Lemnos basks in the Greek sun, floating in the blue of the Northern Aegean, not far from Mount Athos and Halkidiki. Distant from many of Greece’s most popular islands, Lemnos has stayed off the tourist radar for many years, and it is still one of the islands where you can really get away from it all. Peaceful beaches, ancient monuments and natural appeal are just some of the reasons to visit.
The capital of Lemnos is a picture-postcard Greek town with the walls of a Byzantine fortress crowning the headland. Grab a table at a waterside taverna to watch the sun go down and see the dramatic lighting on the fortress walls as darkness falls. Out of town, don’t miss ancient theatres, rolling sand dunes and birdwatching in the eastern salt marshes.
Top three things to do in Lemnos
1. Explore the island's capital
Myrina is the hub of island life and the biggest town by far. Fanning out behind two beaches on either side of a rocky headland, it’s an attractive place with a clutch of town beaches and a spectacular fortress spread across the hilltop. Taking a walk up to the fortress to watch the sun setting and the harbour lights twinkling is a classic Lemnos experience.
2. Schedule some beach time
Lemnos is the eighth largest of the Greek islands, and its 260km coastline is notched with beaches. Long sandy bays such as Keros and Aliki in the east are renowned for windsurfing and kitesurfing. There are more facilities on family friendly Thanos beach, while Havouli has a simple beach bar. There are also plenty of wild beaches, like Gomati in the north, to lose the crowds.
3. Soak up some history
Take some time to explore the archaeological site of Hephaistia, the ruined 5th century BC city with a well-preserved theatre. Much more recent is the Panagia Kakaviotissa chapel, dating from the early 15th century. It’s tucked into a cavity on a rocky peak, with wonderful views of the island and the sea.