Explore Lesbos Greece
Lesbos is a Greek island located in the northeastern Aegean Sea. It has an area of 1,632 square kilometres (630 sq mi) with 320 kilometres (199 miles) of coastline, making it the third largest Greek island. It is separated from Turkey by the narrow Mytilini Strait.
Lesbos is a separate regional unit of the North Aegean region, and the only municipality within it. Its population is approximately 86,000, a third of which lives in its capital, Mytilene, in the southeastern part of the island. The remaining population is distributed in small towns and villages. The largest are Plomari, Kalloni, the Gera Villages, Agiassos, Eresos, and Molyvos (the ancient Mythimna).
Lesbos lies in the far east of the Aegean sea, facing the Turkish coast (Gulf of Edremit) from the north and east; at the narrowest point, the strait is about 5.5 km (3.4 mi) wide. The shape of the island is roughly triangular, but it is deeply intruded by the gulfs of Kalloni, with an entry on the southern coast, and of Gera, in the southeast.
The Emerald Island
The island is forested and mountainous with two large peaks, Mt. Lepetymnos at 968 m (3,176 ft) and Mt. Olympus at 967 m (3,173 ft), dominating its northern and central sections. The island’s volcanic origin is manifested in several hot springs and the two gulfs.
Lesbos is verdant, aptly named Emerald Island, with a greater variety of flora than expected for the island’s size. Eleven million olive trees cover 40% of the island together with other fruit trees. Forests of Mediterranean pines, chestnut trees, and some oaks occupy 20%, and the remainder is scrub, grassland or urban.
Twelve historic churches on the island were listed together on the 2008 World Monuments Fund’s Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the world. Exposure to the elements, outmoded conservation methods, and increased tourism are all threats to the structures. It is hoped[who?] that increased attention to their declining states will aid in their preservation.
Petrified forest of Lesbos
Lesbos contains one of the few known petrified forests and has been declared a Protected Natural Monument, included also in the European Geopark Network. Fossilised plants have been found in many localities on the western part of the island. The fossilized forest was formed during the Late Oligocene to Lower–Middle Miocene, by the intense volcanic activity in the area.
Neogene volcanic rocks dominate the central and western part of the island, comprising andesites, dacites and rhyolites, ignimbrite, pyroclastics, tuffs, and volcanic ash. The products of the volcanic activity covered the vegetation of the area and the fossilization process took place under favorable conditions. The fossilized plants are silicified remnants of a sub-tropical forest that existed on the north-west part of the island 20-15 million years ago.
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