Polichnitos is located at a 40-kilometer distance from the island capital of Mytilene. It is host to the headquarters of the municipality of the same name, which also includes Skala Polichnitos, Lisvori, Vasilika, Vrysa, Nyfida, Vatera and Stavros. About 2.763 permanent inhabitants maintain properties in Polichnitos and are occupied in trade, agriculture, farming and fishing.
Polichnitos is located amidst a natural landscape of pine trees, green valleys and overgrown hills. The village has been declared a protected settlement area and a visit here will acquaint you with the traditional architecture of Lesvos and the multifaceted beauty of the northeastern Aegean landscape.
Polichnitos enjoyed centuries of welfare as one of the major oil-producing centers of Lesvos and this is evident in its numerous old mansions, olive presses and shops, a number of which lie abandoned in wait of the commercial renaissance of Polichnitos. Upon entering the village, take notice of the premises of the former municipal olive press (currently the Polichnitos Youth Center): the tall chimney with its nest of storks is a landmark for Polichnitos.
The area of Kyvelia includes a healthy market area where a variety of local products are available to purchase. While here, stock up on preserves and confectionery to bring home with you - uphill from the main market area, the local women’s co-operative prepares and sells a variety of goods suitable to gift to your loved ones.
The village is home to numerous neoclassical mansions, old shops and traditional houses, providing a picturesque setting for a walk in the sun. Start your tour from Kyvelia and walk uphill towards Rachta or Kardonas - the hills offer wonderful views to this village of stone-built houses, cobblestoned alleys and tiled roofs.
The tree-lined village square offers shady retreat and you can also enjoy a cool drink in one of the village cafes (the majority of which provide patrons with free Wi-Fi access).
Polichnitos boasts numerous religious sites and during your tour you should visit the main village church of Saint George (circa 1805). The majority of religious ceremonies in the village unravel inside the church with its steeple of carved stone. A few streets away from the village’s market area the church of Saint Paul commemorates the site where the Apostle first delivered the message of God to the Lesvians.
A short drive from Polichnitos, the monastery of Damandrios (‘Moni Damandriou’ on road signs) is a site of special historical and religious interest. Built in the 12th century AD, it is decorated with beautiful murals and age-old ecclesiastical items. The monastery is set in an area of considerable natural beauty - after your visit, do take the time to wander around the vicinity. If you come here in the months of spring, you will fall for the grasses and flowers growing freely on every inch of unplanted earth.
Polichnitos is famous for its thermal springs and boasts hygienic bathing facilities and a peaceful setting of sedges and eucalyptus trees where visitors can relax after treatment. The baths of Polichnitos are housed in a group of renovated buildings dating from the Ottoman era. They include a number of private tubs and one common bathing pool where visitors can enjoy a soak in the healing spring water.
The water here can reach a temperature of up to 41.5 degrees Celsius and is said to alleviate arthritis, chronic disease, deforming disorders, gout, gynecological conditions, lumbago, sciatica, indigestion and gastritis. Prices are 4,00 € per adult and 3,00 € per child under 15 for the common pool and 5,50 € for a private tub. The bathing facilities are open Monday to Saturday between 14:00 pm and 20:00 pm and on Sundays between 10:00 am and 20:00 pm. Massage and other treatments are also available.
Polichnitos is served by a number of walking trails depending on the distance you are aiming to cover. A leisurely walk around the spa’s surrounding area of Therma is highly recommended. You will discover the old Almiropotamos bridge, a natural terrapin pool and, depending on which season you visit, an explosion of gold-colored reeds or vivid wildflowers, whose colors and scent will inundate your senses.
Polichnitos is only a small distance away from the beaches of Skala Polichnitos, Nyfida and Vatera, making the village ideally placed if you wish to follow your visit up with a trip to the beach.
Skala Polichnitos includes a small harbor, a beach and variety of small restaurants and cafes that are popular with the locals. Walk away from the harbor towards the salt marshes of Skala and you will discover the broad range of bird species (including pink flamingos) gathered in the area. The salt mines in Skala Polichnitos produce the whitest salt in the entire Mediterranean. Every August, the local fishermen organize the ‘Giorti tis Tratas’ (Trawl fete), where you can enjoy traditional dancing to the tune of the local band.
Do go on an exploration of the nearby beach of Nyfida, a quiet family resort much favored by locals. In the position of Chalakes, there is an ancient settlement dating from the Bronze era and thought to be the oldest on Lesvos. The nearby area of Perivola is a tranquil location where the residents of Polichnitos maintain a number of farm holdings and small summer cottages.
Polichnitos is favored for its proximity to the resort of Vatera. If you’re in the area, continue your journey towards the beach - you will be greeted by a lively atmosphere and a stunning, seemingly endless shoreline.
Whether you stop by with a view to continuing your journey towards the shore or settle for a more prolonged stay, Polichnitos can offer a variety of relaxation and sightseeing options.