Welcome to the island of Artemis!
Discover one of the pearls of the Aegean!
Wandering around the streets of the capital with its traditional island homes and the mansions with their spacious courtyards, one gets an initial overview of the island’s architecture. This walkabout deserves to be complemented with a visit to Lakki, the main port of Leros, built in the ’30s by the Italians. This town has a special colour, being completely different from the rest of the island, as it was built in the international style (a mixture of classic, neo-futuristic and rationalistic architecture that was prominent at the time).
Along its wide streets you will see rows of pine trees and monumental buildings with rounded lines that will remind you of times gone by. If you are interested in the rich military history of the island, you may start at the “Tunnel” war museum, which is situated in Merikia, where numerous photographs and remnants of World War II are exhibited. Continue with a visit to the Memorial of the historic destroyer Queen Olga in Lakki and the English Cemetery at Krithoni. You may complete your experience with a visit to the Beleni Tower where you will see findings from Q. Olga, weapons, maps and other impressive items. Explore the island’s history through exhibits at the Archaeological Museum in Agia Marina, the Ecclesiastical Museum at the Castle and the Folk Museum, which is also housed in the Beleni Tower.
Time Travel: The architecture and history of the island
Leros belongs to the islands of the Dodecanese and is located off the coast of ancient Ionia, between the islands of Patmos and Kalymnos. It has been connected with the cult of the goddess Artemis since ancient times, a goddess whose temple existed in the area of Partheni, in the northern part of the island. Small but strategic, in its turbulent history, the island has been conquered by Persians, Romans, Venetians, Turks, and governed by the English before being annexed in 1947, together with the other Dodecanese islands, to the Greek state. Leros will enchant you with its natural beauty and its genuine greek atmosphere, it will generously offer you its warm smile and its cordial hospitality; an ideal destination for calm and relaxation, the island of Artemis is just waiting to be discovered by you!
If we had to determine what makes Leros stand out from the rest of the Dodecanese islands, we would say that it is her ability to provide – albeit a mild island – very strong emotions. Behind her calm and shy face you will discover irresistibly beautiful – enchanting bays, pristine beaches, crystal clear waters – as the sky and the earth merge into a pandemonium of unprecedented colors. Seemingly silent and distant, Leros knows how to highlight her innumerable treasures in a very special and discreet way, which will make you look back on her for the rest of your life. It dominates those who visit it.
Starting from Platanos and Agia Marina
Starting from the Town Hall Square which is just two minutes walk from La Casa Di Colori, we propose you to explore the historic village of Platanos with its narrow streets that lead to the top of the hill and the Castle on the one side, and on the other they descend towards Agia Marina. If you head from the square to the church of Agia Paraskevi, the old Cathedral of the island, you will find the path that leads to the medieval Castle of Leros. The view from the castle is stunning, especially if you choose to visit it at dusk. Make sure to have a camera and good company with you and let yourself be carried away by the intoxicating atmosphere of the place. Agia Marina is ideal for strolling along the beach, where you will find a number of shops, coffee bars and restaurants. You may browse in the shops for works of local artists – clay, glass, wood, jewellery and more – and then go up the lighthouse to the fort Bourtzi, where you will enjoy the lovely view over the picturesque harbour of Agia Marina and Alindon bay.
Around the island on two or four wheels
Leros has good roads and you can explore her by car or by motorbike. It also offers hiking and biking routes, because of its smooth landscape. Discover the flora and fauna of the island strolling through the hills and mountains, hanging out with the sun, the wind and the deep blue Aegean sea. You will find several marked trails, as well as unmarked ones that are waiting to lead you to new, exciting trekking experiences. There is an excellent Leros guide for walkers, with detailed maps and instructions for places all around the island.
To explore the southern part of the island, go from Platanos towards Lakki. If you turn left just before Lakki, you will find yourself in the beautiful bay of Ksirokambos with a fine sandy beach and turquoise-blue crystal clear waters. If you reach Lakki and continue along the beach to Koulouki, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the scenic route towards Merikia, which ends up in Kokkina, a secluded small bay with red sand. To visit the largest sandy beach of Leros head to Gourna through Rakhi enjoying a route of unique beauty through the hills. After a day in the sun, you may descend towards Drymonas and indulge in the local delicacies at the ouzo place “Sotos”, which overlooks the most beautiful sunset of Leros. This experience will be unforgettable … And in the northern part of the island, you may swim in the crystal clear waters of the bay Blefouti and combine your walk with lunch at one of the taverns in the area. You will not regret it!
Not to be missed...
The picturesque fishing village of Panteli is not to be missed. There you can taste fresh fish and seafood accompanied by fresh vegetables and local delicacies, while enjoying the lovely views of the islet of Agia Kyriaki opposite. While your delicious meal is being prepared, take a dip in the gulf’s turquoise waters right in front of you. A lovely path connects the southern end of the bay Panteli with Vromolithos, a great beach with lounge chairs, coffee bars and taverns with amazing appetizers. Head to Alinta and admire the lush landscape of greek-egyptian mansions that overlook the sea from the Kamara hill.
