Lesvos is not an easy destination to include in an island hopping itinerary.
Its size, and the distance of the main tourist centres from the port at Mitilene,
make it more suitable for an extended stay than a brief visit.
Its relative isolation in the north-eastern Aegean, away from the main island groups,
and the near monopoly until recently of the local ferry company NEL on routes to the mainland,
whose large ships are in any case unsuitable for quick turn-rounds in small ports,
only increases the problem for anyone hoping to visit other islands.
Apart from its daily Chios and Piraeus services from Mitilene,
NEL's summer schedule usually has two sailings a week
to Kavala and two to Thessaloniki.
All these call at Limnos on the outward and return voyages, and continue south to Chios and Samos.
In previous years Hellenic Seaways' six nights a week service to
Chios and Piraeus sometimes called at Mykonos or Syros,
and Blue Star Lines had a seasonal weekly service from Rhodes to Thessaloniki via Sigri.
Neither of these operated in 2011, and show no signs as yet of returning for 2012.
Finally, there are daily services to Ayvalik and Dikili in Turkey
These are operated by much smaller boats, (the larger of which has now been taken over by NEL),
and are mainly used for day excursions, but tickets are also available for normal travel.
Please note that all schedules are subject to change at short notice and we cannot promise to keep up.
Even the ferry companies' own websites are not necessarily up-to-date:
check with www.ferries.gr before making final plans.
They will almost certainly all have major changes,
or disappear completely for the winter, at the end of September.
Also, schedules can be disrupted by bad weather at any time of year
(what would be regarded as a slightly rough in the English Channel will,
under Greek government regulations, often keep Greek internal ferries in port)
Most ferry companies now offer some form of on-line booking,
but be aware that government regulations still insist that you obtain a
standard computer-produced ticket from the company's agents or port office.
There are one or two daily flights to Thessaloniki by Olympic and Aegean Airlines,
plus regular flights to and from Limnos, Chios, Samos, Rhodes, and Crete.