Annual Womens’ Festival on Lesvos Island Kicks Off

22118281_eresos_skala_00aMore than 1,000 women from all over the world gathered in Eresos village, on the Greek island of Lesvos, on Saturday for the 16th Women’s Festival held every September.

The festival will run until September 17, offering various events such as sunset cruises, boat trips to hot springs, beach volleyball, workshops, Greek dance classes, film screenings, women-only walks, live music, DJs and more.

The festival started in 2000 by “Sappho Travel” agency. The owner of the travel agency, Ioana Savva, told ERT radio that this year there was concern that attendance would be lower because of the thousands of refugees stranded on the island. However, she said, arrivals turned out to be higher than anticipated and the festival seems to show a record attendance.

Characteristically, Savva said, all hotels and rooms in Eresos are booked and attendees have found accommodations in nearby villages. She noted that the festival attendees are sensitive to the refugee issue.

Eresos is about 90 km away from Mytiline, the island’s capital. It has a permanent population of about 1,200, with lots more added every summer. Eresos has a rich tradition in arts and literature with its economy based on agriculture and tourism. It also has a 2.5 km long sandy beach with clear blue waters that make it one of Lesvos’s top tourist spots.

Eresos is considered to be the birthplace Sappho, the great poet of antiquity. Since the end of the 1970s, a fairly large number of lesbian women have started visiting the village, which has become known as a meeting point for lesbian women from all over the world during the summer.