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Agii Anargyri - A Secret Greenness Beauty of Lesvos

  1. General Information
  2. Agii Anargyri and the Homonymous Chapel
  3. Agii Anargyri Events
  4. Agii Anargyri Attractions
  5. Leisure and Dining in Agii Anargyri 
  6. How to Arrive
  7. Nearby Attractions

General Information

To many, a visit to Agii Anargyri is akin to a journey into the land of fairytales. The remote, profoundly beautiful area is renowned for its greenness and for the sense of tranquility it can bestow to those lucky enough to set foot on Agii Anargyri.

Agii Anargyri (sometimes spelt ‘Agioi Anargyroi’) -  is set 25 kilometers away from Mytilene and lies at only a short distance away from Asomatos, the village regarded as the prettiest in the region of Evergetoulas. It is popular with visitors who arrive at Asomatos, explore the village and then proceed to the riverside area in the hope of enjoying its leafy coolness. Whether you are keen to savor a few peaceful moments in the shade of the area’s tall, age-old trees or keen to discover its single café, you are certain to fall for the fecundity and peace of this truly magical setting.

Agii Anargyri is an area of unmatched natural beauty known for its profound greenness and the ever-flowing streams that bestow it an aura of magic.  An enchanting destination that entices visitors to roam by the river banks, savor its atmosphere and spend a few peaceful moments in the shady green setting, Agii Anargyri is filled with plane, chestnut, cherry and sour cherry trees, whose leaves turn from green to vivid red in the summer months.

Agii Anargyri and the Homonymous Chapel

Lesvos has an immense religious tradition, each of its churches and chapels bespeaking the profound religious sentiment of its people. While their presence in Lesvos is not half as pronounced as that of the Virgin Mary and Saint Michael the Archangel, who are immensely revered  on the island, Agii Anargyri are greatly esteemed in Orthodox Christianity. The chapel of Agii Anargyri (circa 1881) is an integral part of the religious life of Asomatos and attracts pilgrims from the entirety of the island.

‘Anargyros’ is an adjective describing someone who refuses to accept payment for his services and, indeed, the Agii Anargyri Saints are historically claimed to have worked as doctors who never once received payment. While the adjective is commonly used to describe the Saints Kosmas and Damianos, there are in fact three pairs of Saints with the same names. By an amazing coincidence, each Kosmas-Damianos pair were twins who acted as doctors but died on different dates, were sainted in different manners and are celebrated on three different days (September 1st, July 1st and October 17th).

Agii Anargyri Events

The twin Saints Kosmas and Damianos died in the year 284 AD and are believed to have converted Emperor Karinos to Christianity in the course of their martyrdom. Their memory is celebrated on July 1st, when Agii Anarygri becomes filled with people who come to the chapel to pay their respects to the Saints and take part in the festivities.
Celebrations commence on the 30th of June, an auspicious date as the care of olive trees has been mostly completed, summer vegetables have been planted and the harvest is still small. At least in the past, the end of June marked the time of year when the residents of Asomatos could afford to relax and enjoy an evening of music and dancing. It is said that the children of Asomatos would arise early on July 1st only to crawl under the tables and chairs used in the previous night’s celebrations and look for coins that might have dropped out of the pockets of the participants to the feast.

The festival of Agii Anargyri is a long-standing tradition that brings hoards of local residents and visitors from all across Lesvos to the quiet area. It is an opportunity to rejoice in a cool, amazingly beautiful location that is worth coming to on any day of the year.

Agii Anargyri Attractions

A traditional olive press was recently added to the landscape of Agii Anargyri and is a pole of attraction for numerous schools or independent visitors that set off from Asomatos and follow up their visit to the village’s Ecclesiastic Museum and Folklore Exhibition with a walk to the riverside area. The 80-year-old olive press is fully operational:  seeing it at work will give you a first-hand experience of the traditional methods used in the extraction of olive oil and you might even enjoy a taste of freshly-baked bread drizzled with olive-oil, a traditional Lesvian treat.

Leisure and Dining in Agii Anargyri

If you find yourself in central Lesvos, do make the trip to Agii Anargyri. The area is simply magical, the riverside location green, shady and cool, and you will be enticed to explore its rich fauna and flora, roam among the trees and rest in the single café that graces Agii Anargyri. It is the perfect spot to sample homemade spoon sweets made from local cherries or sour cherries and savor a cup of Greek coffee or to have a sit-down meal and enjoy a variety of reasonably-priced traditional dishes made from local ingredients. However you decide to spend your visit, you will be enthralled by the beauty of the scenery and cherish your time in the enchanting, profoundly green Agii Anargyri.

