Savour the many flavours of Greece on Lesvos, from olive oil to ouzo and or­ange wine

Lonely Planet (UK) - - Great Escape Northeast Aegean -

Ocot­tage, in the moun­tains above the town of Plo­mari on Lesvos’ south­ern coast­line, Gior­gios *#2&#0'-3 '1 1#04',% 0# )$ 12Ɵ * 2#1 -$ %- 2ư1 !&##1#Ơ ̭%1Ơ wal­nuts, toma­toes and grapes ap­pear on the ta­ble un­der a per­gola of climbing vines, and a pot of coffee bub­bles away on an iron range. Be­low the cot­tage, olive trees cover the stony slopes as far as the eye can see, each en­cir­cled by a hand-built, dry­s­tone wall – an an­cient cul­ti­va­tion method for re­tain­ing wa­ter. Un­der the shade of the trees, two horses stamp their hooves, im­pa­tient for their own break­fast. ‘ This farm has be­longed to my fam­ily for gen­er­a­tions,’ '-0%'-1 1 71Ơ # 2',% ̭%1 1 &# *--)1 -32 -4#0 &'1 -*'4# groves. ‘In the past, peo­ple would spend en­tire sum­mers up here. Not many do that now, but I pre­fer the old way of life. To me, this place is par­adise.’ Known to the Ot­tomans as the ‘gar­den of the Aegean’, Lesvos is renowned through­out Greece for its olives, par­tic­u­larly the indige­nous va­ri­ety, kolovi. Around 10 mil­lion olive trees cover the is­land, many cen­turies old. Olive grow­ing has been a way of life on Lesvos since an­cient times, and like Gior­gios, most lo­cals still tend their fam­ily groves on the is­land’s rocky hills. #!#,2*7Ơ 2&#0# & 1 *1- ##, +-4# !) 2-5 0"1 -*"#0Ơ more sus­tain­able farm­ing prac­tices. ‘We have been on a jour­ney to re­learn the meth­ods of our fa­thers and grand­fa­thers,’ ex­plains Myrta Kalam­bokas, as she walks around her fam­ily’s or­chards at Eirini, the is­land’s top -0% ,'! -*'4# $ 0+Ơ (312 -321'"# *-+ 0'Ɵ Ư 2&#0 2& , re­ly­ing on chem­i­cals and pes­ti­cides, we now plant herbs ," 5'*"̮-5#01 2- #,!-30 %# .-**', 2'-,Ơ ," "312 2&# leaves to pre­vent dis­eases, just as peo­ple did a cen­tury ago. The qual­ity and taste of the olives is so much bet­ter. If we look af­ter na­ture, it looks af­ter us.’ In front of the farm’s fu­tur­is­tic, com­puter-con­trolled olive press, in­side a ren­o­vated stone barn, she tastes

Morning at the fish­ing port of Skala Kal­lo­nis on Lesvos’ cen­tral bay. ABOVE Olive farmer Gior­gios Elethe­riou

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