Petra - Church of Holy Mary Build on the Rock (Panagia Glykofilousa)

  1. General Information
  2. The Church of Panagia Glykofilousa
  3. Religious Festivals
  4. Petra Beach
  5. Petra Attractions
  6. Nearby Attractions

General Information

Petra - the legendary harbor of Achilles during the Trojan War - is situated at a 55-kilometer distance from Mytilene. It is set in a fertile valley and bordered by a long sandy beach on its northwestern side.

While the contemporary Petra has undergone a significant degree of development, it remains an area of supreme natural beauty. The resort is one of the most popular on the island of Lesvos, favored by visitors from all over the world. It is easy to account for the popularity of Petra: its multitude of hotels, bars, cafes and restaurants provides visitors with a variety of accommodation and entertainment options while having little effect on the natural magnificence of the region.

The center of Petra is closed to traffic - as you proceed deeper into the town, Petra loses the appearance of a resort and becomes more intimate. Take a walk in Petra’s cobbled streets (some too narrow for cars) and admire the architecture of its traditional houses and neoclassical mansions, or follow a footpath to the village of Petri with its wonderful panoramic views to Molyvos, Petra, the Ligonas valley and the Asia Minor shores.

The Church of Panagia Glykofilousa

The landscape of Petra is dominated by a rock an impressive 35 meters in height. The rock at Petra is crowned by the church of Panagia Glykofilousa (Our Lady of Sweet Kisses), granting visitors with breathtaking views to the region below and accessible by 114 steps carved into the rock face.

Religious Festivals

On the 15th of August each year, Petra becomes saturated with pilgrims and visitors eager to pay their respects to the Virgin and celebrate the anniversary of Mary’s assumption. The celebration of the assumption of Virgin Mary is a major religious event all over Lesvos - in Petra, it is celebrated with traditional music and dancing in the central town square.

Petra Beach

Petra boasts one of the most beautiful and best-organized beaches on Lesvos. The coast stretches over a distance of 3 kilometers and there are numerous bars, restaurants and tavernas along the beachfront. Visitors can avail themselves of the changing cabins and showers present onsite. There is also a volley-ball court and visitors can try their hand at water sports. Petra beach is dotted with tamarisk trees, making it ideal for a family picnic, and is safe for children.

Petra Attractions

Before you leave Petra, it is worth visiting the Turkish mansion of Vareltzidena, which was built in the beginning of the 18th century and open as a museum throughout the year. It is a well-preserved building of great architecture and history.

Nearby Attractions

A number of small islands are scattered across the bay. Agios Giorgis (Saint George), Mikro Nisi (Small Island), Glaronisi (Seagull Island) and Myrmigki (Ant) are home to a variety of wild bird species, making them a haven for bird-watchers and lovers of nature alike. Catch the boat service from Petra harbor and come here to admire the long-legged buzzards and Alpine swifts - among many other species of bird - or spend the night on one of these beautiful uninhabited isles.


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