The town of Mitilini spreads upwards from the harbor into the hills, and is crowned by an enormous castle whose foundations were laid during the time of the Byzantine emperor Justinian. It is an excellent starting place for visits to picturesque mountain villages, their cobbled streets and pastel-hued houses set on pine and olive covered slopes, This is the real Greece, where life revolves around the village square, and much local flavor can be absorbed by spending time in the cafes that surround it. This is best accomplished over a glass of ouzo, the anise flavored spirit that is Greece’s most popular drink, and for which Lesvos is famous.
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