Places of Interest nearby
The oldest part of the island of Lemnos consists of sedimentary deposits with ages ranging from middle Eocene (Lutetian) to early Miocene. Sandstone petrography indicates that the detritus is mainly composed by clasts of low-to-medium-grade metamorphic and sedimentary rocks, deriving from Rhodope Massif and Circum-Rhodope belt. During the late Oligocene and early Miocene, the sedimentary sequence was gently folded, eroded, and then covered by mainly continental sediments. Relatively intense magmatism started in early Miocene with pyroclastic flows followed by the emplacement of sills, lava flows and domes; three volcanic units, as well as a quartz-monzonite of limited extent (Fakos intrusion), cover much of the southwestern part of the island. K/Ar radiometric ages indicate that these rocks formed between 22 and 18 Ma. They have an orogenic affinity and relatively evolved compositions, with high-K dacites dominating over high-K andesites, latites and trachytes. The Limnos igneous rocks represent the first products in the North Aegean area, where the volcanic activity ceased in the middle Miocene. The Eocene to Miocene sedimentary succession exposed on the Island of Limnos reflects the geodynamic relations between the Serbo-Macedonian-Rhodope Massif, and the closure of Pindo (Subpelagonian) oceanic crust subducted at least from the Late Cretaceous under the European margin represented by the amalgamated units belonging to Rhodope-Vardar-Pelagonian zones.
Linked themes: Geology
Lemnos is with 477 km² the 8th largest island of Greece. Lemnos is mostly flat (hence its more than 30 sand beaches), but the west, and especially the northwest part, is rough and mountainous (highest elevation: Mount Vigla, 470 m). Lemnos has a strong husbandry tradition, being famous for its feta and melipasto cheeses, and for its yoghurt. Lemnos was Constantinople’s granary during Byzantine times. For ancient Greeks, the island was sacred to Hephaestus, god of metallurgy. Hephaestus fell on Lemnos when his father Zeus hurled him headlong out of Olympus..
Linked themes: Legends and myths
Did you know that according to a Hellenic legend, the women of Lemnos were all deserted by their husbands for Thracian women, and in revenge they murdered every man on the island. From this barbarous act, the expression Lemnian deeds became proverbial among the Hellenes. Lemnian deeds is a term that refers to the cruel slaughter of someone as revenge.
The name “Lemnos” is believed to come from Homer and would mean “field”. Lemnos used to provide classic Athens and the Byzantine court with grains. Even today, the largest area is sowed with grains like wheat and barley. The local pasta made of these grains, named aftoudia and flomaria is very famous. But also try the amazing bread of the island.
During your stay in Lemnos, don’t stay on the main roads passing through a village (or around), but get into the village. But be warned, many villages on Lemnos have very narrow streets. And it can be a quite a pickle to get out of these labyrinths of small roads. Especially because not all one-way and dead-end streets are clearly indicated. But just ask a local. It still is a much better experience than any GPS can offer you.
Linked themes: Top things to do
One of the many things you should try on Lemnos is the local ouzo’s! Ouzo has its roots in tsipouro, which is a liquor distilled from pomace that is left over from winemaking after the grapes are pressed. One version of it was flavoured with anise. This version eventually came to be called ouzo.
You will notice quite some chapels on the island. A report from 1987 reports 360 remote chapels and 10 chapels. Before 1850, the erection of churches in villages and even in Mryina (Kastro) was not allowed by the Turks. For their religious needs the people had to build remote chapels.
Lemnos is a great place to taste the local products. The platform “Taste Lemnos” provides a great overview of the abundant options on the island. And they also offer gastronomic tours.
On the islands Lemnos and Samos, you find the very sweet muscat grape. They make here a great sweet wine of this grape. Something you definitely have to try.
A simplified representation of the main geological units on Lemnos (not a correct transect).