Skála Eressos (Eressou) and its twin town Eressos (Eressou) lies in the south-west of Lesvos Island. Lesvos sits in the north Aegean very close to Turkey, and you will find this town and the whole Island will have a unique blend of Greek and Turkish influence in its architecture, cuisine and general influence.
Lesvos itself is awarded a Geopark Site by UNESCO and Skala Eressos is next to the petrified forest (fossil forest park) and some other fossil sites. There are also some ancient ruins on the hills and some very unique volcanic rock that make up the rugid lanscape.
The mountainous backdrop, dark sandy beaches make this place, cobbled streets and whitewash buildings with terracotta roof lines make this ever so charming village a perfect place to escape the hustle of real-life or the rest of Europe. It is known to attract artists including writers, painters and poets.
Please note: Skala Eresou is sometimes referred to as Skala Eressos (for the english version of the name) or sometimes spelt Eressou just to confuse things. Skala comes from the Greek meaning of scale, ladder, staircase and it is common in Greece (especially on the islands) to find that a town slightly uphill, then its neighbouring shore town call Skala. This quiet little seaside village is miles away from that you’d expect to see on the more famous islands of Rhodes and Santorini.
The village and its residents are really friendly. Many of the locals live in the up the hill in Eressos, whilst Skala is open only during the summer for visitors. If you visit her in early March or late October you will see the town preparing to open or board up (depending on which) as the season’s transition.
In 2014 I was working for a company called Neilson in this village of Skala Errasos on Lesvos Island. Neilson has both beach resorts for summer active holidays and ski chalets for the winter around Europe. I was based in this lovely place, living in the town in an apartment with other staff and just a short walk from the resort (I’ve included a short section about the resort at the bottom of this article). On my days off and holiday, I spent a lot of time just exploring and enjoying this area. Lesvos is a beautiful mountainous island, Click here to see my next article on the rest of the Island.
Since 1953 the Cine Sapho (Phone number Tel:+30-697-762-6976) outdoor cinema opens every summer to visitors and locals. This place is a little tucked away, a couple of streets back from the beach. There is a bar on-site that serves light snacks and drinks.
Exploring Skala and The Surrounding Hills
If you fancy a walk with amazing views and a local walk either side of the village are easy trails that will allow you to look over the village and across the mountains that surround Skala.
There are a few walking trails around skala which will take you through back roads, dirt trails and cobbled streets. My favourite are the two view points at either end of the town.
The Cliff Walk and View Point
To the east of the town (looking out to sea this would be the left hand side of the town) is a small marina and gorgeous tiny working chapel (called Εκκλησάκι Παναγιάς), sitting by the edge of the water and surrounded by a rocky cove. You will need to continue walking past the sculptures above to get there.
This area is a lovely little spot where you can appreciate just how clear the water is. You can follow up the rocky cliff on a safely but discreetly marked path or head to ruins on the hill just beforehand.
This is the perfect spot to view the sunset, although we managed to pick the one night that the clouds came in and there was a haze from recent fires on the mainland Turkey and Greece that left the sky a weird colour.
Here are some pictures from our recent visit and walk up the hill with one of our friends who was working as a photographer at the resort we were working. I recently applied to be an ambassador for Passenger Clothing as most of my summer wardbrobe comes from them. I was very greatful to be accepted and recieved a 2 free pieces of clothing of my choice. So Bradley offered to get a few snaps whilst we were walking and we brought a few of our other passenger tops shorts etc with us for a bit of a shoot. This was very nerve wracking but Bradley made me feel very comfortable and tried to get natural shots. As someone who doesn’t normally get pictures of myself and much prefers to capture the landscape I was petrified of this.
Shout out to Bradley and here is his website: He specialises in adventure sports photography and is normally based in the south of England.
The Chapel Walk
To the west of the village (looking out to sea, it’s on the right-hand side of the village) after the nudist beach and before the secret beach (which is a little cove around the corner). There is an old abandoned chapel where you can see a spectacular sunset (may take about 45 minutes to an hour to walk it). These were taken on an old camera phone in 2014 that wasn’t very good or a well known brand (and was 2 years old at the time). But still just look at that.
It will take approximately 30 – 45 minutes up the hill mainly due to the heat in summer. I would advice trainers or trail shoes at least. A lot of people have gone up in flip flops or sliders but there have been many blow outs of their shoes and a couple of falls from guests not wearing stable enough shoes. Plus there are some critters which in the dark you wont see and will want your feet covered up if you step on them.
