Where to stay

View of Molivos when approached from Petra

SKALA KALLONIS
Skala Kallonis is centrally placed right in the centre of the island at the northern end of the Gulf of Kalloni, ideal for exploring the whole  island with ease and is the first choice for many visiting birders. Many of the island’s main birding sites are on the doorstep – Skala Kallonis Pool (when wet), Tsiknias and Christou (Kameras) rivers, Kalloni Saltpans, Metochi Lake, etc, as well as very good road links to the rest of the island.

Hotel Pasiphae
Used by many birders and several birding tour groups, and the home of Lesvos Birding each spring. The Pasiphae is an ideal base for your birding holiday and Lesvos Birding’s main  birding log lives on the reception desk here. An exellent hotel used to catering for birders. Great bar with pool terrace. Always fully booked during the main spring birding weeks, so book early to be in the centre of the birding action.

Pasiphae DSC00235 Lesvos Birding’s Steve Dudley uses the Hotel Pasiphae

ANAXOS
Anaxos is slowly establishing itself as the birders resort of the north coast. Its a small beach resort which is deserted in spring so the few birders who stay here have the place to themselves. Great access to the under-watched northern coastline with good roads east, west and south.

MOLIVOS (MYTHIMNA)
A town with two names! The Medieval name of Molyvos is still preferred to the contemporary name of Mythimna. The town is situated in the very north of the island and is just over an hours drive from Mytilini (and most other parts of the island) and half an hour from Kalloni.

Molyvos is Lesvos’s tourist capital and shows other places how to do it! It is truly spectacular and even at the busiest time of year it can still be a realxed place to be. The town is set on a hill rising up from its picturesque harbour to its Medieval castle, sitting atop the town like a crown. From the castle you can spectacular views of the island across as far as Ipsilou in the west, as well as across the sea to neighbouring Turkey.

Molyvos is a great place to base yourself. The north coast track along to Skala Sikaminias is great for migrants and breeding birds, and most of the main birding areas are all about an hours drive away.

VATERA
Situated on the south coast, Vatera has the longest beach on the island. This is a real package holiday hotspot and during peak season can be absolutely bustling.

During the spring birding season however, the place is deserted and makes a good base with its own good local areas to explore (inc. the Almiropotamos River, Agios Fokas, Ambeliko Valley), allows regular visits to the Polichnitos Saltpans but is a bit of a drive to the other main birding hotspots inc Kalloni (c. 45 mins drive), the north Coast (70+ mins) and Sigri (up to 2 hrs). But don’t let this put you off staying here, exploring a much neglected area and shun the birding crowds around the Kalloni main area. Very few of them will bother you down here!

SIGRI
Sigri lies at the extreme western end of the island. Few birders stay here, presumably because its simply too far from anywhere else, including a 2-hour drive to and from the airport at Mytilini.

The Sigri area is however one of the best birding areas on the island and boasts some of the best migrant areas which can easily take up most, if not all, of your holiday. You will see other birders here as no matter where  they may be staying, everyone will go to Sigri at least once during their stay – its that good! But early mornings and evenings you will have to yourself as those travelling across from other parts of the island arrive mid-morning and leave early evening to get back for dinner.

OTHER RESORTS
Few places are open in early spring but alternative places for birders to stay which will have some accommodation during spring (but may take some hunting down) include Skala Eresou (in the south-west) and Petra in the north.

Plomari is very much out on a limb from the main sites, and Mytilini is simply not suitable for most wildlife-interested folk, and again away from the main birding sites.

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