Make a stop at the Two Panagies, the church inside the pine forest at the end of the village and rest in its yard. From there the road will take you to Two Liskaria, a very lively beach, mainly appealing to the younger crowd. If you feel like taking romantic walks, turn from Alinta towards Partheni and then go down to Kokkali. Walk from the end of the village to the church of St. Isidore, on a little islet just off shore, which stands bravely between the land and the sea. The road to Partheni will get you out to the northern tip of the island, to a beautiful bay, with Archangel island at its entrance. It is worth continuing to St. Kioura, an 18th century church, in which you will see religious murals made by political prisoners during the years of the oppressive dictatorship.
These and many other beauties are what Leros has to offer to the visitor.
The island of Leros with the approximately 71 km long beaches and her many coves, apart from swimming, is ideal for all kinds of water sports including pedal boats, canoeing, water skiing and windsurfing. The water stays warm and pleasant until November. At the Watersports Centre on the Alinda beach, during the first ten days of August you may watch yacht races. If you find yourself on the island in September, do not miss the Trawl – the Fishermen’s celebration taking place in Panteli, with plenty of fresh fish dishes, high spirits and, of course, traditional music. The whole island is rich with fishing spots, a real paradise for any amateur fisherman. Grab your tackle and simply choose a beach!
If, on the other hand, you are fond of the underwater and the seabed, discover the amazing wealth of the deep sea following a diving team. The sea of Leros is an underwater museum, hiding many wrecks of World War II in its depths, mostly airplanes and ships sunk during the 52-day Battle of Leros. Dive into the clear blue waters and let yourself go to the magic of the fabulous underwater…
Excursions to the islands around Leros
Leros is surrounded by several small islands and islets, small paradises waiting to be explored. Most of them are rich fishing grounds and have waters of incomparable beauty, for example Piganoussa, Tripiti, Strongili, Archangel and others. You may visit Lipsi, Aspronisia, Arki, Marathi, Macronisi, Tiganakia islands on organized tours that depart daily from the port of Agia Marina.
For greater comfort and adventure you can rent a small boat or a launch, exclusively for you and your company. Ask us to organize your trip and we will take care of everything, from the boat and your route up to the basket with sandwiches and fruits to take with you. You simply have to bring with you your good mood, plenty of sunscreen and be ready to enjoy!
Alternatively we can arrange a trip to one of the nearby islands with a diving team, where you can enjoy swimming in crystal clear waters or exploring the rich ecosystem of the area with expert guides.
Meet the locals and their culture
The uniqueness of Leros is due not only to the beautiful beaches and its breathtaking scenery, but also to the Lerians themselves. Hospitable and warm, they hold a genuine welcome for you in the cafes, the restaurants and the shops. They are industrious, with deep love for their land and a respect for its history and traditions.
Get to know their culture through the many events held during the summer, such as art exhibitions, classical music concerts, traditional music and dance, and theatrical performances for children and adults. Look for the programme or ask us about the sights you are interested in. Participate in religious festivals and see local music and dance, like the patron saint of Agia Marina on July 17 and St. Fanourios in Ksirokambos on August 27. Celebrate the 15th of August along with the Lerians in a unique and unforgettable way at the Holy Virgin of the Castle, overlooking the deep blue see…
Come dance with us to the rhythms of an ancient tradition, immerse yourself in the glow of the Aegean and live new experiences that will fill you with dreams, hope and optimism for the future.
How to get to Leros
There are daily flights to Leros from Athens and three times a week from Rhodes and Kos. Again daily, there is a flight from Athens to Kalymnos, where you can board a speedboat or hydrofoil to Leros (duration 35mins).
Also, you can fly to Kos or Samos and then take the hydrofoil or catamaran to Leros (distance from Kos 1hr30mins). Ryanair has flights to Kos from the following cities: Bari, Bologna, Milan, Pisa, Rome, Brussels, Frankfurt, Kaunas, Krakow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Oslo.
Alternatively you can reach to Kos via Thessaloniki from Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Brussels, Stockholm, Paris, Vienna, Zurich and various cities in Germany with Air Serbia (to Thessaloniki). Also from Berlin you can fly to Thessaloniki with Easyjet.
Just a few kilometers from Kos, on the Turkish coast, is the airport of Bodrum, which serves some charter flights.
Leros has excellent transport links with the rest of the Dodecanese (with Blue Star, Dodekanisos Seaways, ANEK, and Patmos Star companies) as well as from Turkey through Kos. In high season there is a daily ferry from the port of Athens, Piraeus.
Ferry schedules: GREEK TRAVEL PAGES
Platanos, 85400, Leros
(+30) 690 851 4698
(+30) 22470 23341