Capital: Mytilene
Area: 2,154 km
Elevation: Lowest: Aegean Sea
Highest: Mount Olympus
Inhabitants: 103,700(1991)
Population density: 48.14/km(1991)
ISO 3166-2: GR-83
FIPS code: GR51
Car designation: MH (Lemnos and Agios Efstratios)
MY (Lesbos island)
Code for the municipalities: 35xx
Number of municipalities: 17
Number of independent communes: 1
2-letter abbreviation/HASC: LV

Lesbos (Λέσβος) is a prefecture of Greece consisting of a number of islands in the Aegean Sea, and part of the North Aegean periphery subdivision. In modern Greece, the island's name is pronounced and usually transliterated Lesvos and its inhabitants are thus called Lesvonians or Lesviots (rather than "Lesbians"). In translations of Classical Greek into English, they are sometimes called "Lesbians".

"Lesbos" or "Lesvos" is also the name of the prefecture's main island, also called Mytilene, and lying just off the coast of Turkey. The second-largest island is Lemnos, to the northwest, lying nearer the nothern part of the Greek mainland. Principal towns on the main island are Mytilene (the capital), Kalloni, Mithymna, Plomari, Agiassos, Petra. On the south coast of Lesbos is the pretty coastal town of Plomari, where it is said that the finest ouzo in the world is made to this day in traditional copper stills. At the western tip of the island is the small fishing village of Sigri, close to which is the world's largest petrified forest, estimated to be about twenty million years old.

In Greek mythology, "Lesbos" was also the name of the patron god of the island. Lesbos was son of Lapithes and he married Methymna.

The island has been inhabited since the Bronze Age. It is first mentioned in Hittite records as Lazpa. Other ancient names are: Lassia, Imerti, Aegira, Issa, Mytonis, and Les-Ba. Lesbos was a great center of civilization in the 6th century BCE, and was included among the Aeolian Greek settlements; it was home to the poets Sappho and Alcaeus. Aristotle and Epicurus both also spent some time there.

In 477 BCE, Lesvos joined the Delian League, an alliance of Greeks headed by Athens, against the Persians. In 428 BCE, Lesbos rose up against the Athenian Empire. However, this revolt was unsuccessful and Lesbos remained in Athenian hands until Lysander of Sparta conquered the island in 405 BCE.

Later, Lesbos passed to Macedonia, Rome, and the Byzantine Empire. During the medieval period Lesbos was ruled by the Gattilusio family from 1355. The last of the Gattilusio Princes of Lesbos, Niccolo of Lesbos, was defeated by Mehmed II, who almost completely demolished Mytilene and conquered the island for the Ottoman Empire in 1462. The island became finally part of Greece after the Balkan War in 1913.

The word "lesbian" is derived from the island's name, after the poetess Sappho of Lesbos, who wrote about love between women. In recent years this has often made Lesbos the destination of cruises and other vacations for lesbians, despite the disapproval of conservative Lesviot authorities, with some cruise ships being denied permission to dock.

Missing image
Olympos peak rises 968 meters over Lesbos
Missing image
A view of Kallonis Bay


Its climate is mainly Mediterranean. Winters are rarely found in higher elevations.


  • Lemnos - Myrina


Municipality YPES code Seat Postal code Area code ((0)30-)
Agia Paraskevi 3501 Agia Paraskevi 811 02 22520-3
Agiassos 3502 Agiassos 811 01 22520-2
Atsiki 3504 Atsiki 814 01 22530
Eresos-Antissi 3506 Eressos 814 01 22530-8
Evergetoulas 3507 Sykounta 811 05 22520-9
Gera 3505 Pappados 811 06 25510-8
Kalloni 3508 Kalloni 811 07 21530-2
Loutropolis Thermis 3509 Loutropolis Thermis 811 00 22510-7
Mantamados 3510 Mantamaos 811 04 22530-6
Mithymna 3511 Mithymna 811 07 2220-7
Moundros 3512 Moundros 814 01 22520-7
Myrina 3513 Myrina 814 00 22540-2
Mytilene 3514 Mytilene 811 00 22510-2 thru 7
Nea Koutali 3515 Kontia 814 00 22540-5
Petra 3516 Petra 811 09 22530
Plomari 3517 Plomari 812 00 22530-3
Polychnos 3518 Polychnos 813 00 22520-4


Commune YPES code Seat Postal code Area code ((0)30-)
Agios Efstratios 3502 Agios Efstratios 815 00 22540-9

External links

de:Lesbos et:Lesbos el:Λέσβος eo:Lesbo fr:Lesbos ko:레스보스 la:Lesbos nl:Lesbos ja:レスボス島 pt:Lesbos fi:Lesvos sv:Lesbos


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