Leros

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Photo Credits to Iannis

The Island of Artemis

Mediterranean Aromas and Beautiful Sceneries Under the Oasis of Tranquillity
An island embracing tradition with history through the tangle of times, an island of natural beauty with elements of the folklore and the historical influences harmonizing in a mysterious way. Leros is a mountainous island with a hilly morphology and a rugged coastline with low hills. The beautiful diversified landscapes of the island form a series of natural beauty sceneries with verdant valleys and secluded bays surrounded from imposing mountains. An island with a distinct aroma of the Mediterranean, an aura of authenticity and an oasis of tranquility possess a beautiful serene coastline with natural gulfs and hidden coves. You will be amazed from the unique architecture of Lakki and the colourful mansions of Agia Marina. When you will visit the square of Platanos and charming Pandeli you might feel like that time has stopped ticking from its incredible traditional beauty. The view from the imposing castle of Panagia and the six windmills might make you feel that you will never want to leave from Leros. All those places scattered though the island gives you a pleasant sentiment of an island where tradition, beauty and history harmonize in an interesting but strange way. One have to indulge in new pursuits beyond the mainstream and look with a different glance around so that he can remember what has been forgotten; to live and appreciate simple moments in a real treasure of unspoilt nature like Leros.Will you at least try to unveil Leros’ mysteries? Undoubtedly, your journey to Leros will surpass your expectations! Let the exploration begin!

Discover Leros

Best of Leros

The Capital of Leros

The Settlement of Agia Marina is a seaside village located on the east side of the island. Characterized as one of the most beautiful settlements of Leros, the charming settlement has a romantic atmosphere with whitewashed houses and colourful mansions that spread om the cobblestone waterfront alleys up to the settlement of Platanos. Actually, the settlements of Agia Marina, Pandeli and Platanos form the capital of Leros. One of the most important sights of the area is the byzantine fortress of Bourtzi along with the church of Agia Marina. The beautiful settlement is dominated from the imposing castle of Panagia on the hill of Apitiki offering panoramic views to the Aegean.

The Belleni Tower

The Belleni Tower is an exemplary sample of the Italian eclecticism with both Roman and Gothic architectural elements. The tower was built from Parisis Belenis, one of the Greek benefactors of Leros, in 1927. The folklore and historical museum and the press museum of the island are housed within the premises of the Belleni Tower.

The Castle of Pandeli

The Castle of Pandeli, else known as the castle of Panagia, is the trademark of Leros located above the village of Pandeli. The medieval fortress was built from the Byzantine emperor of Alexios Komnenos in the eleventh century and was given to Bishop Christodoulos along with the Monastery of Patmos. During the 13th century, the castle was occupied from the Knights of Saint John. Nowadays, the castle is one of the main monuments of the island standing proudly on the hill of Apitiki with panoramic views of the surrounding areas. Inside the castle, one can visit the church of Panagia, which is the most important pilgrimage centre of Leros.

The Monastery of Panagia Kastrou

The Monastery of Panagia Kastrou (Virgin Mary of the Castle) is the most important pilgrimage centre of the island located within the castle of Pandeli. It is an impressive monastery with white arches. The healing fames of the monastery are widespread all over the island of the Dodecanese. Next to the temple, one can visit an interesting ecclesiastical museum that exhibits valuable manuscripts and holy relics. The monastery celebrates in honour of the saint on August 15 and August 23.

The Tunnel War Museum of Leros

The Tunnel War Museum of Leros is a one the most interesting museums of Greece. The museum is housed in a military tunnel that was built from the Italians during the Second World War. The tunnel has been restored specifically for exhibiting the history of the island. Exhibits include guns, helmets, bombs, uniforms and visual material related to the battle of Leros. The museum is located in the area of Merikia of Lakki.

The Underwater Museum of Leros

Over the years, Leros has preserved historical “treasures” in the crystalline waters of the Aegean. Although these treasures are associated with the catastrophic consequences of the Second World War, the remains of the wrecks help the world remember and honour the heroic actions of the soldiers. The sea of the island has protected this memorabilia, a wealth of findings ready to be discovered. The wrecks of boats and planes that participated in the Battle of Leros in 1943 form an intriguing underwater museum. Some of these treasures include a wreck of a landing craft in the islet of Strongili, the wreck of a barge in the beach of Partheni, a shipwreck of bomber in the beach of Blefoutis, a shipwreck of the steamship of Ivorea in the harbour of Rina and the shipwreck of the torpedo ship Queen Olga in the harbour of Lakki. There are private diving centres in the island that can provide you with the appropriate equipment in order to explore the rich ecosystem of the seabed of Leros.

