To join The Talking Table, you have to travel to the picturesque village of Molyvos on the island of Lesbos. The journey there is part of the experience. Here is some advice on the various options you have.
Once you have booked your seat at The Talking Table you will receive a detailed travel information pack.
Lesbos is a Greek island in the north-eastern Aegean Sea close to Turkey. You can travel there from Athens, via Turkey or even directly from certain European cities.
Flights via Athens
If you decide to travel via Athens you have a few options to reach the island.
The first is flying here via Athens Elefthérios Venizélos International Airport. Aegean Airlines and Olympic Airlines service the island daily with four direct flights. You fly from Athens to the Lesbos capital, Mytilene. The flying time is 50 minutes. It is an internal flight so no passport checks or customs. If you arrive from outside Greece at Athens airport, you have to clear customs and immigrations there.
Aegean Airlines also has a direct flight to the island from Thessaloniki, Greece’s second city. Take note these are not daily.
Sky Express Airlines allow you to island hop from certain island airports to Lesbos. Check their website for details.
There are also a number of international airlines that have direct flights to the island. Transavia flies from Amsterdam, Air Berlin from Munich, Niki Air from Vienna, TUI Airline and Correndon from Amsterdam, and Thomas Cook from the UK and Copenhagen.
You also have the option of traveling to the island by ferry. The ferries leave for the island from Piraeus. Piraeus is the port of Athens and easily reached by train, metro and bus from the city.
From the airport you take bus no X96 to Piraeus. The trip takes about an hour. Be patient, the bus stops everywhere! But you get to see a little bit of Athens.
The metro stop is Piraeus and various buses leave from the centre of Athens to Piraeus.
You can also take a taxi, but expect to pay more.
There are various ferry lines operating from Piraeus to Lesbos. The most regular ones are Hellenic Seaways, Blue Star Ferries and the Nel lines. In summer they operate daily.
If you want to book a ferry, use these links and choose your ferry: http://www.ferries.gr/ or http://www.viva.gr/. You have various options of traveling on the ferry, the cheapest being a deck ticket, up to choosing a cabin. Take note, single women and single men cannot share a cabin.
If you are island hopping, it might not be possible to connect directly to Lesbos from where you are. Most likely you will have to go back to Piraeus and catch the ferry to Lesbos. But please check with us for more details.
Then there is the option of traveling via Istanbul. The beautiful city on the Bosporus has two huge airports that are serviced by most international airlines. Turkish Airlines has flights to most cities in the world, which makes Istanbul a popular choice as a stopover.
From Istanbul you have to go to the city of Ayvalik, right across the Strait of Mytilene from the Lesbos capital. You have various choices again: You can fly from the second airport Sabiha Gokchen to the airport of Edremit Koca Seyit, also known as Balkesir Edremit. Sabiha Gokchen is on the eastern side of Istanbul. To get there you can take a bus from Taksim square and there are regular shuttles from Istanbul’s main airport, Ataturk. Take note that it takes about two hours to drive across the city from its European to its Asian side.
The two budget airlines we recommend are Borajet and Pegasus Airlines. The Edremit airport is about 40 minutes by bus from Ayvalik, but included in the air ticket is a free transfer by bus to Ayvalik.
You can also fly directly from Ataturk airport to Izmir, Turkey’s second city. From there it is a two and a half hour bus ride to Ayvalik.
If you want to travel more slowly, you can take the bus from Istanbul to Ayvalik. It takes about 8 hours and you have a choice between various operators. We recommend Kamilkoc. Other operators are Varan, Ulusoy, and Pamukkale.
If you are taking your time you can rent a car in Istanbul and drive at your leisure down to Ayvalik. Book a day for this trip, as you might like to stop at sights like ancient Troy.
Once you have arrived in Ayvalik you must take the ferry to Lesbos. In summer – June to end September – the ferries leave twice a day and you can choose between two operators – Turyol Ferries and Jale. Here is a useful link for bookings from Ayvalik to Lesbos: http://www.feribot.net/feribot/ayvalik_lesvos_ferries/. This is a short ferry ride that takes about an hour and a half.
Arriving in Lesbos
Once you have arrived in Mytilene, the capital of Lesbos in the southeast, you still have to get to our village in the north. It is about one hour’s drive by car. We will provide you with more detail about your transfer from the airport or port to The Talking Table once you have made a booking.
Since we are living on an island, arriving by sea is always an option. Molyvos is a popular harbour for the yachting fraternity. So sailing into the bay of Molyvos and laying eyes on the picturesque village the first time from the azure Aegean Sea is very possible. Let us know if you want to consider this and we will provide more information.
So it takes some effort to get here, but legend goes once you have arrived, you wouldn’t want to leave.
Καλώς όρισες (kalos orises)