- Amali slopes near Mytilene of Lesvos Amali slopes near Mytilene of Lesvos
- Beach of Agios Ermogenis in Lesvos near Loutra Beach of Agios Ermogenis in Lesvos near Loutra
- General Information
- Loutra Attractions
- Loutra Initiatives in Remembrance of Asia Minor
- The Thermal Bathhouse of Skala Loutron
- Nearby Attractions
5.1 Archaeology near Loutra
5.2 Beaches near Loutra
Ascend to the western slopes of Amali and - at a distance of just under 9 kilometers from Mytilene - you will encounter Loutra, a picturesque village known for the beauty of its nature and strong architectural character.
Set amidst a landscape of olive groves and in proximity to several sites of archaeological interest, Loutra is worth coming to in order to discover its church of Saint George (1815) and seek out the ‘pyrgos’ (three-storey mansion) of Maria Viena (1826). If you are in the area in mid to late April, do visit Loutra and take part in the festival of Saint George. The village women sing the traditional song of Saint George in the late afternoon of April 22nd, while an evening of traditional music and dance is organized annually on April 23rd.
Popular in the summer months - when local tourism and the return of Loutra-born Athenians breathes life into the village - Loutra includes a variety of stores, cafes, restaurants and a range of accommodation options to visitors who wish to stay in the area. International tourism, too, has been drawn to the region, and Loutra is favored by visitors who come here to admire its architecture and archaeology, take a dip in the beaches of Agios Ermogenis and Haramida and discover the beauty of Skala Loutron, a coastal area whose varied natural environment is particularly inviting of ecotourism.
Loutra and Skala Loutron came to exist as refugee settlements, their original residents Greeks from Asia Minor who were forced to leave their homes in the 1922 population exchange between Turkey and Greece. To honor the memories of so many first-generation refugees who settled down in the area (so very few of whom still remain alive), a Refugee Museum (The ‘Mousio Prosfigikis Mnimis 1922’ as it has been formally named in Greek) operates in Skala Loutron. If you wish to discover more about the experience of so many thousands of people becoming uprooted from their homes and lives in both Turkey and Greece, the museum is high on the must-visit list: you will be able to admire a wealth of donated items, treasures and memorabilia from Asia Minor and peruse a variety of books on the region. While in Skala Loutron, do also pay a visit to the Petros Madras Library. There is a collection of around 4.000 books and book donations are always welcome.
As the name of ‘Loutra’ (‘baths’) suggests, the area is strongly defined by the presence of thermal springs and Skala Loutron includes one of the most popular bathhouses on Lesvos island. The Ottoman-built bathhouse comprises two large, separate pools for women and men. The domed ceiling and windows to the sea just outside create a unique atmosphere and - while the shower rooms could be improved - the experience of immersing oneself in the thermal (40 degrees Celsius) water is truly relaxing. Massage is available in the bathhouse, which is open year round. Opening times are Monday to Saturday, 8:00 am – 19:30 pm and Sunday 10:00 am – 16:30 pm.
Skala Loutron includes a small, highly picturesque harbor where visitors can observe one of the last remaining ‘tarsanades’ (traditional docks) of the Aegean or sit at one of the fish tavernas and cafes lining the coast.
The area surrounding Loutra presents significant archaeological interest. The ruins of an ancient settlement have been discovered in the location Palioloutros north of the main village, and those traveling to the location Palia Eklissia (‘old church’) will discover the ruins of a Byzantine temple where the Empress Irene the Athenian is alleged to have been exiled and later died. Six ancient graves (late 5th – early 4th century BC) have been discovered on the slopes of Mount Divolo.
The area surrounding Loutra is blessed with numerous beaches. Agios Ermogenis and Haramida are certainly worth seeking out. Agios Ermogenis is located 4 kilometers east of Skala Loutron. The beach is wonderfully scenic but might occasionally become busy during the summer season.
With a long, sandy shore, clean waters and amazingly beautiful scenery, Haramida beach is one of the most popular beaches around Mytilene. A variety of hotels, restaurants, bars and cafes line the seafront and offer a range of accommodation, dining and entertainment options. While on the route from Loutra to Charamida, do keep an eye out for the early Christian basilica of Tsesmedes (5th century AD), worth coming to if only to admire its beautiful mosaic of vines and birds.
A boat service runs between the area of Koundouroudia in Skala Loutron and Perama on the opposite coast of the Bay. A mere 300 meters away from Koundouroudia, take a glance at the islet of Agios Isidoros with its small homonymous chapel.