Archaeological Sites

The Ancient Paleokastro, else known as Castle of Lepidos, is the oldest castle of the island located above the village of Xirokambos. Paleokastro was built on the traces of an ancient acropolis dating back to 2.500 BC.  The most important monuments of the area include the remnants of a wall of Cyclopean construction of the Hellenistic period and traces of a series of houses built on the remains of the ancient acropolis of the island. During the Christian period, a basilica was on at the hilltop that has been replaced from a whitewashed chapel dedicated to Virgin Mary.

The Castle of Pandeli, else known as the castle of Panagia, is the trademark of Leros located above the village of Pandeli. The medieval fortress was built from the Byzantine emperor of Alexios Komnenos in the eleventh century and was given to Bishop Christodoulos along with the Monastery of Patmos. During the 13th century, the castle was occupied from the Knights of Saint John. Nowadays, the castle is one of the main monuments of the island standing proudly on the hill of Apitiki with panoramic views of the surrounding areas. Inside the castle, one can visit the church of Panagia, which is the most important pilgrimage centre of Leros.

The Temple of Artemis is located near the village of Partheni. According to testaments of ancient writers of Greece, the inhabitants of the island used to worship the goddess of Artemis on the northern coasts of Leros. The archaeological evidence confirms that the south side of the settlement of Partheni was indeed a place of worship to Artemis.

Churches and Monasteries

The Church of Agios Isidoros is one of the most beautiful chapels of Leros charm located on the north side of the bay of Gourna. The whitewashed chapel has been built on a rock fifty meters away from the land. The sunset from the church of Agios Isidoros should not be missed, as the astonishing colours is a great spectacle.

The Church of Panagia Kavouradena is located at a scenic spot among the rocks on the southeast side of the village of Xirokambos. According to tradition, a fisherman had been fishing for crabs when he suddenly found the icon of Virgin Mary between the crevices of the rock. The church was named after this story, as the name of the church means Virgin Mary of the Crabs. The church celebrates in honour of the saint on August 15.

The Church of Agia Kioura is located behind the bay of Partheni on the northern side of the island. Inside the church, one can admire numerous impressive wall paintings painted from political prisoners during dictatorship. These include Manolis Glezos, Antonis Karagiannis and Kyriakos Tsakiris. The Ministry of Culture declared the church of Agia Kioura as a historical monument.

The Church of Agia Marina is an impressive church located in the village of Agia Marina. Agia Marina is the patron saint of Leros. The church is distinguished for the beautiful façade and the two bell towers. The façade of the church was built with black rocks from the deserted isle of Levithia and the red rocks from the bay of Kryfo. The church celebrates in honour of the saint on the July 17.

The Monastery of Agioi Ageli is a beautiful monastery located between the areas of Drymonas and Kolouki. The monastery is a votive offering from the nun Gaviilia Papagiani who died in the area in 1922 after many years of humanitarian activity. The surrounding landscape offers panoramic views. The monastery celebrates in honour of the saint  on March 26 and September 6.

The Monastery of Agios Ioannis is byzantine monastery located in the village of Lakki. The monastery was built on the remnants of an early Christian church. Inside the church, one will have the opportunity to admire a series of impressive mosaics.

The Monastery of Panagia Kastrou (Virgin Mary of the Castle) is the most important pilgrimage centre of the island located within the castle of Pandeli. It is an impressive monastery with white arches. The healing fames of the monastery are widespread all over the island of the Dodecanese. Next to the temple, one can visit an interesting ecclesiastical museum that exhibits valuable manuscripts and holy relics. The monastery celebrates in honour of the saint on August 15 and August 23.

Monuments

The Belleni Tower is an exemplary sample of the Italian eclecticism with both Roman and Gothic architectural elements. The tower was built from Parisis Belenis, one of the Greek benefactors of Leros, in 1927. The folklore and historical museum and the press museum of the island are housed within the premises of the Belleni Tower.

