The third-largest of the Greek islands, Lesbos is known for its stunning beaches, colourful villages, thickly forested mountains and its anise-flavoured liqueur, ouzo. But it also has some top places to stay, bookable on Culture Trip.
Sitting pretty just off the coast of Turkey, the first thing you’ll notice when you arrive on Lesbos (also known as Lesvos) is just how different it is compared to the Cyclades and Ionian islands of the south. Instead of whitewashed villages, homes here are pastel-painted with terracotta rooftops, but there are still plenty of olive groves (around 11m olive trees, in fact), golden beaches and clear waters to enjoy. Here, farmers produce half of the ouzo found worldwide, and much of what you eat will be made with local produce.
Sitting under the watchful eye of Molyvos Castle, on the shores of Molyvos Beach, Delfinia Hotel & Bungalows is a smart option for your next trip to Lesbos. Rooms are well-appointed, with garden- or sea-facing views, but if you can, book into one of the bungalows for light-filled rooms and private balconies. When you need to cool off from the Greek sun, there’s a stretch of private beach to enjoy.
A short stroll from the golden shores of Skala Kallonis Beach, Pasiphae Hotel is a charming family-owned locale. Book a spacious, airy apartment if you’re travelling with kids or in a group, which comes with a kitchen and lounge area. When you’re not taking a dip in the on-site pool or participating in an aqua dance class, sign up for beach yoga or pilates.
Kids will love the on-site playground and designated swimming pool at Aeolian Gaea Hotel but this boutique oasis, with its spacious apartments, is primed for adults, too. The in-house spa features a sauna and a massage room, and there’s a tennis court if you’re after something a little more active. Boost your energy levels with a trip to Bistro Aeolis next to the pool. Here, you will find an assortment of Lesbos delicacies including olive oil from the hotel’s farm, Kalloni sardines, Greek wine and ouzo.
You’ll quickly slip into holiday mode at the Blue Sky Hotel. Plonk yourself down by the sun-drenched poolside bar, sip on a cocktail and enjoy the sound of the waves lapping up the sandy beach around you. Rooms here are basic but have small kitchenettes, palm tree views and comfy beds. For when you want to explore, the azure-hued Petra Beach is just down the road.
A family-run hotel just back from Kalloni Beach, Malemi Hotel is known for its sprawling buffet dinners. The owners recently started a farm at the back of the property that now accounts for 80 percent of the vegetables served in the buffet – trust us, it’s packed with Greek delights. For breakfast, expect homemade organic marmalades, homemade cookies, cakes and Greek herbal teas – vegans are catered for as well.
Overlooking the glorious beaches of Eftalou and the Aegean Sea, Sunrise Resort Hotel is a favourite of the fly-and-flop brigade. This is largely because the hotel has two outdoor pools, a poolside bar and a spa with a sauna and a hot tub. Rooms are smart, and the on-site taverna serves delicious Greek fare – when it’s not hosting one of its famed culinary themed nights, that is.
Slap bang in the heart of the old Mytilene town, Theofilos Paradise Boutique Hotel occupies a beautiful restored mansion. Behind its grand façade, the hotel houses a Turkish hammam and sauna, and serves a freshly made Greek breakfast each morning – expect baklava, homemade bread and small pies with local ladotyri cheese. The true star, however, is the rooftop terrace, complete with a bar and pool as well as highly Instagrammable views across the island.
Just steps from Mytilene’s old-world harbour, Heliotrope is a wise pick for travellers hoping to take in as much sea air as possible. Rooms are relaxed, with wood-panelled floors and accent walls – the majority also offering views of the Aegean or the town’s rust-red terracotta rooftops. Most of your time will be spent in or around the pool, likely sipping on the hotel’s signature cocktails at the stylish pool bar.
If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to scuba dive, why not do so on your next trip to Greece? At Imerti Resort Hotel, guests can take diving lessons and even earn their Padi certification. When you’re not marvelling at the world beneath the waves, the hotel itself is set among leafy surroundings – there’s a pool and a children’s playground, too. Rooms are chic, with vibrant walls and tiled floors. Massages can be arranged on request.
Part-hotel, part-villa, as its name suggests, Archontiko Petras 1821 is a magnificent stone mansion built in the 19th century. Each room is unique, and they are all given ancient Greek female names like Electra and Aphrodite to display their individuality. Opt for the suite if you want some added comfort, as it includes a jacuzzi bath. The breakfasts are just as exclusive, with local delicacies such as hand-made loukoumades and homemade marmalades on offer. Get your morning fill before touring the nearby traditional seaside village of Petra.
Located near the popular village of Molyvos and set among olive groves, Aphrodite boasts a very privileged location, being only 20m (65ft) away from its own private beach. This hotel offers all the standard hotel facilities including a swimming pool, taverna on the beach, lounge bar, tennis court and sauna. The excellent room service and warm Greek hospitality have made Aphrodite a popular destination for travellers to Lesbos.