What to do in Molyvos

Against all odds, Molyvos still remains a wonderful surprise for your senses. Provoking an explosion of sensations as you take that last turn on the road from Mytilene, you can’t help but feel overwhelmed by the astounding beauty of this northern edge of the island. You stop here by the side of the road and begin to feel the magic of this most picturesque village on Lesvos. Characterized as a Heritage site it is a preserved settlement since 1965, an excellent example of local craftsmanship, wisdom and architecture. An amazing amalgam of wood, stone and colours.

Molyvos stands opposite Troy and the coast of Asia Minor. It is built on an ancient rock, rising gradually up towards the Byzantine fortress that crowns its top and protects it, as does the primordial mountain of Lepetymnos. Inheriting the glory of ancient Mithymna that stood in its place two thousand years ago, Molyvos presents an extraordinary range of colours depending on the angles of the sun and light that strikes it throughout the day.

Enclosed courtyards with jasmine and bougainvillea, winding cobbled streets and open squares sheltered by old growth plane trees will inevitably give you a sense of the area’s history. Here you can spend your days among constant reminders of the past, from Hellenic antiquity, the Roman times, the Byzantium and the Venetian Gattelluzi era, to the post Byzantine era, the Ottoman period, the Middle Ages and even the more recent Asia Minor refugee years, a time of massive internal and external immigration.

From the ancient city of Mithymna that was located in the area behind the harbour, to the remains of the Roman Aqueduct, the Byzantine Castle and the famous post-Byzantine churches of Taxiarchis, Ag. Panteleimonas and Ag. Kiriaki, to the Ottoman Baths and the Mosque now serving as the area’s conference centre, to the public fountains and the excellent samples of 19th century architecture mansions (such as the current School of Fine Arts), to the little stores in the village’s market centre which is covered in wisteria, and to the old fishing harbour… it will all have you magically traveling to another era.

You will also find the past in writing among the 13,000 books at the Historical Municipal Library of Molyvos in the market centre. And you’ll see and admire the modern side of Greece at the Municipal Art Gallery among the 200 paintings and sculptures of modern Greek artists (Halepas, Vasileiou, Mitaras, Tetsis, Rokos, Sikeliotis, Mpotsoglou, Katrakis, Varlamos, Hainis, Prekas, Tasos, Akrithakis, Cocosco etc.).

Lepetymnos, the mountain overlooking Molyvos, carries its name from the Pre-Hellenic period and among its rich fauna and flora you will come across beautiful small villages with exceptional rural architecture. Vafios, known for its traditional cuisine, Argenos and Lepetymnos, known for their excellent dairy products, Sykamia, home of one of the best known Greek writers Stratis Myrivilis, and Skala Sykamia, the picturesque fishing village with the famous and most-photographed chapel “Panagia Gorgona”.

panagia-gorgona