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Mytiline - worth a stop over

Kent, United Kingdom
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Mytiline - worth a stop over

With buses few and far between and no other way of getting here from Petra for the day, would you recommend staying overnight. It appears there is a bus at 7am and returning at 13.55, which would not be possible in one day.

Is there plenty to see?

Thanks

South Pole
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for Lesbos, Zagorohoria
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1. Re: Mytiline - worth a stop over

It does of course depend on what you enjoy. It is very easy to walk around as although classed as a city it is quite compact. If this all appeals I would do the following

visit the Castle - a huge site, lots to see & noticeboards in English which explain it all. Plus wonderful views from the grounds & the walls over the Mytilini, the coast & over the water towards Turkey.

Wander the streets, especially Ermou, amongst the old shopping areas - a mix of old & new now - for some retail therapy or just window shopping..

Don't miss the many churches, especially Ag Therapon with its iconic domed roof reflected in the waters of the main harbour. And the Cathedral of St Athanasios

Enjoy a relaxed lunch at either the southern end of the main harbour at one of the many fish tavernas & watch the world go by. Or at the top of Ermou you'll find the old northern harbour, again with tavernas which tend to be a bit less hectic, but with great views of the castle complex & looking north over the water.

Call for a drink/mezes at the oldest place in town - "O Ermis" & experience real Greek ambience alongside the locals.

There are the ruins of the old theatre up in the hills just outside the town - it's uphill all the way, but an interesting 30 minute walk with wonderful views; go before/after the hottest part of the day. The site is quite shady & of course it is downhill all the way back.

There is a road which runs from the main port/dock along the coast all the way around the foot of the wooded hill on which sits the castle. I understand this is currently closed to vehicles so should make a pleasant traffic-free stroll & you will find the Lower Kastro ruins/old bath house etc at the other end. You might even be fortunate to see the excavation work that is on-going. From there you can cut back down Ermou & visit the Ottoman mosques of Yeni Tzami, Yali Camii & Valide Camii.

Here is a link to an e-guide to Mytilini which might help you decide what to see - over 20 pages of places to see with pictures, so settle back for a good read

www.molyvos.eu/documents/mytilene/index

Afraid I cannot advise on which museums might currently be open as this is a problem all over Greece at the mo of staff shortages & financial issues meaning many are closed even on the days you expect them to be open (speaking from experience here!). But if you have a day & a half you can just enquire when you get there.

Kent, United Kingdom
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2. Re: Mytiline - worth a stop over

That is really useful thank you.

Athens, Greece
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3. Re: Mytiline - worth a stop over

I think staying overnight is a great idea, as Tsipouro says, the castle itself can take up quite a bit of your time. It has 3 distinct ages to it. very interesting to see the 'development' over the years, & yes, some wonderful views!

Some photos here,

flickr.com/photos/…

Go & enjoy, I really loved walkig around the town, sitting over lunch or a drink just people (& boat) watching!

South Pole
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for Lesbos, Zagorohoria
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4. Re: Mytiline - worth a stop over

I think allowing yourself the time to have a good look around you will enjoy Mytilini more than those who just do a fly-by 2 hour stopover & can feel a bit lost (like you do first time in any unknown town/city). You will find a very different atmosphere to Petra etc - no less friendly of course, but no real concessions to non-Greek tourism. If you are happy to go with the flow you will have a great experience.

If you don't speak any Greek learn a few basic polite greetings etc & carry a phrase book - you can always smile & point to the words in the book! Older people can be very reluctant to speak English, even if they do have some basic knowledge - but the main tavernas will have English speaking staff who will help you out if they don't have an English menu, or if you just need directions to somewhere. And local children are often keen to practice their English!

I cannot recommend where to stay as we always stay out in the southern suburbs & it is just not worth your while venturing out of the city on a short visit. There are several hotels around the main harbour - smaller domatia tend to be on the back streets. If Yiassas will come back & tell you where the bus from Petra actually drops you you are best to find a hotel room somewhere nearby (better chance of English speaking staff than the back streets) so you can drop your overnight bag as soon as you arrive (am sure they will let you do that even if you cannot access your room until later).

If you spot something you like the look of be aware that with Booking.com you do not normally pay up front as there is often an option of a reservation that can be cancelled at fairly short notice. A cheaper offer usually is non-refundable so do read the T & Cs carefully! If you do see something you like feel free to post again here or PM me if you want to check exactly where it is. I know that regular TA poster Retired Hippy has mentioned one or two central hotels he has used so might be worth searching back through his posts & asking him for recommendations.

Birmingham, United...
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5. Re: Mytiline - worth a stop over

Mytilini hotels - I've used this one on occasions, prior to ferry departures, basic Greek island town standard.

http://www.sappho-hotel.gr/indexen.html

Just the left of that is the the Lesvion hotel which I think is a bit more expensive.

Both are very central close to the Bus station and indeed on the inner harbour with Ermou St behind.

http://www.lesvion.gr/en/index.html

Another one up behind the ferry terminal and the expensive hotel Blue Sea is the Orpheus hotel, seems to have been refurbished. It was a funky old place when I stayed a long while back (25 years....), but it has a quieter position.

http://www.orfeas-hotel.com/english.html

I notice Booking.com do all three, so easy peasy.

I can't add anything to those guides which is more than I know. It is worthwhile to stay for a day or two in Mytilini as it's so much a real Greek island town and port and something to see. The castle has been closed whenever I've been there so yet to get inside, just circled the outside.

South Pole
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for Lesbos, Zagorohoria
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6. Re: Mytiline - worth a stop over

Thanks R-H. I'll have to bookmark your very helpful post so I can quote it if the occasion arises again. Do hope you catch the castle open one day - make sure you have plenty of time as it really is worth spending some time there. Certainly the most impressive site on Lesvos!

Athens, Greece
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7. Re: Mytiline - worth a stop over

The bus station for inter-town buses (more like a large bus park!) is at these co ordinates on Google earth:

39° 6'8.85"N 26°33'19.57"E

Like Tsipouro, we stayed in the south suburbs so can't advise on accommodation centrally, but a comprehensive overview from RH covers that.

If you should pick one of the further hotels there are usually taxis around the square of where the bus stops should you really need one, although nowhere is too far with only an overnight bag.

Bath
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8. Re: Mytiline - worth a stop over

Sappho and Lesvion hotels both fine..standard rooms, also check out Hotel Argo..good stopover hotel and really reasonable.

San Antonio, Texas
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9. Re: Mytiline - worth a stop over

This summary is very helpful. Thank you. Janice

Ottawa
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10. Re: Mytiline - worth a stop over

We enjoyed walking back behind the ferry area where there are some lovely old mansions.

Karen

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