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Polichnitos - Lesvos - 81 300 - Greece Tel.  +30 22520 41885,  61121,  - Fax.  +30 22520 41885, 61121

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WALKING

Panoramic views, enchanting landscapes, important wetlands, picturesque villages, traditional olive presses, water mills, stone bridges, archaeological monuments and sites, chapels, thermal springs and volcanic geosites - these you will find from one end of Lesvos to the other, irrespective of which direction you are heading, since they are all part of the island's fabric.

Over the last few years great efforts have been made, by many, to record and publish "walking trails" and maps that will take you to such sites and landscapes, guaranteed to bring you nearer to nature and uplift the spirit and soul.

Books are also available that will help any intrepid walker to explore and discover the island. On this link: http://www.greenlesvos.com/booksonlesvos.html you will find information about the books and how to get hold of them.

Apart from that Hibiscus Travel is still charting new pathways and the necessary details are written that support the Independent Walking Holidays available at http://www.greenlesvos.com/independentwalking.html .

All these new charted pathways will be included in a new guide (English & Dutch) to be published in 2009.


This was Mary Sidlevicz's experience in Vatera, in the Spring of 2001:

In 2000 I retired from my job at the U.S. Postal Service after 30 years. Over the next few months I planned a trip that had been a lifelong ambition, to travel in Greece extensively. I've visited Greece and the Greek Isles eight different times before and in April of 2001 I began my wonderful adventure. My adventure took me to the Saronic Gulf Islands, Ionian Sea and Northern Aegean Islands, but Lesvos has always been my favourite Island.

My interest in nature led me to travelling in Greece and discovering lesser known trails, experiencing the festivals, history, cultures, and customs.

I have two great passions, walking and travel. I love to search for new routes and also return year after year to the special places I know. I walked through meadows, remote valleys, over mountain passes and ambled alongside serene lakes. I discovered wild flowers, identified birds and animals, learned about local architecture, traditions and history. During my time in Vatera and other villages on Lesvos I ceased to be a tourist, became a friend. There is no greater way to explore the world than meandering under one's own power in the healthy country air. Greece, and particularly Lesvos, incorporates the best experiences of the seashore and the awesome beauty of the desert. No photos that I've ever taken, or seen, can come close to an actual trip. I arrived in Vatera, Lesvos on May 9 and stayed until June 17th at Madonna Studios.

The road entering Vatera overlooks the beautiful sea with its lovely sandy beach 8 Kilometres long! A pleasant setting of pine trees and numerous small isolated chapels create a classic illustration of the Greek Islands. Over the 6 weeks I stayed on Lesvos I walked at least 2 miles daily. After some experiences I found that walking early in the morning (starting at about 6 am) was best to get my walk in before the heat of the day. One early morning I took a road to the west of Vatera where there is a river that comes out to the sea. I walked along the edge of the river and saw literally hundreds of turtles. They were either mating or nesting all along the banks. They were turtles of all different sizes from coin size to dinner plate size. I found out later they were stripe necked terrapins.

I've been a bird watcher for many years and was eager to see birds I can't see in North America. Another day I went for a swim and while on the beach I heard a strange bird call that I couldn't identify. I looked up and spotted a bird that I could identify because I'd seen it in a book on Birds of Greece. It was the Hoopoe, a rare and wonderful sighting for me. Some of the other birds I saw during my stay were a White Stork, Little Owls, Cretzshmar's Bunting, Doves, Spotted Crakes, Purple Heron, Greater Flamingos (at Kalloni Salt Pans), Wood Sandpipers, Pipits and Little Bitterns.

The natural world is not the only beautiful part of Greece. The people of Lesvos that I met and came to know were not just friendly hosts, they became fellow explorers. Even if they didn't walk with me, they listened to my experiences with interest and I think affection. I felt I really became a part of the life in Vatera while I was there. I wish I could relate all the remarkable experiences I had. I can tell you that I will never forget my time there.

I know that I will return to Greece, Lesvos and Vatera. Maybe we'll meet one day while on our volta.

Mary Sidlevicz"

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