Lemnos island

I spent the first 7 years of my life on this island.  I learned how to walk, run, read and swim on this beautiful remote North Eastern Aegean paradise. 260km of coastline, with serene and unspoilt beaches. Valleys and Hills. A salt lake that hosts migratory flamingos from Kenya during the winter months. The Amothines, 7 hectares of desert, the only of it’s kind in Europe. Poliochne, an ancient site, considered to be the oldest in the Aegean where remains of a parliament have been found.  Possibly the first ever. An island with mystic ties to Greek Mythology, where women threw men off cliffs and Goddesses punished. Ruled by the Byzantine Empire, the Ottomans and the Venetians. During World War One, Moudros, the only harbour large enough to cater for British and French war ships, was under a British Admiral’s command.  A launch pad for troops for the  Gallipoli campaign, also key to the ANZACS. The island was a gate way.  From Europe to the Middle East and the Middle East to Europe. When I usually visit the Island of Lemnos I spend my entire time with family.  I visit uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents, God parents. This time however I took a different approach. I visited the island as a tourist.  Mostly because it was Bernie’s first trip to the island.  We wanted to explore and see everything it has to offer.  It most definitely didn’t disappoint. In the summer months the streets of Lemnos are filled with tourists. Mostly expats.  Not a popular destination for the average island hopping traveler. However it should be, and here is why. Our top must do’s when in Lemnos:
  1. Hire a car, you will need one to be able to see everything that this majestic place has to offer
  2. Walk the streets of Myrina, the capital of the island. The agora is filled with quaint little stores, run by locals.
  3. Visit the Kastro, towering over Myrina, a castle that once protected the island and the town from enemy invasions.
  4. Have dinner at one of the see side tavernas, Myrina boasts some of the best, however the village of Kotsinas has one of my favourites, Giannakaros. They have some of the most delicious sea food dishes and they grow their own vegetables.
  5. The beach at Thanos village is absolutely spectacular. Extend your visit till sunset, you will not be disappointed.
  6. Hike to Maria Kakaviotisa, a remote monastery just outside Thanos village, tucked away in a cave.
  7. Road trip across the island, go off the beaten track, follow the alternative routes for the best views and to experience the natural beauty of the island.  You can grab a free map from any of the travel agents in Myrina.
  8. Visit the Amothines, once you are done there hop over to Gomati beach for a refreshing swim.
  9. Visit the ancient archeological sites, Poliochni, Hephaestia and the Sanctuary of Kaveires.
  10. Go on an organized tour, this will take you through the most popular sites of Lemnos.
  11. Engage with the locals, they all have beautiful stories to tell and are passionate about their history, most importantly someone will try to feed you large amounts of food, that is always a win.
  12. Eat and drink the local produce, Lemnos has some of the most unique wines and sweets, real delicacies.
There is so much more I could say about this awe inspiring island.  It’s warmth and generosity, it’s endless valleys and hills dotted with sheep, grazing late into the evening.  The shooting stars during the month of August, its northerly winds that bring welcome relief from the perpetual heat of the sun.  Its calm sea waters that you are able to float on for hours at a time, its spectacular sunsets that capture your imagination.  The feeling that you get that this is an ancient land, a land where many wars were fought, lost and won. Visit Lemnos and fall in love. article by mrandmrssmit.co.za see original article here