Lesbos, A Greek Refuge

Author: , May 30th, 2016

Susan Wright for The New York Times

On the island of Lesbos, the slow and rustic rhythms of Greek life rule. Sheep block traffic as they amble across mountain roads, bells clanking. At a seaside tavern, diners nibble on freshly caught calamari under the generous boughs of an old mulberry tree.

This is a routine Sunday afternoon at Myrivilis’ Mulberry tavern in Skala Sikaminias, a fishing village of about 100 residents on the northern tip of Lesbos, Greece’s third-largest island. It’s a sharp contrast from last autumn, when the restaurant’s calamari fisherman was busy hauling sea-soaked asylum seekers to dry land, and waiters turned tables into makeshift hospital beds for shipwrecked survivors treated for hypothermia.

Since last year, more than a million Middle Eastern migrants (mostly Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis) fleeing war and uncertain futures have risked their lives crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey on flimsy boats to reach Greece. More than 1,100 people drowned on the way. Nearly 60 percent of migrants landed on Lesbos, thrusting a quiet vacation island into newspaper headlines.

By Daniella Cheslow and Daniel Estrin – Full Story at SOURCE

Greece Gay Travel Resources

Lesbian Travelers Change Hearts and Minds on Lesbos

Author: , September 16th, 2010

Gay Friendly Greece Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

It’s September and for a 10th year, the village of Eressos on Greece’s Lesbos island has drawn lesbians from across Europe to a unique international festival for women. In a country strongly influenced by the Greek Orthodox church and where roughly half the population is against same-sex marriage, the lesbian-run event has been quietly growing in this corner of the Aegean Sea.

Over the past decade, attendance at the two-week International Women’s Festival has jumped from 30 to hundreds of women — mainly German, British, Dutch and Scandinavian, but also Greek and Italian.

Women lay on the beach of the village of Eressos on Lesbos island. Lesbians make up 90 per cent of the villages visitors in September. Photo: AFP
The busy programme of events includes women-only walks and sunset cruises, breathing and drumming workshops, Greek dance classes and lesbian film screenings.

“I’ve been blown away, there’s no unease at all,” says Lauren Bianchi, a Scottish woman in her early 20s who is at the festival for the first time and who had read articles about difficult relations between locals and lesbians.

Full Story from SMH.com.au