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Lesvos: the Northeast

The east coast and Skála Kalloní

Aqueduct at Moria

There are two roads from Mytilini to the north coast and its resorts. The longer, east-coast road passes Mória, now synonymous with the refugee camp that burned to the ground in 2020, but also home to a remarkable section of Mytilíni’s Roman aqueduct, a Greek island Pont du Gard that once brought water 27km from Mount Olympus to ancient Mytilíni. Built in the time of Hadrian, its now hidden amid the olives; follow signs through the village lanes.

Up the coast, Thérmi with a ruined Genoese tower is a popular little resort and spa with hot iron-rich springs recommended by the ancient physician Galen, next to an impressive abandoned hotel.

Thérmi was inhabited before 3000 BC; five successive levels of civilization were excavated by Winifred Lamb between 1923 and 1933. Like Polióchni on Lemnos, Thérmi shared the same culture of Troy, and was burnt to the ground around the date of the Trojan War (1180 BC). The village’s 12th-century Byzantine church of Panagía Troulloutí has traces of frescoes.

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Text © Dana Facaros

Images by Chris Kar, Creative Commons License, Gerwin Filius, Jonathan Lundqvist from Stockholm, Sweden, Ronald Saunders from Warrington, UK, Tedmek