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Holidays in Petra
Set around a turquoise bay on Lesbos’ northern coast is the traditional fishing village of Petra. The village’s Blue Flag-awarded beach backs into a historic village filled with cobblestone streets and terracotta buildings, interspersed with local tavernas, markets and important landmarks like the Panagia Glykofilousa. After dark, Petra develops a sociable nightlife scene focused around its traditional seafront tavernas.
The early summer months for the best beach weather.
Mytilene International Airport (MJT).
Book your Thomas Cook holiday to Petra to experience award-winning beaches, climb the steps of the famous Panagia Glykofilousa and try the best ouzo in Lesvos.
Wander through Petra’s quaint village to explore the unique shops, buy a bottle of the island’s finest ouzo and admire streets full of classic whitewashed architecture. If you’re a keen sightseer, it’s well worth the climb to experience Panagia Glykofilousa and its breathtaking viewpoint. Head back down to the coast and relax on the soft, golden beach for a few hours of sunbathing, or try a little snorkelling in the crystal clear waters. In the evenings, take a stroll along the waterfront to pick from a variety of lively local tavernas and seafood restaurants, and then relax in a bar with a glass of ouzo.
Petra is home to a long, smooth stretch of soft sand, which melts away into clear, shallow waters. Backed by a landscape of soaring hills and thick greenery, the beach is one of the prettiest and most peaceful in Lesbos. The beach has a Blue Flag for its upkeep, with umbrellas, sun loungers and showers as well as a cluster of tavernas and beach cafes. Diving and snorkelling are popular activities in Petra, as the crystal waters of the coast teem with brightly-coloured marine life and reefs. The beach is also a favourite spot to learn to windsurf and sea kayak.
Petra’s charming traditional village is full of shady squares, terracotta-topped buildings and beautifully preserved architecture. The narrow, cobblestone streets fill with tavernas, art galleries and interesting shops the closer you get to the beach. The town is also home to a small ouzo distillery, the best place in Petra – and some say, the whole of Lesbos – to buy a bottle. The town’s landmark is the Panagia Glykofilousa, a picturesque church sat high on a rock cliff overlooking the ocean. To reach the church you must climb the 114 steps carved into the rock, but the walk is well worth it for the magnificent panoramic views of the region.
Take a stroll through Petra’s atmospheric village for a little shopping, and make sure you pick up some locally-pressed olive oil, olives and cheese – some of Lesbos’ finest products. There are several bustling shopping streets close to the beach which open up into cafe-lined squares where you can stop for lunch. The squares are an upbeat place to visit in the evenings, and are fantastic for authentic Greek cuisine and fresh seafood. On a hot day, experience one of the favourite things to do in Petra – glass bottom boat tours. Popular all over Lesbos, you can relax on deck with front-row seats to the fascinating marine life.
Couples: With its romantic old village, pretty beach and upbeat nightlife, Petra is an idyllic setting for a break for two.
Beach lovers: Petra is home to one of Lesbos’ finest Blue Flag beaches, complete with soft sand and a vibrant waterfront.
Sightseers: Petra is a treasure trove of interesting architecture, churches and most notably, the Panagia Glykofilousa.
Language: The language spoken in Petra is Greek
Currency: The currency used in Petra is the Euro (€)
Local time: Petra is 2 hours ahead of GMT/UK time
Fly to: Mytilene International Airport (MJT)
Flight time from UK: Approximately 3.5 hours
Tourist Information: Further Petra tourist information can be found at www.visitgreece.gr
Visa & Health: Before you travel, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to Petra
Temperature: 24-27°C average in summer.
Best time to visit: The early summer months for the best beach weather.
Lesbos’ Mediterranean climate means that Petra enjoys hot, dry summers with long hours of sunshine. The average temperatures stay in the mid 20s (°C) from June to September, with the hottest temperatures in July and August.
By bus: Lesbos is served by a network of buses that run from Petra to nearby resorts like Mytilene and Molyvos. The buses run approximately once an hour and are a cheap and efficient way of making day trips.
By car: If you’re interested in exploring further afield, driving is the best way to get around in Petra. There are plenty of car hire companies at the airport, and the roads in Lesbos are generally good and well signposted.
By taxi: For shorter journeys or airport transfers, taxis are a good option. They are readily available in Petra and at the airport, and run on a meter.
Sardine festival: Around half an hour’s drive from Petra is the sardine capital of the island, the Bay of Kalloni. Every August, the town of Skala Kalloni celebrates the fruits of its region with the Skala Kalloni Sardine Festival, which features freshly-caught sardines washed down with free ouzo in the town square, along with live music and Greek dancing.
Carnival: In the week leading up to Lent, Lesbos joins in with the traditional Carnival festivities. Events take place across the island, with Petra enjoying parades, dancing and colourful costumes, along with plenty of local food and music.
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