|Flowers of Lesvos|
Lesvos is the third largest island in Greece after Crete and Evia and also one of the most colourful. From the middle of March onwards, the island provides the floor for a stunning carpet of wild flowers, including 35 different species of wild orchid.
It’s mild climate, variety of landscape and wealth of natural spring water ensures that over 1400 different varieties of flower bloom regularly – a botanical paradise.
This secret garden was well known in ancient times. In the 6th century BC, the poetess, Sappho hailed the island’s beauty in her poetry and, three centuries later, the philosopher Theophrastos marked the beginnings of the science of botany by recording the large number of plants on his native island.
One of the largest and most famous olive oil-producing areas in Greece, Lesvos has over 11 million olive trees – some in very old groves where the undisturbed soil continues to produce a natural history of beautiful and sometimes rare flowers, plants and herbs..
Road-sides and river beds also present a riot of colour with an abundance of hollyhock, oleander and rhododendron. In Greece, the yellow Rhododendrum Luteum Sweet is only to be found on Lesvos. It grows, amongst other places, on the edges of the Gulf of Kalloni, alongside Paionia, a rare and beautiful herb with therapeutic properties. The islanders have a rich knowledge of herbal healing and, for example, Rosemary, Fennel, Bay, Thyme, Marjoram, Oregano and Camomile are all collected in the wild.
The island has roads and paths of outstanding natural beauty with many footpaths such as the one leading up to Potamia, which is rich in vegetation including pinewood, elm and chestnut forests.