Tranquil Vatera... Longest beach in LesvosWelcome to one of the most idyllic and unspoiled areas of the island... if you want peace and quiet, rest and relaxation, warm seas and a laid back atmosphere combined with an unsurpassed beauty and tranquility... you will find it here.
Just 50 km from the island's capital of Mytilini you will find the sea side village of Vatera, and the longest beach on the island. Although this in itself should dictate a prime site for tourist development, as yet Vatera has remained thankfully unspoiled and unaffected by the masses.
It does however offer the visitor all the modern amenities necessary to enjoy a stay here and there are some wonderful apartments and hotels from which to base your stay on the island, not to mention the beautiful scenery.
The magnificent beach of Vatera, has been rated as one of the best beaches of the Mediterranean. It is 10 km long and 40m wide, affording a feeling of spaciousness and openness. It is well protected by the summer northern winds, and repeatedly has been awarded the Blue Flag of the EEC for its cleanliness and clear unpolluted waters. Vatera beach is an ideal place for swimming, water sports, fishing and sailing and is safe for children with a long sloping shallow shelf into the sea.
On the western side of Vatera beach lies the cape of Agios Focas. This tiny jutting peninsular offers an uninterrupted and stunning panoramic view of vatera and it's surrounding countryside, the ocean and the breathtaking sunsets. At the base of the cape is the tiny ancient harbour (above) which is unique in that the bottom of the harbour is paved with stones which were highly polished in order to stop invading ships from anchoring. You will also find the ruins of the temple of Dionysos here.
On the western side of Vatera beach lies the cape of Agios Focas
WILDLIFE IN VATERA
There is no doubt that the island of Lesvos lends itself to walking... but when it comes to the area of Vatera, one can't help but think that perhaps some great hand designed it specifically for this reason. Of course we are not talking huge canyons and gully's suitable for those who climb, but for those of you who enjoy walking we can't explain more simply than this... You really do want to know about Vatera.
The region lends itself to trekking on foot through the hilly landscape, just for the pleasure of being one with nature or for observing the abundant wild life. Although the area of Kalloni is well known as the centre of the bird watching fraternity, it should be noted that the area of Vatera is especially interesting because of the the indigenous and migrating birds which visit the region and settle into the flatlands at the foot of the surrounding amphitheatre of pine covered hills. Walking here is an absolute joy with many routes through the hills and across the rugged coastline. Each twist and turn of the numerous paths throughout the countryside reveal a different view and beautiful fields of flowers and a green lush carpet surrounding the abundance of ancient olive trees.
Don't be surprised if you find yourself joined by sheep on your trails
Lesvos has become famous with birdwatchers for its spectacular bird migration. Vatera, on the southern tip of the island is well positioned to witness the many birds coming back from their wintering grounds in warmer climates. Add to this the many colourful birds that stay in Lesvos to breed during the summer months and you really are in one of the best locations to enjoy the 'twitchers' dream. Apart from the birds you can see around the resort, there is a wealth of other wildlife. In the olive groves, Persian squirrels scurry into the trees and if you're lucky you may see the odd wild fox. Also keep a look out for tortoises crossing the paths.
In early spring the fields and roadsides are carpeted with wild flowers, especially poppies, attracting colourful butterflies and dragonflies along the tracks. The river, in the western end of the beach, is a good place to see the Stripe-necked Terrapins. Although shy to start with, they often come to check you out, if you stand quietly. Several types of lizards may be seen dashing across the pathways, along with the occasional snake. Don't worry too much - they're probably more frightened of you, and they will want to make a quick exit. The sheltered bay lends itself to calm waters and shoals of Bottle-nosed and Common Dolphins can sometimes be seen leaping out of the water, swimming close to the shore.
HISTORICAL AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES
In Ancient times, the Vatera area was an ideal base for armies in both defense and attack, in fact Vatera was a base during the Trojan period and farmers can still plough their fields and unearth helmets and remnants from that period today. There are also some wonderful local archaeological remains in the surrounding area which can still be seen today, including a well which the locals call "Achilopigado", meaning the well of Achilles.
A short walk around Vatera and you will happen upon many interesting and ancient features of the area such as the remains of the Achilopigado aqueduct. According to Trojan legend king Achilles supplied his army with water from the well. Just outside the village lies Paliopyrgo, a square fortress built in 1355 BC. Local Legend says that there is an underground passage which leads from the fort to the village of Vatera and St. Focas. A few archaeological remains from the Temple of Dionysos are still visible at the side of the church. It is alleged that some of the marbles of the Temple were used to build the church of Agios Focas.
Thermal Baths of Polihnitos & Lisvori
The cape of Agios Focas has two natural mineral springs enclosed in thermal baths and are situated 9km and 12km respectively from Vatera, in the town of Polihnitos and the village of Lisvori. The baths are basic, however they are renowned for their therapeutic waters. The temperature in the Polihnitos spring (87.6C) makes it one of the hottest in Greece and possibly Europe.
Click here for accommodation in Vatera