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About Mytilene

The ancient capital and port city of the island of Lesbos, Mytilene, is located in the Aegean Sea. Home to some of the most influential poets, philosophers and artists, Mytilene is a city brimming with history, flavour and gorgeous scenery. The city’s golden beaches, resilient fortresses and bustling street life are what attract tourists to this picturesque city.

Cheap flights to Mytilene are now available for a limited time only, so book your flight today and prepare to be swept up by the ancient charm and picturesque scenery of this Mediterranean city! Mytilene is home to Mytilene International Airport (MJT), a 15-minute drive from the city centre. MJT serves a few airlines, including Olympic Air. There are no direct flights from South Africa to Mytilene, but popular connecting flights depart from Johannesburg and Cape Town. Flight duration from Johannesburg to Mytilene is approximately 15 hours, 40 minutes.

Why visit Mytilene

historic attractions

Historic Attractions

Explore the ancient ruins of the medieval fortress, built on the pinnacle of the peninsula, while the Statue of Liberty and Church of Agios Therapon stand testament to the local artisans of the time.

mediterranean cuisine

Mediterranean Cuisine

With taverns and bars spilling out onto the streets of the old town and waterfront, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the freshly-prepared cuisine on offer, best washed down with the local wine and ouzo.

picturesque scenery

Picturesque Scenery

Savour the post-card views while meandering through the rustic villages and interesting neighbourhoods of Turkish houses, overlooking the ancient harbour; or opt for the beach towns of Molyvos and Skala Eressos.

General information

Essential details you need to know before your trip

Country Greece
Currency Euro
Exchange Rate 1 ZAR = 0.070 €
Language Greek
Hub Airport Mytilene International Airport (MJT)
Airline Aegean Airlines
Time Zone GMT + 02:00
Travel Adaptor Type C / F

Best time to visit Mytilene

Mytilene experiences a typical Mediterranean climate, with the summer months of July and August being more favourable for those in search of a beach getaway. The winter season, between November and February, brings slightly more rainfall, though the city does not get especially cold. The highlight of Mytilene is walking through the quaint, historic streets, perusing the shops and eateries along the way to fascinating museums – all before relaxing on the sandy beaches. For this reason, pack in your sunhat and sunglasses and explore the city during the hot summer!

Weather & Climate in Mytilene

Average temperature (°C) & rainfall (mm) per month

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Low °C 6°C 7°C 7°C 11°C 14°C 19°C 21°C 21°C 18°C 14°C 10°C 8°C
High °C 12°C 13°C 15°C 19°C 25°C 29°C 32°C 32°C 27°C 23°C 18°C 14°C
Rainfall (mm) 123 91 71 43 25 8 4 3 12 36 95 136

Overview

This capital city of the Greek Island of Lesbos is one of the oldest cities in the world, with a vast history dating back to the 11th century BC. Mytilene is the birthplace of many legendary poets, including Alcaeus, Sappho and Odysseas, and has been home to Aristotle, Epicurus and the famous painter, Theophilos. The city has preserved its culture while paving the way for modernisation. The horseshoe-shaped inner harbour serves ferries to nearby islands as well as important mainland cities like Piraeus and Athens.

With such a rich, dynamic history, there are many ancient sites, castles and museums to explore. The grand castle of Mytilene Fort, built in the 6th century is a must-see, offering picturesque views of the ocean and shoreline.

The Archaeological Museum houses a collection of excavated exhibits, reminiscent of neo-classical architecture. The Theophilos Museum, enveloped by a silver olive garden, showcases the works of folk painter, Theophilos Hatzimihail. Don’t miss the Yeni Tzami Mosque, Turkish baths and the grand theatre on your tour. The waterfront is lined with markets humming with locals and tourists sipping on espressos at the café-bars. Step back in time as you walk along Ermou Street, where the antique shops, ouzo factories and charming taverns draw you in.

Compare several airlines and book your cheap flights to Mytilene online at Travelstart!

Visa & Customs

South African passport holders do need a Visa to enter Greece. Schengen Visas can take time to arrange, so plan ahead to ensure your visa arrives well ahead of time. Your passport also needs to be valid for at least six months after your return, with three blank pages for entry stamps.

There are three Greek Consulates in South Africa. They can be reached at the following numbers:

Pretoria: +27 (0) 12 3482352

Johannesburg: +27-11-214-2300

Cape Town: +27-21-4248160

Health & Safety

The island of Lesbos is considered to be very safe as tourism accounts for most of the island’s income. Locals are friendly and go out of their way to assist you. The island has experienced an influx of refugees since 2015, but do not let this deter you from exploring the beautiful city of Mytilene. Though visitors may need to be extra cautious with personal belongings, violent crime on the island is almost unheard of.

Cost of Living

Item Cape Town Johannesburg Mytilene
Meal, inexpensive restaurant R 90 R 100 R 91
Domestic beer (0.5 litre draught) R 22 R 20 R 49
Cappuccino R 19 R 20 R 30
Taxi 1km (normal tariff) R 10 R 12 R 10
Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro) R 35 R 35 R 56
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