If you leave Mytilene in a northward direction, you enter a small, quaint village called Pirgi Thermis, which – administratively speaking – belongs to the former Municipality of Thermi. The tower-like mansions and their unique architectural identity are a special feature of this suburb. Once fortified country residences where the wealthy islanders used to spend their holidays, these awesome mansions steal the show. The village houses the Church of St Mary the Virgin, a magnificent temple dating back to the Byzantine Period and which is said to have been built in 803 at the request of the Empress Irene of Byzantium.
In summertime the beach of Kanoni, lying just a few metres off the main road, is flooded with bathers both locals and foreigners. All sorts of facilities and services are available at this place.
Your next stop being Paralia Thermis, the traditional port of Thermi paved with stones, lined with traditional restaurants and surrounded by colourful fishing boats.
The village is renowned for St Raphael’s Monastery located on the nearby hill of Karies. The Monastery is indubitably a pole of attraction for pilgrims around the world. It is within the two-storey church that the relics of Saint Raphael, Saint Nicolas and Saint Irene are kept. According to tradition their relics had been miraculously discovered following visions of the faithful. The Monastery has also cells where pilgrims can be accommodated. Just a few kilometers down the road one can visit the villages of Pigi and Komi noted for the “Bull Festival” which takes place in the summer.
The port of Thermi has always been a pole of attraction for holidaymakers. The abandoned “Sarlitza Palace” hotel with its splendours and imposing architectural style proves the glorious past of this place.
If you fancy bathing, you can stop off in the bay of Petalidi lying a little bit further to the north.
Thermi is equally noted for its hot springs. The high water temperature of the baths (around 46,9 Co) is highly recommended for people suffering from rheumatism, kidney stones, liver diseases, gynaecological problems etc.
Further down the road you can visit the villages of Mistegna and Nees Kidonies as well as their picturesque ports surrounded by traditional restaurants and rooms to let. If you are around, do not miss to taste the local specialty: barbecued octopus which is said to be the tastiest on the whole island. Your last stop being the site of “Xabelia” with the picturesque beach and the traditional taverna offering local delicacies.