Cruise Port Atlas | Lesbos (Mytilini), Greece Day Trips | Attractions

Lesbos (Mytilini), Greece Day Trips | Attractions

Alternate Spellings: Lesvos, Mytilene

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Lesbos: Azamara Club Cruises, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas, SeaDream Yacht Club, Silversea, Cunard, Holland America

Key Attractions: Mytilene Castle, Ancient Theatre, Roman Aquaduct, Theofilos Museum, Teriades Museum, Molyvos Castle, Mythimna, Limonos Monastery, Ipsilou Monastery, Agios Raphael Monastery, Agiasos, Plomari, Papados, Petrified Forest, Kalloni Bay, Birdwatching, Skala Kallonis, Vatera

Mytilene (Mytilini) Attractions

Mytilene Cruise Terminal to Mytilene Castle - 1 KM, 2 minutes, 13 minute walk
Mytilene Cruise Terminal to Ancient Theater - 2.4 KM, 6 minutes
Mytilene Cruise Terminal to Roman Aquaduct - 6.7 KM, 10 minutes
Mytilene Cruise Terminal to Theofilos Musuem (Varia) - 4.6 KM, 10 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The views and ruins of Mytilene's castle can be reached by taxi or by walking up the hill from the port. Built on the remains of an acropolis, the castle was first built as a bulwark against pirates in the 5th century AD, reconstructed by the Genovese in the 14th century, and again by the Turks in the 17th century. The massive structure is the city's most popular historical attraction. West of town are the limited remnants of an ancient theater and (about 6 kilometers away) an impressive segment of Roman aqueduct from around the turn of the 3rd century AD.

South of the main town is the suburb of Veria, where two popular museums were established by the art patron Teriades. The most famous features the work of local artist, Theofilos, whose colorful naive work illustrates Greek historical events. The second museum, called the Teriades Museum after the founder, features book illustrations by Chagall, Picasso, Matisse and other important 20th century artists.



Photo of Mytilene Castle by Tedmek, Photo of Roman Aquaduct by Jonathan Lundqvist

Monasteries and Castles

Mytilene Cruise Terminal to Agios Raphael Monastery - 13 KM, 18 minutes
Mytilene Cruise Terminal to Limonos Monastery - 46 KM, 54 minutes
Mytilene Cruise Terminal to Ipsilou Monastery - 80 KM, 1 hour 40 minutes
Mytilene Cruise Terminal to Molyvos - 61 KM, 1 hour 15 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Besides the Mytilene Castle, Lesbos also features the Genovese castle on the north coast of the island at Molyvos (formerly known as Mythimna). The impressive 13th-15th century structure sits on a hill above the port and is one of the best preserved fortresses in the Eastern Mediterranean. Built originally by the Genoese to ward off the Turks, it became an important element in the Turks’ defense of the island.

The most visited monastery on the island is Limonos Monastery, built during Turkish rule in the 16th century. The scenic spot is characterized by barrel-tiled domes on small chapels and celebrated views of the countryside. The library at Limonos is celebrated for its important collection. Some parts of this monastery do not allow entrance to women. Agios Raphael Monastery is a 15th century structure built not long before the invasion of the Turks by monk named Raphael. Since the 20th century, visitors to the monastery have reported seeing Raphael. The monastery is a popular pilgrimage spot for Orthodox believers and holds a special place in the struggle of Greek Christians against the Ottomans because Raphael was tortured and killed during the Ottoman takeover.



Photos of Molyvos Castle and Limonos Monastery by Tedmek

Lesbos Villages

Mytilene Cruise Terminal to Agiasos - 26 KM, 36 minutes
Mytilene Cruise Terminal to Papados - 25 KM, 33 minutes
Mytilene Cruise Terminal to Plomari - 41 KM, 54 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The populous island of Lesbos is dotted with small mountain and coastal villages that welcome visitors and offer a slice of Aegean life featuring rustic charm, genuine cuisine and local products in settings of mostly unspoiled views. The mountain village that has most embraced the tourist trade is Agiasos, only about 40 minutes from Mytilene and sitting on a hill and featuring the narrow winding streets, cafes, and shops which have not changed significantly for decades. Plomari is the second largest settlement on the island and the center of ouzo and olive oil production. The Barbayannis Ouzo Museum shows the history of the first company to produce the strong anise-flavored liquor. A traditional olive oil press can be visited not far from Plomari in Papados.



Photo of Plomari by Kalogeropoulos, Photo of Agiasos by Akisthegreat1985

Lesbos Natural Attractions

Mytilene Cruise Terminal to Skala Kallonis - 43 KM, 53 minutes
Mytilene Cruise Terminal to Vatera - 53 KM, 1 hour 20 minutes minutes
Mytilene Cruise Terminal to Petrified Forest - 80 KM, 1 hour 40 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The most striking geographical feature of Lesbos is the two large, nearly enclosed gulfs which are accessible through narrow channels along the southern coast. The smaller gulf is known as Geras and is not far from Mytilene. The larger is Kalloni and is renowned for its bird watching. In fact, Aristotle spent several years there observing nature and writing on biology and nature. Along with birds other visitors to Kalloni Bay are sardines, porpoises, and seals. At the north coast of Kalloni Bay, near the town of Skala Kallonis, are salt pans. Near the mouth of the Kalloni Gulf is the beach town of Vatera, which offers more birdwatching opportunities. On the arid western side of the island is an area preserved as a national park featuring an extensive petrified forest.



Photo of Petrified Forest by C messier, Photo of Flamingos in Kalloni Gulf by Rutger2

Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible