This corner of the North Sea, offers some great natural beauty.
Geographically is the only one surprise. Almost the entire of Lemnos is made up of low, cultured, rolling hills. The landscape is characterized by the absence of forests and large trees, and features important wetlands with clusters of lakes, making this an excellent example of a wilderness with minimal human impact. Completing the harmony of contrasts are hills of fine sand and brushwood, bringing the charm of the desert to the middle of the Aegean Sea. The position of Lemnos and the low hills, offers visitors stunning views of the Aegean Sea, even when located in the hinterland of the island. Thassos, Samothrace, Imbros, Tenedos, the Asia Minor coast, Agios Efstratios and the faint lines delineating the tops of Athos and Paggeo mountains, create images of unparalleled beauty and make Lemnos unique observatory.
Lemnos’ natural environment, provides a unique sensory experience.
In antiquity, according to legend, the spring of Terra Lemnia was mined at the point which Hephaestus had fallen in Lemnos, after fighting with Zeus. Using Lemnia Terra, Hephaestus had healed his injuries. Tradition states that point Hephaestus fell is located between the villages Repanidi, Kotsinas and Varos in “Despotis” (Bishop’s) Hill, called Mosychlos in antiquity. This is the view that you enjoy from the hotel’s Veranda restaurant!!!
Today there is a small whitewashed chapel of Christ the Saviour. Herodotus’ ancient writings mention Lemnian earth, many scholars and physicians of antiquity studied, used it and wrote about it. They believed it had haemostatic effect, could cure dysentery, relieve stomach ulcers and neutralize the venom of snakes. The mining ceremony for the terra lemnia was consecrated by a priestess from Hefaisteia. The earth was then transported to the city, where it was treated, packed in small circular tablets, like modern pills, and sealed in the form of the goddess Artemis or her protected animal, the goat.
The extraction and use of Terra Lemnia continued during the Byzantine period and its reputation spread throughout the Arab world. During the Renaissance Terra Lemnia became known in Europe, and travelers who visited or wrote about Lemnos refer to it. In the West it was known as terra lemnia or terra sigillata (sealed earth).
In Christian times the Lemnia Terra ceremony was combined with the celebration of Christ the Saviour and was celebrated on August 6th. They called it “Agiochoma” (which means holy soil) and seal on the tablets featured the figure of Christ. Later on, during the Turkish occupation the tablets were sealed with the crescent. A small amount of extracted clay was given to local potters to manufacture bowls and vases. Mining was last reported in August 1916.
Today, unfortunately the mine cannot be seen and is not in use, but its history remains fascinating. Terra Lemnia is ‘the first product in the world’, characterized as “Protected Designation of Origin” and certainly the first standardized pharmaceutical in history of medicine.
Aliki, located about 2 km. northwards, and occupies a vast area, where as your eyes can get lost in the white landscape. You can visit it if when travelling from Kontopouli to Madonna on the main road, you turn right on dirt road about 3.4 km. from the exit of the village og Kontopouli. If you’re lucky, during the summer months, you can equip yourself properly and collect natural salt for winter recipes which is a unique experience!!! The salt lakes are a protected wetland, and in the autumn months rare birds can be found here, offering a unique spectacle.
To the north of the island, on the hillsides of the village of Katalakko is a rare beauty area. The Sand Dunes, or as locals called the area “Thick Amdes” are rolling hills of fine sand dunes and a few scattered bushes, carrying the charm of the desert to the northern Aegean. The dunes are spread over an area of about 70 acres in the Gomati region and create a stunning landscape, unique to Greece. Impress friends by being photographed against a backdrop of wild olive or the “Sahara” background of Lemnos!
VOLCANIC CRATER MOSYCHLOS
At first glance you wouldn’t guess there is a volcanic crater here, as the only thing you can see are farmers crops taking advantage of the fertile volcanic soils. From the hotel’s Veranda restaurant, you can gaze at the view of the primordial volcano, whose energy and power still hangs in the air, mixed with lemnian thyme and sea breezes.
Tradition says that this is the place where Hephaestus healed his injuries after Zeus threw him down from Mount Olympus. The European travelers arriving in Lemnos in the Middle Ages often mentioned in the hot springs of the island. During the Ottoman Empire, the Turks built a bath and inn here to accommodate visitors. The Thermal spas of Lemnos, today feature modern facilities and are a spa oasis in green surroundings and are just 12km from Varos.
Besides spa, visitors to the spring can also enjoy mud therapy with the famous “Lemnia earth”, as well as therapeutic and relaxing massages and beauty treatments. For more info, ask the Reception Desk to help you book a visit.
If we were telling a fairy tale, we would say that once upon a very long time ago, (some 20-25,000,000 years!), volcanic activity, hurled volcanic lava, pyroclastic materials and volcanic ash which covered the lush subtropical vegetation of Lemnos and so made the petrified forest of Lemnos!
The highest proportion of plant remains and trees can be found in the areas of Romanos, Varos, Kotsinas and Portianou, Kontias and Thanos. Investigations by the University of Athens have awarded the island’s petrified forest the status of great scientific value.
Varos Village has it’s own petrified tree trunk at the western entrance of the village, with a short stone path leads to this extraordinary geological artefact.
ROCKS IN FARAKLO
These beautiful rocks are a natural phenomenon and can be found on Lemnos’ north coast, and show the geological history of the island. They are known locally as ‘Cape Faraklo’.
The rocks were formed millions of years ago, when hot volcanic lava poured forth from the bowels of the earth and solidified as it came into contact with sea water. These impressive natural sculptures are referred to by the locals as “fragkokefala”. The dozens of shades of yellow of the frozen lava and the weird globular geological formations, next to the picturesque sea coves are well worth a visit.
This waterfall is sited near the beach of St. John, to the west of the island. The torrent of the Kaspakas waterfall, known as “stream of Katsaitis” creates an impressive view with rushing water falling from a height of about 15 meters. The area is called “Hanging Waters’ and in times gone by there was a stone watermill built here to harness the power of water. The falling water here has shaped the area, creating several plateaus, with small ponds which are home to frogs, crabs, turtles and eels. The best time to visit is the spring, when the water is still abundant. To reach the waterfall, follow the path that starts on the south side of the beach, and after walking for a few yards you will reach the waterfall.
WHAT TO DO ON LEMNOS ISLAND: