The chief towns are Myrina, on the western coast, and Moudros on the eastern shore of a large bay in the middle of the island. Myrina (also called Kastro, meaning "castle") possesses a good harbour, which is in the process of being upgraded through construction of a west-facing sea wall. It is the seat of all trade carried on with the mainland. The hillsides afford pasture for sheep, and Lemnos has a strong husbandry tradition, being famous for its Kalathaki Limnou(P.D.O.), a cheese made from sheep and goat milk and melipasto cheese, and for its yogurt. Fruit and vegetables that grow on the island include almonds, figs, melons, watermelons, tomatoes, pumpkins and olives. The main crops are wheat, barley, sesame; in fact Lemnos was Constantinople's granary during Byzantine times. Lemnos also produces honey (from thyme-fed bees), but, as is the case with most products of a local nature in Greece, the produced quantities are little more than simply sufficient for the local market. Muscat grapes are grown widely, and are used to produce an unusual table wine that is dry yet has a strong Muscat flavor. Since 1985 the variety and quality of Lemnos wines have increased greatly. The island has an excellent airport, possessing a very long runway, capable of supporting Antonov carriers.
The climate in Lemnos is mainly Mediterranean. Winters are generally mild, but there will be a snowfall occasionally. Strong winds are a feature of the island, especially in August and in winter time, hence its nickname "the wind-ridden one" (in Greek, Ανεμόεσσα). The temperature is typically 2 to 5 degrees Celsius less than in Athens, especially in summertime.
The ruins of the oldest human settlement in the Aegean Islands found so far have been unearthed in archaeological excavations on Lemnos by a team of Greek, Italian and American archaeologists at the Ouriakos site on the Louri coast of Fyssini in Moudros municipality. The excavation began in early June 2009 and the finds brought to light, consisting mainly of high quality stone tools, are from the Epipaleolithic Period, indicating a settlement of hunters and gatherers and fishermen of the 12th millennium BC.
A rectangular building with a double row of stepped seats on the long sides, at the southwest side of the hill of Poliochne, dates back to the Early Bronze Age and was possibly used as a kind of Bouleuterion.
In August and September 1926, members of the Italian School of Archaeology at Athens conducted trial excavations on the island. The overall purpose of the excavations was to shed light on the island's "Etrusco-Pelasgian" civilization. The excavations were conducted on the site of the city of Hephaistia (i. e., Palaiopolis) where the Pelasgians, according to Herodotus, surrendered to Miltiades of Athens. There, a necropolis (ca. 9th–8th centuries BC) was discovered, revealing bronze objects, pots, and over 130 ossuaries. The ossuaries contained distinctly male and female funeral ornaments. Male ossuaries contained knives and axes whereas female ossuaries contained earrings, bronze pins, necklaces, gold-diadems, and bracelets. The decorations on some of the gold objects contained spirals of Mycenaean origin, but had no Geometric forms. According to their ornamentation, the pots discovered at the site were from the Geometric period. However, the pots also preserved spirals indicative of Mycenaean art. The results of the excavations indicate that the Early Iron Age inhabitants of Lemnos could be a remnant of a Mycenaean population and, in addition, the earliest attested reference to Lemnos is the Mycenaean Greek ra-mi-ni-ja, "Lemnian woman", written in Linear B syllabic script. Professor Della Seta reports:
The lack of weapons of bronze, the abundance of weapons of iron, and the type of the pots and the pins gives the impression that the necropolis belongs to the ninth or eighth century B.C. That it did not belong to a Greek population, but to a population which, in the eyes of the Hellenes, appeared barbarous, is shown by the weapons. The Greek weapon, dagger or spear, is lacking: the weapons of the barbarians, the axe and the knife, are common. Since, however, this population … preserves so many elements of Mycenaean art, the Tyrrhenians or Pelasgians of Lemnos may be recognized as a remnant of a Mycenaean population.
Homer speaks as if there were one town in the island called Lemnos. In Classical times there were two towns, Myrina (also called Kastro) and Hephaistia, which was the chief town. Coins from Hephaestia are found in considerable number, and various types including the goddess Athena with her owl, native religious symbols, the caps of the Dioscuri, Apollo, etc. Few coins of Myrina are known. They belong to the period of Attic occupation, and bear Athenian types. A few coins are also known which bear the name of the whole island, rather than of either city.
A trace of the Lemnian language is found on a 6th-century inscription on a funerary stele, the Lemnos stele. Lemnos later adopted the Attic dialect of Athens.
Coming down to a better authenticated period, we find that Lemnos was conquered by Otanes, a general of Darius Hystaspis. But soon (510 BC) it was reconquered by Miltiades the Younger, the tyrant of the Thracian Chersonese. Miltiades later returned to Athens and Lemnos was an Athenian possession until the Macedonian empire absorbed it.
