Passengers traveling by ferry to Mytilene will enjoy a pleasant sailing with arrival at one of the largest and oldest Greek islands, also well known as Lesvos!
Lying opposite the shores of Turkey, Mytilene Town, founded in the 11th century BC, is the main port of Lesvos and the capital and administrative center of the North Aegean. Ancient Mytilene was a separate islet, east of the island, which later united with Lesvos, creating the north and south harbor. With a coastline of 400 km, a total area size of 1630 sq. km and a population of 90.000 permanent residents, Lesvos is the birthplace of several famous artists and writers like Sappho, the Archaic Greek lyric poet from Eresos, the nobel-awarded poet Odysseas Elytis, the novelist Stratis Myrivilis and the painter Theophilos.
Mytilene, with a population of 35,000 inhabitants, is built over seven hills on the southeast part of the island. It is the commercial center and the headquarters of the Ministry of the Aegean and the University of the Aegean. During antiquity, Mytilene was a great cultural center where Epikouros and Aristotle teached at the Philosophical Academy. It is, with no doubt, a place with a rich history starting from the Neolithic era and Bronze Age, as it is verified from the archaeological excavations. Prehistoric findings testify that the human presence existed from 3000 BC. Inhabited by the Pelasgians, the Achaeans, the Aeolians and defeated by the Persians, Μytilene became a part of the Macedonian Empire and later on, of the Roman Empire at 80 BC. Being a part of Byzantium in the Middle Ages, it was conquered and attacked by the Genoese, Venetians, Saracens and Ottomans until 1912 when the Greek navy took over the city of Mytilene and one month later the whole island was liberated. In 1922, after the Asia Minor disaster 24,000 refugees settled on the island. During the Second World War Germans occupied Mytilene which was liberated in 1944.
Tourists traveling to Lesvos or Lesbos have the chance to explore magnificent bays, endless sandy beaches, traditional villages, castles, monasteries, churches and a lot more sights worth seeing. Each place has its own history that’s why it is really an amazing destination for thousands of people who plan to spend their holidays on the island. It is a fertile area with pine trees and olive groves with intense change of scenery that keeps your interest vivid to visit more and more places, to meet the permanent residents and to learn all the secrets of the everyday life of this wonderful island.
Choose the port of departure, plan your trip and book your tickets in advance using our booking engine. All the discounts and offers are automatically applied in your booking.
Mytilene ferry routes
Many routes connect Lesvos island with mainland Greece, some of the Cyclades islands, some of the Dodecanese islands and the main neighboring North Aegean Islands. Also, there are sailings from Ayvalik in Turkey to Mytilene, Lesvos.
In the following list you can see all the available routes operated mostly by modern conventional ferries fully equipped with all the facilities for a pleasant and comfortable journey. In some routes and during high season the shipping companies add more sailings with high speed ferries.
- Piraeus(Athens) to Mytilene
- Thessaloniki to Mytilene
- Kavala to Mytilene
- Evdilos or Agios Kirikos in Ikaria to Mytilene
- Chios or Mesta to Mytilene
- Lemnos to Mytilene
- Karlovasi or Vathi in Samos to Mytilene
- Mykonos to Mytilene
- Syros to Mytilene
- Fournoi to Mytilene
- Oinousses to Mytilene
- Psara to Mytilene
- Patmos to Mytilene
- Leros to Mytilene
- Ayvalik in Turkey to Mytilene
For more detailed information, schedules and prices, which may vary from season to season, you can visit our updated booking engine and make your booking directly.
Mytilene ferry port
Mytilene ferry port is a vivid area usually crowded, especially in summer when tourism is flourishing. With several boats arriving every day either from the mainland or from the other islands, locals and visitors are gathered from the early morning hours until the evening to enjoy the sun, the waterfront, the traditional restaurants and the nightlife.
The harbor is divided in two parts, the main harbor with the marina and the commercial port and the ferry port. A wide range of hotels in Mytilene, but also in the whole island of Lesbo, are available for rent offering high quality services with a very reasonable rate. Supermarkets, banks, ATM machines, medical services and pharmacies are available.
Mytilene port to Mytilene city center
Starting from the port you can walk through the narrow streets that lead to the old town with the neoclassical houses, the worth seeing ruins and antiquities but also the picturesque small restaurants which offer the local specialities and the famous ouzo of Mytilene. The transport bus network is fully organized and you can get information if you visit KTEL Mytilene, Urban Buses Mytilene or call +30 22510 28873 and +30 25510 46436
At the harbor, there are two bus stations. The one that serves the city center is in the southwest corner.
Taxis are also available at the port.
Mytilene airport to Mytilene ferry port
Mytilene International Airport “Odysseas Elytis” is located at a distance of 7,5 km from the port. It serves flights from Athens and Thessaloniki but in high season there are connections with other Greek islands and some European capitals. From Mytilene airport to Mytilene ferry port and the city center you can take the bus to Sapfous Square, 49 Pavlou Kountourioti str. which is 1km from the port. For more information you can visit Mytilene Airport Buses.