The Flourmill of Leros is the trademark of the island located in the village of Agia Marina. It is one of the most significant attractions of Leros.

The War Memorial of Queen Olga commemorates the attack of the German bombers on the ship of Queen Olga during the Second World War. The ship was sunk in the Gulf of Lakki on September of 1943. The war memorial is located at the waterfront of Lakki. Every September 26, the three day memorial service along with a memorial parade takes place in memory of the sinking of Queen Olga.

Museums

The Archaeological Museum of Leros is housed within a neoclassical building in the village of Agia Marina. The museum exhibits a wide collection of findings including coins, inscriptions, mosaics, reliefs and tombstones from the history of the island. It should be noted that the museum was built at the expense of the Lerian Brotherhood of Cairo.

The Ecclesiastical Museum of Leros is housed within the castle of Pandeli. The museum exhibits a collection of rare manuscripts and religious icons along with an interesting book collection.

The Folklore and Historical Museum of Leros is housed within the Belleni Tower in the village of Alinda. The museum exhibits folklore elements of the island including traditional costumes, musical instruments and ecclesiastical woodcarvings. During the summer, a series of cultural events takes place at the courtyard.

The Municipal Library of Leros is housed in the neoclassical building of the Town Hall at the square of the village of Platanos. The library exhibits a rich collection of books, manuscripts and codes and an interesting historical archive.

The Press Museum of Leros is one of the most interesting museums of Leros. The museum exhibits old press machinery and printed material reminding the progress that took place in the field of Printing and Press in Greece from the fifteenth century. The museum is housed within the Belleni Tower in the village of Alinda.

The Tunnel War Museum of Leros is a one the most interesting museums of Greece. The museum is housed in a military tunnel that was built from the Italians during the Second World War. The tunnel has been restored specifically for exhibiting the history of the island. Exhibits include guns, helmets, bombs, uniforms and visual material related to the battle of Leros. The museum is located in the area of Merikia of Lakki.

Promenades & Villages

Agia Marina is a seaside village located on the east side of the island. Characterized as one of the most beautiful settlements of Leros, the charming settlement has a romantic atmosphere with whitewashed houses and colourful mansions that spread om the cobblestone waterfront alleys up to the settlement of Platanos. Actually, the settlements of Agia Marina, Pandeli and Platanos form the capital of Leros. One of the most important sights of the area is the byzantine fortress of Bourtzi along with the church of Agia Marina. The beautiful settlement is dominated from the imposing castle of Panagia on the hill of Apitiki offering panoramic views to the Aegean.

Alinda is a seaside village located on the northeast side of the island. The charming settlement has a traditional character with whitewashed houses and flowery courtyards built around the natural bay of Agia Marina. Alinda is blessed with vegetation of olive and pine trees. One of the most important sights of the area is Belleni Tower. This is an exemplary sample of the Italian eclecticism with both Roman and Gothic architectural elements that houses the folklore museum and the press museum of the island. The sunset from the church of Agios Isidoros should not be missed, as the astonishing colours is a great spectacle. It is also worth visiting the settlement of Krithoni in order to admire the traditional houses and the well preserved mansions.

Lakki is the harbour of Leros located on the southwest side of the island. The port of Lakki is considered to be one of the safest harbours of the Mediterranean. The charming settlement consists from neoclassical buildings and exemplary samples of the Italian architecture. Lakki is actually a fine example of urban architecture blending the exquisite architectural style of modern Rationalism, Art Deco and Bauhaus style. The harbour of Lakki hosts a plethora of modern installations for sailboats and yachts. It is worth visiting the Tunnel War Museum of Leros, one the most interesting museums of Greece. The museum is housed in a military tunnel that was built from the Italians during the Second World War. The tunnel has been restored specifically for exhibiting the history of the island.

Pandeli is a seaside village located on east side of the island. It is one of the oldest villages of the island. The charming settlement has an authentic character with traditional houses and fishing boats spreading around the natural bay. Traditional houses stretch from the natural bay up to the charming settlement of Platanos. Actually, the settlements of Agia Marina, Pandeli and Platanos form the capital of Leros. The enchanting landscape of the area creates a relaxing atmosphere dominated from the imposing castle of Panagia on the hill of Apitiki. There, one can admire panoramic views to the Aegean.

