Lemnos, an island with natural beauty and rich history is becoming more and more popular. The special atmosphere of Lemnos, with the unique scenery, the impressive architecture and monuments of ancient civilization, combined with influences of the refugees of Asia Minor who settled on the island, creates a very special mixture.
First day – Myrina
Our journey begins in Myrina, the – since ancient times – capital of the island. Kastro (castle) crowns the picturesque seaside town while strolling the two neighborhoods, Romaiko Gyalo with the old buildings of rich locals or Tourkiko is a real pleasure. Morning, evening or night Myrina is beautiful all hours of the day and you will really enjoy your time here. Besides the castle there is also the Lemnos Metropolis Agia Triada, the archaeological and ecclesiastical museum, the Russian fort Tsas which is also known as Ntapia and the church Agia Paraskevi Vontela.
We head to the beach of Agios Ioannis of Kaspakas, one of the best beaches of Lemnos which is very close to Myrina. It is a sandy, organized beach that looks to Chalkidiki and Agio Oros. From the edge of the beach we take the path which leads to one paradox of the island. This generally anhydrous island has a waterfall with raging waters that fall from a height of 15 meters! It is the Kaspaka waterfall, a dreamy landscape.
In Kaspakas of Lemnos, one of the oldest and largest villages of the island we will taste fine almonds and figs, then we will depart south to visit the chapel of Panagia Kakkaviotissa, a chapel without a roof, built in the rocks of Lemnos. Walking to the top of the cliff is about three kilometers from the road and starts just outside the village of Thanos.
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Second day – Plaka
We explore the island, focusing on the northeastern side and our first stop is one of the largest and most important villages of Lemnos, Kontopouli, where the poet Yiannis Ritsos spent the years of his exile. Two large palm trees at the entrance of the village welcome us and lead us to the old stone-made faucet with the elaborate designs in the village square and the building of the Dimitriadis School dating from 1925. Traditionally built stone houses, Will surprise us with the detail of their architecture while the impressive central church in Kontopouli is dedicated to St. Dimitrios.
Our next stop is one of the most important archaeological sites of Lemnos, Hephaestia. The impressive ancient sanctuary of the Great Goddess and the even more impressive ancient theater of the Hellenistic period, gain our interest here, among the wild nature of Lemnos, with the sea at the background.
On the opposite hill, another great archaeological site of Lemnos awaits us. It is Kavierio, a cult place where the occult Kaveiria Mysteries were performed during Greek antiquity. The tall wall that surrounds the sanctuary proves that only the initiates had access there, while three sanctuaries of antiquity still survive today in Kavierio.
In the surrounding area we can visit the Cave of Filoktitis, the Homeric hero that the Achaeans left in Limnos, bit by a poisonous snake and continued to Troy. According to legend, the hero was healed with the help of Limnia Gi. The Cave of Filoktitis is located below Kavirion and in order to approach it we will have to walk a short, narrow and steep path to the coast.
It is time now to go to a beach and the best choice is the beach of Neutina, according to many the most beautiful beach of Lemnos. The endless sandy beach with the white sand, the emerald sea, a chapel with a red roof and a water-stream that “cuts” the beach in the middle create an idyllic scenery.
After enjoying the sun and the sea, we leave for Plaka, the village on the edge of the cape in northeastern Limnos. It owes its name to the homonymous cape, composing a unique, probably volcanic, dark plaques, in shades of gray and black. The view from Plaka, and especially from Faros, to Imvros is unobstructed which made Plaka the annual meeting point for the people from Imvros.
Since 2003, their annual meeting is held in the chapel of Agia Anna, founded by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. A little outside of Plaka is the chapel of Agios Charalambos, where a big feast is held on 22 August. Close to the chapel at Roussounia, opposite the Athos peninsula, there is Agiasma, a spring of fresh water, flowing abundantly and considered once to be miraculous. We relax with a walk among the traditional stone houses and the stone cobblestone streets and taste the delicacies of Lemnos in the traditional taverns of the village.
Third day – Ammothines
On our third day on the island we will enjoy the most impressive geological phenomenon of Limnos, the Ammothines. Starting at Myrina, at a distance of eight kilometers northeast, we meet Kornos, one of the mountainous, old, traditional villages of the island. In the small square of the village, in the traditional cafes you can have your morning coffee until you visit the two old churches, Apostolos Antreas of 1862 and Koimisis Theotokou of 1892.
Close to Korno, there are Therma, the hot springs of Lemnos, with the warm water used from antiquity to the present day for healing purposes while it gathers many visitors. If we have time and we are in the mood we enjoy the healing properties of water, otherwise we leave and continue towards Katalakos. The village is built in the depth of a ravine, in the lush nature. There we will visit Agios Modesto, built in 1856 and continue to Ammothines, where we will be in about 10 minutes.
Following the road signs, we reach a point where we leave our vehicle and continue on the short footpath. Suddenly we see a sandy expanse, a “miniature” desert, like those we encounter in the Sahara and North Africa!
The Ammothines (which means sand-dunes) of Limnos cover an area of about 70 acres in the Gomati region and according to geologists, they were created by the wind that moved the sand, a phenomenon that is considered extremely rare in island regions. The informative signs give us the necessary information, while we can sit under the kiosks to drink some water and enjoy the spectacle.
After Ammothines we head to Gomati beach, one of the best on the island! The long, golden sandy beach with its fine, soft sand and clear waters, the peculiar rocks, and the small islet on the north end, make up a unique landscape, while at the edge of the beach there is a tavern and at the other one there is a beach bar.
Leaving Gomati, we head towards Atsiki, one of the largest villages of Lemnos, in the center of the island. The big village has everything, while in the central square, restaurants and taverns offer local delicacies. The church of St. George Atsiki was built in 1868 and its bell tower is the largest of Lemnos!
Not far from Atsiki, next to the nearby village of Propouli, is another of the impressive sights of the island’s nature. It is the spectacular landscape of Faraklos: rocks in curious golden-yellow and reddish colors, in various shapes and sizes. The Faraklos Geological Park attracts a lot of visitors.
Fourth day – Fakos
Time to visit the beautiful villages of southwest Lemnos, starting from Portiano, the village where Churchill lived during his stay in Lemnos in the First World War.
Today one can see the old armchair that he used to sit on (one of the exhibits of the Folklore Museum), the mansion of G. Constantinou where he stayed, but also the Cemetery of the Allies that exists in the village.
From Portiano we head towards the cape of Fakos and Diapori, the narrow point of land that connects Fakos with the rest of Lemnos. It is unspoiled nature, typical of the scenery of the island, with dozens of hiking trails to choose from and enjoy quietness and tranquility as we want.
From this point we have two choices. Either we continue walking to the secluded beach of Kokkina, or we return by car and take a swim in one of the organized beaches on this side of Limnos. Platis beach, Thanos beach, the beach of Diapori and Evgatis are very close and are all equally good!
We leave the beach before sundown so we can visit the villages of the area under daylight. A road with trees on both sides, which stands out as it is not common in Lemnos, leads us to Tsimantria while in the square, a fountain of 1935 welcomes guests and traditional taverns offer delicious local food. Palaio Pedino, built near the sea, although abandoned almost completely after the 1968 earthquake, maintains the atmosphere of the past to this day.
Around the old stone square, with its tall plane tree, traditional taverns operate that gather lots of people, especially during the summer evenings. Nea Koutali is built on the top of the bay, from Asia Minor refugees from the island of Koutali of Propontida. The picturesque harbor is full of fishing boats and boats, while from the taverns of the beach you can enjoy the view to the bay of Moudros.
We continue towards Kontias, one of the largest villages in Limnos, which has preserved as far as possible the atmosphere of the past. The old stone mansions of the 19th and 20th century, the cobblestone streets, the old neighborhoods, the spirit of the many years of history, make the village one of the most popular destinations in Lemnos. We see the ruins of the old windmills, but also two completely renovated, worth visiting. The old church of Agios Ioannis Prodromos, with the fortress construction, is estimated to have been built in the 16th century while the village also houses an Art Gallery of Contemporary Balkan Art.
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Fifth day – Moudros-Poliochni
We have to visit Moudros, the second largest town of Lemnos after Myrina. The small, picturesque island town with the impressive church of Evangelistria and the beautiful church of Taxiarches, the old stone elementary school, the small island of Koukonissi that is accessible from the land through a narrow isthmus and the unique view to the bay of Moudros make us to definitely want to come back!
We are heading towards the neighboring Romanou, where the sparkling water that springs from the rock welcomes us… The village is considered one of the most beautiful of Lemnos, as the stone houses and the old mansions are crafted with skill and passion. The Papaioannios School (1906), the beautiful square, the church of Christ’s Birth of 1830, the grounded jars, the traditional windmills in the surrounding hills make the landscape truly impressive and interesting!
Next, we visit Repanidi with the traditional houses, the old church of Agios Georgios, the carved in the rocks grain storage, as well as the also carved in the rock holes which served as jars. Roussopouli, built amphitheatrically in the trees on the slope of Korakas hill, offers panoramic views of the surrounding area, while outside the village impressive geological formations described as “colored rocks” enchant the visitors.
An important archaeological site, not only for Lemnos, but also for the entire area of the Aegean, Poliochni, is located in this southeast side of the island and we should not miss to visit it. It is estimated that at its peak Poliochi had about 1,500 inhabitants who lived in rectangular stone houses. The city was surrounded by a wall and had a sewage network, squares and streets, indicating that the inhabitants of the time collaborated and lived under certain rules, while one of its most impressive elements is the “vouleutirio”, a hall with stone chairs around and a seat in the middle for the speaker.
After our visit to the great archaeological site it is time for the beach. There are many choices as many beautiful beaches await for us. The most popular are two: Keros beach which is washes by the Aegean and Parthenomytos which faces towards the entrance of the bay of Moudros.
For Keros we will head north. There you will find a beach bar, loungers with umbrellas, kiosks that have been built by the municipality of Lemnos and a small pine forest … Keros is famous for the surfers who love it for the big waves, while the three lakes of Lemnos which are included in the Natura list are very close.
On the contrary, the beach of Parthennomytos is to the south, one of the largest but also the most secluded beaches of Lemnos mainly due to the difficult access, which is possible only by a rough dirt road. The turquoise waters and the sandy beach compensate us for the difficulties of the route, while after the beach we can also visit Agios Sozontas, the monastery that is a reference point for Lemnos.