The colourful boats bob up and down on gentle waves. A pretty whitewashed church sits on the seawall watching over the harbour. Every way you turn, your eye catches another view that demands to be photographed. This is the fairy tale, picture book Greece you dreamt of.
This is Skala Sykaminias.
Getting to Skala Sykaminias
The northern coast of Lesvos is very rugged. The main road here passes through the mountain village of Sykaminias. A turning just outside of the village takes you down the winding road to the harbour village of Skala Sykaminias. As the crow flies it is 1.5 km (0.9 miles) from the turning to the harbour. There is also a vertical drop of 280 metres (918 feet). The views on the drive down to the harbour will take your breath away and your exploration has not yet begun. There is a car park close to the entrance of the village a short walk from the harbour and it is best to try to park there.
The pretty church on the harbour is “The Church of the Mermaid Madonna” and became famous when Stratis Myrivilis published his book “The Mermaid Madonna” in 1959. Much of his work was written beneath the giant 130-year-old mulberry tree that grows outside the harbourside taverna “Mirivili’s Mulbery”. You can enjoy lunch at either of the idyllic harbourside tavernas or take morning drinks outside the coffee shop Κάβος. Here you can enjoy the company of the colourful local that speaks at least three languages (that we have heard). Refreshed you can then head back along the coast (dirt) road to Eftalou.
The Coast road
The road surface can suffer over the winter months so it is best to check with locals before making your journey. Just outside Skala Sykaminias there are benches beneath the trees along the road. This is a great place to stop and take in the views across to Turkey. It is also a great place to swim in the crystal clear waters. The views along this coast are breathtaking. Drive slowly and stop frequently to take in the natural beauty all around.
About 4.5 km from Skala Sykaminias you will find a natural hot spring. People sometimes move the stones at the sea’s edge to form a small basin which fills with the hot water. WARNING! The spring here varies in temperature and is frequently hot enough to scald. When we placed a thermometer in the water we measured 80.3° C (176.5° F). So you have been warned approach with extreme caution!