Lesvos has decent travel connections with a major airport just south of the capital Myttilini and daily ferries from Piraeus (Athens). Most arrive by charter flight direct to Lesvos or on a domestic flight from Athens. The ferry journeys are long and tedious, with journey times of up to 15 hours. There is a fast ferry in summer but this takes about seven hours and you arrive a little after midnight. Once on Lesvos the roads are good but the island is very large and car hire is recommended.
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Lesvos is an easy island to reach by air at any time of the year. Flights land at Mytilini International Airport (MJT), which is officially titled Odysseas Elytisis and which is located about 6km south of the island's capital town Mytilini.
There are package charter flights from the UK, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium and Holland throughout the summer months.
UK charter flights to Lesvos usually operate on Thursdays with some Saturday flights from Gatwick and Manchester.
Domestic flights operated by Olympic Airways, Aegean Airlines and Athens Airways land from the Greek capital of Athens up to seven times a day depending on the time of year.
The journey time from Athens is about 50 mins. There are also flights to and from Thessaloniki.
The airport at Lesvos has only one small terminal to service both international and domestic flights so visitors can sometime expect delays, particularly in the high season.
There are a few cafes and a souvenir shop open at Lesvos airport and, in the passenger-only area, there is a small duty free and travel store.
An airport bus operates hourly thrughout the day for transfers to Mytilene although services often stop for the afternoon siesta. Several car hire companies operate out of Mytilini International.
There are daily ferries to Mytilini from Athens (Piraeus). The main ferries are operated by NES Lines and the journey time is lengthy, sometimes 12 hours depending on the boat and it is usually overnight. The ship leaves Piraeus in the evening and arrives in Mytilini early in the morning after calling at Chios.
In high summer there are is a fast ferry from Athens to Mytilini operated by Hellenic Seaways with a journey time of seven to eight hours. SAOS operates a service from Lavrio, near the new Athens International Airport, to Sigri on the west coast of Lesvos where ferries also leave for Kos.
There are also ferry connections to Thessaloniki and Ayvalik (Turkey) as well as to other Greek islands such as Chios, Ikaria, Kalymnos, Kos, Limnos, Mykonos, Rhodes, Samos, and Syros. There are also several ferry services to Turkey (Ayvalik). In the high season there are boats every day but the service is reduced in the winter to a few times a week in good weather. The crossing from Lesvos to Turkey takes about 90 mins. The ferry does take cars,but it is fairly small so advance booking is recommended.
Lesvos has a wide variety of accommodation to suit most budgets. The large hotels aimed at the package holiday market are found in the big tourist centres. If you plan a visit to Lesvos in August it's probably best to book ahead as the popular hotels can be booked up weeks in advance.
For cheap rooms , the capital of Mytilini is probably the best. There are many small hotels and domatia in side streets off the main thoroughfare of Ermou, near the harbour. There are also hotels along the waterfront but the prices rise and night noise can be a problem.
There is plenty of accommodation in the picture-postcard resort of Molyvos and several inexpensive hotels are sited on the waterfront below the old town. but you will need to book early in this popular resort. Those on a tight budget can opt for the camping site about 2km outside the resort.
There are plenty of hotels and apartments at the popular beach resort of Petra, 5km south of Molyvos and, if you fancy something unusual try contacting the local Women's Agricultural Tourism Collective in the central square who will arrange rooms in local family homes at very good rates.
Skala Eressos in the south-west is Lesvos' busiest beach resort and there are plenty of hotels, pensions and apartments, including a couple of women-only hotels but, again make sure to book ahead in the high season. More holiday accommodation can be found at beach resorts along the south coast, including a large camping site at Vatera. beach
Roads on Lesvos are generally good but the island is very large and mountainous and routes are rarely straight so driving can be tiring. There are no expressways but roads are usually uncongested. Road between resorts are wide but in towns and villages they can narrow very quickly and the surface can deteriorate.
Lesvos has two bus stations in Mytilini. The one in the municipal car park in the harbour is the town service and operates to the city suburbs and from the airport in the south to Thermi in the north.
The other is the KTEL operated countryside services that run from KTEL Square. A timetable is usually posted in the window of the ticket office. Main services are to Petra and Molivos usually leaving at 11am and 1.15pm. The journey takes about two hours.
Always check before boarding the bus - it doesn't always go where it says it is going. Local service connect more remote villages with main routes but timetables can be unreliable.
There are regular buses linking Mytilene with Ipio, Sikounda, Agiassos, Vassilika, Lisvori, Polichnitos, Vrissa, Vatera, Kato Tritos, Paleokipos, Plakados, Papades, Skopelos, Trigonas, Plagia, Plomari, Kaloni, Filia, Skalohori, Vatoussa, Andissa, Eressos, Sigri, Petra, Mithymna, Agia Paraskevi, Parakila, Agra, Messotopos, Mistegna, Nees Kidonies, Mandamados and Klio
Click here for Lesvos bus timetables for summer services, although I can't vouch for the accuracy.
There are plenty of taxis at the airport, at Mytilene town centre near the country bus station. Mytilini taxis are usually silver or yellow and have meters. There are taxis at all the main resorts such as Petra, Molivos and Kalloni. Most villages will have at least one local taxi driver to be found in the main square. Drivers prefer not to use meters outside the capital and charge around one euro per kilometer but prices can vary. Always agree a price before getting in. Levos Taxiservice operates all over Lesvos and has cheap rates for trips, transfers and island excursions
Lying close to the coast of Turkey, Lesvos is 70 km by 45 km with an area of 1,630 sq. km. Lesvos has two large narrow necked bays in the south at Kalloni and Geras. Abundant springs and tidal rivers ensure that some parts of Lesvos remain wet even in high summer. Large salt pans attract many migrating birds.
The hilliest areas of Lesvos are found in the north around Molyvos and to the south-east above the Gulf of Gera. Lesvos island uplands are cloaked in pines and oaks, with olive, vine and citrus groves on the hillsides.
The weather in Lesvos is typically Mediterranean with mild, wet winters and warm, dry summers. The northern meltemi wind can be strong in high summer but winds are dry and warm when they blow from the south-west. The mean annual temperature is 18°C and the mean annual rainfall is 750 mm. Exceptional sunshine levels makes Lesvos one of the sunniest islands in the Aegean.
Summer months on Lesvos see only a few days of rainfall and that is not particularly heavy. At the height of the summer there are more than 12 hours of sunshine . The average summer high is around 30°C and in July/August you will be unlucky to see any rain at all. the water usually stays five to 10 ° lower than the air temperature.
Winters are mild on Lesvos an d snow is rare even in the hills. However winter is the rainy season but visitors can still enjoy long spells of sunshine. The rainiest months are December and January.