Platanos is a traditional village located on the east side of the island. This village along with Agia Marina and Pandeli constitute the capital of the island. Platanos is the cultural and historical center of Leros. Neoclassical buildings and historical monuments embellish the charming settlement that has managed to retain its traditional character.  The main spot of the village is the lively square of Roussos with its huge plane tree. It is worth ascending to the impressive castle of Pandeli to admire the views!

Xirokambos is a seaside village located on the southern side of the island. The charming settlement spreads around a fertile valley with almond, cypresses and olive tress. On the top of the adjacent hill, one can visit the ruins of Paleokastro that constitutes the oldest fortification of Leros. It is also worth visiting the charming church of Panagia Kavouradena. The wine festival takes place in the village every August.

Sunset Spots

Spot: Church of Agios Isidoros, Northeast Leros

Spot: Castle of Panagia, East Leros

Spot: Village of Agia Marina, East Leros

Spot: Village of Lakki, West Leros

Excursions

Boat Trip: The Island of Kalymnos is an island with rare natural beauty strongly tied with myths and adventures combines the charm of the wild mountainous landscapes with the authentic hospitality. Characterized as the island of sponge for its long tradition in sea sponge harvesting, Kalymnos is an island with sceneries of virgin natural beauty. If you observe it from a distance, Kalymnos resembles a brownish and reddish rock emerging from the dark blue waters of the Aegean. Undoubtedly, Kalymnos is ready to excite every imagination! The beauty of Kalymnos is exceptional. The unique geomorphology of the island is blessed with sceneries of bare mountainous, steep slopes, imposing rocky formations, giant vertical rocks and volcanic valleys. Blessed with the finest of wild nature, Kalymnos is surely a natural climbing field! Hosting more than 1300 climbing tracks, Kalymnos is a paradise for rock climbers. However, the surprises are not yet uncovered! The rich marine life of Kalymnos hides outstanding cape slopes, underwater caves, ancient shipwrecks, vibrant colour reefs and a thriving aquatic life! Proud for the authenticity of its island character, Kalymnos is waiting for you to discover her million beauties!

Boat Trip: The Island of Lipsi  is a miniature archipelago of deserted islands and rocky reefs. Scattered pieces of land in the Aegean form the utopia of Lipsi. Emitting an atmosphere of tranquillity and calmness, the mysterious island of Lipsi invites you to explore its beautiful sceneries. Lipsi is a well-kept secret, a buried hidden treasure and a hideaway escape in the Aegean waiting for you to discover it. The authentic character of the island is evident from the colours of the traditional houses painted in the shades of white and blue retaining the traditional identity of the Aegean. If you are pursuing in walking in labyrinthine alleys of a tiny settlement and discovering sheltered bays and coves with turquoise waters under the reflections of the glittering rays of the sun, this is the place for you. Whatever Lipsi might lack in size, it replenishes in landscapes and colours; besides they say less is more.  An island embracing the value of tranquillity is ready to give you unforgettable memories, a place where beauty, nature and tradition harmonize in a very special way.

Boat trip: The Island of Patmos is waiting to reveal her true beauty to you embellished with exceptional charming bays, dreamlike seashores and breathtaking landscapes. It is said that a place dominated from monasteries is a place of exceptional natural beauty. So is Patmos. The charming capital of the island is one of the most beautiful villages of the Aegean. Whitewashed houses and well preserved mansions, cobblestone alleys and beautiful squares are crowned from the greyish walls of the fortified monastery, as the colours alter from the dazzling light of the sun of the Aegean and as though a formidable energy runs through the alleys of Patmos. Old doors and blooming gardens in every corner of the island hide a real surprize of unparalleled beauty. The natural beauty sceneries of Patmos alternate with small valleys and impressive cliffs rising like castles amongst the slopes of the hills in an effort to surpass the unique beauty of the fortified monastery by creating an amazing constant with the whitewashed colours of the Aegean architecture. In the absolute silence of the sacred places of the island of the Apocalypse, pilgrims come to meditate in order to find the answers in their souls. The soul of Patmos has a distinctive allure and a tempting charisma of tranquility to magnetize you with its unrevealed beauties. Are you ready to get inspired?

Activities

Bicycling: The countryside of Leros is an ideal place for cycling lovers. There are numerous bicycle rentals on the island where you can rent a bicycle and discover the beaches and villages of Destination.