How to Arrive

The area is best approached from Asomatos, which deserves a visit in its own right. At a 1.3 kilometer distance from the latter village, Agii Anargyri  is served by an overgrown, cobblestone path that begins west of Asomatos, right by the cemetery. For the first 759 meters the route is downhill then becomes flat.

Nearby Attractions

The traditional village of Asomatos is one of the most charming locations on Evergetoulas. A must-visit destination if you venture to central Lesvos, Asomatos retains its original architecture and - though its population has been steadily diminishing since the end of the Greek Civil War - is a site where the traditional crafts of Lesvos have been preserved. Textile and basket weaving continue to maintain the long creative history of the village and an effort has been made to preserve the historical and cultural life of Asomatos.

Asomatos is home to the temple of ‘Taxiarches’ (the Great Archangels), a three-tiered basilica that looks down on the tranquil green village. The church dates from 1796. Surrounded by a glorious flower garden, the church is impressively well-maintained. Within the stone-paved churchyard, visitors will encounter an Ecclesiastic Museum and Folklore Exhibition that include a wealth of age-old books, coins, manuscripts, liturgical vestments and religious icons, as well as many samples of traditional Asomatos crafts. A visit here is strongly advised to anyone interested in gaining a sense of the history of Asomatos.

In the wider region, the valley of Evergetoulas is one of the greenest expanses on Lesvos. Waterfalls, streams, rivers and their tributaries, running springs, marshes and salt pans adorn Evergetoulas, transforming the plain into an amazingly verdant oasis.

Gera Beach - A Green Seaside Spot 12km from Mytilene

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  1. General Information
  2. Nearby Attractions

General Information

With its profound greenness, an array of good beaches and several small hidden coves, the Beach of Gera is one of the most romantic and astoundingly beautiful locations on Lesvos island. An ideal spot if you wish to veer away from the island’s main touristic spots, explore the hidden beauty of Lesvos or simply spend a day on some of the island’s best beaches, the coast of Gera will enchant you with its cool, turquoise water, green hillsides and plethora of modest dining establishments, where numerous dishes of only the freshest dish may be savored at the end of a relaxing day by the sea.

Arrive at Gera and you will have plenty of beach-going options to choose from. At a distance of 12 kilometers from the Lesvos capital, Mytilene, the main beach of Gera is bordered by pines and boasts clean, crystalline water and a relaxed ambience. The hot springs of Gera are present onsite, as are numerous rooms-to-let and fish restaurants - so if you do find yourself in the region, make sure to explore the beach, sample the thermal spa water and enjoy a meal in one of the local Lesvos tavernas.

Nearby Attractions

In the vicinity of Gera beach, Tsilia is a picturesque seaside location that is perfect for swimming. Come here and discover the quiet inlet and chapel of Agios Nikolaos (Saint Nicholas) or go on to explore the small coves of Tsafi, Fara, Gialiotissa and Ligonari. Ideally suited to lovers of seclusion, they are some of the most tranquil places to be discovered in Lesvos island.

Evriaki Beach - Organized Pebble Beach of Gera Gulf in Lesvos

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  1. General Information
  2. Nearby Attractions

General Information

Evriaki beach has to be one the most visit-worthy locations in the Bay of Gera of Lesvos island. The long, organized beach includes a range of summer cottages (which the locals call ‘katounes’), a small range of rooms-to-let and, with its clean water and pebbled shore, is the perfect place to while away a hot summer day. The geography and weather conditions favor fishing and windsurfing inside the Gera Bay while, having preserved its Blue Flag status since 1996, Evriaki beach is a child-safe beach that is much-favored by families. Ideally suited to visitors traveling with children, it comprises a long shore that will tempt you to hunt for seashells or lie on a beach recliner and lose track of time in the company of a good read.

Nearby Attractions

Nearby, Perama village is a good option if you are on the look-out for night entertainment as it includes a number of traditional Lesvos tavernas and beach bars. Alternatively, if you are keen to explore the traditional charm of the surrounding region, make the trip to Paleokipos village, the village established in the years following the Ottoman occupation. The only location in Orthodox Christianity to boast its own church of Agios (Saint) Ermolaos, Paleokipos is perfect for a visit on July 26th, when it springs to life in celebration of Agios Ermolaos Day.

A village of much greenness, Paleokipos benefits from both the presence of water (the river Psas) and the existence of several panoramas with wonderful views to the verdant surroundings. For a wonderful view of the village, seek out the chapel of Panagia Spiliotisa (The Virgin Mary of the Cave) in the countryside outside the village. Its paved churchyard is a fantastic panorama to Paleokipos.

