The Municipality of Petra is situated to the northwest part of the island. It is consisted of the villages of Petra, of Lafiona, of Skoutaro, of Stypsi, of Ypsilometopo and of the summer resorts of Anaxos and Petri.
This Municipality is 55 kilometers from Mytilene. Petra is a seaside village built in the middle of a green plain, which according to tradition, it was the Achilles’ anchorage during the war of Troy. Before we take down the hill, on our way to Petra, we have the chance to admire the view over the village facing the open sea, decorated by the wide beach, the rich vegetation, the cultivations of the villagers and the chapel of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the “Glykofilousa”, situated on the top of a high rock in the middle of the village.
During the last years, the village of Petra has been developed in a modern summer resort. In the summer, a lot of tourists visit this place, which is the “centre of amusement” with a lot of bars, taverns and restaurants. In the village of Petra, the visitor will find also a branch of the Greek Organism of Telecommunications, banks, a public clinic, a veterinary, cars and bicycles to let. Just opposite the beach of Petra there are three isolated islands.
The biggest of them is called the island of St George. Caiques and fish boats that start from the port of Petra make regular trips to those islands. The visitor has the possibility to organize excursions and to spend the night in the open air. In Petra he will have his portrait made. He can either make sports or go for shopping.
Petra is the country of many personalities of the art and letters. Among them, we distinguish Neokli Kazazi, Thrasyvoulo Stavrou, K. Frilingo and Oresti Kanelli. The ancient (Greek) graves that were found at the position Keramidaria at a distance of 600 metres from the village prove that this place has been inhabited in the past. We have also found coins of the Roman era, Byzantine relieves, a two headed eagle surrounded by a wall in the yard of the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary and frescos of the 16th century in the church of St Nikolaos. During the 17th century, the fact that Petra was a high-developed place in the domain of commerce and culture attracted the rapacious interest of the French pirate Hugus de Crevellier, who in 1675 terrifies the islands of Aegean. In the same year, during March, in one night he managed together with 800 pirates to conquest the village of Petra. After the pillage he took with him 500 inhabitants as slaves.
The greatest and brightest religious festival of the village in August 15th every year is the religious festival dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. This festival is the most important event at least to the northeast part of the island. From every part of Lesvos We will see believers coming to the Blessed Virgin Mary to honour her sake. Popular dances and songs at the central square of the village accompany this celebration.
Despite the pillage of the whole village, the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary as well as all the other churches in the village of Petra escaped the destruction. This is probably due to the fact that the pirates were Christians.
The village of Petra, like the whole island, did not escape the Turkish enslavement. On the 4th of December in 1912, three warships of the Greek fleet, Athenai, Mycali and Esperis into co-ordination with the Greek army of Mytilene liberated the village of Petra and beaten the Turkish army on the hill of Clapados (680).
The commander in chief of the three Greek warships that anchored in the port of Petra was the Admiral Koundoriotis. The Turkish army surrendered unconditionally, in the morning of the 8th December in 1912. From the village of Petra, we have the possibility to visit the other villages of the Municipality of Petra, which are especially picturesque.