Yera, with its five villages overlooking its idyllic gulf, the gulf of olive grooves, is a splendid area lying at the southeastern border of Lesvos. A sixth settlement, Perama, which serves as a harbor to the other five villages, is laid out on a tree-clad lowland wherein lush orchards and flowing springs abound: in autumn, the plain is suffused with the colors of fruit-bearing pomegranates and quince trees, while in springtime the singing of the midnight nightingale is wafted in the still of the night.
The century-long history of Ye
ra is lost into time. In the course of the Roman era, a coastal town, under the name Yera, was laid out in the area of Halatses, and was eventually devastated by seismotectonic process by the 1st century AD. Archaeological finds come to uphold this historical information. In all probability, following this calamity, settlements were established from the coastal zone of the gulf in the ensuing years. From various historical testimonies, it transpires that Skopelos and Mesagros are the older villages.
Yera having received influences during the Genoese domination in Lesvos, subsequently came under the rule of Ottoman Turks.

The early years of this period must have been very difficult. However, a sort of equilibrium was later achieved, allowing for a peaceful coexistance between the Ottomans and the greek inhabitants who actually came to prevail in the economic and the social domain towards the end of the Ottoman occupation. In addition, the greek Orthodox Church managed to preserve intact and inviolate the traditions and mores of the Greek culture.
ng the final years of the Ottoman rule, as well as in the period between the world wars, the region witnessed an era of significant development, a reality manifested by the industrial units established a that time, such as, oil presses and factories, tanneries, soapmaking factories and enterprises focusing on the trade of olive oil and its by-products. The port of Perama was bustling with commercial activity, with several companies of Yera had established branch offices in Constantinople, Egypt and in other countries of Europe.

 Mansions situated in the villages also come to denote the prosperity experienced in those days. Wealth, nevertheless, was concentrated by a restricted number of individuals, land owners and merchants for the most part, while the majority of people who toiled in the fields, in harsh conditions, lived on the poverty line. One should not be oblivious of the positive impact exerted on the region by the Greeks of Asia Minor who after being incorporated to the population of Yera in the wake of 1922, gave a considerable boost to the era's development.
The years of the German Occupation were also a trying period for the inhabitants of Yera. After the 1950's, the economic recession and the general lack of employment drove many young people to seek a more favorable life outside their country's barriers, mainly in Germany, the United States and Australia. A great many of them were assimilated into the population of Athens.

The emigrants of Yera have prospered financially and many among them have excelled in the scientific field. In recent years, immigration to the greek capital and abroad has declined and a tendency for repatriation has been largely observed.
Many of the old customs and manners have been preserved by the people of Yera while the local dialect- although on the wane in many other regions of Greece- has been kept alive in this area.

The local inhabitants are generally known for their hospitality, wit and sense of humor, the latter chiming in perfectly with their vernacular. Although the love for one's birthplace is a commonly shared feeling among Greeks, it is more intensely experienced by the people of Yera. Perhaps it is the alluring natural scenery of this unique place that arouses such a feeling.



The Vrana mansion in Papados, family house of Od. Elyti's mother.

 The family roots of the poet arectraced to Yera. Nowadays, the mansion houses the area's Town Hall.

In the large, cool square of Skopelos, stands a fountain made of local blue marble, built in 1813.

The pleasant cool and aroma of the planes overhanging the square afford an agreeable shade and invite visitors to indulge in a cup of coffee in one of the Kafenia( coffee shops) that line it.

The underground catacombs, the Lagoumia, of Saint Magdalene in Skopelos, lead to the rock of Agiasma, wherefrom the holy water trickles. The festival of Saint Magdalene is celebrated in a glorious atmosphere in July..

People from every part of the island flock to it, and many are the events which take place in honor of the saint.

The Fountain of the Palea Kato Agora (old Lower Market) of Skopelos, constructed in 1911, is made of marble that was transported from Taslik. The Turkish inscription which is still preserved today reads: "brothers sharing the same religious faith, clubbed together to bring water to this fountain.

