- Megalochori village in Lesvos Megalochori village in Lesvos
- The Transfiguration of Christ church in Megalochori of Lesvos The Transfiguration of Christ church in Megalochori of Lesvos
- Local festivities in Megalochori of Lesvos Local festivities in Megalochori of Lesvos
- Green surreal view of the Megalochori village in Lesvos Green surreal view of the Megalochori village in Lesvos
- Hand carved water tap in Megalochori of Lesvos Hand carved water tap in Megalochori of Lesvos
Megalochori is a mountainous village 9 kilometers away from Plomari. Set in a richly vegetated area, the village is known for its greenness and wonderful panoramic views.
Megalochori is a village of many names, each making a suggestion of the village’s turbulent past and unique geographical features. It originally bore the name of ‘Palio’ (old) Plomari and, indeed, nearly all of its residents relocated to the town of Plomari in the 19th century AD. Due to a series of devastating fires started by arsonists and pirates, it then received the name of ‘Kameno Chorio’ (Burnt Village). ‘Megalochori’ (large village) suggests that, in its early history, the settlement was the largest in southern Lesvos. Today, Megalochori is affectionately called the ‘Switzerland of Lesvos’: a moniker earned by its mountainous position and the lush vegetation encircling the village.
Megalochori is set in an area of supreme greenness and visitors willing to make the trip will be rewarded by the spectacular views. Start your tour from Plomari and move uphill - a few kilometers of serpentine turns separate you from the Megalochori of today, granting you with amazing views of the valleys below and the endless Aegean Sea.
Megalochori and its surroundings are a birdwatchers’ paradise. Come here and see elusive Eastern Bonelli's Warblers and Serins and also more common woodland species such as Robins, Mistle Thrushes and Wrens. If you enjoy walking, a number of itineraries join Megalochori with Plomari, the beach of Agios Isidoros, the deserted Messouna and the Karionas plateau. Grab a sunhat and a pair of comfortable shoes and go on an exploration of the wider region - you will discover a number of small bridges and chapels, admire thousands of ivy-clad trees and relish the wonderful views.
Megalochori is linked to Agiasos by a 14-kilometer dirt-road. The journey might be a little arduous unless you have a 4X4, however the promise of a stroll around Agiasos - and the views you will encounter along the way - are totally worth the trip.
The village enjoyed centuries of industrial and farming activity, acting as the region’s commercial and agricultural axis. Today, Megalochori is home to the Protoulis olive press. ‘Aegean Gold’ is an award-winning, high-quality olive oil produced locally and sold across the globe. Megalochorian honey is regarded as one the best in the region. Do ask to have a southern Lesvos taste and purchase a jar or two to bring home with you. It will be a welcome reminder of your visit in the cold nights of winter.
The church of Agios Ioannis (Saint John, circa 1795) boasts an iconostasis of carved wood. The church of the Metamorphosi tou Sotiros (the Transfiguration of Christ) dates from 1765 and is encircled by a gorgeous flower garden.
The charming village square is surrounded by walnut trees. A number of traditional cafes are located across the village. You can enjoy a cool drink in one of Megalochori’s ‘cafenions’ or take a respite in one of the village’s well-reputed restaurants. You will have the opportunity to try a variety of local dishes and strike up a chat with the welcoming village residents, some of whom will no doubt speak excellent English - a number of ex-pats from Australia, Africa and the States visit Megalochori in summer or have permanently returned to their ancestral home.
The custom of ‘Defteranastasi’ (the second resurrection of Christ) is observed throughout the island and honors its seamen. On Easter Sunday, the faithful gather around the village priest, who throws a silver goblet to the crowd. Whoever catches it will be blessed with good luck for the remainder of the year. If you happen to be in the area during Orthodox Easter, it is worth coming to Megalochori to witness the custom of Defteranastasi and the traditional hanging of a mock replica of Judas, an act purported to protect the faithful from misfortune. Who knows, you might even catch the lucky silver goblet!