Built amphitheatrically around the Sedounda ravine, Plomari is the third largest settlement in southern Lesvos. The town is a vibrant location for visitors wishing to appreciate the natural beauty and historical sites of Plomari while becoming immersed in the lively atmosphere of its multitude of restaurants and cafes.
Since the mid-19th century, Plomari has acted as the most important commercial and industrial area of Lesvos, being second only to Mytilene in industrial and commercial activity. Its coastal location, moreover, has helped it to evolve into an important shipping district where the maritime trade is in flourish.
Evidence of this rich industrial and maritime history is scattered across Plomari. Numerous renovated or abandoned olive-presses, mills, tanneries and factories pay tribute to the commercial force of Plomari up until the destruction of Asia Minor and the severance of trade with the East.
Upon entrance to the contemporary town you will be greeted by the dockyards of Tarsanades. Sailors and experienced craftsmen would gather here in times gone by and construct inimitable sailing vessels for the Aegean market. Today, the dockyards area is home to the largest Plomarian neighborhood. It is the last remaining dockyards where wooden-hull vessels are still constructed or repaired in the entirety of Lesvos.
The production and export of soap was a staple for Plomari’s economy up until 1922 as olive-oil was made into luxury Savon de Marseille and shipped over to France. A Soap Museum operates in the former Poulia Soap Factory (whose renovated premises act as the Municipal Events Hall or ‘Polykentro’ of Plomari). Come here and admire the various tools of the soap-making trade such as soap stamping, weighing and drying equipment and a collection of soap-making photographs. An exhibition of photos featuring the Plomarian maritime fleet of the past is also available. Entrance is free and the museum is open Monday to Friday between 8:00 am and 14:00 pm (arrangement required) but remains closed at the weekend.
Plomari remains recognized as the homeland of ouzo, the famous Lesvian beverage produced in a total of 4 distilleries in the region. The Plomarian Ouzo Museum is located within the premises of the Barbagiannis distillery. Visit here and become acquainted with the 150-year-old ouzo-making tradition of the Barbagiannis family, take part in an Ouzo-tasting expedition and buy gifts of ouzo to bring home with you. Tours of the Ouzo Museum are given in Greek or in English (and in Swedish, German and Dutch subject to prior arrangement). The Museum is open between the 1st of April and the 15th of October, Monday to Friday, from 9:00 am until 16:00 pm. Between the 16th of October and 31st May, the Museum operates Monday to Friday, from 10:00 am to 14:00 pm. The Museum is open at weekends by prior arrangement only. Entrance is free.
At the beginning of every August, the Cultural Association of Plomari joins forces with the wider Municipality and Distilleries of Lesvos to organize a two-day event dedicated to ouzo. The ‘Traditional Culture of Ouzo’ takes place at Plomari marina and comprises talks on the history and traditional production of ouzo and presentations by contemporary distillers. Live music and dance are indispensible to the annual event. Come here, learn as much as you can about this famous Lesvian beverage, and relish the music, ‘mezedes’ (finger food) and free samples of ouzo.
The old town of Plomari is extremely picturesque and best explored on foot. Visitors here can admire the multitude of brightly-painted houses, imposing old mansions and abandoned industrial buildings, a landscape destined to change every winter as the rain causes the Sedounda River to surge down the mountains and flow into the ravine.
The valley of Sedounda is an area of rich bio-diversity and a riverside walk will grant you with ample opportunity to discover the fauna and flora of Southern Lesvos and admire a variety of chapels, bridges of wood, old cobbled alleys, watermills and ‘pezoules’ (stone-built dams).
The basilica of Saint Nicholas (circa 1847 AD) is located in the heart of Plomari. Situated within the churchyard, an Ecclesiastical Museum provides information on the life of Saint Nicholas and offers visitors an insight into the history of Plomari and wider Lesvos. The museum collection includes a number of old religious icons and miscellaneous ecclesiastical items. The Ecclesiastical Museum of Plomari is open daily between the hours of 10:00 am and 13:30 pm.
By the eastern entrance to the town lies the church of Agia Paraskevi with its white marble iconostasis. The church of Profitis Ilias is situated at the highest point in Plomari.
A variety of bars, cafes, tavernas and nightclubs line the seafront, offering views of the sea in the day and a lively ambience in the evening. There is a multitude of hotels and apartments in Plomari, offering accommodation options to visitors with varying requirements and budgets.
The beach of Agios Isidoros is located on the eastern side of Plomari, a mere 2 kilometers away from the town. Agios Isidoros is one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece and a dip in its cool, crystalline waters will refresh you beyond compare. Agios Isidoros has been awarded certification as a Blue Flag beach, a well-deserved title as the water here is among the cleanest in the entire country.
Ammoudeli, the beach in the west side of Plomari, is also recommended for swimming.