Diving: The varied coastline of Leros offers numerous exciting explorations for diving enthusiasts. Leros as preserved historical “treasures” in the crystalline waters of the Aegean. Although these treasures are associated with the catastrophic consequences of the Second World War, the remains of the wrecks help the world remember and honour the heroic actions of the soldiers. The sea of the island has protected this memorabilia, a wealth of findings ready to be discovered. The wrecks of boats and planes that participated in the Battle of Leros in 1943 form an intriguing underwater museum. Some of these treasures include a wreck of a landing craft in the islet of Strongili, the wreck of a barge in the beach of Partheni, a shipwreck of bomber in the beach of Blefoutis, a shipwreck of the steamship of Ivorea in the harbour of Rina and the shipwreck of the torpedo ship Queen Olga in the harbour of Lakki. There are private diving centres in the island that can provide you with the appropriate equipment in order to explore the rich ecosystem of the seabed of Leros.

Hiking: Leros hosts numerous paths ideal for lovers of hiking. (1) One of the most beautiful routes starts from the village of Platanos, passes through the church of Agia Paraskevi and leads to the imposing castle of Leros with panoramic views over the surrounding area. (2) Another interesting trail includes the one that starts from the village of Lakki, heads towards the area of Temenia and the beautiful cove of Lepides, and leads to the village of Xirokambos. From there, one can continue to the archaeological site of Paleokastro. (3) It is also worth following the route that starts from the War Museum, passes through the chapel of Agios Zaharias and leads to the chapel of Prophet Elias. There, you will have the opportunity to admire one of the best views of the island. Discover the hiking paths of Leros from the Official Website of Leros.

Sailing: Leros is one of the best destinations for sailing enthusiasts. The surrounding area hides many surprises, since the great marine area includes numerous beautiful isles including Archangelos to the north, Mikro and Megalo Livadi to the northeast and Levithia, Kinaros and Glaros to the west. The island of Archangelos is an ideal anchor for swimming, as it has three beautiful sandy beaches. To the west, one will find the isles of Strongili and Tripiti with emerald waters to swim. However, keep in mind that there are many reefs. It is also worth visiting the isle of agia Kyriaki opposite the village of Pandeli. The sunset from here is really worth seeing. To the south between Leros and Kalymnos, there are three isles including Mikro Glaronisi, Megalo Glaronisi and Velona with dangerous reefs, so be careful. In the coves of Agios Nikolaos and Vagia, you will find two beautiful pebbled beaches ideal for isolation. The two marinas of Lakki provide one of the greatest anchorages in the Dodecanese, as it is considered to be one of the safest harbours in the Mediterranean protected from all weather conditions. However, there is a thermal wind, known as boukadoura, which you have to take into consideration if you are offshore. Other anchorages include the cove of Alinda protected from south and southwest winds, the cove of Kalo Pigadi in Partheni protected from all weather conditions and the cove of Pandeli that is protected from the northern winds.

Beaches

Alinda is a long sandy beach with crystal clear waters located on the northeast side of the island. It is the longest beach of Leros. Alinda is well organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas, water sport facilities and fish taverns.

Agia Kioura is a sandy and pebbled beach with turquoise waters located on the north side of the island. It is one of the most scenic beaches of the island ideal for those seeking for seclusion.

Agios Spiridonas is pebbled cove with crystal clean waters located on the southwest side of the island. The beach is ideal for those looking for seclusion and tranquillity.

Blefoutis is a sandy beach with azure waters and tamarisk trees located on the north side of the island. It is one of the most isolated beaches of the island ideal for those looking for seclusion.

Dio Liskaria is a long sandy and pebbled beach with crystal clean waters located on the northeast side of the island. The beach is well organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas, beach bars and fish taverns.

Gourna is a long sandy beach with crystal clear waters located on the west side of the island. The beach is secluded ideal for those looking for total privacy. Close to the beach, there are some taverns and mini markets.

Kryfos is a scenic pebbled cove with turquoise waters located on the northeast side of the island. Although the beach is only accessible by boat, it is one of the most beautiful beaches of Leros.

Merikia is a sandy beach with crystal clean waters and tamarisk trees located on the southwest side of the island. It is one of the most naturist beaches of the island ideal for those seeking for tranquillity.

