"... with regards to the Island of Lesvos – an island which provides such rich food to our eyes –
you could say that someone must be blind or out of his mind, if he is not deeply moved by its light."
Odysseas Elytis, Nobel Laureate, 1979
Lesvos is Greece’s third largest island, located in the northern Aegean. In addition to its abundance of olive trees, it has a wealth of orchards, aromatic herbs and other flora, making it a botanical paradise. It is not without reason that the Ottomans referred to it as “the garden of the Aegean”.
Lesvos has a long history of olive oil production. Excavations have brought to light a Bronze Age olive press dated 2800 - 2000 BC. Wide expanses of olive groves in terraced hills cover nearly 30% of the island, in the eastern and southern parts, and nearly 80% of the island’s arable land. In fact, with over eleven million trees and a population of about 90,000 people, Lesvos has by far the largest number of olive trees per capita in the world. Many of the trees are hundreds of years old, as indicated by their thick and gnarled trunks. Olive tree cultivation and olive oil production are therefore one of the most important economic activities in Lesvos.
Lesvos is also noted for its natural beauty, its plentiful sunshine, its vibrant ecosystems that include not only flora but also fauna, as well as its highly varied landscape, ranging from the luscious green of the east and south to the wild, volcanic west, with a petrified forest that is one of the largest in the world.
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