Municipal Unit of Plomari
Plomari, Akrasi, Ampeliko, Megalochori, Neochori, Paleochori, Trigona
Picturesque Plomari is located on the southern coast of the island, famed for its ouzo production accompanied by traditional mezes and the hospitable locals. Wander the cobblestone alleyways and enjoy an ouzo in the shade of the age-old sycamore tree you will find in the old neighborhood of the village with the manors that have remained untouched by the passing of time. Definitely worth a visit while in Plomari are the Cultural Centre housed in a renovated soap-making facility and of course the Ouzo Museum of the Varvagiannis distilleries and the Ouzo Museum “The World of Ouzo” by Ouzo Plomari Isidoros Arvanitis Distillery. The area has beaches of unparalleled beauty with crystal clean waters such as Agios Issidoros, Melinta with its impressive rock and Drota.
Tip: you can hire a boat from Plomari or Melinda and spend a love day trip at Panagia Kryfti, located just a little past Melinda, with the most impressive rock formations, clear waters, hot springs and the church of Panagia Kryfti “hidden” within a rock, hence the name “kryfti” which means “hidden”!
If you want to take a road trip to explore the southern leg between the two bays of the island, Gera and Kalloni, starting from Mitilini, follow the main road to Kalloni and at the intersection head for Plomari. You can make a stop in Dipi for a tour of the wetland of Evergetoula River or continue moving along the seaside until Perama where the road curves inland leaving the sea behind you. When you reach the mountain village of Skopelos, pay a visit to the church of Agia Magdalini, which hides a well-kept secret of small catacombs beneath it. Continue on the road for Milies, a pretty mountain village with very few inhabitants but has attractive stone built houses worth visiting. After Milies you must stop at ‘Toumba Farm’, where you can have a break and enjoy a coffee enjoying the flatlands of Plomari sprawling ahead.
When one hears the name Plomari automatically their mind goes to “ouzo”. The village has become famous all over the world for producing this tasteful drink which is flavored with aniseed. Plomari was built in the middle of the 19th century, when the invasion-period of pirates came to an end and the residents of the Megalohori region moved there, as it was the” wet valley” located by the sea and had much more to offer. The first name of the village was Potamos (river) because the river Sedountas crossed the settlement. During the end of the 19th century, Plomari experienced an impressive growth in the economic sector, as it had many soap factories that were supplying several European countries, olive press factories, shipyards and ouzo distilleries. Nowadays, Plomari still has several oil mills and ouzo distilleries which support the local economy.
Plomari and its surrounding villages is a wonderful area to visit, as it combines mountain, sea, monuments, museums, beaches, taverns and nightlife! The Museums in Plomari are a reflection of its industrial heritage. If you happen to be an ouzo lover, a visit to the Ouzo Museum of Isidoros Arvanitis or to the Barbagiannis Museum , will fascinate you! There, you can learn about the history of the trademark product of Lesvos and also the national drink of Greece – Ouzo– and you will have the chance to witness the distillation process.
The Museum of Soap Manufacturing is hosted in the Cultural Centre of Plomari and today hosts cultural events. The exhibits you will see there include tools used for the creation of soaps, tags, brand seals, certificates, log-files, as well as personal items of the factory owners. In an old soap factory that houses conferences, permanent and temporary exhibitions, you will find a “multi-cultural center” known as “Benjamin the Lesbian”, in honor of it’s namesake, a great Teacher of the Nation, born in Megalohori village near Plomari. Benjamin the Lesbian was a remarkable philosopher and played a great role in Greek history.
Moreover, you can visit “The Ecclesiastical Museum” which is located in the churchyard of St. Nicholas, housing old icons, liturgical objects, chalices, old gospels, and codes that belonged to Benjamin of Lesvos, firman from the Sultan that gave permission for the building of St Nicholas, old books, etc. The Church of St. Nikolaos was built in 1847 and is the cathedral of Plomari. It is a three aisled basilica. The Chapel of Mary Magdalene, which is situated also in Plomari, has a roof which was inspired by Byzantium temples. The Chapel of Profitis Ilias, located at the highest point of the settlement has an amazing view! If you love nature and outdoor activities, Plomari has plenty of trekking, hiking and biking paths, which will fill you with wonderful sights of nature, unique species of birds and flowers such as orchids, geological structures and more!
Plomari has beautiful beaches such as Agios Isidoros, Melinda, Agia Varvara, Plakakia, Eso Pappas, Ammoudeli and Tarti Beach. In summer, many festivals with live music are organized in the region for both locals and visitors to participate in the local culture and traditions, as well as to enjoy the locally produced spirit of ouzo along with traditional appetizers. At the beginning of August, one of the most popular festivals that take place is, of course, the Ouzo Festival!
“Megalochori” (which means “large village”) suggests that, in its early history, the settlement was the largest in southern Lesvos. The village is located 9km from Plomari. Due to its mountainous position and lush vegetation, the village is a paradise for birdwatchers and nature lovers. Here you will find the church of St. Ioannis, built in 1795, with a carved wood iconostasis, as well as the “Metamorphosi tou Sotiros Church” (the Transfiguration of Christ), which dates back to 1765 and has a wooden carved iconostasis with ancient icons and is encircled by a gorgeous flower garden. At Megalohori’s central square, which is surrounded by traditional “kafeneia”, you will see the monument that is dedicated to “Benjamin the Lesbian” and visitors can admire a breathtaking view. Walking around the village streets, visitors will also discover ten beautiful natural fountains.
Neochori or “Bouro” is a village nearby Plomari with traditional, stone-made houses with tile roofs that match perfectly with the green surroundings of the village. Outside the village you can visit the old Olive press which operated for the first time in 1909 and has become a Museum where visitors can admire the interesting architecture of the building and all the mechanical equipment that was used at that period to produce olive oil. Strolling around the area you will come across churches and chapels. Near the village square is the imposing cathedral of Neohori, known as St. Konstantinos and Eleni. It was built in 1951 and has a beautiful three-aisled basilica. Visitors should also visit St. Ektaterini, the oldest chapel in the area, built in 1841, as well as the primary school of Neohori, with its beautiful architecture of great interest. Close to the village you will also find the old quarry.
Paleochori is located 11 km from the village of Plomari and is one of the oldest villages in the region. The name of the village justifies exactly this fact as Paleochori, made up of the Greek words: Paleo and hori, mean old – village. The village looks like a castle because the houses were built very close together for protection against pirates. The church of the village “Evaggelistria”, is dedicated to the Annunciation of Virgin Mary and was built in 1864. Today it hosts an Ecclesiastical Museum where visitors have the opportunity to admire a number of religious items such as murals, religious icons and other ecclesiastical artefacts.
Very close to Paleohori is the area of Vigla which offers panoramic views to nearby islands and the Asia Minor shores. If you are keen on walking, do go on an exploration of Kournela and Rachidi from where you can enjoy some truly amazing views.
Melinda beach is situated at a distance of 3 kilometers from Paleohori in an unspoilt natural landscape of mountains, pine trees and olive groves. The beach is known for its extraordinary huge rock that dominates the beach. There are hot springs that stream from the roots of the rocks. Close to Melinda, you can visit “the hidden chapel” of Panagia Krifti, a small church carved into a cave of a rock which can be accessed either on foot or by boat. According to folklore, a mother with her child who were being chased by Turks, hid in this cave and promised to make a church there, dedicated to Virgin Mary if they were not found.
The village of Akrasi took its name from the phrase “Akra Sion” which means absolute silence. The village was renowned for the production of high quality wine. Here, one can find old traditional houses with interesting architecture. During the summer time, Akrasi is one of the coolest villages on Lesvos as it is located on a hilltop. Akrasi village is famous for its “Trahana Festival” which takes place in August. Visitors can watch the whole process of making the traditional “trahana”, a dried food ingredient, based on a fermented mixture of grain and yoghurt or fermented milk, considered to be a “super food”. Nearby, you can also discover ruins of an old wine press at the location of “Agioi Apostoloi”
Ampeliko is one of the first villages of the island, with archeological findings from the 3rd century B.C proving its existence. This village used to be called “Vakheon”. Its residents collected pine resin and grapes, for a living. Visitors can learn about the Lesvian trade in pine resin at the Pine Resin Museum. At the center of the village there is a 16-meter tall Genoan watchtower, “the Gatelousi Tower “, built in order to watch out for pirates, who often attacked the island during this period. It is believed that the Tower of Ampeliko had an original altitude of 27 meters but was shortened owing to concerns regarding safety in the year 1830. The main village church is a three-tiered basilica dedicated to St. Nikolaos and is considered of great historical interest.
