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Skalohori
by Penny Papageorgiou Stansfield

skalohori, Lesvos

Skalohori, is a beautiful tranquil village set in an amphitheater style on the hillside surrounded by silver olive groves. This mainly agricultural village is only an hour's drive from Mytilene or 40 minutes from the new port of Sigri. In 25 minutes you can also be in the beautiful town of Molyvos/Mithymna. One of the best places for exploring western Lesvos and still near enough to visit the rest of the island. But it's real charm is that it is a traditional village.

Skalohori is my motherís village and is a part of me, deep in my memory from my first visit in 1978 as a 9 year old who fell in love with the freedom that village life affords you! It is an authentic Greek village, where you have the opportunity to live like a local! You can wake to roosters crowing, church bells, farmers selling their produce and fisherman their catch!

skalohori

We have 3 amazing structures- the most beautiful school made from local rock, and the most stunning church, St George- My husband asks "What is it with Greeks that their schools and churches are the grandest buildings?"Because education and religion are key! ...... And the latest addition- Profiti Ilia... well the chapel has always been there but thankfully a local returned from years spent abroad and, wanting to leave a legacy he lit the chapel so know every night you can see our Parthenon... I mean Profiti Ilia from just about anywhere in the village.

skalohori

The village has 3 kafeneia by day and two tavernas by night. As well as our newest addition Skaloma Cafe which has breathed new life into the heart of the village with its eclectic decor and modern cuisine! The Platanos Taverna in the square next to the church is known around the island for its traditional food, and the owner Yiannis, is the cousin of Matt Barrett's wife! And though Platanos is the most well known, the others are just as good.

Matt Barrett, skalohori, Lesvos

You may even see him there. He loves the food. But he has trouble understanding Yiannis. I forgot to mention that in this part of Lesvos they speak a dialect of Greek that takes some getting used to. There are loads of Turkish words and man words that normally end in vowels end in consonants. But you get used to it and after awhile you may find yourself speaking that way as well. According to Matt... "The more ouzo you drink, the easier it is to understand."

skalohori Pandapouleion

We have 3 mini marts, a post office, a barbershop, hairdresser, greengrocer, huge pharmacy, an electrical store, a mechanic, a hardware store, a honey factory two bakeries, and a womenís co-op that makes the best cakes and biscuits this side of the island! Maybe the whole island! They were one of the first women's cooperatives on Lesvos.

skalohori Horse race

In the summertime the village fills with homeowners back for their summer holidays from Athens and abroad. Itís a spectacular time to be in the village what with all the functions and events held! Every second day(if not every day) there is an event on, and the celebrations go till 6 in the morning! Try to come for our horse races in late July when they gather at the top of the village, parade through the village and then go to Profiti Ilias to race. The riders and horses return to the village at dark to drink, dance and eat the kesket, a dish made with bulgur and an entire bull, cooked in giant pots and distributed for free. It tastes way better than it sounds. But don't worry because all the restaurants and cafes are also serving food. It is one of the biggest nights of the year.

Beaches

Kalolimani, skalohori

We have access to many beaches with the closest being Kalo Limani only 7kms down the mountain. The beach is on an isthmus and one side is Kalo Limani which has a taverna and some old historical buildings that were used for storing acorns when the area was known for exporting them to be used for tanning leather. On the other side of the isthmus is a very shallow harbor with several houses and another very small restaurant owned by a very old couple. You can see Molyvos from here and it is very beautiful as the lights come on.

Kampo Antissa Beach, Lesvos

We are also very close to Ancient Antissa and if you have a jeep or drive slowly you can follow the coast to the long beautiful and mostly empty beach at Kambo Antissa which can be quite wild when the north wind blows but calm when it doesn't. When the rest of the island is very hot this is one of the best places to go..

Gavatha Beach

Drive another 5 minutes and you are in Gavatha with its long sandy shallow beach protected from the north wind. From there you can take the main road back to skalohori and be there in about 20 minutes.

Things to do in Skalohori

skalohori

Autumn is a time of harvesting olives and chestnuts as well as mushroom picking. Winter is the smell of winter menus and firewood! Watching the colours in the autumn leaves as they start to fall from the trees. The Christmas fete is held under the plane tree in the heart of the village where youíll get roasted chestnuts, Greek Xmas sweets, mulled wine with some live entertainment. Spring is about wild asparagus picking while enjoying the colour of the mountains in full bloom.

skalohori Turtle Pond

If the beauty of the village isnít enough you could lose yourself locating the 70 plus chapels we have, the wells and our famous turtle pond! Don't forget to save bread from your meals so you can feed them.

skalohori Mosque

And how many villages have a ruined mosque and minaret?

skalohori Cafeneon

Walking through the village you are met with wonderful aromas, whether its the flowers and trees from your neighbours garden, freshly baked bread from one of the two bakeries, sweets baking in the womenís co-op, coffee brewing in the cafes or food cooking in the tavernas! I have never eaten healthier! Never rested better! Never appreciated life until I lived like a local!

Where to Stay in Skalohori

House for rent

Skalohori now has rooms to rent! Thatís right!

Two Sisters Traditional Villas has opened its doors. Hope & Harmony. While Harmony is a private residence, Hope boasts 2 studios for rent. Hope on the ground floor is a fully contained studio for 2. While Hope2.0 on the first floor can accommodate 2 adults and 2 children. Fully renovated in 2019, each studio has an en-suite and a kitchenette. Both studios are accessed from the front entrance, with a staircase leading to Hope 2.0. At the rear of the home, on the ground floor is where the communal laundry facilities can be found. From here you can also access the back garden where you can sit and relax or read among the fruit trees. For more information see Two Sisters Traditional Villas

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