A romantic old village on the northern coast of Lesbos, Petra is full of narrow cobblestone streets, pretty squares and terracotta buildings. It’s also home to an unusual attraction: a big rock that soars high above the rooftops, with a charming church at the top. This is a beachside village with more to offer you than just the holiday staples of sun, sea and sand.

Sightseeing and souvenirs

Petra is the kind of place where shopping and sightseeing perfectly merge. In the atmospheric streets around the rock and main square, you can browse little shops selling locally crafted wood, jewellery and art, and tour a small Ouzo distillery that’s been run by the same family for generations. You might also find yourself walking past Vareltzidaina’s House, the restored home of a 19th-century merchant. It’s worth going in for a look around if you’re interested in local history, or are looking for something a little different to do on your holiday. But by far the best of all the sights in Petra is the view from the top of the rock, so set aside some time to climb the steps to Panagia Glykofilousa, the church that overlooks the whole village and beyond.

Beautiful beach

Above all, Petra is a perfect choice for a laid-back beach holiday, where you can walk barefoot on soft, golden sand and snorkel with colourful fish in the clear blue water. You can hire sun loungers and parasols, and the beach has been awarded the Blue Flag for quality. If you’d like a change of scenery, you’ll find another great beach nearby in the resort of Avlaki, which is about 1.5 kilometres away. There are a couple of tavernas and a café there, but that’s nothing compared to what’s available beside Petra’s beach. Lined with tavernas, bars and cafés, the Petra seafront comes to life as the sun starts to set. It’s a sociable place to toast the end of a relaxing day or dance the night away.