Together with Vouvaris and Sedoundas, Evergetoulas is one of the greatest rivers on Lesvos. The river courses through the homonymous valley and lent its name to the former Municipality of Evergetoulas, the cluster, that is, of the villages of Sykounda, Kato Tritos, Lampou Mili, Asomatos, Ippios, Mychou and Keramia.
The valley of Evergetoulas is an area of supreme natural beauty. Seething with plane and walnut trees, olive groves and pines, the valley is home to a number of settlements that, whether largeor small, lively or barely inhabited, benefit from the verdant landscape and their residents’ deep affection for tradition and their beautiful homeland.
The area presents significant interest to botanists, birdwatchers and lovers of the architecture, crafts, recipes and customs and traditions of central Lesvos. The ‘kambos’ (plain) is a verdant environment roamed freely by birds, insects, amphibians, reptiles, and where one may still chance upon an otter, the animal becoming less and less frequently spotted on Lesvos. Wetlands, bridges, abandoned watermills and a multitude of tiny chapels lurk within the area, which is part of the Natura 2000 project.
Sykounda was once the seat of the Municipality of Evergetoulas (the government reform of 2011 meant that Lesvos is currently a municipal unit) and, until 1783, was the second most-populated ‘chora’ (large town) of Lesvos, second only to the island capital of Mytilene. The village is located at a 15.5 kilometer distance from the latter town.
The village is surrounded by olive groves but was once renowned for the cultivation of fig trees, which lent it its former name of ‘Sykous’ (from the Greek ‘Sykia’, ‘fig tree’).
A number of abandoned or derelict industrial buildings and warehouses are present in Sykounda and bespeak its former significance as a hive of commercial activity. The village itself is highly traditional, with old stone-built houses, narrow alleys and a few charming ‘cafenia’ where visitors can seek retreat from the sun and chat to the welcoming locals.
The village church is dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin Mary and was constructed in 1870.
The astonishingly beautiful delta and marshlands of the Evergetoulas River are present in the area. Before you set off on an exploration of the delta and marshes, do enjoy a stroll in the village and perhaps have a taste of Sekounda’s traditional ‘patatokeftedes’ (potato fritters). Spiced with cumin and red spice, they are a traditional appetizer that goes exceedingly well with a glass of cool beer!