Get Out On The Water
Due to the landscape, the water has good wind conditions suitable for windsurfing and sailing (average of 17-20 Knotts). You will regularly see the regattas from the Aeolian village down the bay. The wind is predictable and you will have most days with good wind enough to get planing, carve jybe and even use foils if you are at that level.
If you are a more advanced windsurfer and want to be on a holiday just for windsurfing this place is good to develop your skills. However you may benefit from places like the Neighbouring Sigri (also close by on the island) or Vassiliki on Lefkada Island (in the south Ionian). I’ve done a post on Lefkada here.
The best thing about Skala is the water conditions and how you can get a good mix for different activities. In the morning the water is often flat and glassy which make it perfect for beginners or for water skiing etc. You may also want to do kayaking, paddleboarding or a swim out to Badger Rock. If you are swimming or heading out on a kayak or board across town expect to see schools of jumping fish whilst the water is calm. There is a centre in the town where you can hire kayaks or go out on banana boats etc. Alternatively, the hire would be from the Aeolian Village Resort (all activities are included in the price for guests of the resort).
You can also arrange to go out on a boat ride a bit further down the coast where you will see the petrified forest (the prehistoric remains) which is part of a protected UNESCO Geosite area.
There is a fantastic PADI diving school called Black Rock, they will be able to do anything from a taster session through to doing your PADI qualifications.
The beautiful sand in Skala and many beaches on the island is a darker colour (closer to black sand) due to its volcanic properties. Which will mean the hot sand dash if you are barefoot, and it is also magnetic.
The magnetic property of the sand is only mild however just be cautious. I was living here so had my laptop with me in my apartment or resort (nowhere near the beach) and kept having to clean the magnetic charging port. The title picture and the picture to the left are unedited but the lighting from the sun that day has caused the sand to look slightly lighter than it is.
Lesvos is said to be home of the peot Sappho and therefore has become one of the top LGBTQ+ friendly locations in Europe. The town hosts an international women’s festival every year. The entire town caters for the event with concerts, festivals, pop up stalls and parties. However, everywhere will welcome the LGBTQ+ community with open arms. Expect the prices of accommodation to be slightly higher during this week, but those at the festival get great deals when travelling here for this. The most popular gay friendly bar is called Flamingo’s, which is brightly coloured and sits between other bars on the main storefront.
This is really hard to choose as all of the restaurants in the village were genuinely great. They each had odd dishes that stood out against the other places. I have found with most of the places I have been in Greece, that the only time you find bad quality food is when you are in built-up tourist areas (such as Kavos). This tends to be because the produce, seafood and meat are just not as fresh or locally sources (having to meet the demands of higher numbers and large seating capacity each night in busy resorts means they will tend to use regional suppliers rather than in the neighbouring village).
For mixed or none Greek Food during your stay I would reccomend the following:
- Flamingo Beach Bar – I’d reccomend Flamingos for their breakfast and Pizza’s which are fab. The service is brilliant and the two women that own the bar are just lovely. Also check out the sunset from this bar, it has some steps down to the beach, but due to the proximity of Flamingo to the west side of the town where the sun sets the view of it is less interupted than other bars along the front.
- Parasol Beach Bar – once votes as one of Europes top cocktail bars. They offer great cocktails and food, but do expect a wait as they get very busy. The decor of this place is like a tiki theme and very quirky which mixes with the town well.
- Gialos – This bar/restaurant sits back a little on the square looking over to beach. As staff in townwe know this place at Georges due to it being the owners name. The whole family who own and run this along with their staff are friendly and have fantastic food from pizza, burgers and breakfasts to epic salads. I highly reccomend the summer pink salad (trust me it’s awesome), the chicken nuggets (for a bit of comfort food to mix up longer stays and balance the choice of greek food in town or one of their savoury crepes. They are also great with allergies which is a big bonus for me, after having an allergic reaction elsewhere.
My favourite Greek foods are saganaki, gyros (chicken but typically pork) with tzatziki, local whitebait or Octopus. These are the foods I will try in any Greek village or restaurant.
- The Secret Garden Restaurant is tucked away (as you can expect by the name) in a covered courtyard.
- The Blue Sardine was another favourite of mine and the staff I worked with. Whenever we had a staff Jolly (night out) it would start with a group meal here and they accommodated for the large group of us really well. And great fresh seafood.
- Gorgona Restaurant was absolutely and offers a range of traditional greek food.
- There is also a fab frozen yogurt shop opposite the fruit and vegetable shop, that offers Fererro Rocher, Bueno, nuts, chocolate, sweets and loads of different toppings.
If you go to a bar or restaurant on the seafront stick around until sunset, you will not be disappointed; Even on a bad day.
