Voyages of Discovery

Mt Olympos © Christine AspinallLesvos is a wonderful island for walking and exploring.  There are now several guide books available with walks of all lengths, described in detail.  Many of the tracks are also accessible by 4WD jeep.  By getting off the beaten path you really do see other aspects of the island and island life.  We have walked all day and seen no-one; other times we have had the most interesting encounters with local people and have to drag ourselves away with the reminder that we have several miles still to go.  The Greek people, in general, have a friendly curiosity about “strangers” in their midst and if you walk into a small hill village language is no barrier to them wanting to know who you are, where you are from, where you have been and why you are here.  And they will sit you down, bring you drinks, plates of fresh food (often from their own gardens) and display the generous hospitality that the Greek people are justly famous for.yiammas!

By walking you will find places that will never be seen by the visitors who gather in the main resorts and you could be on another island entirely.  Because Lesvos does not rely on tourism for more than perhaps 10% of its income it can afford to treat you as if you were family, not as a cash cow to be milked in a short season.

The scenery is so varied across the island it is Rhododendron Luteum © Christine Aspinalldifficult to round any corner and not go “Aaah!”.  There is always a new vista, an interesting church, some dilapidated shepherd’s hut etc that stops you in your tracks and absolutely demands you take a photograph or three!  We have seen rock tombs on a beach, the rare and beautiful wild Rhododendron Luteum with its gloriously scented yellow flowers, tiny churches built into rocks, sheep grazing seaweed on a beach, waterfalls, ruins of watermills, ponds alive with turtles and frogs.

Evidence of current military activity can be seen around the island, but you can also find rusting old tanks (usually facing towards the Turkish coast!) and mysterious holes in the ground.  We have even accidentally driven onto a firing range during practice.  Oops!

Lesvos really is an island with something for everyone.  YOUR voyage of discovery is out there waiting for you.

Ligonas Valley – Petra

THE WATERMILLS OF LIGONAIn a valley close to Petra and Petri, the water running  from the hills was used to power mills. Their use began to decline in 1947 and the last mill closed in 1962 but the remains of many of the mills can still be seen. It is possible to walk the valley of the Mills (Ligonas) from Petra, so you don’t need a car or to take a taxi ride. All you need is your feet and Ligonas is yours to enjoy.

You can start from either Petra or Petri, the walk is simply packed with breath taking views. The area is described in a free leaflet produced by the municipality of Petra. You can flip through the leaflet by clicking on the picture on the left, it makes interesting reading.

We really enjoyed our visit to the Ligonas Valley and I hope that you will be inspired to visit, it is a magical place. The photographs from our walk can be seen in the Ligonas Valley Gallery Section.

If you do want to walk here we would suggest that you take water to drink and wear shoes suitable for walking (without open toes). Some of the paths are a little overgrown and long trousers would be best if you intend to fully explore the valley.