Vatera ActivitiesVatera is suitable for a variety of activities that will cater to all wants and needs.
The beach itself is great for snorkelling and fishing as well as long strolls along the beach front.
The entire Vatera region is suitable for Cycling, Jogging and Trekking with a number of walking paths that will take you to interesting and sometimes surprising nearby spots like the Ayios Fokas peninsula with its little harbour, where you can see the remains of the ancient temple of Dionysus and a magnificent sunset (or sunrise!).
A short stroll (about 700m) from the Hotel brings one to the "Almeropotamos", the river which descends from the hot springs of Polichnitos and into the Vatera Bay.
Walking away from the beach and along the Almeropotamos River you will eventually come to see the remnants of the tower of Paleopirgos, a watchtower that the Gateluzi had built when the island was under Venetian occupation to counter piracy.
The whole area near the Almeropotamos river and its estuary is a protected wetland with a significant number of flora and fauna species, among which, a large colony of Balkan Terrapins (water turtles) which come out to greet the visitor, looking of course for bread and goodies. Many guests also enjoy bird-watching along the river.
The Vatera region is also characterized as exceptionally rare for its fossils, unique to all of Europe. Recent paleontological excavations uncovered a very wide variety of animals, fish and plant fossils that date back to the time when Vatera was connected to Asia Minor, being the banks of a huge lake which was the Aegean Sea. All of the fossils can be seen at the nearby village of Vrissa where a small museum is operated. In Vrissa you can also see a very nice church named the Church of the Life Giving Fountain that has a wooden hand made templon which dates back more than 200 years.
Nature endowed Vatera with yet another gift: the natural hot springs in nearby Polichnitos. These springs are the remains and evidence of ancient volcanic activity on the island, and range from 76 – 92 degrees C, making them the hottest in Europe. The waters are slightly radioactive helping with a variety of health problems such as rheumatism, arthritis, gynaecological and dermatological problems. It is a unique place to rejuvenate your body. Many guests often combine the baths with a soothing massage which is available there.
For entertainment and if you feel the need for a night out, Vatera also boasts a number of taverns and restaurants and of course several bars and a couple of nightclubs conveniently situated on the other side of Vatera from the hotel.
Lesvos ActivitiesLesvos is an island that has something for everyone.
It is divided in three sectors. The lush green zone, which covers the Centre and South east of the island. The mixed North and the dry and arid West parts. Each part of the island is different and has different reasures to offer.
Lesvos is renowned for its beaches and natural beauty. There are many beaches to choose from and all have something different to offer.
There are many castles and sites of historic interest to see on the island. Some of the most important are the castle of Molyvos situated on top of the town with the same name on the North part of the island. You can also see the castle of Mytilene city, largest castle in the Mediterranean Basin overlooking the main harbour.
Other places of historic interest are the Ancient Theatre of Mytilene, able to seat nearly 14.000 viewers built high above the city and the Roman Aqueduct found near the town of Moria, built by the Romans to ferry water from Aghiasos to Mytilene city in the 1st and 2nd century AD.
Speaking of Temples, there are a number of very beautiful and interesting Churches and Monasteries on the island some of which house their own museums. Some of the monasteries have been in use since the middle ages such as the Leimonos Monastery situated near Kalloni.
Other noteworthy Monasteries are the Saint Raphael Monastery near Mytilene and the Monastery of Taksiarches in Mantamados. Both monasteries enjoy great fame and are visited by thousands of visitors each year. You can also visit the Church of the Panagia in Aghiasos, also housing its own museum. Lesvos is peppered with small churches and even some small convents which are off the beaten track and are there to be discovered such as the small convent of Melada near the village of Vassilika. Many of these are situated in areas of great natural beauty.
Other Monasteries to be considered are the Monastery of Panagia Glikofilousa situated on top of the giant Volcanic Rock in the town of Petra and the Monastery of Ypsilou (another one with its own collection of ancient relics) situated on the road to Sigri. As this monastery is built on very high ground, the view is spectacular and will be well worth the stop for avid photographers.
In the town of Mytilene one can see the Church of Saint Therapon built in the late 16th century an easily identifiable landmark of the port area, situated near the town market. Another noteworthy small church to see is that of Panagia Gorgona (the Mermaid Madonna) which has become prominent used as the setting for Stratis Myrivilis’s (one of Greece’s best known writers of the 20th Century) book of the same name. .
MuseumsThere are many notable museums to be seen on the island. These are the Archaeological Museum of Mytilene with archaeological finds from the immediate area, the Theofilos Museum and the Teriade Library and Museum of Modern Art, housing paintings from the world renowned painter Theofilos Hadjimichael who lived on the island as well as paintings and pictures by famous artists of our time.
Other museums to be considered are the Folk Art Museum, the Museum of Costume and Embroidery, the Old Lesvos House and the Ecclesiastical – Byzantine Museum.
Millennia ago, Lesvos used to be part of Asia Minor. Three volcanoes were active in the region. Due to extensive seismic and volcanic activity of the time, a large part of the island was covered by lava, and ash, turning most of the North-western part of the island into a dry and arid landscape. It was because of this process, taking millions of years, that parts of a large tropical forest were turned to stone. This is the world renowned Lesvos Petrified Forest, similar to the other Petrified Forest which can be found in Arizona, USA.
A visit to the very modern and well organised Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest in Sigri (Member of the Global Geopark Network) is well worth the visit. You can see through its exhibits the geological history of the island which has led to other associated wonders such as the fossils found recently and the thermals springs found all over the island. A visit to the Natural History Museum of Vrissa (not far from the Hotel) associated to the Petrified Forest Museum is also a must. Fossils found in the area of Vatera are exhibited here, among which fossilised remains of a giant horse and the shell of a turtle the size of a small car.
Lesvos has inhabited since ancient times. And a number of ancient city states from Lesvos have played a historic role during the Hellenistic times even dating back to the Trojan War. It is rumoured that Achilles himself chose Lesvos to stage his attacks on Troy.
At the centre of the island you can see the Ancient temple of Messa, where the representatives of the ancient city – states of the island used to gather to discuss disputes, trade agreements and to exchange goods. Nearby you can also see the remains of Ancient Pyrra, one of the main city-states of ancient Lesvos which was destroyed and sunk by a strong earthquake. There are ancient remains of settlements and of ancient temples dating back to the Hellenistic times, scattered all over the island. There are three Archaeological Museums on Lesvos. The largest one, that of Mytilene, houses finds from all over the island from different historic periods. The two smaller ones in Eressos and Molyvos exhibit archaeological finds mostly from their surrounding areas.
Lesvos also produces the world famous spirit Ouzo. You can learn all about the process of how ouzo is produced at the Barbayannis Ouzo Museum located in Plomari the ouzo producing capital of the island.
Another very interesting museum that you should take time to visit is the Lesvos Museum of Industrial Oil Production situated in the town of Aghia Paraskevi. There you can learn about olive picking from ancient times through to the industrial revolution and up to modern times. Definitely worth a visit.