Limnos and the ANZAC Heritage

Limnos: The Great War Legacy

The ANZAC Day centenary of April 25, 2015 presents a splendid opportunity to appraise the historical and geopolitical significance of Limnos island (Lemnos), both as a location with strong ties to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (the ANZAC Corps, as they continue to be called) and as a site on which World War I would leave its indelible historical imprint. The resting ground for hundreds of ANZAC soldiers who lost their lives in the war, a former training camp to practice landings and the base for the 3rd Australian General Hospital (the main hub for wounded soldiers from the offensive), Limnos island would become a timeless site where resilience, struggle, and even love, would unravel at so turbulent a time in world history.

 

The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) & the Campaign of Gallipoli

Over 50 thousand Australian and New Zealand troops fought during the campaign of Gallipoli (1915), an allied expedition intended to capture the Gallipoli peninsula and allow the allied navies access to the Dardanelles. Its central objective was to capture Constantinople, the capital city of the Ottoman Empire and an ally of Germany. If the Gallipoli campaign went on for eight months, the ANZAC troops were met with resistance from the Ottoman defenders and the allied forces were evacuated at the end of 1915. Both sides suffered casualties and immense hardship, with an excess of eight thousand Australian soldiers losing their lives and another nineteen thousand suffering injuries.

 

Limnos in the Great War

Owing to its geographical position opposite the shores of Gallipoli, Limnos would serve as a spot for the disembarkation, resting, refueling and medical treatment of the thousands of Australian and New Zealand soldiers, and the hundreds of Australian nurses who came to provide care to the troops.

At approximately 80 kilometers from the Gallipoli shores, Limnos island became a prime landing, refueling and resting ground: all Australian soldiers passed through Limnos, practiced landings and rested there, or received treatment in the medical camp set up on the island. The port of Limnos itself was a departure point for all naval and submarine expeditions to Gallipoli.

In August and September 1915 alone, the Australian medical camp established in Limnos would accommodate almost 100,000 wounded soldiers. Over two hundred Australian nurses carried out their duties on the island. One of them, Clarice Daley, married Sergeant Ernest Lawrence in the west Moudros army camp in October 1915. The event of their wedding sent out a glimmer of light to the thousands of soldiers who had lost colleagues or they themselves had been wounded in the War.

As an effect of its role in the Gallipoli campaign, Limnos would receive scores of eminent Australian personae, such as Albert Jacka and Generals Birdwood and Monash. Two great Commonwealth cemeteries are located in Limnos, in the areas of Moudros and Portianos respectively.

The resultant links to the ANZAC Corps have meant that, to this day, the island has continued to maintain a strong relationship with Australia.

 

ANZAC Day: 100 years since the Campaign of Gallipoli

To Australians across the globe, April 25 is a day of remembrance of those who sacrificed their lives in the course of the Great War. To mark its joint World War I heritage with Limnos, the Australian Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee and the RSL (Returned Services League) have commissioned the creation of a bronze statue of a nurse and soldier in Limnos, which is to be erected in the Albert Pak district of Melbourne on August 8 this year.

Numerous initiatives have been taken both in Australia and Limnos island in order to preserve this integral part of Australian and Greek history and thousands of Australian and New Zealand visitors are expected to come to the island as a result of this year’s ANZAC Day centenary.

 

Remembering the ANZAC in Limnos: A Year of Celebrations

To mark the ANZAC Day centenary, an array of events has been planned by the “Lemnos Friends of ANZAC” Association and is set to unravel on the island in the course of 2015:

  • New Museum in Moudros, to include a range of photographs from 1915-6 and a collection of items from that period.
  • New Cultural Center in Portianou to be inaugurated by the end of 2015.
  • New commemorative plaque to be unveiled near the Allied Cemetery of Portianou this year. The plaque represents the two Canadian nurses who worked and lost their lives in Limnos in the Great War. The plaque has been donated by the nation of Canada.

  • Two new mobile applications to assist visitors in their location of monuments and the production of relevant maps for individual use or gift purchase.

    In collaboration with all countries involved in the Gallipoli Campaign, and the North Aegean Prefecture, the unraveling of celebrations on a monthly basis:

     

  • April 17 - 20, 2015: Official Commemorative Celebration of the centenary of Gallipoli Campaign in Limnos

  • March 7, 2015: Traditional Greek Dances’ Night to be held by the Lyceum of Greek Women in the Clancy Auditorium of New South Wales University, Australia.

