Lesvos’ port and capital, Mytilini is a lively student town with great eating and drinking options, plus eclectic churches and grand 19th-century mansions and museums. Indeed, its remarkable, world-class Teriade Museum boasts paintings by Picasso, Chagall and Matisse, along with home-grown painter Theophilos. In fact, the island is known in equal parts for its poets and painters and for its olive oil and ouzo.
Ferries dock at the northeastern end of the curving waterfront thoroughfare, Pavlou Kountourioti, where most of the action is centred. Handmade ceramics, jewellery and traditional products are sold on and around the main shopping street Ermou, and there are many fine ouzeries and student-fuelled bars to enjoy.