Unspoilt Lemnos is a perfect example of off the beaten track Greece
And once you get there, you may want to keep it a secret yourself! Lemnos is popular only with Greek tourists right now, although interest is growing in this unspoilt gem. 260km of stunning coastline and perfect opportunities for hiking, cycling, horse riding and windsurfing (or just chilling out on a hidden beach which you will no doubt have to yourself)... read on for the ultimate guide to this beautiful Greek Island.
5 Top things to do in Lemnos
1. Survey the landscape from Myrina castle
A great starting point is this imposing Byzantine castle, set atop a rocky outcrop on the highest part of the island, in the capital, Myrina. You can clearly see the former layout of barracks and servants quarters as you ascend.
If you're really lucky, you may see the wild 'Dama Dama' deer that roam the area. Go early morning to avoid school trips, and don't hike to the top in the middle of the day during the summer as there is little shade.
Don't miss the castle at night. Take a picnic and watch the lights twinkle in the bay below.
2. Find a hidden beach and look for octopus
The colour of the water in Greece is unique. Sometimes peacock blue, sometimes so crystal clear you can see the sea bed no matter how far you venture out. I'll share my hidden beach as it isn't even on Google maps!
Mabella beach is in the south-west of the Island. Head to Platy, past the main stretches of beach and keep going, following the signs for Limnos Studios (there are two spellings of the island - Lemnos and Limnos). Walk for about 20 minutes and take the left turn when you see the sign (the second left, not first) and you will come to a small secluded beach (note there are no amenities here). The only other people on the beach were a Greek family who seemed surprised to see me!
Tip: Take a snorkel and spot tiny cheeky fish and (if you're lucky), small octopus. The fisherman are not allowed to catch the little ones :) ...and don't forget to look out for sea urchins!
3. Get active!
Lemnos' landscape is just perfect for exploring on foot, bike or horseback. The west of the island is more mountainous, and particularly good for hiking and horse riding. TasteLemnos offer trips from €35, with stunning views across Platy beach.
Keros beach is perfect for surfers. Surf Club Keros offer windsurfing, kitesurfing and surfing lessons... and some the islands most stunning accommodation in their beach front safari tents.
Cycling in Lemnos offers some stunning views across the island, and your two wheels can get you up to tiny white clifftop churches. The roads around Myrina offer wonderful views.
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4. Taste some Lemnian wine
As you explore the island, you will no doubt wander past small vineyards growing Muscat grapes. This crisp white wine goes perfectly with fresh seafood or pasta. Lemnos Wine Trails offer wine and cheese pairing sessions overlooking the Aegean Sea. What could be more perfect!
5. Grab a beer on the beach and settle in for some of the best sunsets you'll ever see
I can honestly say that the sunsets I experienced in Lemnos were the most stunning I have ever seen. Each night the colours were different. Fiery oranges to vivid violets to shimmering black and gold. Platy beach is a long sandy stretch on the west coast, and offers some of the finest views of the sun setting behind Mount Athos. Get a cold beer from one of the beach bars and settle in. You will probably take about 400 photos (like I did ;)
For an even more immersive experience, the ever friendly George runs boat trips (look for signs for the Anemos boat) from Myrina harbour each night (weather dependant). Sail around the west coast and get even closer to the action as you see mountain goats running across precipitous cliff edges. Local wine and snacks are served.
Have you been to Lemnos? What are your top tips? I'd love to read them in the comments section below :)