Petra is Greek for "rock" and the resort is overlooked by the church of Panagia Glykofilousa (Virgin Mary of the Sweet Kiss) built in 1747 and perched on a 30 metre high rock outcrop.
Petra has grown into one of the major tourist resorts of Lesvos with a traffic-free village centre and bars and tavernas along the main beachfront.
Petra has a long and deep beach of coarse sand and pebble backed by shady tamarisk trees and with showers, changing cabins and volleyball.
The village is packed with shops, hotels and tavernas along narrow streets and cobbled yards that make the old part of Petra similar to nearby Molyvos.
Alleyways are lined with impressive neoclassical houses noted for their decorative rails and gates. The Turkish family mansion of Vareltzithenais is a good example of 19th century architecture and it's open to the public.
The Feast of Petra on August 15 is an important date in the island calendar whem villagers lead a bull around the streets before killing it for the traditional 'keskeki' dish celebrations in the village square.
The Agios Nikolaos chapel has some 16th century frescoes and the icon of Panagia Glycofilousa is believed to perform miracles.
In summer there are daily excursions to the nearby islets of Agios Georgios and Psiras and there are buses to Eftalou and Anaxos.