What’s the best way to explore an island? Along its coastline, of course! That’s why a sailing excursion is a great idea, especially in Lesvos. From a leisurely day trip to a multi day exploration of the island’s lacy shores, one thing is for sure: you will enjoy incredible beaches and hard-to-reach villages. Getting in touch with the sea and nature is an incredible experience that brings us all closer to our surroundings with respect and awe.
Lesvos is one of the best islands in the Aegean to explore by sea. Here, the northern summer winds that blow in the rest of the Aegean and make sailing much more difficult, are much milder. The lush coastline is vastly interesting for experienced and novice sailors alike, and offers access to hidden bays and charming fishing villages.
A complete sailing excursion starts of course from the island’s central port, which is located in the capital Mytilene. The first stop is not far away, as we head to the bay of Saint Ermogenis. It is located on the southeast peninsula of the island and is protected from the northern winds. On the shore, olive and pine trees grow almost down to the water, creating a truly dreamlike sight. Right on the bay’s beach is a picturesque tavern, serving traditional, simple dishes prepared with local ingredients. Also, the small church in the bay often is the sight for unbearably romantic wedding ceremonies.
Continuing to the south, you will come across the gorgeous Tarti bay. It lies on the other side of the Geras bay, in relation to Saint Ermogenis. The crystal clear emerald waters are enough to merit a visit. However, they aren’t the only attraction of the area, as there is a pretty, small fishing village with shops for you to restock. The small, sheltered bay also has a number of taverns that are ideal for a lazy evening meal. The nearby ouzo factory means that you’ll also have a chance to sample the delightful spirit from the land in which it is produced.
We continue our voyage to Eresos, birthplace of the poet Sappho. The long, golden sandy beach has multiple quiet spots where you can drop your anchor and enjoy perhaps the most beautiful swim in all of Lesvos. Eresos is a large village, capable of serving any need and desire that visitors have, including plenty of shops and restaurants. Right on the beach you can enjoy the beach bars that are lined up, each with its own style and music. Be sure to plan a pit stop at every single one for a very different kind of pub crawl!
Your next stop will be Sigri. The beautiful bay is not crowded at all, so it’s the ideal choice for a calming day. However, only the small bay right in front of the village is protected from wind and suitable for mooring.
Continuing to sail around Lesvos, the next stop is one of the more important ones, the famous port of Molivos. The village, built on a steep hill and adorned with its castle, is sure to stun visitors who arrive by sea. In the interior of the village you can enjoy a romantic stroll through the tiny streets. In the afternoon, it’s time for a delicious meal in the pretty, clean port. It’s a good idea to pencil in some time for a hike to Eftalou beach, which shouldn’t take more than an hour. The crystal clear sea is reason enough, but there are also hot springs which also deserve a visit. Weather-permitting, another great day trip which you should venture upon is to Sykamia, which you will reach by sea.
The circumnavigation of Lesvos is definitely not complete without visiting the tiny island complex of Tokmakia, just off Mantamado. They are just 1 kilometer off the main island, but offer a truly unique experience, unlike anything you will have a chance to do on Lesvos. The islands are considered a Special Protection Zone, since they are the breeding grounds of a rare type of seagull of the Aegean. Just across the islands, back on “mainland” Lesvos, lies the gorgeous village of Agios Stefanos, with its tranquil beach. Near there is the out-of-the-way beach Chrisi Ammos, which means Golden Beach. It is a special treat for sailors as the wild, untouched nature of the area is inaccessible by anything but boat.
Aspiring and accomplished sailors alike have certain needs, to which Lesvos is fully equipped to respond. The many ports and natural moorings of the island make it a calm one to sail around. The milder winds in comparison to the rest of the Aegean, depending of course on the season, allow visitors to experience the island at its best. The island also has an excellent lighthouse system, is well charted and covered adequately by VHF radio.
The only thing you need to be sure of is to save a bit of time to stay in Mytilene, going through the experiences and memories of your voyage and start planning your next one, in the most beautiful island of the Aegean!