Vatera: Lesvos’ king-size beach

At 8 kilometres in length, Vatera is one of the longest and most impressive beaches on the island. Redolent with the scent of pine, the beach is also blessed with thousands upon thousands of white lilies that grow on the surrounding hillsides. Situated 55 kilometres from the town of Mytilene, Vatera looks out towards the islands of Chios, Psarra and Oinousses. Its tiny-white pebbles, which aren’t much larger than grains of sand, and crystal-clear waters, ensure the Blue Flag designation every year. Due to its size, Vatera offers all manner of choices. One part is very well-organised: with hotels, tavernas, cafés and bars. However, if it’s seclusion you're after, you’ll find it easily at several points along its length. It’s also a dream destination for lovers of water sports, both motorised and otherwise. Three kilometres from Vatera village is Cape Agios Fokas, where ruins of a temple to Dionysus still stand.

Tip: visit the church of the Prophet Elias. On 20 July, locals ride their horses to the church to celebrate the saint’s day; in fact, some riders dance on the backs of their horses!