Mytilini is the capital city of Lesvos island and has a population of approximately 30,000 people. This is roughly one third of the total population of Lesvos. It is located on the eastern side of the island and overlooks the harbour below. Like many great cities, it is built on seven hills. A Genoese castle, the Kastro, was built on the site of an earlier Byzantine fortification and is one of the town’s major attractions. Troubled throughout much of its history from occupation or plundering by Venice, Genoa, the Franks, the Turks, and the Catalans, Lesvos ultimately re-united with Greece in 1912. Not very far from there, on the north-east side of town, one can find the Hellenistic Theatre with its superb acoustics and capacity of 10,000 people. Further in the suburb of Varia one can visit the Theophilos & Teriade Museums.
Some of the greatest lyrical poets of all times were born in Lesvos, Sapho (700-600 B.C.) and Alcaeos (640-560 B.C.) as well as Pittacos one of the Seven Sages of antiquity.
The intellectual tradition of the island continued in modern times with Odysseas Elytis (1911-1996) winner of the 1979 Nobel Prize for literature.
The city of Mytilini is adorned with imposing churches, the most distinguishing among them is the Metropolis Cathedral with the 33m gothic steeple, built in the 17th century and the domed church of St. Therapon (1880).
As with most Greek port towns, the action is centred on the waterfront; however, Mytilini boasts bigger attractions than the average Lesvos island capital. It’s student-fuelled nightlife, concentrated around the waterfront bars, carries on 12 months a year. During summer though, there are numerous bars and clubs scattered around town, ready to take you partying through to the early hours of the following day!