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WHICH MAGAZINE -Travel section – January 2015

Lesbos and Chios teem with natural delights, from picturesque waterfalls and sultry hot springs to forests fossilised by volcanic ash 20 million years ago. Pack your shorts for a warm spring holiday away from the tourist hordes on these two Greek islands that lie near Turkey in the north-east Aegean Sea. Wing it to Lesbos, known as Mytilíni by locals, which is a favourite spring.

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All data based on Lesbos a Data from Hellenic National Meteorological Service b Data based on Molyvos resting spot on the avian migration route. In particular, Lake Metochi, the Tsiknias River and the Kalloni saltpans attract the likes of bee-eaters, olive-tree warblers, black-headed buntings and black storks. Don’t forget your boots: hundreds of miles of walking trails criss-cross Lesbos, one of Greece’s largest islands. A hike may lead through pine forests and meadows of wild orchids. Soothe your aching legs with a soak at one of the island’s hot springs – those at Eftalou in the north are on the beach. Stay at the nearby medieval town of Molyvos where red-stone houses cascade below a 14th-century castle down to a harbour and pebbly beach. Take a ferry from Lesbos to Chios to see a spectacular firework rocket war between two churches. This centuries-old battle takes place on the Saturday of Greek Orthodox Easter – a week after our own Easter – at the town of Vrontados. Stay at nearby Chios Town and don’t miss the superb Byzantine mosaics at the Unesco World Heritage site of Nea Moni, an 11th-century monastery.

Need to know

Ferries link Lesbos with other islands,

such as Chios and Limnos, but

services may be twice-weekly in April.

How to do it

The only non-stop flights in April are with Thomas Cook from Gatwick to Lesbos on Saturdays (from 18 April). A week’s package in the resort of Skala Kallonis – near the Kalloni saltpans – costs from around £400pp. Limosa, a specialist in birding holidays, has an eight-day tour of Lesbos in late April 2015 for £1,695pp, including flights.

More info: Rough Guide to the Greek islands.

Walking with Eva

Hi my name is Eva and I am an “outdoor-person”.

I first came to the island as a child and explored Lesvos with my father who was a great storyteller and made history come alive for us children.Later after my education in publishing and sports I came back to the magic island and have lived on Lesvos ever since.

I love nature and this is something for which this island is renowned.

Lesvos surprises with a varying many-faceted  Mediterranean landscape.

Rich in flora and fauna, silvery olive groves, green pine woods and wild volcanic scenery.

Lesvos with its great scenery and stunning views combines  the natural worlds of the east and west  – Asia and Europe.

For nearly ten years now I have organized  and led individual walks on this fascinating island.

I enjoy leading people through uncharted terrain, making it safe and enjoyable for all of us, usually in small groups.

My walks are tailor-made to the needs and wishes of the participants.Long walks, short walks, cultural and historical walks, adventure walks, romantic walks and sooo many more, all over the island.

After spending the day in the natural world and experiencing the special atmosphere of  this island we all,  by the end of the day, have made new friends.

On our hikes through the countryside we dicover  picturesque villages, fabulous views, hidden monasteries, and ruins of bygone eras. The routes take us along donkey tracks, old pilgrim trails and long forgotten stony mountain paths, sometimes crossing streams, scrambling over boulders, fences and hedges. On the way we meet up with donkeys, sheep and goats, perhaps a falcon, buzzard or jay even a tortoise or salamander. One memorable time in early springtime I was accompanied by an eagle up in the air . It gave my a very special feeling.

We sometimes take a midday break at a rural taverna, with scenic views or directly overlooking the Aegean,  we  may also enjoy a picnic straight out of our  backpacks somewhere in the middle of nowhere in the silence of the mountains or  with  the sound of the sea.

You may also like to know more specific details about the flora and fauna of the island, as  well as history, and information about contemporary Greek life, You can find me at: www.wandern-auf-lesvos.de or mail me wander@otenet.de

I wish you a lot of fun exploring this fascinating Island, see you in Lesvos

Eva