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Just off the Turkish coast in the north east of the Aegean Sea lies Lesbos the third largest of the Greek islands. Lesbos is a mountainous island with two main peaks. The hilliest areas are found in the north around Molivos and in the east near Agiassos. Lesbos is a very verdant island with its pine forests covering the mountain slopes which then give way to olive groves. With its lovely beaches, its average annual temperature of 18 degrees, and its reputation as the sunniest of the Greek isles, it is no surprise that Lesbos is one of Greece's favourite holiday destinations.
The unspoiled beauty of Lesbos with its rugged mountains, its striking coastline, its interesting villages retaining an authentic Greek atmosphere and the remarkable antiquities that it possesses, draw many visitors to Lesbos every year. Add to this the beaches with their tavernas and their water sport facilities and you have the perfect holiday cocktail.
Lesbos is popular with all age ranges and interests It has such a broad range of sights and activities to offer that it seems to possess an almost universal appeal.. Families with small children looking for ‘sand castle' terrain will find many suitable beaches with safe shallow seas. Water sports enthusiasts will find a large variety of activities.
Bird watchers come to Lesbos to find the fascinating variety of avian life especially around the salt pans such as those at Kaloni.
The holiday season lasts from April until October when the temperature ranges from twenty to thirty degrees. Summer is the most popular time to visit the island which is said to be the sunniest of all the Greek islands.
Lesbos is a lush green island with sixty per cent of its area given over to trees. The pines on the mountain sides, the millions of olive groves as well as the fruit trees and the oaks have contributed to its being known as the emerald isle of Greece. The capital town of Mytilene, home of the island's olive oil refineries is on the northern tip. One third of the population live here and as such it is a busy centre. The waterfront boasts two harbours which are separated by a 6th century castle one of the town’s tourist attractions. Other attractions include the many museums especially the Museum of Modern Art which houses, among others, works by Matisse and Picasso.
There are many hot springs in Lesbos such as those in Thermi and Eflatou which are said to be beneficial to those suffering from arthritis, rheumatism and chest and skin complaints.
Molivos is the most beautiful, and also the main, holiday resort. The grey stone buildings are topped with red tiles, whilst the old wooden buildings have been lovingly restored and, amongst them all, trail the flowering shrubs and plants which are truly a feast for the eyes. At night the fortress on the top of the hill is illuminated.
Skala Kaloni is an ideal spot for families with children as the beaches are sandy and the sea is shallow and calm.
Festivals are closely associated with the Orthodox Church's calendar and are celebrated with music, food and wine.
In Molvios there is an open air theatre where music festivals take place during the summer months.
The nightlife in Lesbos is varied and offers entertainment to suit most tastes. The liveliest place to be is the capital which provides bars, discos and clubs. A peaceful evening in a restaurant or taverna overlooking the sea or lively bars with music and discos, are found in most coastal resorts.
Most resorts have gift shops lining the beaches and here you can buy all your holiday souvenirs including, rather tasteful ceramics, embroidered linens, leather goods and soaps made from olive oil.
Mytilene has many gift and craft shops along side its boutiques and jewellers. The market here is said to be the best in Greece.
In Lesbos there are numerous tavernas, cafes, bars and restaurants which provide a wide range of food to accommodate most tastes. The Sardines of Kalloni are the island’s speciality. Traditional Greek food relies heavily on fish simply cooked and is quite delicious. Moussaka is another Greek favourite made from minced lamb and aubergines.
The local wines are inexpensive and very palatable.
Ouzo from the distilleries in the south at Plomaria is recommended.
The family is held in high regard in Greece and children are always given a warm welcome. Restaurants are usually very child friendly.
When visiting churches and monasteries, shoulders and legs should be covered to avoid offence.
The islanders are noted for their hospitality and visitors are warmly welcomed.
The best time to book a cheap holiday to Lesbos is in April, May or October. If you stay outside the peak summer holiday season, resorts will be quieter and you'll have more chance of finding a better deal.
With the quieter resorts come other benefits too. The prices of drinks and some foods are also cheaper at this time, which could prompt you to book your accommodation on a room only or self catering basis and save even more money.
Lesbos has an annual temperature of 18ºC and a reputation as one of Greece's sunniest islands. The holiday season lasts from April until October, so booking your holiday at either end of this season will save you money and guarantee you warm weather too.
The nightlife in Lesbos is varied and will suit most tastes. In the capital you'll find bars, discos and night clubs for a lively night out. If it's a peaceful restaurant meal that you're after, then you'll find that in one of the many tavernas in the coastal resorts where you can have a beautiful view of the sea as you eat.
Many of the resorts feature gift shops where you can buy plenty of souvenirs to give to family when you get back, or keep for yourself as a reminder of your holiday to Lesbos. Mytilene has many gift shops as well as jewellers and the market here is said to be the best in Greece.
With all of this and plenty more, taking a cheap Lesbos holiday in April, May or October might be a great idea if you're looking for a cheap but enjoyable holiday.