In 197 BC, the Romans declared it free, but in 166 BC gave it over to Athens which retained nominal possession of it until the whole of Greece was made a province of the Roman Republic in 146 BC. After the division of the Roman Empire in 395, Lemnos passed to the Byzantine Empire.
As a province of the Byzantine Empire, Lemnos belonged to the theme of the Aegean Sea, and was a target of Saracen raids. Following the dissolution and division of the Empire after the Fourth Crusade, Lemnos was apportioned to the Latin Empire, and given as a fief to the Navigajoso family under the Venetian (or possibly of mixed Greek and Venetian descent) megadux Filocalo Navigajoso. Filocalo died in 1214, and was succeeded by his son Leonardo and his daughters, who partitioned the island into three fiefs between them. Leonardo retained the title of megadux of the Latin Empire and half the island with the capital, Kastro, while his sisters and their husbands received one quarter each with the fortresses of Moudros and Kotsinos. Leonardo died in 1260 and was succeeded by his son Paolo Navigajoso, who resisted Byzantine attempts at reconquest until his death during a siege of the island by the Byzantine admiral Licario in 1277. Resistance continued by his wife, but in 1278 the Navigajosi were forced to capitulate and cede the island back to Byzantium.
During the last centuries of Byzantium, Lemnos played a prominent role: following the loss of Asia Minor, it was a major source of food, and it played an important role in the recurring civil wars of the 14th century. As the Ottoman threat mounted in the 15th century, possession of Lemnos was demanded by Alfonso V of Aragon in exchange for offering assistance to the beleaguered Byzantines, while the last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI Palaiologos, offered it to the Genoese captain Giustiniani Longo.
Following the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453, the island was added to the domain of the Gattilusi of Lesbos. In 1456, the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II attacked and captured the Gattilusi domains in Thrace (Ainos and the islands of Samothrace and Imbros). During the subsequent negotiations with the lord of Lesbos, Domenico Gattilusio, the Greek populace of Lemnos rose up against Domenico's younger brother Niccolò Gattilusio, and submitted themselves to the Sultan, who appointed a certain Hamza Bey as governor under the Bey of Gallipoli, Isma'il. In 1457, the island was captured by a Papal fleet. Pope Callixtus III hoped to establish a new military order on the island, which controlled the exit of the Dardanelles, but nothing came of it as Isma'il Bey soon recovered Lemnos for the Sultan.
Following the fall of the Despotate of the Morea in 1460, Sultan Mehmed II gave the proceeds from Lemnos to the last Despot, Demetrios Palaiologos. In 1467, during the First Ottoman–Venetian War, Lemnos and other former Gattilusi possessions were seized by the Venetians, but were returned to the Ottomans by the 1479 Treaty of Constantinople. In July 1656, during the Fifth Ottoman–Venetian War, the Venetians captured the island again following a major victory over the Ottoman fleet. The Ottomans under the Kapudan Pasha recovered it barely a year later, on 15 November 1657, after besieging the capital of Kastro for 63 days. In 1770, Kastro was besieged again for 60 days by Count Orlov during the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774. The fortress had just surrendered when an attack by the Ottoman fleet on the Russian vessels in Mudros Bay forced the Russians to withdraw (24 October 1770). The famous Sufi poet Niyazi Misri was exiled here for several years during the late 17th century.
Under Ottoman rule, Lemnos initially belonged to the sanjaks of Gallipoli or Mytilene under the Eyalet of the Archipelago, but was constituted as a separate sanjak in the reforms of the mid-19th century, at the latest by 1846. Abolished in 1867, it was re-formed in 1879 and existed until the island's capture by the Greeks in 1912. It comprised the islands of Lemnos (Limni in Turkish), Agios Efstratios (Bozbada), Imbros (Imroz) and Tenedos (Bozcaada). The French scholar Vital Cuinet, in his 1896 work La Turquie d'Asie, recorded a population of 27,079, of which 2,450 were Muslims and the rest Greek Orthodox.
View of Moudros during the Dardanelles Campaign, with a French military wine store in the foreground and a hospital in the background.
On 8 October 1912, during the First Balkan War, Lemnos became part of Greece. The Greek navy under Rear Admiral Pavlos Kountouriotis took it over without any casualties from the occupying Turkish Ottoman garrison, who were returned to Anatolia. Peter Charanis, born on the island in 1908 and later a professor of Byzantine history at Rutgers University recounts when the island was occupied and Greek soldiers were sent to the villages and stationed themselves in the public squares. Some of the children ran to see what Greek soldiers looked like. ‘‘What are you looking at?’’ one of them asked. ‘‘At Hellenes,’’ the children replied. ‘‘Are you not Hellenes yourselves?’’ a soldier retorted. ‘‘No, we are Romans." Thus was the most ancient national identity in all of history, preserved in isolation, finally absorbed and ended.
