Set around a turquoise bay on Lesbos’ northern coast is the traditional fishing village of Petra.
The village’s Blue Flag-awarded beach backs into a historic village filled with cobblestone streets and terracotta buildings, interspersed with local taverns, markets and important landmarks like the Panagia Glykofilousa.
After dark, Petra develops a sociable nightlife scene focused around its traditional seafront taverns.
Petra is an ideal location to stay and explore all of the island, conveniently located to offer easy reach to all Lesvos has to offer.
You can’t miss the Panagia Glykofilousa (Church of Our Lady of the Sweet Kiss) as it’s Petra’s most visible attraction. It also tops TripAdvisor’s list of things to do in Petra, with reviewers describing the amazing views from the top. This traditional church sits on a big rock in the village, so you can look down on the cobbled streets and red rooftops or out over the sea to the horizon. You’ll have to climb 114 steps to get there, but it’s relatively easy and absolutely worth it. You might want to avoid it on a particularly hot day, though, or if you’re not feeling very lively.
Petra beach is beautiful; people come here just to relax on the soft, golden sands and play in the clear, shallow water. The long sweep of sand boasts Blue Flag status and you’ll be surrounded by pretty scenery of hills and greenery, plus there’s the lively waterfront lined with tavernas, bars and cafés -the best place to spend the evening in Petra.
Like the rest of Lesbos, the sea life at Petra is so colourful that snorkelling and scuba diving are both popular. But if that doesn’t appeal, there are plenty of glass-bottomed boat trips so you can see the fish and reefs without even dipping a toe in the water. But if you are up for something more adventurous, Petra is a great place to learn how to sea kayak or windsurf as well.
If you like to find out about the history of the places you go to on holiday, you’ll want to visit Vareltzidaina’s House. This restored merchant’s house is not far from the main square in the heart of Petra, and its traditional furnishings and simple decor will give you an idea of what life was like here 200 years ago.
With wooden balconies hanging over the street and beautiful ceiling carvings and wall friezes inside. It isn’t very big, so won’t keep you away from the beach for long, making it a great place to stop off on a stroll through the village’s little cobbled streets making this hidden gem a great way to add a little culture to your holiday.
You can buy their Ouzo in Petra’s supermarkets, but it somehow tastes better when you’ve seen where it’s made, so it’s worth finding out when they’re open. Some also say Ouzo tastes the best when you’re on holiday in the Grecian sunshine, so don’t feel you have to save it for a souvenir. And it’s best sipped alongside a plate of mezedes (nibbles), which tends to be included when you order Ouzo in the traditional cafés. There’s no better place for feeling at home in any Greek town or village, and it’s a great chance to try some of Lesbos’ other local produce.
On the left side of the road that leads to the church of Panayia Glykofilousa, and on a lower level of the road, is the Church of Saint Nikolas. It was built in the 16th century, and it belongs to the type of one-room basilica, it has a wood carved temple and has interesting frescos. The floor is with stones 42×42 cm.
More than 252 species of birds find refuge in the Kalloni wetlands. Not surprisingly, it ranks among Europe’s ten most important habitats for avian diversity and rarity.
Between the brushwood-covered rocks - geological sculptures emerging from the sea – can be found the thermal waters of Eftalou. The water from the spring emerges from underwater springs at a temperature of 43.6-46.5 degrees Celsius and is renowned for its therapeutic.
Molyvos can rival the most beautiful medieval fortress towns in Europe, Its houses grip the sides of a steep rock while turning their gaze to the Mediterranean. The structure and layout of the town and its 13th-century Genoese castle remain unchanged over the course of centuries.
There are very few places in the world where you can see trees lying where they fell millions of years ago. Take the time to visit the ‘park’, which was declared a Protected Natural Monument in 1985, and the adjacent museum, where you’ll learn about the island’s intriguing geology. This attraction is worth a visit during your holidays on the island.
The Bysantine castle of Molyvos (Mithimna)
The picturesque harbor of Molyvos
The agora of Molyvos with the beautiful alleys
The hot water spring of Eftalou