~ continued from page 1 ~
Views of Molyvos and its castle from the beachfront (top) and swimming pool (bottom) at the Hotel Delfinia.
Some background about our Molyvos holiday:
♦ We stayed at Delfinia Hotel & Bungalows, a seafront complex of hotel rooms and cottages on a sprawling property at the southern edge of town, a mere 15-minute walk to the main commercial strip in Molyvos. We had partial views of the town from our second-floor balcony as well as from the open-air patio where we ate breakfast each morning, but elsewhere on the hotel grounds — including the swimming pool and beach — guests could find excellent vantage points for viewing the picturesque town and its hilltop castle.
The Delfinia property occupies much of the lush green area in the lower half of this photo. Hotel rooms are located in two multi-level buildings at center-right, while bungalow accommodations are seen at bottom. The extensive grounds stretch right to the seaside.
♦ Our visit took place during the final week of April and the beginning of May. This was not only our first-ever trip to Lesvos, but the earliest time of year we had ever travelled to Greece. Since the Greek Easter holiday fell during our trip, this was also our first opportunity to see and participate in the fascinating Easter festivities.
The late April weather was generally ideal for shorts and T-shirts in daytime, but I often carried a light windbreaker to wear when we encountered periods of brisk, cool breezes. We had to wear long pants and jackets nearly every night, however, to keep comfortable in the cool winds.
♦ The weather was better than we had anticipated. Lesvos had experienced a much wetter winter than usual, with considerable cloudiness and a lot of heavy rain, so we made sure we packed umbrellas and rain ponchos in case the inclement conditions persisted. Fortunately, the weather improved in time for our arrival, and we never had to haul out our rain gear. During our time in Molyvos, days were generally warm to hot, and either sunny or partly cloudy, while evenings and nights tended to be breezy and chilly. We were comfortable in shorts and T-shirts during the day, but had to wear long pants and jackets if we wanted to sit outdoors for dinner. A couple of times, outdoor dining was impossible because of the cold, strong winds. A series of short downpours forced us to eat indoors on the evening of May 1, but the rain stopped by the time we finished dinner.
Views from the breakfast terrace (top), swimming pool patio (center) and our balcony (bottom) at the Delfinia Hotel
♦ The only downside to our Molyvos visit was that it coincided with a weather phenomenon that affects Greece periodically — a sky turned exceptionally hazy from sand and dust particles carried across the eastern Mediterranean by winds from the Sahara desert. Before our trip, people told us we would be absolutely amazed by the stunning natural light at Lesvos, which draws droves of professional and amateur photographers to the island each year. Unfortunately for us, the Sahara dust lingered from our arrival until our final evening in Molyvos, when a passing storm system unleashed a series of air-cleansing rain showers.
Though there were occasional episodes during which the air seemed to suddenly clear, and distance visibility sharpened noticeably, the improvement never lasted for long. The sky’s colour remained rather muted for the most part, while views of mountains, the coast and the sea were either largely obscured or quite limited. It was admittedly a big disappointment from a photo-taking perspective, but we shrugged it off as a simple case of bad timing. When we saw how stunning Molyvos looked during normal light conditions on our departure day, we resolved to return another time. Hopefully Mother Nature will be more cooperative then!
Dark clouds loom above mountains near Molyvos during one of our walks into town. Although there were frequent cloudy periods during our holiday, it rained on just one day, and even then for less than 2 hours.
Want to see more of Molyvos? By scrolling through the photos I have posted below, you can join me on a walk from Hotel Delfinia into Molyvos, followed by a stroll along the main street all the way to the scenic town harbour.
I plan to publish photos of the upper town and castle, as well as the Molyvos seafront and beach, in future blog posts.
From our hotel to the town outskirts
Rose bushes and container plants adorn the veranda and front yard at a house on the edge of town
A small stone chapel dedicated to Agiou Ignatiou (St. Ignatius)
Sheep flocking around in an olive tree grove
The gated entrance to a large private property
A dirt road disappears into a property lush with verdant vegetation
A row of tall palm trees at the side of the road
A typical stone Molyvos building with a red-tiled roof
Approaching the edge of the main commercial and residential areas of Molyvos
Along the main street in Molyvos
Looking toward the castle from the town’s main intersection. The road at right leads to the castle, upper areas of the town, and onward to Eftalou beach. The road to the left is the main street of Molyvos, which terminates at the harbour. This is the walking route you will see in the photos that follow.
