Mytilene Travel Guide

Mytilene in Greece

Lesbos, sometimes referred to as Mytilini after its capital, is a Greek island located in the northeastern Aegean Sea. It has an area of 1,632 square kilometres with 320 kilometres of coastline, making it the third largest Greek island. It is separated from Turkey by the narrow Mytilini Strait.

Lesbos is a separate regional unit of the North Aegean region, and is one of five governing islands within it. The others are Chios, Ikaria, Lemnos, and Samos. The total number of islands governed by the North Aegean are 9 and they are Lesbos,,, and Samos. The capital of the North Aegean Region is Mytilene. The population of Lesbos is approximately 86,000, a third of which lives in its capital, Mytilene, in the southeastern part of the island. The remaining population is distributed in small towns and villages. The largest are Plomari, Kalloni, the Gera Villages, Agiassos, Eresos, and Molyvos.

Mytilene was founded in the 11th century BC by the family Penthilidae, who arrived from Thessaly, and ruled the city-state until a popular revolt led by Pittacus of Mytilene ended their rule. In Middle Ages, it was under Byzantine and then Genoese rule. Lesbos was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1462, who ruled the island until the First Balkan War in 1912, when it became part of the Kingdom of Greece.

Geography

Lesbos lies in the far east of the Aegean sea, facing the Turkish coast from the north and east; at the narrowest point, the strait is about 5.5 km wide. Shape of the island is roughly triangular, but it is deeply intruded by the gulfs of Kalloni, with an entry on the southern coast, and of Gera, in the southeast.

The island is forested and mountainous with two large peaks, Mt. Lepetymnos at 968 m and Mt. Olympus at 967 m, dominating its northern and central sections. The island's volcanic origin is manifested in several hot springs and the two gulfs.

Lesbos is verdant, aptly named Emerald Island, with a greater variety of flora than expected for the island's size. Eleven million olive trees cover 40% of the island together with other fruit trees. Forests of mediterranean pines, chestnut trees and some oaks occupy 20%, and the remainder is scrub, grassland or urban.

Map of Mytilene with accommodations

The blue markers shows the location of various accommodations in Mytilene. The letter in the marker describes the accommodation types: H for Hotel, A for Apartment, R for Resort, B for Bed & Breakfast and O for Other (e.g. pension, villa). Click on the blue marker for more information on the accommodation.

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