Pandeli is a sandy and pebbled beach with crystal clean waters located on the shoreline of the homonymous village. It is a well organized beach with numerous amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas, beach bars and fish taverns.

Vromolithos is a long sandy beach with crystal clean waters located on the east side of the island. The beach is well organized with numerous amenities including sunbeds and umbrellas, beach bars and fish taverns.

Xirokambos is a long sandy beach with blue waters and tamarisk trees located on the south side of the island. The beach offers panoramic views of the surrounding areas. Numerous diving centres operate in the area.

Coffee Corners, Gastronomic Delights and Cocktails Inspirations

Coffee Corners

Enalaktikon Cafe: Coffee, Agia Marina

Glykia Leros 1897: Pastries, Panteli

Leriaki Leshi: Coffee, Platanos Square

Paradosiako: Pastries, Agia Marina

Repapis: Pastries, Lakki

To Paradosiako: Pastries, Agia Marina

Το Theiko: Pastries, Platanos

Gastronomic Delights

Apostolis Taverna Psaropoula: Seafood, Pandeli

Aloni: Greek Cuisine, Xirokambos

Dimitris o Karaflas: Greek Cuisine, Spilia

Mylos: Seafood, Agia Marina

Ouzeri o Sotos: Seafood, Drymonas

Petrino: Greek Cuisine, Lakki

Prima Plora: Mediterannean Cuisine, Alinda

Cocktails Inspirations

Apothiki: Cocktails and Drinks, Agia Marina

Castello: Cocktails and Drinks, Pandeli

Faros: Cocktails and Drinks, Agia Marina

Meltemi: Cocktails and Drinks, Agia Marina

Morano: Cocktails and Drinks, Lakki

Palatino: Cocktails and Drinks, Alinda

Savana: Cocktails and Drinks, Agia Marina

Thalassa: Cocktails and Drinks, Agia Marina

Local Products & Specialties

The local products of the island include fish, cheeses, mizithra and tsitsiri, gavafes, an Egyptian tropical fruit only found in Leros, honey, spoon sweet of grape, quince and tomato.

The local specialties of the island include soumada, an almond refreshment drink, goat in lemon sauce, stuffed cabbage, cheese pies, koukouvades, a dish made with marinated fish with rosemary, smoked octopus, fried mussels, kakavia, a fish soup, sea urchins and fouskes, a type of seafood, patsavouropita, a syrup sweet, xerotigana and pougakia, a local sweet with almond.

Events & Festivals

Every spring, the Carnival of Leros takes place at the beach of Lakki. The carnival is distinguished for the colored costumes and masques, known as kamouseles, its lively atmosphere and the beautiful parade.

Every summer, the National Championship of Inflatable Boats takes place in Leros.

Every 17th of July, the traditional celebration in honour of Agia Marina takes place in the village of Agia Marina. This is the biggest traditional celebration of Leros held in honour of the patron saint of the island.

Every 25th of July, the Alonaris Festival takes place in the area of Gourna. The festival hosts the representation of traditional threshing followed from a local traditional dancing feast.

Every 15th of August, the traditional celebration in honour of Virgin Mary takes place in the Church of Panagia Kastrou. This is one of the most important traditional celebrations of Leros.

Every 27th of August, the Wine Festival takes place in the village Xirokambos. The feast is followed from traditional music, dance and food.

Every August, the Alindia Nautical Games take place in the village Alinda. The festival hosts numerous athletic games held on the first ten days of August.

Every August, the Drymonas Festival takes place at the beach of Drymonas. The festival includes the culinary festival of the Lerian cuisine followed from an abundance of wine and music.

Every September, the Fishermen Festival takes place in the village of Pandeli. The festival is followed from traditional music, dance and food.

Evert 26th of September, the Commemoration of the Sinking of Queen Olga takes place in the island of Leros. The festival hosts a series of cultural events for three days.

History & Mythology

Mythology

According to mythology, Leros was the island of the goddess of hunting who visited the island regularly to hunt. Actually, the remnants of a sanctuary testify the worship to Artemis.

