Remote beaches of Lemnos IslandTuesday, March 21, 2017 Sightseeing and Landmarks by Iuliana Marchian
In the first two posts about Lemnos Island, I wrote about the three major archaeological sites on the eastern side of the island and the main architectural programs.
Lemnos Island has a unique understated appeal, which consists mainly of flat treeless lands and gently undulating plains, with little farms. Small mountains are present only in the north-western part of the island and constantly alternate with fertile regions of arable land. The soil is volcanic with sandy areas (locals call them am’da) or rocky ones. The typical Lemnian landscapes are countless fields of wheat and grain, interspersed with vast vineyards, pastures, and beaches.
Apart from authentic villages and ancient archaeological sites, if someone asked me what I could say about the culture of Lemnos Island, I would say that wild places are a typical part of the tradition of the island. One of the main challenges of the island is to reach at least some of its remote places. If possible, it would be perfect to spend a night in absolute silence in one of these far away spots. You’ll feel its magical greatness just then.
The unspoilt beaches of Lemnos Island have crystal-clear waters and vast sandy shores. Lemnian beaches are among the best in the Aegean Sea and spread all over the island in the most unexpected locations. The most popular and organised beaches are on the western side of the island. The more secluded and wild ones are on the eastern side of the island.
The beach of Kotsinas lies at the end of a short off-road. It is situated a couple of kilometres north of Repanidi village in the bay of Pournia. While one comes from Varos Tourist Resort, a line of colourful umbrellas show up at the horizon of the sea and reveal the quiet spot of the beach. Kotsinas beach has shallow crystal blue waters and soft sands along the shore.
The name Kotsinos (Kotsinas) is derived from Kokkinos that means “red” (a dominant soil in the region). The ‘Lemnian earth’ was found between Repanidi and Kotsinos; it was used for healing and for making terracotta objects as well. Instead, the Latins called this soil “Terra Sigilatta” and referred to the medicinal clay discovered on the island in ancient times.
In the Middle Ages, Kotsinas was an important trading port at the entrance to the strait of Bosphorus. Nowadays, a fishing port with three tavernas serves fresh fish and seafood just opposite Kotsinas beach on the other side of the bay.
The tangled streets of Kalliopi meander around the village and confuse any new visitor. Eventually, a sign saying “Keros Beach” appears out of a cloud of dust and points to the seashore. Keros is an endless beach, which is located a couple of kilometres away from Kalliopi village. The off-road from Kalliopi to Keros has large areas of sand where a car could immerse and stuck quite quickly.
The strong northern estate winds of the Aegean Sea affect Keros beach. Usually, the wind starts by noon and calms down late in the afternoon. This particular climate favours the beach as an ideal place for water sports and provides some good spots for windsurfing and kitesurfing. The water is shallow for hundreds of meters far into the sea, and the seafloor has soft white sand. The place is suited for the needs of wind and kitesurfing beginners. The surfers glide on the water and create a magnificent show with their colourful costumes.
The secluded beach of Gomati is nestled in a cove in the northern part of Lemnos Island. The beach is located at the end of a long dirt road that comes from Katalakos village. The road goes down along large orchards or arable lands and leads apparently into the middle of nowhere (which is true enough). Once it is reached the seashore, a local tavern and a beach bar are the only food and drinking options in the area.
However, amazing surprises “lurk” at the end of the dirt road. Gomati Beach has the longest (and even highest) sand dunes in Greece. The sand dunes spread over an area of about 70 acres. These sand dunes represent a local extremely rare and fragile ecosystem that creates an extraordinary landscape with little vegetation. Gomati beach is quite remote and rarely crowded; nevertheless, the crystalline water is present and spoils the few adventurous people that come here.
The small white chapel of Saint Barbara stands on a small rocky peninsula at the end of Gomati beach. The chapel is closed most of the time; however, it reveals the old days when people lived here in their small campervans during the summer period. Nowadays, just a few locals with caravans come here.
This is the third post (and the last one) of a trilogy, which includes the main archaeological sites on Lemnos Island (in the first part) and the main architectural programs on Lemnos Island (in the second part). I hope you enjoyed this series of posts about Lemnos Island and you will visit this amazing place soon.