Moudros Bay became a forward anchorage for the Greek fleet, which enabled it to keep watch on the Dardanelles and prevent a foray by the Ottoman Navy into the Aegean. The Ottomans' two attempts to achieve this were beaten back in the battles of Elli and Lemnos. Thus the Ottomans were prevented from supplying and reinforcing their land forces in Macedonia by sea, a critical factor in the success of the Balkan League in the war.
During World War I, the Allies in early 1915 used the island to try to capture the Dardanelles Straits, some 50 kilometres (31 miles) away. This was done chiefly by the British and largely through the enthusiasm of Winston Churchill. The harbour at Moudros was put under the control of British Admiral Rosslyn Wemyss, who was ordered to prepare the then largely unused harbour for operations against the Dardanelles.
The harbour was broad enough for British and French warships, but lacked suitable military facilities, which was recognized early on. Troops intended for Gallipoli had to train in Egypt; and the port found it difficult to cope with casualties of the ill-starred Gallipoli campaign. The campaign was called off in evident failure at the close of 1915. Moudros' importance receded, although it remained the Allied base for the blockade of the Dardanelles during the war.
In late October 1918, the armistice between the Ottoman Empire and the Allies was signed at Moudros.
After the Red Army victory in the Russian Civil War, many Kuban Cossacks fled the country to avoid persecution from the Bolsheviks. A notable evacuation point was the Greek island of Lemnos where 18,000 Kuban Cossacks landed, though many later died of starvation and disease. Most left the island after a year.
Today the island of Lemnos (Limnos) has about 30 villages and settlements. The province includes the island of Agios Efstratios to the southwest which has some exceptional beaches and one of the two deserts in Europe (the other being Błędów Desert in Poland).
Archaeological Museum of Lemnos
Presents the historical development of the island from the Chalcolithic period to the Roman with findings from almost all the archaeological sites of the island (Poliochni Kaveirio, volcanoes, Myrina). It also hosts free private collections and antiquities of Imbros.
Ecclesiastical Museum Metropolis Lemnos
Housed at the Metropolis. It brings together major works and relics of ecclesiastical tradition and art of Byzantine and post-Byzantine period.
Museum of Prehistoric Housing Poliochnis
Gathers many important discoveries that were made in the settlement of Poliochnis considered the oldest Neolithic settlement in the Aegean and o sygkrotimenos first settlement of Europe. Had a major culture and the first voyleftirio Europe.
Location: Kaminia/ Dimos Moudrou
Folklore Museum Portianou
It works in a traditional two-storey house. On the premises of hosts exhibits from everyday life of the inhabitants and more than 300 items of folk
Location: Portaniou/ Dimos Neas Koutalis
Maritime Museum delivery sponge Lemnos
Traditional costumes sponge, boats, tools and equipment used to collect sponges are some of the interesting exhibits. Also housed in the premises of ancient objects found at the bottom.
Location: Nea Koutali
Wetland Information Centre Chortarolimni - Aliki
Housed in the former elementary school. Inform and sensitize visitors to the environment, to the protection and promotion of the natural wealth of the region.
Location: Kalliopi/ Dimos Moudros
Hephaestia the oldest city of Lemnos played an important role in the history of the island. The excavations revealed important sights such sacred cemeteries, public baths, a large house and Hellenistic-Roman theater.
Location: Kontopouli/ Dimos Moudros
Archaeological Site of Ancient Myrinas
The Sanctuary of Artemis, the pottery workshop near the Hellenistic and Roman necropolis, ruins of the walls are some of the interesting remains of a Neolithic settlement outside the walls of the castle of Myrina.
Kaveirio - Cave of Philoctetes
Sacred place where celebrated Kaveiria Mysteries - ceremonies celebrating fertility and rebirth of nature. Down the coast is the cave of Philoctetes.
Gallery of Contemporary Byzantine Art
Unique in Greece, the gallery houses works of great artists from Lemnos, Greece and the countries of the Balkans.
Wander around. Enjoy the balmy sand and peaceful waters as the wind breezes from the north. The first bay outside Myrina, as you head north, is addressed to as Avlonas. Here you will have the opportunity to resort to the sunbeds and enjoy coffees and drinks from the beach bar. For all the water sport lovers, that's the right place to be. On the southern side, the 3 volcanic islets create the perfect site for those enjoying spearfishing. It is easily accessible through the asphalted-paved infrastructure.
The dirt road will turn out to be an advantage, as it prevents most people from visiting it. For those of you who will adventure, however, it is certain that you will be rewarded! For its translucent waters, the untrodden elegant sand but also the sweet feeling that lies beneath everything we explore. The Municipality of Limnos has cherished and constructed several kiosks. You only need to take care in advance about anything that you will need during your stay at the beach.
