A quaint little village with about 150 locals, Vafios is one of the most traditional villages in Lesvos. Located on the foot of what used to be the greatest volcano of Greece, Mount Lepetymnos, it is on route Molyvos – Sykaminea – Mantamados – Mytilene, and only 5 km away from Molyvos (Mithymna). The village used to be a farming settlement in the frontier of ancient Mithymna “TEMENOUS”. Tradition speaks of a leather dyeing service that used to operate around the area and so the name “VAFIOS” originates from the word “vafeia” meaning “colouring”. On the other hand, there are of course, the romantic theorists who claim that the name comes from the deep red colour that tints the village over sunset.
Once at the village, you will find yourself getting lost in the small alleyways admiring every colourful front yard, talking to locals at the ‘kafeneio’ (traditional Greek coffee house), maybe even sharing a glass of ouzo with them. One thing you shouldn’t miss is Agia Paraskevi, the church in the centre of the village, with its very old wooden temple, still quite impressive.
The locals are passionate organic farmers, taking care of their vegetables and animals with love and respect for nature. They insist on natural farming and thus, produce pure, natural products without artificial intervention, in a unique environment created by the Mediterranean climate and the volcanic soil of the area.
As mentioned above, Vafios is built at the foot of Mount Lepetymnos at an altitude of 306 meters. This is the main reason why this small village is the center of a large network of hiking and climbing routes that connect the massif of Lepetymnos with unique geologic data, with natural springs and stone fountains, old and new chapels, unique flora and fauna and with other small traditional villages. Most of the walking routes connect Vafios with the ‘old paths ’ from last century, when all activities flourished between the residents of the settlements (Petra, Petri, Stypsi, Ipsilometopo, Molyvos, Efthalou, Pelopi, Argenos, Skamnia), and the area of Lygonas – a unique outdoor museum with many abandoned stone watermills.
Up to this day, a vast network of walking, hiking and motorbike routes, exists and is well organized. All the information you may need, (brochures, maps, information and guidance on using electronic devices etc. ), is available at the Taverna Vafios.
Operating since 1987, the taverna -a member of the Molyvos Tourism Association- has helped the village of Vafios to be established as a culinary destination. So now you can very easily combine the ultimate culinary experience with the experience of walking on beautiful paths created almost 20 billion years ago. And if this fascinates you, wait till you see the real thing.