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Green Travel Guide to Lesvos and Chios

"Happy is the man who before dying had the good fortune to travel the Aegean sea," wrote Nikos Kazantzakis in Zorba the Greek. And while the image that comes to mind of the archipelago to the east of Greece's mainland is often one of white and blue houses and stark stone outcrops, there's a warmer and wilder set of islands waiting to be discovered to the north. Lesvos and Chios are a treasure trove of history and natural beauty, of untouched landscapes, azure waters and a very friendly welcome in ancient stone villages. April to October is still the liveliest time to visit, yet both islands are real, busy communities and rewarding to explore year-round.

Foreword by Christina Kalogera,
Director, GNTO UK & Ireland Office

The Greek islands have been a destination favourite for UK holidaymakers over the decades but there are still so many of them under the radar, such as the North Aegean Islands close to the Asia Minor Coast.

This complex of Greek islands – in the north eastern Aegean Sea – consists of five larger islands, namely Ikaría, Sámos, Límnos, Lésvos, Chíos, and 8 smaller ones, including Áyios Efstrátios, Áyios Minás, Antípsara, Thýmaina, Oinoússes, Samiopoúla, Foúrnoi and Psará.

Most notable perhaps and with direct flights from the UK (London, Manchester and Birmingham) is Lesvos and the nearby island of Chios; just a short ferry ride away.

Lesvos is the third-largest island in Greece and a destination in its own right featuring stunning castles and traditional villages, mountain walks and forests, pristine natural landscapes - including a petrified forest, a golden coastline with azure waters, and a poeticism dating back to ancient Greek poetess Sappho. The island is also famous for its excellent bird-watching locations as well as for its ouzo production.

Nearby Chios – with a history dating back to the Saracene pirates and the Greek Revolution – also claims to be the birthplace of Homer. Its diverse landscape ranges from lush mountains in the north to the citrus-grove plains of Kampos with its picturesque mansions in the centre and the fertile Mastihohoria (or Mastic villages) in the south – the only place in the world where mastic trees grow. Mastic is cultivated entirely by hand and is nowadays used for gastronomic, medicinal, and cosmetic purposes.

With so many undiscovered and commanding treasures waiting to be discovered both islands are sure to captivate the most discerning of travellers whether interested in nature, soft adventure, history, architecture, arts and crafts or just simply good food and wine!

This Green Traveller’s Guide to Lesvos and Chios gives us a fantastic opportunity to showcase another gem of our country.

For more information go to:

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What our writers discovered in Lesvos and Chios  

Stay, Eat, See & Do

Our pick of places across the islands of Lesvos and Chios

Google Map Key:
Click on the coloured icons for more information about each listing
Green = Places to stay; Blue = Places to eat; Yellow = Attractions; Purple = Activities

Click on the square brackets top right of map to reveal expanded map

See all our Greece guides

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