A small beach, on the west side of Moudros Bay, with a view of Alogonisi. Not being notably crowded, Saint-Barbara beach unveils a place of virginal nature and crystallized waters. You will also find a spring with drinking water. A dirt road leads to the beach. Driving from Portiano to Pedino, a few meters before entering Pedino, turn right towards Paleo Pedino. About 3km towards the cape, turn right and the beach of Agia Barbara lies a bit further down.
Agios Ioannis – Kaspakas
Agios Ioannis beach is found in the haven of the village Kaspakas. Shallow and crystallized waters, perfectly organized beach awarded with blue flags and an ideal place to gaze at the sunset. Cafes and restaurants are settled by the sea side, in pursuance of not letting a moment slide away from the sea. It is easily accessible through the asphalted-paved infrastructure.
Nearby the port of Plaka lies the beach of Agios Stefanos. It's a sandy beach with shallow waters. It's easily accessible through an asphalt road. At Agios Stefanos, you will rest under the shade of the trees, while the beach bar on the spot offers umbrellas and sunbeds. For the athletic types, there is a beach volley court set for championships on the sand.
Axa is one of furthest coves of the north-west part of the Cape of Plaka. The beach is sandy and the seabed full of diversity, with sand, pebbles and seaweed ideal for the excited sightseer. To get there, follow a dirt road starting from Plaka and head northwest. It's worthwhile to gaze over these coves; each has its own beauty and fascinating glamor to offer. Close to Axa, you can also visit the chapel of Agios Charalampos. Do not forget to gear up with all the necessary supplies – it will be just you in nature!
The dirt road starting from Kaminia will lead to the beach coast of Kokkinovrachos easterly, close by the archaeological site of Poliochni. The beach is sandy and attracts only a few. A distinctive rock divides it into two coves. You will admire nature, wander and enjoy the sea, alone. Do not forget to get the necessary supplies!
The beach of Apan Gialos is located right next to Alyki, and is one of the deep seas of the island. A beach of enormous length, perfect for walking amongst the dunes between the sea and Alyki. Here you will be alone! Or almost alone... depends on the season you visit. Make sure you get all the necessary supplies because the beach has no facilities. You can get here through a dirt road, moving north from the small forest of Keros at the point where the asphalt road ends.
Chavouli abstains about 3 km from Moudros, and is organized. It is located on a wide cove sheltered from northern winds. Golden yellow sand, transparent crystal clear waters and amazing (and protected!) sea lilies, characterizing the landscape. It is generally indicated for those who want organized beaches without much fuss and crowd. The beach bar which operates there provides umbrellas and sunbeds, while the Municipality of Limnos has placed umbrellas on the beach. You may reach Chavouli through Moudros. You will follow the dirt road to Scandal and at 3.5 km you will turn right. It will take further 650 meters of driving to reach the beach.
Evgatis is located between the communities of Thanos and Kontias. Endless sandy beach, one of the longest on the island, and azure waters, Evgatis is one of the most famous beaches on the island. It hosts hundreds of visitors daily that drive there for a swim. In its center, emphatic crowds enjoy the beach bars and water sports and a bit further away are those preferring some peacefulness. There is space for everyone! An asphalt-paved road leads to the beach.
Diapori beach is found at the start of the path towards Fakos Peninsula. You won't find it as organized as the rest of them. It's sandy with deep waters. Nearby the beach, you can find some traditional taverns. You can get here driving through an asphalt road.
Smooth sand like a graze. Shallow waters, playing flirtatiously with the sunrays. A few meters away, in the northern part of the beach, a small island creates a unique spectacle. When there are favorable local winds, it's one of the best beaches to surf. During a break from your dives, it's worth walking up the notorious dunes of the island. Just a few meters away from the beach. Gomati is located around 4 km away from the village Katalakko, driving through a good quality dirt road.
Police Department: 22540 22200
Firefighting Department: 22540 22199
Buses: 22540 22464
ΤΑΧΙ: 22540 23820
Port Authority (Mirina): 22540 22225
Port Authority (Mourdos): 22540 71240
Olympic Airways: 22540 29660
Hospital: 22543 50400
Pharmacy Kontopouli: 22540 41329
Pharmacy Mourdos: 22540 71173
Pharmacy Mourdos: 22540 71034
Municipality of Lemnos: 22543 50015
ADS: 22540 26020
Moudros is the second largest village after Myrina the capital of the island. It s one of the most important sites of the Greek and International history (Treaty of Mudros, Anzacs etc). At Moudros but also in the whole area there are significant archaeological sights (Koukonisi, Poliochni, Kaviria, Ifestia) and lovely natural landscapes (Fanaraki beach, Aliki). The port of Moudros after the latest structure can accept a large number of sailing boats of all sizes (Regatta 2013).