There is a number of Greek Islands that you probably find on every top 10 list, but I think Leros island, which is quite remote, isn’t usually one of them!
But, let’s keep this between you and me and find out more about this special hidden gem!!
From the first time that I arrived on this island, I felt a different vibe and I am afraid that I cannot explain it!
It hasn’t the landscape of Santorini or the nightlife of Mykonos, or the beaches of Zante or Kefalonia. But it had an unexpected character that is revealed in front of my eyes effortless!On this post, I will give you the key points on: How to get there
- When you should visit Leros and how many days do you need?
- How to Get to Leros?
- What to do?
- Best beaches
- Where to stay?
When you should visit Leros and how many days do you need there?July and August are the two months in Leros, where most travellers visit this island. Also, the weather temperature peaks its high. On the other hand, June and September are far quieter, but still quite warm, so they are the ideal months to enjoy Leros island! Leros is a small island and you won’t need to many days. Two and three days should be enough to see everyhting, but I tend to stay more on this small islands, as my purpose is not only to just do and visit the best things on the island but to feel the island and really reduce my stress level and relax!
How to Get there?Leros is a small island that is located in the northern Dodecanese a few miles south of Patmos. There are only two ways to visit the island by ferry and by airplane . Mainly, you can reach the island by ferry from Athens (Piraeus port), but this can be quite a pain as the journey lasts approximately 8-10 hours!! Not great, I know! You can use Ferryhopper for more details and if you are interested in island hopping routes! Fortunately, there is another option and you can fly to Leros island from Athens. Take into account that the airport is extremely small and the airplanes are quite small as well so the experience can be quite unique.
What to do in Leros
In Leros, you will find a special architecture that has been influenced by the Cycladic but also by Italians and Alexandrians!
Lakki, the capital of the island was designed by Italians and the most notable landmarks are the cyclical market with the clock tower, the church of St. Francis of Assisis, the lovely barracks on the edge of the waterfront, the hotel «Roma» etc.
The castle of Panteli is the most important medieval memory of Leros, a terrific work of the 11th century that no one should miss! Bypassing the entrance of the castle you will admire the church of Our Lady (17th century) and then if you wander around, you get almost “dizzy” by the spectacular views of the island and the sea.
Leros offers hiking activities with very beautiful paths. One of the most beautiful trails is from the Merikia’s museum tunnel to Katsouni and the Lighthouse.
Very close was mounted cannons that they were sending their bombshells 18 km away! It is claimed that Alistair MacLean’s book “The Guns of Navarone” was probably influenced by these defence systems!
Don’t forget to visit the unique “Merikia Tunnel”, which is a part of tunnels around Lakki and there was the maritime administration of Italians, who remained in Leros for 31 years (1912- 1943). During the Second World War, the Germans tried to recapture Leros due to its strategic and geographical location and they literally bombarded it for 52 days and they finally conquered it.
Also, Italians during their occupation had built in Leros a small district of unique buildings for the Italian Admiralty.
Many years later, in 1957 the Greek government decided these abandoned buildings be converted into a psychiatric hospital. The bad conditions were highly criticised especially during 80’s and 90’s and Leros island was stigmatised as a “shrink island” for a couple of decades.
For those that summer holidays are combined mainly with lying on beaches, we will be glad to inform them that Leros has some beautiful beaches as well!
The beach Vromolithos just before the Panteli is a classic choice, like Alinta and Dio Liskaria.
On the west coast, you have to visit the bay of Gourna where you will find a sandy beach with trees and tavern, an absolute typical Greek picture!
Once you get up there, don’t forget to visit the picturesque church of St. Isidoros, which is built on a reef in the sea and it is probably in the place of an ancient temple! This is one of the most churches in Aegean! Absolutely amazing.
A little further north, after the airport, there is still a chapel, St. Kioura with some beautiful paintings, made by political prisoners of the dictatorship period 1967-1974 and old images.
When you pass the church, you will find a small, beautiful and hidden beach, because history and art are very good, but a dip into deep blue during the summer is absolutely essential!!!
They say that beauty can be hidden in unexpected placed and Leros is exactly this case.
An attractive destination, away from the spotlight that keeps its treasures for the few that they will visit this beautiful, small island.
Where to stayCheck prices here!
This blog has been also published in Greek in Travelplanet24 blog!
If you have any query or any story about Leros to share, please leave us below a comment!