A Lesbian Guide to Lesvos: The Secret Greek Island

This blog post features links and information which have been obtained on a press trip. However, as always, all opinions shared in this post are my own.

When the GNTO approached me about visiting Lesvos as part of a travel campaign, I was intrigued. Aside from the poet Sappho, I knew little about this island and struggled to learn much more online.

However, my curiosity got the better of me, and who doesn’t love to get off the beaten path? So, I flew direct from the UK to Lesvos to spend four nights on the island, and what I found was unlike anything I’d ever experienced.

“Traditional” is a word I often used during my trip to Lesvos. You won’t find any high-rise buildings here, McDonald’s, Spar, or Uber. Instead, you’ll find local, family-run businesses.

In fact, Lesvos very much reflected the travel photos and home videos my parents had of our travels to Greece when I was a baby.

That traditional vibe is what visitors to Lesvos love, and it makes people come back year after year. Most people you speak to in Lesvos have been coming to the island for 10, 20, 30 or even 40 years. This means that the relationship between tourists and locals is unlike anywhere else.

For example, on my first night in the village of Skala Eressos, I spoke to a group of women who’d been visiting the island for 20+ years. They shared that they’d just attended the funeral of a village resident. That same group of women knew what felt like everyone in the village, tourist or local.

In a place where everyone knows everyone, it’s easy to stand out—like it’s your first day at a new school all over again. However, this wasn’t high school, and I wasn’t left to sit alone and feel uncomfortable.

Instead, I was invited to talk to people, eat with people, and be introduced to more people. In just four days, I met more people in Lesvos than I did in the city where I live in England.

Is Lesvos Safe to Visit?

When I told my parents I was going to Lesvos, my dad responded, “It’s not safe!”.

I’ve travelled all over the world to places far more remote and dangerous than Greece, and he has never really questioned it. So why now?

Around ten years ago, there were several media reports about refugees travelling from Turkey to Lesvos.

In my research on this topic, I found most articles dated between 2012 and 2015, with no follow-up on the situation today. So I decided that the only way I was going to find out if Lesvos was safe was to visit it myself.

I flew to Lesvos solo on a Jet2 flight from Manchester. Unlike most people on my flight, I didn’t book a holiday package. Instead, I took the less-travelled route. Staying in the village of Skala Eressos, I explored the island of Lesvos alone in my hire car.

During my visit, I met locals, tourists, and expats. However, I never felt unsafe or uncomfortable while in Lesvos.

I personally saw no refugees on my visit to Lesvos. However, from speaking to locals, I know there is a small camp (the Kara Tepe refugee camp) in the capital city of Mytilene.

Where to Stay in Lesvos

There are a small number of towns and villages in Lesvos that have tourist developments. They include:

  • Skala Eressos
  • Petra
  • Molyvos
  • Anaxos
  • Skala Kallonis

I stayed in Skala Eressos during my trip and visited Petra and Molyvos. Don’t get me wrong; there’s nothing bad about Petra or Molyvos. But if I were to go to Lesvos again, I’d return to Skala Eressos.

Skala Eressos is a 90-minute drive from Mytilene Airport, where 99% of lesbians visiting Lesvos stay. The village is small, with a handful of bars, restaurants, and shops, but it has a thriving female community.

How to Travel Around Lesvos

Being the third largest Greek Island, you’ll want to consider how you’re going to travel:

  • From the airport to your accommodation
  • Around the island, should you wish to go out and explore

With this in mind, there are three ways you can travel around Lesvos:

  1. Hire Car
  2. Taxi
  3. Bus

Given that I was going to spend a lot of time exploring Lesvos, I opted for a hire car, which gave me a lot of flexibility. However, most regular visitors to the island were surprised by my decision, and most of them got a taxi instead.

Things to Do in Lesvos

Regardless of your interests, there are plenty of things to do in Lesvos. However, very few attractions are specifically built for tourists.

Instead, most attractions in Lesvos are natural or historical. This makes the island popular with birdwatchers, yoga enthusiasts, hikers and cyclists. Some of my favourite things to do in Lesvos include:

  • The Petrified Forest
  • Castle of Molyvos
  • Hammam Baths & Spa
  • Skala Women’s Rock Group

Events in Lesvos

The island of Lesvos holds several events throughout the year. Some of the most popular include:

International Eressos Women’s Festival

The International Eressos Women’s Festival is held annually in September. Held in the charming coastal town of Eressos, it celebrates women from all walks of life.

The ten-day event serves as a platform for women to connect, share experiences, and foster solidarity.

Lesvos Euphoria International Festival

Also held in September is The Lesvos Euphoria International Festival. This event aims to promote the island’s alternative character and unique energy.

Lesvos has been a popular yoga destination since the 1960s. It’s, therefore, no surprise that instructors from around the world come to the island for this event.


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