Lesvos island is a family friendly destination. It’s got peace and quiet, there are plenty to see and do if your kids are a bit older, and baby friendly beach towns alike. It also combines kids’ fun in the sand with some adult fun in the shade (tiki bars, amazing food, alternative travelers), so that everybody has a nice time.
We went there with our twins, to have a first hand experience of the destination and present it to my foreign friends who are looking for a budget friendly family island in Greece for their next vacay. But if you’re sans children, don’t look away; Lesvos island is huge and it’s perfect for explorers, too!
When to go
- End of May to early September: Have it while it’s hot! Best time to enjoy the sea, the sun, the sand, the cold coffee and the frozen cocktails.
- Spring: for adventures, exploring and plenty of activities.
How to get there
- Ship: Book yourself a cabin. The journey from Peiraeus port lasts 11 hours.
- Flight: Less than an hour from Athens airport.
In any case, your are going to have to rent a car, since there’s plenty to see and do around the island.
Where to stay
For families with babies, toddlers and younger kids
- Eressos beach town: It’s situated 1 hour and 50 minutes drive from the airport and port (and the capital city). Hence, it is the ultimate destination for relaxing and taking it easy. It is a tiny beach town, where you’ll park your car and then forget all about it. The whole town is pedestrianized, so it’s safe for kids to roam free. There is also grocery stores, seafront taverns, a sandy beach, a strolling space, an open-air cinema and plenty of family owned apartments for rent. What’s special about this town is that there is also a nudist beach, a tiki bar and an open lesbian community.
- Kalloni beach town: An equally quiet beach town, with waterfront taverns, a quiet little port for you to stroll around and everything your kids and you wil need during your stay.
- Sigri: Ideal for families with babies, this traditional beach town is also famous for its amazing fresh fish.
For families with older kids
Mitilini: Cosmopolitan, loud and crowded, the island’s capital has it all. It’s ideal for families with older children or teenagers, who want their beach vacay, but don’t want to miss out on entertainment. Perfect also for your daily excursions, since the road system connects Mitilini with towns and beaches all around the island.
Accommodation suggestion: Pyrgos of Mytilini. Pyrgos was one of the highlights of our trip. For its architecture, its awesome breakfast and the amazing, very pleasant and very helpful mrs. Evgenia, who saw to our every needs – something that we really needed since our twins were only 7 months old at the time of the trip. The hotel offers baby meals, family suites on the ground floor right next to the parking and it’s a few steps away from Marina Yacht Club, which is perfect for stroller time, and then dinner or coffee next to your playing kids.
Where to eat
Soulatso, Eressos: Fresh fish and sea food, perfect fried local cheese (ladotiri), and the Grypari dish – just ask for it. And for the unforgettable sea views, of course.
Marina Yacht Club, Mitilini: Gourmet dishes with fresh, local ingredients, on the new port. Ideal for children, since there is an alley right next to it.
Paramithi, Mitilini: Right on the waterfront, with a view to the majestic building of the port (theater, city hall, church) and the castle. Paramithi serves meat, fish and local delicacies. Don’t miss the fried zucchini flowers with cheese.
Stou Papel’, Ayassos: It’s a culinary experience on its own, so I totally recommend it even if you don’t have time to see the village. You should try the meatballs, potato-balls with herbs and spices, trachano stuffed with tomato and feta, omelette with greens and feta and the local cheeses.
Where to swim
Lesvos is a very big island and the road system is not ideal. It might be a challenge to visit all the beaches, but do keep in mind the following:
Sigri, Eressos, the beaches near Molyvos, Anaxos, Geras, Mandamado and Vatera.