Internationally recognised as a location of unique beauty, Mythimna is situated on the northern extreme of the island of Lesvos, Greece's third largest. The Pelasgians are reported to have been the first settlers here, while recent findings have revealed that the area was inhabited during the prehistoric times. In the 2nd century AD, Lesvos accepted the Christian faith. During the Byzantine period, Mithymna suffered a series of raids and as result, the population declined rapidly. Between 1355-1426, the Gattelusio family established itself on the island and ruled peacefully. The town benefited in many ways from these benevolent rulers.
A traditional town that has been declared a protected site since 1965, Mythimna is built around the castle that serves as a landmark. Fully aware of the need to protect their natural and historical environment, contemporary Moliviats have succeeded in preserving the traditional charm of their town. The black stone and wood houses feature four-sided sloped roofs covered with Byzantine tiling, while lime mortar is used as a sealing agent between the stone blocks of the walls. Many 19th and early 20th century neoclassical buildings are still standing, such as the mansions of the Krallis and Giannakos families, while most of the public fountains dating from the Ottoman occupation are still in operation. Typical buildings of that period are the parish churches of Taxiarches (1975), Aghios Panteleimon (1844) and Aghia Kyriaki.
Ideal for long walks and mountain climbing, Mt. Lepetymnos towers majestically over the northern extreme of the island above Molyvos. A chain of villages lies in the area surrounding the mountain: Vafios, Argenos, Chalikas (Lepetymnos), Sykamia, Skala Sykamias. Chestnut trees, plane trees, ravines, plateaux with water springs, cobbled alleys, steep mountain slopes, endemic and migrant birds, squirrels and foxes complement the captivating landscape. Signs indicating the itinerary are located at the entrance and exit points of each trail, as well as at bypasses and crossroads.
Molyvos owes its present-day economic and cultural prosperity to the institution of social (welfare) tourism, as envisaged by sociologist Michalis Goutos back in the 50's. Until that time, without electricity, with a severe water shortage and lack of telephones, Mithymna was on a constant decline and virtually abandoned. Nevertheless, within 20 years all these problems became ancient history through rapid changes that brought along a booming economy and a flourishing cultural life. Today, Mithymna is internationally recognised as a location of unique beauty. International celebrities and men of the Arts and Letters have been charmed by the town and found hospitality here: Camus, Chambilaite Midi, Daninos, S. Vasiliou, Mikis Theodorakis, Tsarouhis, Bergman, Chaplin, K. Grammatopoulos, Kokoska, L. Papadopoulos, T. Patrikios, Henry Douare, to name a few.
A wide range of short trips from various starting points to Mythimna are organised mainly by travel agencies for visits to the town either by boat, coach or car rental. Fishing is the favourite pastime of visitors that are offered the opportunity to hire boats with local fishermen as guides. Donkey rides and horseback riding tours along the many paths in the vicinity of Mythimna are also available. Molyvos has 30 first, second and third class hotel units, as well as numerous rented rooms and apartments, providing the required infrastructure to accommodate the large numbers of travellers that each year visit this excellently preserved location. In recent years, Corporate Tourism has been especially on the rise in Molyvos. A large number of conferences are organised at the local Municipal Conference Centre and Hotel Conference Halls each year. Having fully comprehended the principles of social tourism and mild exploitation taught by their compatriot Michael Goutos, the people of Molyvos have retained their simple ways and their hospitality, seeking human contact rather than easy gain.