Limnos is the first stop of Aegean Regatta 2016, the international sailing race organized by the General Secretariat of Aegean and Island Policy together with the Offshore Commission of the Greek Sailing Federation.
The Aegean Regatta will take place from 19 to 27 August in the sea area of the North and Northeast Aegean Islands and the starting port is the marina of Porto Carras in Halkidiki and the boats will head to Myrina of Lemnos,
Limnos, has is all! Myth and history. Beaches for the most demanding of visitors. Forthright people who consider hospitality their personal business. A chance to relax or party wildly. Scenery different to anything you have ever experienced.
This is Limnos. Volcanic in its geologic origins; even metaphorically it is an invisible volcano ready to erupt. Under its seemingly quiet surface it holds treasures to be discovered only by those tired of the obvious cosmopolitan scene on other islands of the Aegean, those in the mood to explore.
With a connection by aeroplane to Athens and Thessaloniki, and easily accessible by ship from Kavala in a few hours, this is the island on which Hephaestus found refuge, after Zeus' row with jealous Hera. Mysterious, the shadow of the Cabeiroi still cast upon it, prehistoric, with Poliochne, the most ancient city in Europe, dating back to the fifth millennium BC, devout, with the renowned sanctum to Hephaestia, the great goddess of Limnos,. Fortified, with some of the best known and well preserved castles in the Mediterranean, such as the castle of Myrina (the largest in the Aegean), Moudros and Kotsinos fortress.
More than 100 sandy beaches await you on Limnos, shady or surrendered to the merciless summer sun, with strong winds or absolute calmness. It is impossible, no matter how picky one might be, not to find your personal ideal beach among them. If you want comfort and cocktails at the beach bars, your choices are Myrina, Romeikos Gyalos and Richa Nera, Avlona beach and Nevgatis. The volcanic scenery and green waters offered by Platy, the waterfalls of Ai Giannis in Kaspakas, the sand dunes of Gomati. Keros beach is popular with holiday makers because of its sandy beach and warm sea, while summer northeast winds make it perfect for kite surfing and wind surfing lovers. If you have your own vessel or would like to rent a boat, you can tour the island or reach a more remote beach and have an unforgettable experience. And these are just your initial choices, because apart from the sea, Limnos' fierce charm lies inland.
Limnos has no forests. Its geological conditions, extensive animal raising and strong winds hardly allowed for the growth of forested areas on any part of the island after the volcanic eruption millions of years ago. However, there are habitats of a very unique character that attract travellers from the whole world. In the island's north, at Gomati beach, the renowned sand dunes or ‘thick sands’ roll out, creating truly rare scenery. The minimal vegetation that composes the flora of the sand dunes consists mainly of beach lilies, vitex, thyme and oleander.
Amongst the island's hidden beauties are the hanging waters of Katsaitis Gorge in the Kaspakas area. An imposing waterfall and small pools at its base offer a haven to aquatic organisms, adapted to a Lilliputian self-sustaining habitat.
Alyki, Chortarolimni and Asprolimni are singularly beautiful wetlands that have been incorporated in the Natura 2000 network. They are home to more than 250 species of rare birds, many of which are endangered and attract the interest of bird watching fanatics, an activity that is gaining ground as it combines exploring nature and the joy of discovery.
Limnos has been well known for its renowned wines since Homer's time. Its volcanic ground is ideal for vitculture and the grape varieties of Muscat of Alexandria and Kalambaki (Lemnio) produce excellent white and red wines, respectively. However, Limnos fertile also produces cereals, vegetables and pulses. The pure flower honey, the sweet delight and distinct cheeses, such as kaskavali, kalathaki and traditional melichloro or melipasto, complete the feast of aromas and flavours.
As people are now rediscovering traditional desserts, Limnos halva has once again taken its place of honour. Healthy and light, made only with tahini and honey, flavoured with vanilla or cocoa, with or without nuts. You must also try the siropiasta (pastries in syrup, like baklava and samsades), preserves, macaroons and the famous “venizelika”.
At the local tavernas try flomaria (a type of square, home-made pasta), fresh fish and seafood in Moudros and free-range cockerel and rabbit at Sardes.
Limnos is one of the less advertised islands of the North Aegean, which used to be considered a disadvantage. In truth, however, it has allowed the land to retain its identity, culture and virginal beauty, along with some surprises that visitors arriving at its harbour for the first time cannot possibly imagine. However, when you walk around Myrina castle at twilight on a summer evening and you notice one of the free roaming red deer watching you, quietly and peacefully, you will then appreciate the gentle tourist character of this fragrant and soulful island.