Antissa is a beautiful town built around the slopes. It is located on the west side of the island, 76km away from the capital. This area has great historical importance for Lesvos, the ancient town flourished here and was one of the first wind settlements on the island. The art of music was highly developed in this area. According to mythology, waves washed the head and lyre of Orpheus, who was murdered by Maenads at the beach of Antissa. Also, local tradition says that at the bottom of the sea are the ruins of the ancient city which was destroyed by the Romans.
Today Antissa is a town that thrives on farming and tourism. It is renowned for its excellent climate and the hospitality of the people. It is the administrative center of the region, home of many public services and utilities (Police Department, Health Center, Veterinary clinic, Post office etc.). It has a Primary, Secondary and High School.
The Town Shop is in the square which has a large banquet room. Next to this is the large village church of St. John, the Theologian. This is a great aisled basilica, built in 1807 and repaired in 1927 and 1971. Interestingly, the Folklore Collection is exposed in the area of the Cultural Association. A church museum is operating in Antissa, which hosts images, vestments and sacred vessels and there is a private collection of traditional toys
The monastery of Perivoli (1600-1650) is in the area located in a wooded ravine of the river Voulgaris between Vatoussa and Antissa and this leads to a diversion of the road Kalloni-Antissa. This nunnery was dedicated to the Presentation of the Virgin which was devastated in recent years.
At the northern coast of Lesvos is the Ancient Antissa, at the cape of Ovriokastro and the site “Good Harbor” or “Tsamour port”, which is a small tourist port with its long history as evidenced in the ruins of antiquity.
Famous products of the region are cheese and wine production which can be purchased from producers.
The municipal department of Vatoussa from the municipality of Eresos – Antissa is one of the six municipalities and the first thing seen when coming from the town of Mytilene, 66 Km away from it.
Vatoussa is built on the southwest side of Mount Kouratsona (altitude of the mountain 786m) on a hillside, which is a volcanic way to go and was formed by volcanic lava cooled before 17 million years. Important are the two major libraries of the town, donated to the male school, with major publications of Leipzig. The libraries principally were established in the male school and today they are transferred to the Cultural Center of the village, housed in the “Mansion Gogos”.The “Gogos Mansion” is also working as a folklore museum.
A few kilometers from Vatoussa is the village Chidira, where you should visit the Digital Museum “George Iacovidis”, which is the first all-digital Museum of Art in Greece. Formed according to a specific museum study based on new technology brings true life and work of renowned Greek artist through a variety of electronic digital display and interaction.
Important reference should be made to the production of high quality livestock products and individuality of the settlement (Ladotyri, feta cheese of excellent taste, mitzithra cheese, noodles, which is a type of pasta made by hand based on sheep and goat milk, etc.) at home today economy, although there was a long time operated livestock cooperative, which traditionally produced high quality livestock products in proprietary creamery and which as a quality product received the prize sheep butter at the Thessaloniki International Fair in 1968.
The port of Antissa is Gavathas, a dream beach and ideal for fishing. Near the beach taverns are serving all the traditional recipes. There are hotels and rental rooms in Antissa.Beaches of the area are Gavvathas, Ancient Antissa, Kalo limani and 6 km north of Antissa is Kampos beach.
Demographic and historical data
The municipalities of Antissa and Vatousa belong to the municipality of Eresos – Antissa.
According to tradition, waves washed the head and lyre of Orpheus, who was murdered by Maenads of Thrace at the beach of Antissa. Then the head of the demigod was received by the residents and was placed in a cave of the area, which worked as a Sanctuary and Oracle of Orpheus. The head according to tradition began to speak and sing. Thousands of pilgrims came in to hear the song and the oracles that his head broadcasted until the fame of the sanctuary grew so much, that threatened to overshadow the reputation of the Oracle of Delphi. Then Apollo angered and asked him to keep quiet. The head fell silent, but he learned the nightingales to chirp sweeter than any other in the region. Also Terpandros, the melodist was born here, child of Antissa and creator of Varvito, who according to tradition, received the lyre of Orpheus and was the one who put his head in the temple that served in the cave of Antissa.
Historically the settlement of Vatousa was created during the Byzantine period. The Conqueror had established their tax services (moutakasi) in Vatousa which was responsible for collecting the tax from the surrounding area.