Eressos - Discover the Most Popular Destination in Western Lesvos

  1. General Information
  2. Eressos Attractions
  3. Eressos Activities
         3.1   Walking in and Around Eressos
         3.2   Birdwatching and Botany in Eressos
  4. Nearby Attractions

General Information

Come to Eressos and one thing’s for certain: it would be impossible to spend a dull moment in this vibrant town with its dramatically varied setting. In fact, like it did to so many of the people who came here on holiday and opted never to leave again, it is highly likely Eressos will entice you to spend a lifetime amidst its colorful people and ever-changing scenery.

Eressos has become known for its cosmopolitan atmosphere and the town has long been receiving large numbers of foreign visitors, most of which return to Eressos on an annual basis. The town is hugely popular with families - its proximity to the child-safe, sandy shoreline of Skala Eressos a major attraction to the beautiful main settlement - and also with nature lovers, botanists, birders and women of all nationalities, who are drawn to Eressos by the town’s reputation as the birthplace of the poet Sappho.

Leave Antissa and proceed along the bare - almost lunar - landscape leading to Sigri, Eressos and the spiritual haven of Skala Eressos. Vegetation is sparse here, the mountainsides stripped of the rich plant life for which Lesvos is patently known, the setting reminiscent of a kind of Wild West: arid rocks in their clusters, a rich palette of ochres, a few grazing goats, many truly spectacular views of the sea suddenly miles and miles away from the dramatic, barren terrain. Follow the road as it forks out and you will find yourself in Sigri, the coastal village that rose to international prominence due to its remarkable Petrifed Forest, or in the immense valley of Eressos, the town which, over the years, has evolved into one of the most popular locations in the entirety of Lesvos island.

There are some 89 kilometers between Eressos and Mytilene, a distance hugely worth traveling if you are keen to discover two of the most exciting locations on the island of Lesvos. Wonderful architecture, several visit-worthy historical monuments, a large variety of accommodation and dining options, a gorgeous overgrown plain that links the village with the coastal resort of Skala Eressos define the visitor’s experience of Eressos. Come here and be enthralled at the beauty and variety of this popular location in western Lesvos - with its many sights, sounds and flavors, Eressos is bound to become a firm favorite.

Situated in the immense ‘kambos’ (plain) between the hills of Troulos and Lebor, Eressos has been inhabited since early antiquity. It is claimed that the village was named in honor of Éressos, the son of the legendary King Makaros. While the first settlers, the Pelasgians, arrived in Eressos in the early Hellenic period, the settlement was built in the 11th – 9th centuries BC. It quickly evolved into a major commercial center with trading links all the way to Egypt. The Lyrical poet Sappho was born in Eressos, and also the philosophers Phanias and Theophrastos.

Eressos Attractions

The contemporary town of Eressos is composed of a large range of architecturally-noteworthy buildings. The ‘Theophrastion’ houses the Secondary and Junior High Schools of the town. Set close to the main town square, it was designed by the remarkable architect Athanasios Demiris and constructed in 1928-30. The Kindergarten of Eressos is located a little to its left. The metropolitan temple of Saint Irene is present in the area, and was once home to the Agricultural School of Eressos. Continue your exploration and you will also see the Monument to the War Casualties of Eressos and the old (no longer operational) cinema hall.

Eressos includes a variety of religious buildings. The church of Agios Konstantinos (Saint Constantine) can be seen in the upper town district. Constructed in 1888, it replaced an even earlier temple dedicated to the Saint. The beautiful church of Agia Irini (Saint Irene) is situated in the middle of Eressos and there is a third major church (the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, 1727) in the lower town quarter. The Taxiarches Monastery (‘Moni Taxiarchon’) may be seen in the location of Pithari. It became established in the 16th century AD and has recently been renovated. An artificial dam has been created right by the Monastery grounds.

There are several chapels on the route from Eressos to Skala Eressos and in the region surrounding the town. Among them, the two chapels of Profitis Ilias (Elijah the Prophet) are situated in Lartsis (in the ‘kambos’ around Eressos) and the location of Afendelli. An early Christian basilica may be encountered at a two-kilometer distance from this same spot.

Eressos Activities

Walking in and Around Eressos

The region favors activities such as nature walking, botanising and birdwatching and has earned the affection of many a photographer or artist (whether amateur or professional) in search of a dramatically varied setting in which the barren co-exists with the lusciously green and the sandy shore is peppered with thousands of vividly-colored wildflowers. The dirt-track between Sigri and Eressos allows for a walk amidst some truly astonishing scenery: it is amazingly easy to lose track of time perusing the volcanic landscape, dotted as it with the remains of petrified tress and seething with views of the shimmering expanse of sea down below. Halfway between Eressos and Sigri, the valley of the river Tsikhliotas retains evidence of the ancient settlements once present in the area. Continue on and you will arrive at Sigri, the small fishing village that became a prominent spot on the Lesvos map thanks to its Petrified Forest and Natural History Museum, both of which strongly warrant a visit.

Set off from Eressos and head towards Skala Eressos: you will find yourself enthralled at the abundantly green scenery of the Eressos plain. A labyrinth of footpaths takes one on journey to the delightful nature surrounding the town. Enclosed within a landscape of fields, orchards of fig trees, oak trees and two streams that trickle in the months of winter, autumn and spring but dry out in summer, Eressos is home to some truly rare plants, animals and birds.

Birdwatching and Botany in Eressos

Depending on the season you get here, the hills around Eressos are teeming with rare bird species such as Buteo rufinus, Monticola saxatilis, Circaetus gallicus, Monticola solitarius and Petronia petronia. While the population of Emberiza cineracea has been dwindling on a global scale, the species may be encountered in the rocky expanse between Agra, Antissa and Skala Eressos. Falco naumanni and Oenanthe isabellina can also be observed in the region.

The estuary of River Psaropotamos west of Skala Eressos presents immense zoological interest. A variety of migrant waterfowl nest in the region, which is additionally home to a large population of Natrix tessellate (water snakes) and Mauremys caspica terrapins. Near Eressos, in the region between Pterounda and Khidira, grow the only rhododendrons Luteum sweet to be encountered in Europe.

Nearby Attractions

Skala Eressos is a fascinating location at the end of the long, narrow lane that leads from the town to the sandy coast. Filled with a broad range of hotels, rooms-to-let, studios, restaurants, tavernas and cafes, Skala Eressos has evolved into a mecca for female travelers, spiritualists and lovers of nature who flock to what, for many, is one of the best seaside locations in the whole of Greece.

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