May their souls plunge in the waters of the Meliritos River This is what love and piece can achieve". The inscription is written in verse in archaic Turkish. The information on the translation into Greek was provided by the pharmacist and folklore poet Mr. S. Evangelinos.

Painter Theophillos adorned the walls of this old bakery, situated in the Region of Mesagros.

Many local people remember that Theophillos was asking to paint the small coffee shops in order to earn a loaf of bread in reward.



Perama is the harbor of Gera. In the past its bustling quayside was flooded with barrels of olive oil rolled by porters down to the berth, where ships awaited their cargo. Vessels were calling at Perama discharging hosts of goods: melons and watermelons, legumes, onions, bales of hay for the cattle in winter, earthenware jugs and large cooking-pots.

 Since the automobile was an inexistent commodity at the time, those who wished to go to Mytilini boarded, along with their livestock, spacious barges, propelled by oars and sails, and crossed over to Kandouridia and Akoth.

 Wholesale stores abounded in a region of Perama, thus, attracting a great number of people who rode down from the upper villages on mules, donkeys or horses.
The latter, partly covered with colorful woven rugs, were usually stabled at the khans, wh
ich functioned as a "parking area" at the time.

 At the left tip of the harbor, lied the old fish market, the balouhanas, a wooden building supported by wooden piles driven dip into the bottom of the sea. Boats were moored underneath the platform and fish was carried up through a trapdoor in the building's wooden floor. Fishermen woold load their donkeys with crates of fish and set out for the nearby villages, roving through the lanes and pedding their haul.

Today the wooden balouhanas no longer exists. At its site, a small taverna operates. The vividly painted caiques have given way to ferry boats, just as donkeys have been replaced by vehicles and the local grocer's shops have been superseded by supermarkets.

As for the transportation of the olive oil, it is nowadays pumped into sanitary tank-trunks. Perama still sustains its charm against a backdrop of beautiful old buildings. The harbor accommodates today larger ships and the area grows busier during the peak tourist season, i.e. in the summer.

The intense religious feeling of the people becomes manifest in every part of the region: the lowlands, the hillside villages and olive groves, as well as seaside areas, are dotted with picturesque chapels inviting passers-by in. Many of them bear preexistent architectural parts for they were built on the same site paleo- Christian churches were once erected.

The church of Saint Nikolaou, patron saint of the sailors is dominated by Mt Oros. In winter its peaks are lacerated by thunders and the sea rages. Yet, the Saint watches over seamen sailing in open sea.



Yera Gulf

The Gulf of Yera has always been and still is the area'a soul and breath. Today, the life of its inhabitants continues to be inextricably associated with it. Known to the old Aegean seamen as a secure natural shelter for vessels, the bay of Yera functioned as a heaven for the Allied fleet in World War I. Perama, the harbor of Yera, was the area's gateway to the financial worlds of the East and West.

The gulf is endowed with a rich natural scenery. Elefterios Venizelos utterly charmed when he first beheld it, said that the bay was not any less enchanting than the lake of Geneva. The ancient sacred town that was once laid out here, Iera, lies deep beneath the water, and has probably lend its name to the area.
Apart from its grear natural beauty, the bay is also renowed for its abundant tasty fish and other seafood. Aparticular species, koutdomoura, has been famed for its excellent taste since Roman times. The fishermen of Yera, who also engage in farming at the olive plantations, have their dwellings and small fishinf harbors in the scenic areas of Evriaki, Marmaros, Pyrgi and Avlona.  The life of the local fishermen both at sea and ashore is toilsome, yet, bears a romantic character.
The mouth of the bay, similar to fiord, commands an entrancing view to the sea, with islets standing sentinel acroos the channel and silvery olive trees reaching down to the shoreline. On the right, exiting the bay, lies the area of Katsinia, where the taliani, a traditional  fishing method, has beeb practiced for over a century.

Sailing rightwards, leaving Katsinia behibd and bypassing the imposing, steep rocky mass of Oros, the islands of Myrsinion come to the view. Further beyond, the superb coves of silia, Ligonari, Tarti, Tsafi, Fara and Yialiotissa can be seen.