  • March 28, 2015 onward: Photographic exhibitions throughout Limnos. This program starts with the first photographic exhibition on the Limnos airport and it will last till end September

  • International Conference organized by the Lemnos Friends of the ANZAC in cooperation with worldwide World War I Veteran Associations.

  • June 20 - 23, 2015: A four-day-long presentation of international historical films in collaboration with all countries involved, the History of the Hellenic Army and Greek Director Nikos Volonakis.

  • July 17 & 18, 2015: The Lemnos Gallipoli Project, a presentation of contemporary artworks representing women’s experience of the First World War, to include the premiere of ‘Women at War’, a modern opera by Greek- Australian composer Tasos Ioannidis.

  • July 20 - 23, 2015: Musical events with DJs and orchestras to commence in the Limnos location of Paleo Pedino, a stone-built village frequently mentioned in the journals of the Australian nurses that served in Limnos in the course of the campaign of Gallipoli.

  • August 5 - 11, 2015: Presentation of national and local traditional costumes worn in each of the countries that participated in the campaign of Gallipoli at the start of the 20th century at the Greek Culture National Museum of Limnos

  • End of August: A 4-day Wine-making Conference to celebrate the importance of wine production in the culture and economy of Limnos.

  • September 6 - 8, 2015: Conference of the Commonwealth countries Red Cross Services in collaboration with the Red Crescent on the theme of ‘The use of nurses during World War I’. Mrs Clare Ashton (the ANZAC Sisters Nursery of WWI and the University of Sydney) will be the keynote speaker.

Many more festivities are planned and are in process of creating . The Lemnians’ participation is very big and it seems that 2015 will be a good start to highlight the role that Limnos island has into this historical moment of Gallipoli Campaign

 

Source: www.friendsofanzac.com

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Skala Kallonis – Birdwatching, Sardine Festivals and Popular Seaside Resort

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Skala Kallonis is a fishing village located 4 kilometers away from the town of Kalloni. Its expanse of beautiful countryside, the wealth of accommodation options available and the relaxed atmosphere pervading the village have transformed Skala Kallonis into a popular seaside resort.

Skala Kallonis benefits from a range of accommodation options. It is ideally-suited to a family holiday or to couples who wish to enjoy a truly relaxing stay.

 

Skala Kallonis boasts a long beach of volcanic sand and safe, warm waters – its position on the edge of the Bay of Kalloni means the coast is protected and offers ideal swimming conditions. Numerous umbrellas and recliners are available to hire and the shore is lined with numerous reasonably-priced restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy a cool drink and seek retreatin the shade.

Seaweed is often present on the beach and the sea bed (so bringing a pair of rubber beach sandals might be advisable), however the sea water is clean and brimming with fish! For lovers of watersports, the Blue Flag beach is popular with windsurfers asthe area may become windy in morning or early evening.

 

Skala Kallonis is a significant fishing harbor that supplies the local and national markets with a variety of freshly caught fish. While Skala Kallonis is an exporter of scallops to the European market, it is broadly renowned for its sardines, which the locals call ‘papalina’. The fish are caught at a depth of up to 22 meters and the fishing season lasts from early July until October. The sardines caught in the area are fairly small – their size never exceeds 12.5 centimeters – and of high nutritional value. Uniquely flavored due to the high mineral content of the water in which they live, they may be sampled in one of the restaurants and tavernas lining the shore.

The tamarisk-dotted beach is surrounded by a plethora of restaurants and cafes where you might enjoy a cool drink and a meal. The many tavernas along the coast are popular with both permanent Lesvos residents and the many foreign visitors to the region, who come here to enjoy a dish of the freshly-caught sardines for which Skala Kallonis has become famous.

If you rise early enough and visit the harbor, you might chance upon the local fleet of fishing boats unloading the catch of the day – a splendid opportunity to purchase freshly caught fish. While here, keep an eye out for Odysseus, Skala’s one-legged Pelican. A mascot for the area, he can usually be spotted waiting for the fishermen to arrive at the port.

The three-day ‘Sardine Festival’ organized here in the first week of August attracts many visitors eager to enjoy a dish of sardines and a drink of cool ouzo, and revel in the traditional music and dance that accompany the festival.

 

Skala Kallonis is ideally located in the center of Lesvos, providing visitors with the opportunity to explore the entire island. It has long been favored by birdwatchers, photographers and lovers of the natural world, who visit its wetlands, salt pans and woodlands to admire the wonderful natural landscape and catch a glimpse of the many species of birds present in the area.  

