The Island

A "plane tree leaf" dropped in the Aegean Sea,
between the East and the West, next to the Asia Minor coast

Lesbos. The third largest Greek island is a land of harmony, natural beauty, and spiritual blossom.

Findings testify the presence of humans on the island 3,000 years BC. According to mythology, the first inhabitants of the island were the Pelasgians. However, it was named, after Lesbos, who arrived here, with the Lapiths from Thessaly.

The capital of the island, Mytilene, one of the oldest cities in Greece, is said to have been named after one of Makaros’s daughters, who was the mythical colonizer of the island. The city’s seafront has been characterized as "cinematic," with its preserved mansions attesting to the great economic acne of the past.

The picturesque Molyvos can only be compared to the most beautiful medieval castle-cities of the world. It stands with pride, anchored to the side of a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean, untouched over time. Walking through its narrow streets, a multitude of stone-built houses and mansions with colourful doors and windows, as well as scattered elaborate Turkish fountains, magnetize the visitor’s eye.

Lesbos is a mosaic of images and emotions; land and of arts and culture; birthplace of Terpandros, the creator of wind lyrical poetry, as well as of Alcaeus, Sappho, and Arion, important poets who highlighted the power of poetry and music; homeland of the newer great artists and writers such as Theophilos, Elias Venezis, Stratis Myrivilis, Eftaliotis (Kleanthis Michailidis), and Jacobidis.

Anonymous, as well as famous pottery makers find inspiration and create on the island; Lesbos is famous for its ancient tradition on this art.

Nature’s diversity can nail one out. The hinterland is semi mountainous, rough, and steep, rich in vegetation in the east and in the centre, barren and rocky in the west. Two bays form the island’s peculiar shape, which looks like a platen leaf.

In the extraordinary "Petrified Forest", the time has frozen. Rocky trees, which “breathed” millions of years ago, are covered with the volcano lava. This is a preserved monument of nature, one of the scarcest of the whole world.

Kalloni is the place where birds are adored, one of the 10 most important wetlands of Europe, recognized for its diversity and uniqueness of its species. It currently hosts more than 250 different species of birds that find shelter in its waters.

Lesbos is inextricably connected with the olive oil production. Eleven million olive trees and three thousand years of tradition, verify that the cultivation of the olive has always been the predominant rural job of the islanders.

The intensification of production started in 1880, thanks to the excellent crops and the beneficial conditions for the mechanization of the units.

In 1913, more than 110 modern steam powered mills and abundant soap making plants were recorded.

The first decade of the 20th century took off the local olive-growing industry, which reached its peak at that time.

A series of later historical events in the world as well as in Greece paused this progress and by the end of the 20th century the magnificent oil mills lost their glory. Today, some of them have fortunately been characterised as preserved monuments, such as the one passed into the hands of the Protoulis family.

Nowadays olive oil production has acquired its old momentum, paying tribute to the natural olive groves setting. For above all, Lesbos is an immense olive grove, in the sweet Mediterranean climate.