Exploring Lesvos with a Motorbike

Delicious local cuisine, stunning scenery and why a bike is the best way to see Lesvos

The ferryboat trip from Piraeus to Lesvos, Greece’s third largest island, is a 12-hour voyage that winds up at its southeastern tip. The seven hills, spread amphitheatrically in Mytilini and the main town, make for a spectacular first impression.

Taking a swift culinary tour around the capital’s alleys; I tried the courgette flowers, ladotyri (traditional local hard and spicy cheese stored in olive oil) and the famous sardines. I left the ouzo for the evening and, instead, enjoyed a glass of Crystal, a refreshing local soft drink.

I then mounted my bike and took the road headed for the island’s northernmost part. After 44 km, I reached Kalloni, the kingdom of sardines, and, while crossing through central Lesvos towards Petra, I could smell the scent of olive trees all around. Some 7 to 10 km later, the image of a seaside village and a rock with a church perched on it appeared.

Various souvenirs may be found along Petra’s picturesque cobbled alleys. At this point, I unfolded my map. Ten minutes earlier, I had passed by Anaxos to my left, a spot featuring low-cost accommodation and a big beach.


Distance: Approximately 300 km
Degree of difficulty:
Appropriate for all
Motorcycle type recommended: Street, On/Off, Cruiser, Enduro

Molyvos, located 6 km further on, where I made a pit-stop for some rest, is a picture-perfect place graced with stone-built, brightly colored houses, quaint neighborhoods, and a small, gorgeous port. The Byzantine-era Molyvos Castle (or Mithimna) stands imposingly at the top of the hill.

From Molyvos, I carried on along the seaside route for 4 km and reached Efthalou beach, home to thermal springs with facilities. After dipping, alternately, into both the springs and the sea, I felt totally rejuvenated. A winding downhill road that works up friction and heat on the brake pads leads to Skala Sikaminias, a lovely fishing port and birthplace of the early 20th century writer Stratis Myrivilis.

The next stop, Agiasos, located at an altitude of 460m, is renowned for its wood sculptures and ceramics. Plomari, famous for its ouzo, is about an hour away from here. It’s worth visiting the village’s Plomari ouzo distillery.

The western part of the island boasts a petrified forest at Sigri – designated as a protected natural monument and formed from the fossilized remains of plants – as well as the endless sandy beach at Eresos. Having left it unexplored, I already know where I’ll be heading the next time I return with my motorbike.

{Thanassis Mourikis, a motorcycle mechanic and traveler, shares two of his favorite routes, in Lesvos and Agrafa. He has taken part in national racing competitions as well as off-road (enduro) events, both as a mechanic and motorcyclist}.

“I reached Kalloni, the kingdom of sardines, and, while crossing through central Lesvos towards Petra, I could smell the scent of olive trees all around.”

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