Skala Eressos is located at Southwestern end of the island of Lesvos. It is 96km from the Capital of Mytilini and 26km from Sigri.
birthplace of Sappho
The village of Eressos is 4km inland and locally it is know as the 'winter village'. This is simply because the inhabitants of the area live here during the winter months... and move to Skala (meaning beach) in the summer.
In other words, they have two houses, and two different lifestyles. History dictates that the village of Skala was the original settlement but due to repeated attacks from the open bay, the villagers eventually settled inland. Perhaps this is one of the many idiosyncrasies which makes Eressos so very special... a mix of the old and the new combined into the traditions of culture and community.
Eressos and Skala Eressos are internationally renowned, not only for the amazing 4km of unspoiled wide beach which is reputed to be one of the most beautiful on the island, if not in all of Greece, but also as the birth place of the poetess Sappho, the home of Theophrastus (a philosopher credited in some circles as the man responsible for the study of Botany) as well as many many other important figures in Greek History.
There are a veritable mix of people who visit this particular part of the island, and most of them return again and again. This little pocket of Greece is actually one of the most cosmopolitan areas of the island. Popular as a Mecca for the international Lesbian community, and a wonderful family location with lot's of open space, fresh air, stunning views and clean safe beaches. The villages of Eressos and Skala Eressos are the furthest away from the main ports and towns of the island.
Skala Eressos combines the traditional values of everyday life with an artistic flair and an individual flavour making it an exceptional all round holiday destination. The many restaurants and bars here with their beach terraces and individual decoration offer a huge variety of food from all over the world and help to create an enjoyable and relaxed atmosphere.
The evidence of the cultural history is everywhere. Throughout the village, one can find busts commemorating the personalities who have shaped the Skala Eressos we know and love today. On the main square, there is a bust of Dimitris Papanikolis who stares relentlessly out to sea. One night, under the cover of darkness he rowed out alone in a small fishing boat packed with dynamite and blew up the Turkish Warship which was moored menacingly in the bay, and so halted an imminent invasion and became a local hero.
There is an abundance of animal life here. The island of Lesvos is renowned throughout the world as having one of the most mixed and the largest visiting populations of migrating birds and is said to be a 'twitchers' paradise. In the fields surrounding the villages of Eressos and Skala Eressos, you will see wildlife galore. The is also the added phenomenon of the fresh water river which runs into a natural pool half way along the beach. This becomes home to hundreds of terrapins of all ages and feeding them with bread can be an entertaining pastime as their heads bob above the water. Children especially love this, but please bear in mind that these animals are wild and whilst they won't hurt you it would be easy for you to hurt them... especially by over feeding!
The air is fresh and the waters clean, more importantly, children can play in safety here on the gently sloping sands and the beach front streets are almost void of motors... although as a word of warning it is worth mentioning that there are the ever present scooters which the locals use to go from one place to the other usually at great speed and not too much attention to pedestrians !
Everything has to be bought here from the main port of Mytilini or sometimes from the local port of Sigri which is just 26km away as opposed to 94. The local supermarkets ( there are four here in summer but only one during the winter ) are reasonably well stocked with mostly canned vegetables, toiletries and essentials.. and alcohol of course. All of them also have cold cabinets where you can buy fresh eggs, feta cheese (and a selection of locally produced cheeses) salami, and other cold cuts. You can also purchase ouzo and wine by the kilo as well as olive oil.
Fresh vegetables and fruit are available from shops close to the main square. Some of the shop owners grow their own produce and certainly fruit grows freely here. One will often walk around the small streets of the village and notice the smell of lemon and peach drifting from private gardens. Figs are a speciallity to and are eaten ripe from the tree before being dried.
Fresh fish is no problem here, but it may surprise you that fisherman drive between Mytilini and the villages up to three times per day to bring the 'catch of the day' in the back of their pickup trucks. You will hear the sound of their voices traveling over the village as they shout their catch in market trader fashion and call out their latest offerings. Villagers and tourists alike the crowd around the fish trucks and buy their dinner.
Accommodation is available throughout the village and varies in price depending on the season you visit and the standard of facilities you require. There is something to suit every taste and budget here from room only to self catering studios and apartments as well as women only accommodation and private houses and villas. There is even a class 'A' hotel with a swimming pool located at the west end of the beach. The village of Skala Eressos is built on a valley floor and surrounded by a stunning amphitheatre of volcanic rock and mini mountains. Most property is built on the flatlands of the valley floor and very few of them afford a direct view of the sea. Naturally many people who visit want a room with a sea view, but please try to remember that wherever you choose to stay in Skala Eressos, you are never very far from the sea, the beach and the many restaurants and bars which offer open beach terraces where you can sit and watch the sea and stunning sunsets to your hearts content.
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