. There are a few cafes and a fishing harbor and it stays pretty empty until mid-July.


Tsichlioda beach on the dirt road between Sigri and Eressos is remote and beautiful but you better drive carefully. There are a couple of bumps that can do a number on a small car.

Monastery of Pithari

The monastery of Pithari , founded in the seventeenth century is also close to Eressos. Surrounded by a grove of oak and sycamore trees in a dramatic gorge, it's an enjoyable walk there but you can also get there by car.

The monastery is dedicated to the Taxiarchis (archangels) whose panagiri day is November 8th. There is a disciplinary center for the clergy there.

Monastery of Perivoli

The monastery of Perivoli is situated in a by-passing of the country road Kalloni-Antissa, just before the village of Antissa on the banks of the Voulgaris river. It is a women convent dedicated to the Presentation of the Virgin and it was devastated in recent years. In the past (at least from the 16th up to the end of the 18th century), it constituted part of the men's monastery of Taxiarches Kreokopou, which is located at approximately an hour's distance from Perivoli, on the top of Mt Chalakas.

The katholikon (main church) of the monastery is built according to the type of a two-aisled wooden roof basilica; it is of small dimensions with remarkable frescoes that date in the 16th century.

Southern Beaches

Agios Isodoros

The beaches of Agios Isodoros near Plomari are sandy but they sit upon a rocky shelf that makes for entertaining snorkeling. The sea is open and subject to waves but the majority of the time it is fantastic swimming.




Vatera is one of the largest and most spectacular beaches in Greece. It stretches for 8 km in length and has a width of almost 30 - 50 meters. Its sheltered from the north-east summer winds (meltemia) and the clean, crystal clear shimmering Aegean waters contribute to the consistent awards of the EU Blue Flag each year.

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