Perama - A Popular Resort in the Former Industrial Center of Gera
- Enjoy local dishes by the port of Perama Enjoy local dishes by the port of Perama
- Perama fishing shelter in Lesvos Perama fishing shelter in Lesvos
The coastal village of Perama is located 23 kilometers northwest of Mytilene. The area includes a variety of bars, cafes and good tavernas that are popular in summer, together with a choice of beaches that have helped its rise as an up-and-coming tourist resort. A number of Gera residents maintain summer cottages (‘katounes’ as these are called) in the wider area and favor Perama both for its boat links to the opposite shore and the numerous beaches to be found in the village and its vicinity.
Perama is set at the crossing between the two sides of the Gera Bay, in an area of natural beauty where, if you stand on the beach, it seems possible to fly an arrow to the coast on the other side of the Bay. A boat takes passengers from Perama to Koundouroudia (near Skala Loutron) on the opposite shore, facilitating the trip from the resort towards Mytilene.
Perama is an area of great archaeological significance. A wealth of ancient ruins has been discovered on the sea bed between Dipi and Perama, pointing to the existence of a large, thriving ancient settlement. It is believed that north of Perama, in the coastal location of Khalatses, once lay the ancient city of Iera, as evidenced by the ruins of a great Classical settlement unearthed in the area.
The port of Perama serves the wider region and once played a significant role in the industrial development of the village. Host to the tannery of Sourlagas (the greatest tannery in the Balkans, it was shut down due to becoming accused of polluting the Bay) the port of Perama was once a bustling location at the service of what was a hive of industrial activity.
Just outside the village of Papados, in front of the premises of the former Sourlagas tannery, stands the windmill of Perama. The site of the mill benefits from strong winds year-round (it is situated at the mouth of the Bay) and was once an indispensable part of the tannery operations - the windmill would have been in use in the grinding of acorns to produce leather dyes. While the windmill of Perama has long seized operating, it remains an impressive structure built using local stone and ‘kourasani’, a strong bonding agent made from earth, sand and hay.
Perama once acted as the industrial center of Gera and a large number of old stone-built industrial buildings are still in presence in the village. The majority of these lay abandoned, the reminders of the industrial glory of Perama up until the early 20th century.
If you are in Perama, do wander around the village, admire its many industrial buildings and, before to set off on a trip to the beach, don’t forget to stop at the village square and greet Makis the Pelican. A mascot for the area, he arrived at Perama two decades ago and made it his home.
The residents of Perama have stayed true to the custom of the ‘pillar and flag’, a ritual revived once a year on the feast of Saint Panteleimon (July 27th). This old custom involves the securing of the Greek flag on a long tree trunk that is then placed vertically on the pier. The tree trunk is subsequently coated with grease and locals endeavor to crawl on the slippery surface and reach the flag.
A number of good beaches lie in the vicinity of the village. The fishing village and beach of Ftelia, Pyrgoi and Marmaro are set at a close distance from Perama, while the beaches of Evriaki and Tarti are among the best - and most popular - in the region. Set just before Perama, Evriaki beach benefits from shallow waters and a beautiful landscape. Tarti lies outside the Bay. A stunning, green shore at the foot of an overgrown hill, it is popular with large numbers of visitors eager to use the organized beach, swim in the cool waters of the Aegean and enjoy a meal of fresh fish in one of the many tavernas of Tarti.