Eresos (Greek: Ερεσός) and its twin beach village Skala Eresou are located in the southwest part of the Greek island of Lesbos. They are charming villages visited by considerable number of tourists. Eressos and the adjacent village, Antissa, constitute the municipality Eresos-Antissa.
The municipality of Eresos–Antissa contains five other villages: Messotopos, Vatoussa, Hydira, Sigri and Pterounda located in the west and most barren part of the island. Bare rocky hills, derived from ancient volcanic activity, dominate the area. Skala Eressou is a centre for international tourism and is a favorite spot of Greek families, young people as well as gay women. With its long beautiful beach with dark volcanic sand and its crystal-clear unpolluted water, Skala Eressou was awarded Blue Flag status by the Foundation for Environmental Education.
Its history goes back to ancient times, the first Eressian known was the historian Phalias, ca. 650 BC. Sappho, the great lyric poetess was born there ca. 630 BC, as was Theophrastus, the successor of Aristotle and Father of Botany in the 4th century BC. It is remarkable that such a small provincial town could have produced such exceptional personalities.
Closer to the modern era, Eressos made the history books during the Greek War of Independence when Dimitris Papanikolis and his companions, Yiannis Patatoukos and Giorgos Kalafatis, burned a 76-cannon Turkish war ship in Eressos harbour on May 27, 1821. The ship was on its way to Peloponnesus, on the Greek mainland, to reinforce Turkish forces there.
Eressos in Literature
Eressos makes a brief appearance in the novel "Sure of You", the sixth volume in the series "Tales Of The City" by Armistead Maupin. In the chapter entitled "The Third Whale", Skala Eressou is described as a seaside town with concrete buildings and a beach of coarse gray sand. Some places in the town are described. These include the shop on the square where Mona found the key rings inscribed with the name "Sappho", the hotel called "Sappho the Eressian" where Mona stays in a spare, clean room with a single bed and a lone lamp, the big gray bluff at the end of the beach where more nude bathers were gathered, and the famous tents put up by the women who were part of Sappho's tribe.