History

Historical findings show that the island was inhabited since the Neolithic period. As a member of the Athenian Alliance, Lerians supported the Athenians during the Peloponnesian War while later on the island fell under the dominance of the Spartans. Leros experienced cultural development under the political influence of the leading city of Miletus during the 5th century. The presence of the Macedonians is visible from the fact that the liberation of the island from the Persians is attributed to the Macedonians. During the Byzantine years, Leros was enriched from beautiful examples of church architecture and fortification walls that can be seen up until today. In 1314, Leros was dominated from the Knights of St John of Rhodes until 1522 when the Ottomans conquered the area of the Aegean. However, Lerians were the first who contributed to the Greek Revolution. Throughout the Italian occupation of the Dodecanese, a series of military facilities were built owing to its strategic geographical position by transforming Leros in one of the most important Italian aerial and nautical bases while Lakki, the harbour of the island, was transformed in a new pioneer city with unique architecture and modern infrastructure. During the Second World War, Leros experienced one of the greatest battles in the Mediterranean after an aerial bombardment from the Germans resulting to their victory. The island was freed upon the liberation of the Dodecanese to the British and the Greeks; after a short period of British occupation, Leros was reunited to the rest of Greece in March of 1948.

Travel & Transport

By Air: Leros has a national airport operating flights on a daily basis from the International Airport of Athens. The journey usually lasts from thirty to forty five minutes. Book your tickets with AirTickets.com!

By Boat (196 Nautical Miles): Leros is accessible by boat from the harbour Piraeus. The journey lasts from nine to eleven hours. Leros is also connected with the islands of Agathonisi, Arki, Lipsi, Kos, Patmos and Rhodes amongst others. Book your tickets with FerriesinGreece.com !

Mysterious Greece Tips

An Excursion to the Islands of Arki and Lipsi

Arki: Emerald, Sapphire and Turquoise Waters

Dry land, rocky terrain and exceptional beauty. Arki is blessed with the finest of nature! It is a well-kept secret, a buried hidden treasure and a hideaway escape in the Aegean waiting for you to discover it. The pristine sceneries creates a mysterious contrast with the deep blue of the sea shadowed from rich combinations of colours surrounded from low and bushy vegetation. Nature is the absolute master in Arki, as the virgin landscapes overtake the three quarters of the terrain! Whatever Arki might lack in size, it replenishes in landscapes and colours; besides they say less is more. A journey to Arki will remain unforgettable! Are you ready to find a special sense of liberation in the rhythms of nature?

Lipsi: Travelling to Virgin Sceneries and Deserted Beaches of the 1950s

Scattered pieces of land in the Aegean, a miniature archipelago of deserted islands and rocky reefs form the utopia of Lipsi. Emitting an atmosphere of calmness, the mysterious island of Lipsi invites you to explore its beautiful sceneries. The authentic character of the island is evident from the colours of the traditional houses painted in the shades of white and blue retaining the traditional identity of the Aegean. If you are pursuing in walking in labyrinthine alleys of a tiny settlement and discovering sheltered bays and coves with turquoise waters under the reflections of the glittering rays of the sun, this is the place for you. An island embracing the value of tranquility is ready to give you unforgettable memories, a place where beauty, nature and tradition harmonize in a very special way.

Climb 400 steps

Climb the four hundred steps from the village of Pandeli to visit the imposing castle of Leros! The medieval fortress was built from the Byzantine emperor of Alexios Komnenos in the eleventh century and was given to Bishop Christodoulos along with the Monastery of Patmos. During the 13th century, the castle was occupied from the Knights of Saint John. Nowadays, the castle is one of the main monuments of the island standing proudly on the hill of Apitiki with panoramic views of the surrounding areas.

Dedicate a Day to the Tunnel War Museum of Leros

The Tunnel War Museum of Leros is a one the most interesting museums of Greece. The museum is housed in a military tunnel that was built from the Italians during the Second World War. The tunnel has been restored specifically for exhibiting the history of the island. Exhibits include guns, helmets, bombs, uniforms and visual material related to the battle of Leros. The museum is located in the area of Merikia of Lakki.