‘Up the Hill’
Errasos is further up the hill, in spring and summer this town is quiet and sleepy, but when the season is packing up this is the main area for shops and restaurants. It is still open just not as busy as Skala during peak season. Further up from the town about 20-minute bike ride from the Skala is a dam with amazing views to a beautiful mountain range and a beautiful monastery of Moni Pithariou looking back towards the dam (the right is just a sneak peak at chapel which is one of the small buildings that makes up this monastery).
Get out of this village if you are staying here and visit more of the island, there is so much to see and do here.
- There are scorpions here, they don’t sting unless provoked and it’s a quite a rare sighting. But keep your flip flops on when your off the beach.
- It has two nudist beaches (that happened to be either side of the family resort I was working at), but they are mostly respectful and tend to keep a distance between the beach areas.
- There are camel spiders here in Lesvos due to the climate. They are pretty huge and I won’t lie i’m terrified and saw a few over the few months I lived here. They tend to follow your shadow as they are looking for shade but don’t tend to do much other than that.
The Aeolian Village Resort
Although I no longer work for them, I wouldn’t feel right writing about the town and not including the Aeolian Village. They were a fantastic company to work for which is why I did 4 summer contracts with them as resort Fitness and/or Head of Fitness. I enjoyed the place so much that when I had annual leave, I spent half of the time just enjoying the resort amenities. On the water (as mentioned above) it is best for Sailing and windsurfing, and on land it is also perfect for mountain biking.
It is the only resort in the town, so it doesn’t override the place and is slightly outside the town too. It is a charming and beautiful active resort that has access to a wide range of land and water activities. See pictures below and above (the sand in the above picture and some others I took looks lighter than it is (I do not edit my pictures), this was just due to the light from the sun at that angle at the time of taking the picture. I am not an affiliate for them nor do I receive any monetary value, I just love the place.
Update: In July 2021 I recieved a text from my old boss at Neilson who offered me the opportunity to go back to the Aeolian Village for two weeks to train up new fitness staff. This was perfect timing as we were due to be heading to Italy this week to get married, but covid had left us with no option but to postpone for 2nd time to 2022 (my main career is in higher education teaching strength and conditioning, sports science and fitness; specialising in adventure and outdoor sports – Click here to find out more about my main role). So I have updated some of the pictures and content accordingly so all advice is up to date.
My Favourite Apartment Accommodations
- Zaira Studios
If you are visiting friends or family or just wanting to come here for a short break, then you may feel the resort is not the right option for you.
Why Not Pin For Later
Check out our other articles on Greece
Anywhere in Greece is beautiful, now another one added to my must-visit! From your photos, it seem not as touristy as other islands, but thanks for the heads up. Will keep your experiences in mind. Beautiful place! Hopefully next time won’t get postponed.
Skala looks like such a beautiful place! The Cliff Walk looks stunning and the sunsets look magical. Thanks for the great guide!
That’s such a beautiful post. I can’t wait to visit the North Aegean. We were torn between here and Lemnos. I think i’m gonna have to visit both to explore and enjoy the windy conditions.
What a charming town! I had never heard of it before, but I like that it isn’t as well known as other places in the Greek Islands. Also love the blend of Turkey and Greece present in the culture.
What a dream. I’ve never been to Greece, but it’s on my bucket list! I love the more lowkey off-the-beaten-path places like this, looks amazing! Thank you for sharing all the pictures and info!! <3
I didn’t even know about Lesvos Island and it’s so close to Turkey. It seems like there are many Greek off the beaten path experiences here. I have only been to the popular Islands but this will now be added to the list of Islands to see in Greece. I wonder how many Islands there are in Greece.
WOW so in depth and full of great recommendations- thank you! Greece is high on my list for my first overseas trip!
Wahhh!!!😍 I have heard so many amazing things about Greece and its various islands. We’re currently planning our trip and I can’t decide where to go! A few friends have recommended the aegean islands and getting away from the cruise routes. One mentioned Lesvos – so I’m going to check that out, especially after reading this!
Thank you for those amazing photos and reliable info. It’s awesome that you got to live and work here. I love reading posts like this rather than a glimspe of an island for a day or two, just gives me more insight. Can’t wait to go to Greece as soon
This looks beautiful! I have been to Corfu, but it looks like it is time for a return visit to Greece and a new Island. I’d love to hike up both sides of the town. I’d also love to enjoy the watersports here
Oh the islands look beautiful. That sunset! And the beautiful blue water… and then you mentioned camel spiders lol. I had to google it and oh my. I really like your photography too.