Skala Kallonis is situated on a bird migratory path and is home to a variety of protected species. If you decide to stay in the village, you will have the opportunity to observe waders, ducks, different kinds of heronsandterns, Stilts, Little Bitterns, Spotted Redshanks and Water Rails, among numerous other species. The Salt Pans of Kalloni are a prime bird-watching spot: Storks, Greater Flamingos, many kinds of terns and gulls, European Bee-eaters, Red-footed Falcons and Tawny Pipits are a few of the birds to be discovered in the area.

A number of small, serene beaches are located just a short drive away from Skala Kallonis. All beaches in the bay are a breeding ground for many species of bird and are protected under the Natura 2000 project.


 

 

 

Top Gastronomical Tastes of the North Eastern Aegean Islands

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• The well-known ouzo of Lesvos
• The ‘one of its kind’ mastic of Chios
• The sweet wine Muschat of Samos
• The strong, bold wines of Limnos
• The famous, ancient wines of Inousses
• The Pramneio wine of Ikaria
• The fresh, select fish and seafood of Fourni and Psara
• The tasty sardines of Kalloni, Lesvos
• The sweet acorns and beans of Agios Efstratios
• The “giorti” recipe of Samos, the traditional “keskek” of Lesvos and the “bourelikia” of Inousses
• The spicy cheeses, such as the “kalathaki” (basket) cheeses of Limnos, oil cheeses of Mytilene, the “kasseri” cheeses of Eresos and the “mastelo” cheeses of Chios
• The local, homemade sweet preserves and jams
• The eclectic thyme honey and virgin olive oil 

 

What Types of Tourism Offered in the North Eastern Aegean Islands

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When visiting the North Eastern Aegean Islands one can combine the great outdoors, spiritual and therapeutic hot springs experiences, as you will find:

  • Numerous churches and monasteries with noteworthy and historical importance
  • Wetlands ideal for bird watching, nature trails and footpaths in the lush-green mountains and landscapes and other outdoor and seaside recreational activities
  • Thermal hot springs, with the major ones located on Lesvos and Ikaria   

 

Top Things to Do in the North Eastern Aegean Islands

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•  Visit the traditional villages, castle villages and mastic villages
• Hiking trails: in IKaria you will go around the Rachon ridges, look around in the Ranti forest and find the waterfalls at Chalari Gorge; on Lesvos you’ll explore the area around the petrified forest and around the Kryfti Panagia; in Chios, you’ll come across the Kambi gorge and Kambi orchard gardens
• Find deserted and remote beaches, where you’ll be able to engage in spear fishing among the rocky islets
• Discover the traditional celebrations and festivals of the islands’ villages, where you’ll also be able to try the delicious and fresh local recipes and dishes
• Partake in bird watching and enjoy water sports   

     

Top Beaches to Go Swimming in the North Eastern Aegean Islands

(1 Vote)

 

• The Mavra Volia of Chios, with its idyllic waters and black, volcanic pebbles
• The exotic Seychelles of Ikaria
• Vatera Beach and her 9 km of sandy shoreline and the serene beach at Tarti
• Kambi of Fourni, with its picturesque inlets and estuaries
• Lazaretta Beach on Psara, which offers free camping
• The secluded cove at Fourkerou, on Inousses
• Gomati of Limnos, alongside the sand dunes
• The famous and popular Potokaki of Samos
• The Keramidou of Thimena, under the magnificent shade of high tide
• The remote beaches around Agios Efstratios, accessible only by boat           

 

Top things to See in the North Eastern Aegean Islands

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• Important geological sites and monuments, such as the petrified forest of Lesvos and the faraklo of Limnos.
• The tunnel trench of Samos and the ancient Roman aqueducts of Lesvos
• Idyllic dunes of Limnos
• The celebrated hill at Mavri Rachi of Psara
• Significant and notable ancient and religious monuments scattered throughout the islands
• The monasteries of Saint Raphael, Taxiarches and Panagia ( Our Lady) Zion of Lesvos and of the wonderworker Saint Markella on Chios
• The monument of Daskalopetra Omiropolis on Chios
• The scenic gulfs of Kalloni and Gera on the island of Lesvos
• The four quarries of Fourni
• Maritime Museum of Inousses
• The majestic medieval castles of Limnos, Chios, Lesvos and Ikaria…all recognizable and important landmarks
• The Mediterranean seal Monachus-Monachus found in Thimena and Agios Efstratios  
• The numerous natural caverns and caves found on most islands

 

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