You will fall for Limnos at the first sight, or never… An off-the-beaten track of Greece for eclectic visitors with such “catholic” taste… Like Cupid (Eros) and Phyche the Island of Hyphaestus is full of mythical stories, such a rumor, mystery, romance, myths and history…
Upon first impression, the island displays a flat arid ground, sparse of trees – with the exception of the mountain Mitaka. There are also many small villages are half buried and strewn throughout boundless yellow corn meadows.
Lemnos is an island whose income does not solely depend on tourism; it almost ignores its touristic infrastructure – resulting in it remaining pure.
The island of Limnos is like the love affair of the beautiful Aphrodite to the ugly and limping Hephaestus. It contains a well-hidden beauty that is a must to be discovered.
The choice of accommodation is important but not necessarily a priority for the visitors.
There are many hotels, rooms and flats to rent. In addition to this there are five star resorts, such as: Porto Mirina, Limnos Village and the stone built Varos Village. Varos the seaside village, also offers luxurious agricultural-based accommodation.
There are many quaint seaside hotels that you can find along nearly all the beaches,especially in Plati.
I suggest renting a jeep to drive the rough paths and routes that will lead you to amazing, virgin, unapproachable places.
Gone with the wind
During the summer period, when the Meltemia wind (local Aegean north wind) are dominant, the ideal beaches to visit are the south-facing ones, such as Thanos, Evgatis and Plati; Also at the main village “Port of Mirina” two fantastic beaches attract many people :Romaikos Gialos and Rixa Nera which are popular beaches and venue for youth.
On the other hand, when the ancient Greek God Aeolous -the Ruler of the winds accoring to Greek Mythology – decides to rest, it is a great opportunity for visitors to excurse north to Neftina -the best beach on the island- near the ancient Kaveiria, Zemata, Mpournia and the special Keros near the ancient Polixni and the Cape of Plaka.
Additionally, an ideal destination to visit is the fishing village of Kotsinas, which has to offer plenty of local ouzo to be drunk in the best fishing restaurants the island has to offer, overlooking the turquoise-coloured bay.
Greeks says : “Love comes through the stomach…”
is practically self-sufficient in many agricultural products, for example, its famous wine.
Its fruitful soils are said to originate from lava due to the passing of kosmogonia. Directly from the God Hephaestos, corn and perfect tomatoes are produced, along with various groceries depending on the season.
On its endless meadows you will see goats, sheep, and chickens. Animal derivatives such as meat, eggs and milk are arguably that of another world.
On the sloping parts of the hills, the creator has sewn plenty of oregano and thyme that fill the air with their scent at dawn; they also contribute to the production of a tasteful honey.
The shallow and narrow bay of Moudros is a perfect location for the breeding of every kind of shells and oysters and other aphrodisiacs like urchins.
Finally, Limnos is an ideal fishing location for fresh open sea fish since the triangle of the Dardanelles, Saint Eustartios, and Limnos creates a perfect environment for the sea currents.
The local chefs, with their golden hands are invited to create dishes of incredible taste and quality easily winning the game of culinary art.
Starting from Mirina with its traditional fishing taverns and ouzeri, they serve the best quality of fish, octopus, oysters and sea urchins. Fresh salads with local cheese Kalathaki (basket) Limnou, saganaki dried honey- cheese, local greens and olive oil from Militini.
Fishing restaurants-taverns are everywhere, but we picked some here like Giannakaros in Thanos and the Sea Rokkos in Kotsinas.
You will rarely find imported meats with the only exception possibly being beef.
Without any hesitation, the best kontosouvli in the whole world is grilled here.
The barbequed meats that are commonly cooked everywhere upon request (like chops and steaks) the skewers are being prepared for their evening performance of culinary expertise.
The tavern Meraklis, owned by Thanasis Kotsinadelis -the best lyrist in Tsimandria, where the restaurant also resides- houses the well-known spit chicken. Nobody has managed to decode the magical recipe with ouzo and local herbs.
Additionally, Plati village proudly creates the best kontosouvli of Limnos.
Mr. Kotsinadellis creates art; when he deal with meat on the souvla and the meats on the spit..
Finally, we discovered an agricultural pearl in the middle of nowhere. We visited and tasted everything in a very folklore gourmet tavern. The “ Ennoia pou exeis” which translates to “don’t care”.
Loukas the Austrian chef of “ Don’t care” along with some of his Limnean friends bought a deserted old coffee shop in the square of Lihna village; they renovated it into the tavern it is today, despite the financial crisis of the time.
There are limited tables and they get fully booked so a reservation is necessary, especially in the summer months.
Gourmet Ntakos for just 4$
Their principal is to use local produce cooked and handled with artful joy, only with the use of two gas points. Everything is presented flawlessly on the table so that it is pleasing to the eyes before the stomach and the prices are affordable.
The young waiters and the whole environment echoed something similar of that to Quartier Latin or Thessaloniki locations.
Limnos Safari and short excursions
Limnos is full of wonderful ancient monuments, pre Christian temples and ruins of old ghost villages like the Saint Stefanos .
Lagoons, prehistoric stoned forests and sand dunes , strange sceneries like Kaveiria and Plaka attract visitors interest.Endangered birds migrate to Limnos to reproduce, for some food, before returning back to where they came from.
With the rented jeep we mentioned earlier, a wild nature is offered on a daily basis so that we can explore endless opportunities and locations.
For this reason, all the cruisers that approach the island offer their passengers excursions such as safari adventures in jeeps.
In addition, the lovers of therapeutic treatments, the refurbished spa Therma offers medicinal services.
There is an outside pool, a café, and restaurant in a green oasis in the yard of the old Turkish baths.
You wouldn’t travel to Limnos to enjoy wild night life because there isn’t any.
Except the sympathetic beach bars that are plenty the night life-except the numerous taverns- is fulfilled by strolls.
Walks below the 13th century castle of Mirina with many dears around, is recommended to all.
Relaxing walks around the narrow streets of the market coupled with chilled drinks near the beach at the very popular Karagiozis bar, where you can enjoy one of the best sunsets on the island , watching the sun sinking passionately in the endless Aegean blue .
Many traditional feasts take place almost every week. It is a “must” to participate to the generous wine drinking with special Limnos wines, and to taste rare local delights and to dance the local traditional dance of Kehagia.
A very proud and erotic dance with fast rhythm and easy steps.
If you are not prepared to fall in love like Hephaestus and Aphrodite , to swim to its blue and turquoise waters, to listen old stories about Gods and Muses, to allow your palate to welcome pure and bona fide Greek dishes, to stroll and free yourself to its hidden and secluded beauties, to mix up with its nice local people – young and elders- and to get merry with its local wines, ouzos, tsipouros, andto live your myth out of an Extravaganza’s Kehagiadiko dance….then Limnos is not good. If you aren’t ready for Limnos don’t come in Limnos… Stay home!
Photos copyright : Guss (Kostas) Floras