I was loving the sound of this island and especially the town, as I prefer to get off the beaten path and experience the culture. I could likely handle the scorpions, but i’d be rubbish with the spiders. Having said that though, I am a water sports freak so I would likely tolerate them for the great water conditions.
Greece is such a beautiful paradise with so many hidden gems. Your post is absolutely perfect for first timers, filled with so many recommendation especially on places to eat and drink. And great to hear of islands outside of the typical santorini and mykonos.
Great post! Beautiful images, I bet living there was a great way to discover the best things to try here.
This looks wonderful! I particularly like the bars and eateries on the water – the epitome of a vacation. Although I’m living in Europe, I have visited so many countries far away – and made it to Greece for the first time only about a year ago.
It was winter, hence I spent my time in Athens and Meteora, however, decided to be back as soon as possible – for the islands. So this is a great inspiration.
I’m sold the moment you said one is UNESCO Geopark and another is a petrified forest! I’d totally want to visit Skala Eressos & Lesvos. OMG, you are absolutely lucky to have been living in this island and being able to slow travel to these places. Cliff walk and chapel walk, both look fantastic. Even with your old phone pics from 2014, the pictures are still great!
Greek towns like Skála Eressos, and the island of Lesvos are so magical, as I have heard from so many. And to have Turkish influences, are really appealing to me. I love the history on some of the greek islands. How great does the view look from the chapel.
Wow! This place is interesting. Happy to know that the locals are friendly and there are many restaurants available. Would love to see the sculptures up close. Thank you for sharing your adventure.
I am always looking for lesser known islands in Greece to travel to and you just gave me another one. And it’s great you can get a ferry across from Athens. The long journey is worth it to find somewhere new. I can’t wait to read your other posts on Greece
Sounds like a hidden gem of an island. I’d love to read more about lesvos. Skala’s access to water sports and a small quant village makes it all the more appealing. I tried gyros and tzatsiki on a trip to berlin i’d love to try the real thing.
Wow what a beautiful place and so less crowded as well. Love it. The Chapel Walk looks very interesting apart from the sea front which is marvelous. We are planning a trip to Greece this October as it got postponed due to the virus. Looks like it may be easy to visit when we are in Turkey too.
This is something very new to me! I was not aware of these interesting places like Skala Eressos. Greece in my bucket list and I am surely going to include this place especially when it is also an UNESCO Geopark. I could see great recommendations of places to eat as well. The chapel walk seem to be really interesting.
Skala looks stunning. This would be a perfect addition to exploring the Greek islands. The water looks too calm and pristine for windsurfing and sailing on your pictures, but I imagine you were out on the water when it got windy. The beachfront restaurants, with that sunset… wow
Linda (LD Holland)
Your post certainly has me dreaming of island time and Lesvos.
Those blue waters would send us to the beach. Or underwater for some scuba diving. And we would definitely stick around for those sunsets! One day we will add this to a Greek Island tour.
When I read that there’s PADI in Skala, I have no doubt that this island has beautiful underworld just like on the surface. I thin it’s good that Skala is not as famous as the places on Santorini, so they still can maintain the crowds in their island. Although it can change in any time soon. How funny that the Aeolian Village Resort, a family resort, is surrounded by nudist beaches on the left and right sides.
Greece has so many amazing places outside of the super popular Santorini, Mykonos and Zakynthos. Lesvos looks so beautiful and I am sure that it is not as crowded and touristy so you get to actually experience the entire area. Will certainly plan a visit there. Thank you for sharing!
Skala is definitely on my list now!
Greece is way up high on my list, obviously, but there are sooo many islands – I don’t know which one to choose. With this post, and your other one of Lefkada you didn’t make it easier for me. It looks just marvelous, and I’m adding them both to my list.
I haven’t been to Skála Eressos yet. It seems such an exciting place with great things to do. I only know mainland Greece and I was there as a child, I would love to visit the Greek islands. It’s great to see that it is a blend of Greek and Turkish influence in its architecture, cuisine, and general effect.
The cliffs and Chapel Walk sound perfect. I would love to see the Monastery of Moni Pithariou as well. And I like your where-to-eat recommendations.
This is the best part of reading, it opens your mind. Somehow Greece was always associated with Santorini. I have heard about Lesvos but never read much about it. After reading your detailed article, I realized it is a beautiful place to visit and explore. During my trip to Greece I will surely add this in the itinerary.
What a beautiful island! I have heard before that Lesvos was a beautiful island to visit, but I never knew it was this pretty. I would love to visit. I would definitely stop in Skála Eressos as there seem to be quite a few things to do here.