In order to schedule a taxi transfer, please visit the Mytilene Taxis or call Theo at (+30) 697 220 3663.
Highlights in Mytilene
The capital of Lesvos is undoubtedly a charming town with impressive neoclassical buildings and monuments that attract the interest and the desire of every tourist to combine the relaxing vacations near the Blue Flag awarded beaches with the unique experience of a visit to the most important archaeological sites.
Below, you can see some of which we have selected for you to visit during your Lesvos holidays:
- The Archeological Museum is housed in two buildings. The old one, located near the port, is housed in the residence of the Vournazos family. It was built in 1921 and sold to the Greek State in 1965 with the purpose to be a museum. Today visitors can see a great collection of findings from excavations made in the whole island. Marble statues, jewelry, parts of ancient temples, prehistoric relics from the villages are exhibited in the Museum. The new building, opened in 1999 in the Kioski area, can be easily reached on foot after your visit to the old one. You can see mosaic floors of the Roman villas, statues and portraits from the Hellenistic and Roman period
- Walking along Ermou Street, which is the main shopping street of Mytilene, among the beautiful houses and shops selling local souvenirs and products, you can admire the Yeni Tzami which is a Turkish Mosque of the 19th century. One of the most interesting buildings of Ottoman and Byzantine architecture, has not been restored for years but today the local authorities have designed a project for the restoration of the monument
- Nearby the Yeni Mosque, is the Ottoman bath Carsi Hamam, the main market bath in the neighborhood, built during the 19th century. Nowadays the bath is open to the public as it was restored in 2001
- The imposing Church of Saint Therapon with the impressive dome stands in the center of Mytilene, close to the port. Built in 1935 on the site of Ancient Asclepios you can distinguish different architectural styles like Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassical and Gothic. Opposite the church there is the Byzantine Museum with a collection of Byzantine icons and traditional art from the 13th century
- The Castle of Mytilene, one of the largest in the Mediterranean, was built in order to protect the island from the pirates' invasions. Consisting of three parts, the upper, the central and the lower, the castle bears a long history as it was built and reconstructed several times during the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman period. Take a walk and see the Ottoman baths, the Crypts and the Queens Tower but also admire the great view from above. During your stay you may have the opportunity to attend one of the cultural events that take place every year
- In the southern suburbs of Mytilene, there is the impressive Ancient Theater of Mytilene built in Hellenistic period and renovated by the Romans with a spectators capacity of 15.000. It is said that when Emperor Pompey visited Mytilene he was so impressed that he ordered the Pompei Theater in Rome to be built similar to the Greek Theater
- Valide Mosque built in 1615 is located in the old Turkish quarter named Epano Skala, near the port of Mytilene. The walls are made of stone and once a pavestone courtyard and a fountain were existing. The minaret is well-preserved except for a piece at the top which has been destroyed.
Holidays in Mytilene
If you plan your holidays in Mytilene, grab the opportunity to visit some of the most interesting places in Lesvos, like the old villages and their hidden treasures, that will make you visit the island again and again.
- The Castle of Molyvos is a historical monument of the 13th century during the Byzantine period, located in the homonymous village. It is a well-preserved castle, open to the public and during the summer period festivals and cultural events take place. It was reconstructed by the Genoese and modifications made also during the Ottoman rule. The views from above to the port and the village of Molyvos Lesvos are amazing. You can reach it by car or taxi, or you can walk through the picturesque streets of Molyvos or Mythymna. If you have the chance to be in Molyvos you can visit the Olive Press Hotel which used to be in the past an olive oil factory
- Visit Plomari in Lesvos and the area around which offers many attractions like churches and museums including the Ouzo museum, presenting the tradition of ouzo production exported to many countries. Guided tours are organized in order to see the detailed procession from the first step to the bottling process. Taste the traditional home recipes, the fresh fish with ouzo and enjoy the hospitality of the locals. Plomari is a port town, situated in the south part of the island, touristically developed, with beautiful beaches, many hotels, shops and restaurants
- In the center of the island of Lesvos, 40 km southwest of Mytilene, you can find the town of Kalloni with a rich past and history that is testified from the several archaeological sites like the Ancient Arisvi, Pyrrha and the Sanctuary of Mesos. At a distance of 4 km is the organized commercial and picturesque port of Skala Kallonis with the sandy Blue Flag awarded beach, one of the best tourist destinations of the island. Try the Sardine of Kalloni, a delicious small fish for which the island is famous. If you happen to be in Kalloni during August check the dates for the Sardine Celebration which takes place every year
- Agiasos in Lesvos is built on the slopes of Mount Olympus at a height of 450m located 27 km from Mytilini. Colorful buildings and stone houses, narrow streets, traditional shops with local ceramic products and wooden handmade objects, food shops with a variety of cheese and olive oil made by the producers of the island. In the center of the Agora there is the Church of Panagia which is celebrated every year on the 15th of August
- On the northern coast of Mytilene, a few kilometers from Molyvos, is the traditional fishing village of Petra, a Mytilene site with a Blue Flag Beach and a long history. The main sight of the village is the church of Panagia Glykophilousa that stands on a rock in the center of the village. Climb the 114 footsteps to the top to see the church and the view to the sea. One of the most characteristic houses is the one of the merchant Vareltzidaina, located near the main square built more that 200 years before. Lovely traditional souvenir shops and restaurants welcome you to taste the local specialities.