The village Trigonas draws its name from the Greek word “trigono’, that means “triangle” due to the fact that two rivers border the village, forming the shape of a delta. The village is known for its variety of low-ceiling, tile-roofed traditional houses that stand as representative examples of Lesvian structural design. Other sites of interest include the former olive press of Trigonas, the ‘Koutsouridion’ School built in 1926 and the upper “mahalades”. Trigonas boasts one of the most impressive religious sites on the island of Lesvos, namely the church of St. Antonios which was built in 1896 with its unique architectural design and wonderful flower gardens. Within the churchyard you can visit the chapel of Agii Apostoli, decorated with beautiful murals.
At Plagia village, you can admire one of the biggest fountains on Lesvos.
Agios Isidoros Tourist Resort
|The fully organised beach of Agios Isidoros with its unique pebble is located very close to Plomari and offers fun filled days with swimming, water sports and scuba diving. It was named after the church of Agios Isidoros that exists in the area and has been voted one of the best beaches in Greece|
|A picturesque coastal settlement with rooms to let, tavernas, and an enormous limestone rock and beautiful beach|
|West of Melinda,following a path that the locals know well, you can visit Panagia Krifti, hidden chapel in a spacious cave cliff – declared an UNESCO Wold Heritage Site, or take a lovely boat trip either from Melinta or Plomari. The unique landscape is absolutely breathtaking. There are hotsprings that stream from the roots of the rocks in one specific location here. Ask the locals about how the church was created!|
|A beautiful coastal settlement with an amazing serene beach and surrounding landscape|
|Unique architecture of the house with windows looking out to the sea, remarkable old industrial buildings, old fashioned markets and the “Plane Tree Square” with a plane tree planted in 1813, shading beautiful coffee houses|
|“The World of Ouzo” at the Ouzo Museum of Isidoros Arvanitis at Plomari. Built since 1894, you can learn about the history of ouzo, the national drink of Greece, and will have the chance to witness the ouzo production process.|
|The Barbayannis Ouzo Museum is located in Plomari, Lesvos, in front of the Barbayannis Ouzo Distilleries|
|The Soap Factory Museum which also houses the Community Cultural Centre of Plomari- “The Polykentro”|
|The “Benjamin of Lesvos” Cultural Club of Plomari. It is housed in the more remarkable of buildings and on the ground floor you will find one of the oldest coffee houses of Lesvos|
|The neoclassical coffeehouse “Athanasiadio” built in 1900 and declared a monument|
|The Church of Agios Nikolaos built in 1847 and its churchyard, which houses the Ecclesiastical Museum of Plomari|
|The Chapel of Maria Magdalini which has a roof which was inspired by the temples of the Byzantium|
|The Chapel of Profitis Ilias, located at the highest point of the settlrement, with an amazing view|
|The Bridge of the Sudountas River, located close to the “Plane Tree Square”|
|The Cave “Anydros” and the Cave of Agios Isidoros|
|Hiking, Trekking, Sailing, Mountain biking, Horse-riding, Birdwatching, Boat excursions|
|Nearby beaches and bays: Agia Varvara, Plakakia, Eso Pappas, Ammoudeli and Tarti Beach|
|One of the biggest fountains on Lesvos|
|The Church of Virgin Mary Evaeggelistria built in 1864s|
|Cobble stoned streets lined with houses built closely to each other that look like fortress walls, one of the oldest villages of the area with great musical and folklore tradition|
|The Chapel of Agios Nikolaos with a panoramic view to Paleochori|
|The old olive press|
|Considered the highest village on Lesvos, it is the birthplace of Benjamin of Lesvos. In the centre of the village you will find a monument in his honour|
|The Church of Transfiguration- declared a monument|
|Ten natural fountains|
|A beautiful square with a view of the surrounding mountains|
|The Church of St. Ioannis built in 1795 with a wonderful wood-carved iconostasis|
|A picturesque village surround by orchards|
|A kind of deer farm|
|Famous for its wine production|
|Ruins of an old wine press at the location “Agii Apostolii”|
|The Pine Resin Museum and the “Pine Resin Paths”|
|A narrow, 16-metre-high tower dating back to the Gattilus period in the centre of the village|
|Toumba Eco Farm Guesthouses where you can stop for a nice coffee or go horse-riding, mountain biking and hiking|