Near the main intersection is this archaeological site containing remnants of houses dating from the 8th Century to the 7th Century B.C., as well as a cemetery dating from the 3rd Century B.C. to the 3rd Century A.D.
Cars parked along the main road. From this point, pedestrians and drivers must make their way up and over a long hill to reach the harbour area.
Spring flowers cascade down the steep slope beside the street
The five photos above show some of the old buildings on the steep hill that rises beside the main road. Situated in the traditional market (agora) area of Molyvos, many of these buildings are occupied by bars and tavernas, some of which have balconies and verandas offering spectacular sea and coastal views.
Looking back along the main street as we make our way up the long hill. The road is paved with asphalt to the top of the hill; from there, the street is composed of cobblestone all the way down to the harbour.
This stately building is home to the excellent diVino Restaurant, where we celebrated my birthday with fabulous food and wine
To Platanaki cafe below diVino Restaurant, seen in the two pictures above, is a great spot to sit with a coffee and people-watch, or to bask in the warm glow of the afternoon and evening sun. Below is a panoramic image I shot on my phone showing the cafe’s location on the main street.
Balconies and blue shutters on a hillside building
A slender ochre-coloured building with rustic wood shutters and door
Tables and chairs for Ladokolla Grill House are positioned at the side of the road, and have wonderful views overlooking the coast and sea
A small balcony dining spot above the street
A mansion with shuttered windows and a boarded-up front entrance. We couldn’t tell if the building is permanently vacant or undergoing renovations.
A glance at one of the lanes leading uphill from the main street
Front entrance to the Hadzichristou House, whose lower level is now home to a boutique fashion shop and a bar
“Feline” comfy: A cat relaxes on stairs at Fuga Wine Bar
Another elegant mansion on the main strip
Looking along the cobblestone street near the crest of the hill
An old stone water fountain, one of about 10 that can be spotted at various places in Molyvos
Street view of Pirates Bar (Peirates) and the old stone fountain beside it
The view from a clifftop lookout point (shown in the picture below) directly across the street from Pirates Bar
At Pirates Bar, the main street begins its long descent to the harbour area. The lookout point at right is a popular spot for people to take photos.
Street view of the open-air patio at Deilino Restaurant
The elegant stone building beside Deilino Restaurant
Pedestrians walking down the main street to the harbour
Above, two views of the long section of cobblestone street that descends to the restaurant- and bar-lined harbour
Looking toward the harbour as the Sahara dust haze in the evening sky obscures what could have been a brilliant sunset
Approaching the restaurants, shops and businesses in the harbour area
Container garden at the entrance gate to Marina’s House apartments
Above, daytime and night views of Destino Cafe Bar
A peek down a short lane leading to Agios Nikolaos Church (left) and the various harbourside cafes and tavernas
Looking up the main street from a few steps past Destino Bar
The Molyvos harbour area
Above: Various views of the picturesque harbour and some of the fishing boats moored in the bay
Above: Views of some of the cafe, restaurant and hotel buildings situated along the harbourside
Above: Kismet Restaurant, which we visited twice — once for afternoon drinks on its harbourside terrace (top), and once for a hearty dinner of delicious Greek cuisine on the wind-sheltered patio (bottom)
The water’s edge patio at Aigaion Cafe Bar
Above: Two views of Octapus Restaurant, which boasts a prime corner location overlooking the harbour
Old anchors on display at the port and coast guard offices
An old stone fountain on the harbourside walkway
The Sea Horse Hotel and its waterside bar & restaurant patio
Front view of Agios Nikolaos Church
A large rusty anchor positioned beside Agios Nikolaos Church
The small interior of Agios Nikolaos Church
Balcony on a building behind Agios Nikolaos Church
The harbour & seaview balcony at perenially popular Molly’s Bar
The view from the pier behind Agios Nikolaos Church