Greek Guide

Lesvos Car Hire Greece Lesvos

Lesvos Car Hire Greece Greek Rentals

To get the most out of the fascinating island of Lesvos and all it has to offer you really need to hire a car for at least a few days of your stay here. This is the third largest island in Greece about 70 kilometres by 45 kilometres at its widest points so scooters and mountain bikes are not as convenient here as on the smaller islands if you want to explore beyond the immediate environs of your resort area.

There are plenty of car hire firms in the capital Mytilini though you might find it cheaper to rent a vehicle in Mithymna or Skala Eresou if you're staying in either of those areas.

With the benefit of your own transport you'll be free to tour the island's lovely hill top villages, monasteries, thermal springs and numerous beaches. If you're travelling independently rather than with a tour group you'll be able to bed down for a night or two in different areas of the island to give yourself plenty of time to explore each region.

If you rent a car in Mytilini and you're an art lover your first stop will be the tiny village of Varia, four kilometres south of the capital. This was the home of the famous early 20th century painter Theophilus Hadzimichali whose work, much of which portrays the life of the island's farmers and fishermen, is on display at the Theophilus Museum. The next door Teriade Museum houses an awesome collection of works by some of the greatest masters of the last century including Picasso, Chagall and Matisse.

Another easy excursion by car from Mytilini is the lovely hill town of Agiassos, 28 kilometres south west of the capital. This is probably the most picturesque settlement on the island, nestling in a wooded valley in the shadow of Mount Olymbos, the island's highest peak. It's a delightful concoction of cobbled lanes, stone houses, a medieval castle and authentic craft shops selling locally made pottery and hand carved wooden items.

If you're staying in the south coast beach resort of Vatera you'll be able to hire a car locally. Those staying elsewhere on the island might be interested to make a day trip here to visit the local beaches and the nearby Museum of Natural History which has a fascinating display of fossils dating back some 5.5 million years. The fossils of various creatures including elephants, giraffes and hippopotami have been found in the area around the Gulf of Yera which was a sub tropical lake in prehistoric times.

A few hours spent in the northern village of Mithymna (also known as Molyvos) is a must for most visitors because this rates as one of the most delightful towns on the island with its ornate houses arranged in tiers up the hillside topped by a Byzantine castle.

From Mithymna you can drive over to the island's rocky, barren western corner where you'll find a petrified forest of sequoia trees which were turned to stone after a volcanic explosion thought to have taken place up to 20 million years ago.

The west coast is home to the popular resort of Skala Eresou, built over the ancient city of Eresos where the poet Sappho was born around 615 BC. Sappho was regarded as one of the greatest writers of ancient Greece and her tendency to devote her erotic poems to her female followers led to speculation about her sexuality (hence the island's reputation as a favoured haunt of 21st century lesbians).