48 hours in Lemnos

Isolated in the northeastern Aegean, Lemnos island remains relatively unaffected by modern tourism and appeals to nature lovers and water-sports fans. A picturesque capital, sandy beaches, ancient sites and lakes visited by flocks of flamingos create a unique setting.

Day One

10 am.
Check in to Keros Surf Club that offers exceptional accommodation options: besides the classic camping tents, you will find mini safari tents for 2 people. Those who want some more luxury will do Glamping, that is Glamorous Camping, in Luxury Safari tents featuring from Nespresso machine to hammocks and sun beds on the veranda. Restaurant, Day Spa Tent for massage and body treatment and of course a windsurf and kitesurf learning school are among the facilities (Keros, tel .: +306944 156679, http://surfclubkeros.com).

Aged more than two centuries, traditional residences and some of village’s Windmills have been transformed into the stunning accommodation of Varos Village. Located in different spots within Varos village itself, each housing complex has its own story to tell. You will enjoy the greek breakfast offering a selection of breads and rusks made from local flour, traditional pies, omelets prepared with fresh eggs and seasonal vegetables, local cheeses made from sheep’s and goat’s milk, thyme honey, homemade marmalades, tahini, yoghurt from sheep milk, and fresh fruits from the hotel's garden (Varos, tel.: +3022540 31728, www.varosvillage.com).

Hotel Ethaleia is set amid a 10 acre estate near the picturesque village of Moudros. It boasts eight charming standard rooms and two apartment-like suites with antique furnishings and stunning views over the Moudros bay. Breakfast is organic and home-cooked including local cheese, thyme honey, homemade marmalade, cakes, cookies and pastries among others (Fanaraki, tel.: +306944355755, http://ethaleia.gr). 

Head to the beach of Agios Ioannis in the village of Kaspakas, with easy access north of Myrina. It is an organized beach with deep and crystal clear waters and one of the best sunsets on the island. Havouli beach is located in a wide bay protected by northern winds with golden sand, crystal clear waters and stunning sea lilie. It is organized with a beach bar, umbrellas and sun beds and is located about 3 km from Moudros. Parthenomitos is an exotic, wide and untouched beach with turquoise water. It is accessed only from a rugged dirt road, but those who choose to go, will enjoy a tranquil scenery and wonderful sea. You will find it near Kaminia and the settlement of Agia Sophia.

Agios Ioannis

Lunch at the traditional Martha tavern in Nea Koutali. It has been operating since 1960 and is renowned for its fish but also for its excellent casserole dishes. Make sure you try the grilled octopus, shrimps with orzo and the spicy mussels saganaki (Nea Koutali, tel .: +3022540 92236, from €14 per person).

Wander around Myrina. Crowned by a the biggest fortress in the Aegean sea, the capital of Lemnos seems like a setting from a bygone era with small houses, mansions, fishing boats on the Venetian harbor, two sandy beaches, labyrinthine cobbled alleys and friendly locals. The 13th century castle is built on a steep, rocky promontory and it comprises an outer and an inner enceinte or bailey, with walls 3,080 m in overall length. The fortification is reinforced at intervals by towers, battlements and a moat at the foot of the hill. The Archaeological Museum, the prehistoric city, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Agia Triada, the Ecclesiastical Museum and the Ntapia on the hill of Chas, are some of the most interesting sights.

A great surprise lies on the north of the island, on the hillsides of Katalakkos village. Pachies Ammoudies are dunes of fine sand, which alongside the scattered brushwoods recall the charm of the desert at the north of the Aegean Sea. Expanding over an area of 17.5 acres, they create a magnificent landscape that is unique in Greece and Europe. Here the landscape is purely African and you suddenly find yourself in the middle of an unexpected desert, a miniature of Sahara, the creation of which scientists are still unable to explain.

Dinner in Man-Tella restaurant. Mr. Constantine took over the café that his grandfather opened 150 years ago and turned it into a tavern with renowned traditional, local cuisine and hearty portions. Do not miss the rabbit stew with onions and the rooster with tomato sauce and flomaria (local pasta). It is worth tasting the good red house wine (Sardes, tel .: +3022540 61349, from €12 per person).

Relax with a cocktail on the purple and white armchairs of Alexandros cafe-bar in Myrina at very nice terrace overlooking the sea (tel: +306977 273187).

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