Castles, a 5,000-year-old city with stone villages
In the days when people got sick and no suitable medicine could be found anywhere, there was an island in the eastern North Aegean that promised hope and healing. Just a small handful of the miraculous volcanic soil of Limnos would – it was said – do the trick and banish the malady.
Today, this very island retains its healing qualities in another sense. Though well off the beaten track, its friendly inhabitants, serene, open landscapes and golden sand dunes offer balm to body and soul. And as if these were not enough, there are unusual archaeological sites, romantic castles and scrumptious local products. Among them are the abundant, affordable fish and seafood dishes, wonderful wines, honey, cheese and pasta from the land that used to be one of the breadbaskets and vineyards of ancient Greece.
About The Location
The castle in Limnos’ principal town occupies a steep, rocky promontory flanked by two seaside neighbourhoods – the Romeiko (Greek) and Turkiko (Turkish) Yialo (shore). One of the island’s major attractions, its only access is from the east. It was erected by the Byzantine emperor Andronikos I Komninos (1118-1185) on the site of older walls, most probably ancient. In the 1970s, the municipality of Rhodes donated to Limnos three deer of the Dama dama species, two does and a buck. They went forth and multiplied and there are now some 50 to 70 deer living freely within the castle walls, adding to the pleasure of your visit.
Holidays in traditional villages made up of genuine stone masterpieces. No matter which one you happen to stop in – Myrina, Kontopouli, Romanos, Kontia, Katalako or any other – you’ll be introduced to the art of the stonemason; the decorative reliefs, the remarkable finishing techniques and the ‘mantras’. These are not the usual isolated sheep pens or stables you’d find elsewhere, but more sophisticated complexes of farm buildings.
Limnos has a long tradition in certain types of food. It’s famous throughout Greece for its dairy products, honey and durum wheat. Look for cheeses (such as melichloro, kaskavali and kalathaki), rusks, whole-wheat flour and handmade noodles, as well as a large variety of wines, red and white, that have a distinctive taste thanks to the volcanic soils. The best known red grape varietal is called Kalambaki or Limnio (Appellation of Controlled Origin). The most popular white is the Muscat of Alexandria. They were famous even in Homer’s day.