- The Petrified Forest, in the western part of the island, is scattered in an area of 150 sq.km. Petrified tree trunks and plants as well as other finds are surrounded by the villages of Eressos, Antissa and the seaside village of Sigri. The area is managed by the Natural History Museum of Lesvos and is a Unesco World Heritage Site
- The island of Lesvos has a varied landscape with numerous species of birds. In spring a lot of foreign birds stop at Mytilene especially in Skala Kallonis and Vatera to make their nests. Birdwatching in Lesvos, Greece, is a reason for a visit for those who love to explore the landscape and the wild birds as it is one of the best locations in Europe for migrating birds
At a distance 38 km north of Mytilene, there is the village of Mantamados, famous
for the workshops of ceramics that are made in the traditional way. The art of pottery goes from father to son and today there are many ceramists and potters that try to keep the traditional preparation and processing of the clay. Mantamados is also well known for the production of its dairy fresh products that you have to taste. Every year a great number of locals and tourists arrive in Mantamados to visit the Monastery of Taxiarchis with the icon of Archangel Michael, protector of the area and of the entire island
Most of Mytilene beaches are well equipped with all the facilities any tourist needs to spend a day near the sea. Since Mytilene is a big island most of the beaches are far from the center so it is recommended to have a car if you like to visit the different resorts and the places of interest as you can combine a day near the sea with a visit to an archeological site or a traditional village. Another option is to take a public bus, as the transport network is very developed.
Below you can find some of the recommended beaches of the island:
- Mytilene Beach, or Tsamakia is the closest to the city center near the port. With sand, pebbles and crystal water is preferred from those who want to stay in the center. It is organized with sunbeds and umbrellas and visitors can find restaurants and bars nearby
- Anaxos Beach is a tourist resort with modern facilities ideal for family holidays. Located at a distance of 60 km from Mytilene, this long and sandy beach can be visited if you plan to go to the fishing village of Petra, as they are close
- Petra Beach is located at a distance of 60km north west of Mytilene and is an organized tourist resort with many facilities and taverns nearby
- Molyvos Beach is one of the preferred places to spend a summer day with crystal clear waters, pebbly on the shore but sandy inside the sea. Do not miss to visit the port with the fishing boats coming in the early morning hours, full of fresh fish and the wonderful village with the great view from above. Next to Molyvos there is also Mithymna beach also called Molyvos by the locals
- Eresos Beach is found in the west part of Lesvos. It is long and sandy but it lies further from Mytilene, at a distance of 85 km. Bars and restaurants are available nearby. The stone built houses characterize the village where the philosophers Theophrastos and Phanias were born
- Vatera Beach is located 50 km south of Mytilene town and is the longest beach of the island. It is fully organized with taverns and bars on the beach and stretches for 8 km to Cape Agios Fokas with the ruins of a Christian basilica and the temple of Dionysos. The Blue Flag is also awarded because of the really clear and crystal waters
- Eftalou Beach with pebbles and sand is close to Molyvos and opposite to the shores of Turkey. The place is famous for centuries for the Eftalou hot springs and the therapeutic properties of the waters. The baths can be visited throughout the year and a lot of hotels and houses are available for rent
Lesvos accommodation choices are multiple depending on the place you want to stay as the distances between the villages are quite long and if you do not have a car you have to move by the means of public transport or a taxi. Choose a Lesvos hotel according to your preferences and enjoy your stay.
Some of the most visited Mytilene island hotels for your holidays to Lesbos are the following:
- Porto Plomari Lesvos Hotel
- Blue Sea Hotel Mytilene
- Porto Lesvos Hotel
- Heliotrope Hotel
- Lesvion Hotel
- Little Bird Lesvos
Useful tips for your trip
- If you are traveling from Piraeus port, take care to be in time for check-in and embarkation because during the high season the port could be very crowded
- Since the trip from Piraeus port is usually overnight, it is advisable to book a cabin for a more comfortable journey. Our website can inform you about the availability, prices and offers(if any).
- Visit our pages dedicated to the other islands of the North Aegean like Chios, Ikaria, Lemnos, Samos, Psara, Fourni, Inouses that have ferry connections to Mytilene
- The Ayvalik to Mytilini ferry time is about 1h and 30m. Have in mind to check and have with you all the requested documents by the custom authorities for embarkation. The procession may cause delays to the ship's departure
- Taste the traditional food recipes with the local olive oil, cheese and ouzo