Diving Explorations: Second World War Museum

Leros is the paradise of scuba divers! Over the years, Leros has preserved historical “treasures” in the crystalline waters of the Aegean. Although these treasures are associated with catastrophic consequences of the Second World War, the remains of the wrecks help the world remember and honor the heroic actions of the soldiers. The sea of the island has protected this memorabilia, a wealth of findings ready to be discovered. The wrecks of boats and planes that participated in the Battle of Leros in 1943 form an intriguing underwater museum. Some of these treasures include a wreck of a landing craft on the islet of Strongili, the wreck of a barge on the beach of Partheni, a shipwreck of bomber in the beach of Blefoutis, a shipwreck of the steamship of Ivorea in the harbour of Rina and the shipwreck of the torpedo ship Queen Olga in the harbour of Lakki. There are private diving centres in the island that can provide you with the appropriate equipment in order to explore the rich ecosystem of the seabed of Leros.

Festivals of Leros: Threshing in July, Culinary and Wine in August, Fish in September

Numerous local products events are organized in Leros including the Threshing Festival of Gourna in July, the Wine Festival of Xirokambos in August, the Culinary Festival of Drymonas in August and the Fish Festival of Pandeli in September.

Find More Info about Leros

The Official Brochure of Leros can enlighten you with further information about Leros!

Enjoying a Coffee in the Oldest Cafeteria of Leros

Definitely visit the central square of Platanos and enjoy a coffee in the oldest cafeteria of the island namely Leriaki Leshi!

It’s Sunset Time

In the area of Kokkali, one will find the beautiful church of Agios Isidoros! This is one of the best sunset spot in Leros!

Observing like an Olympian God

Follow the beautiful trail that starts from Merikia in Lakki that passes by the precinct with the decommissioned airplanes and the chapel of Agios Zaharias on the hill. Afterwards, follow the narrow dirt road that passes by the dam of Sikamia and enters an area with livestock farms and sheepfolds. After thirty minutes, the trail reaches a crossroad. Go to the left direction towards the chapel of Prophet Elias! The chapel offers panoramic views over the surrounding areas.

Sailing and Ribing: Treasures of Leros

Leros is one of the best destinations for sailing enthusiasts. The surrounding area hides many surprises, since the great marine area includes numerous beautiful isles including Archangelos to the north, Mikro and Megalo Livadi to the northeast and Levithia, Kinaros and Glaros to the west. The island of Archangelos is an ideal anchor for swimming, as it has three beautiful sandy beaches. To the west, one will find the isles of Strongili and Tripiti with emerald waters to swim. However, keep in mind that there are many reefs. It is also worth visiting the isle of agia Kyriaki opposite the village of Pandeli. The sunset from here is really worth seeing. To the south between Leros and Kalymnos, there are three isles including Mikro Glaronisi, Megalo Glaronisi and Velona with dangerous reefs, so be careful. In the coves of Agios Nikolaos and Vagia, you will find two beautiful pebbled beaches ideal for isolation. The two marinas of Lakki provide one of the greatest anchorages in the Dodecanese, as it is considered to be one of the safest harbours in the Mediterranean protected from all weather conditions. However, there is a thermal wind, known as boukadoura, which you have to take into consideration if you are offshore. Other anchorages include the cove of Alinda protected from south and southwest winds, the cove of Kalo Pigadi in Partheni protected from all weather conditions and the cove of Pandeli that is protected from the northern winds.

Romantic Promenades in Agia Marina

Characterized as one of the most beautiful settlements of Leros, Agia Marina has a romantic atmosphere with whitewashed houses and colorful mansions that spread ohm the cobblestone waterfront alleys up to the settlement of Platanos. Actually, the settlements of Agia Marina, Pandeli and Platanos form the capital of Leros.

Taste Fresh Fish in Leros

Wondering where you will enjoy fresh fish? Choose the tavern of Psaropoula in Pandeli or the tavern of Mylos in Agia Marina!

Photo Credits

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Note: All the images are copyrighted from their owners. Please see Terms & Conditions. You can find the original images at the following links:

Agia Marina Village: Iannis by Flickr

Castle of Leros: Stefanos Karidakis

Chapel of Agios Isidoros: Marie Therese Magnan by Flickr

Chapel of Panagia: Marie Therese Magnan by Flickr

Houses in Agia Marina: Dimitrios Touvras by Panoramio

Kryfo Bay: Mysteriousgreece

Leros View: Dinos P. by Flickr

Pandeli Village: Henrik Als Nielsen by Panoramio

Sunset in Leros: Dinos P. by Flickr

View from the Castle: iStock

Windmill: Erik Fredborg by Flickr

Windmills: Thodoris Geogriannoulis by Skaikairos.gr