The main port of Leros is Lakki. You will be amazed by its spacious streets with rationalist buildings. The War Museum is worth a visit to see impressive collections of war-related artifacts including guns and helmets from the Battle of Leros.
The Archaeological Museum hosts inscriptions and ancient utilitarian objects while the Church Museum and Belleni Museum (in the beautiful mansion dated 1925) are worth visiting too. Scenic Xirokampos is worth a day trip too.
1. Visit the Castle
Leros is a place where history is in abundance, and one of the first things that most people remember about their time on the island is its emblematic medieval castle. It sits high above Apitiki hill and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and cobalt blue sea. It’s also home to a museum that displays manuscripts and old wooden utensils.
Other historic sites worth visiting include the Archaeological Museum of Leros, which features a small but highly impressive collection of ancient artifacts that were excavated on the island and its neighboring islets. The museum is housed in a beautiful 19th-century neoclassical building and provides a good overview of the island’s archaeological treasures.
Another interesting historical site is the unique War Museum in Lakki, which is a military tunnel that was once used by the Italian army during WWII. This one-of-a-kind museum is designed to show visitors the harshness of war and its effect on the people of the island.
If you’re looking for a truly authentic experience, head to the village of Panteli on the east side of the island. This picturesque village feels like an old painting that just came to life. It’s a great place to spend the day exploring and relaxing, as well as trying out some of the local delicacies, such as thyme honey, mizithra cheese, and pies.
Another village that’s worth checking out is Drymonas, which features a 14th-century church with frescos and was built using cyclopean stones. It’s also home to a beach that gets very crowded, so be sure to go early to secure a spot. Also check out the nearby village of Xirokampos, which is perched on a valley filled with flowers and cypress, olive, and almond trees. Here, you’ll find a scenic sandy beach that’s lined with tamarisk trees and is perfect for swimming.
2. Visit Panteli
Panteli is a beautiful village situated a little south of the capital, Agia Marina. This village is not only picturesque, it is also a very quiet and relaxing place to visit. It is not surprising why so many Lerians say that if you haven’t seen Panteli, you haven’t seen Leros!
The village features a beautiful port that is used by sailing boats and yachts. In addition to this, the village has a beautiful beach that is surrounded by tamarisk trees. The village is very popular with the locals and tourists alike due to its unique charm.
Another great thing about the village is that it is home to several excellent restaurants and taverns. The food on the island is based primarily on fish, so you will find plenty of fresh seafood dishes. However, there are also many meat-based dishes, such as kleftiko and karaiskoula. Moreover, the local wines are very good, so be sure to try some while you’re there.
If you are looking for a place to stay, then you can find a number of hotels and villas in the village. Some of these have sea views, while others are located a short distance from the beach. The village is also home to a number of beaches, which are perfect for swimming and sunbathing.
Other popular activities on the island include fishing and snorkeling. You can also take a tour of the castle and see some of the other historical sites. In addition, you can also visit the churches and monasteries on the island. There is even a museum dedicated to the prophet Elias. This museum is housed in a beautiful tower called Belenis.
3. Visit the Church of Panagia Kavouradaina
The Church of Panagia Kavouradaina is unique because it is built into a rock formation on the beach near Xirokampos in southern Leros. It was built into the rock by a fisherman who believed that the Virgin Mary appeared on the rock while he was fishing for crabs. The church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is a must-see!
The castle is another highlight on Leros. Strategically located on the Apityki hill, it offers a 360-degree view of Agia Marina, Platanos and Panteli. The castle dates back to the 11th century. You can see archaeological evidences like tombs, settlements and more inside the castle.
Another interesting museum on the island is the Tower of Belleni. Here, you will find a Historical and Folklore Museum as well as an Art Gallery. The museum houses costumes, needlework and ecclesiastical wood carvings from the period 1880 to 1920. It also features some of the personal belongings of activist Kyriakos Tsakiris who was exiled to the island. Another exhibition hall is dedicated to war-related memorabilia.
Leros is one of the lesser-known islands in the Dodecanese, but it’s definitely a gem that’s worth visiting. This island has everything you need for a fun and relaxing holiday, but without the crowds!
The beaches are clean and golden with crystal clear waters and a relaxing atmosphere. Many of the beaches have amenities like sunbeds and tavernas. You can also try a variety of water sports on the island!
4. Visit Hatzidakis Winery
The Hatzidakis Winery is an excellent place to enjoy a glass of white, red or sweet wine. You can also learn about the production of this wonderful beverage and chat with the people who make it. They will be happy to explain the history of this island and its wines.
The Archeological Museum of Leros is in a 19th-century neoclassical building in Aghia Marina and is an excellent introduction to the island’s archaeological treasures. The Historical and Folklore Museum in Alinta is housed in the Bellenis Tower and has an interesting collection of artifacts from various eras.
According to legend, the Greek goddess Artemis loved hunting in the forests of Leros and lounged on its beaches with her retinue of virgin followers. The island is dotted with temples dedicated to her and one of the most picturesque is a small church on the top of a rock connected to the coast by a bridge.
Strategically located on Apityki Hill, the castle of Xirokampos is an impressive sight and offers a great all-round view. The walls are cyclopean and the monastery has old manuscripts and bowls used for baptism centuries ago.
Leros is still not a very popular tourist destination, which means that the island’s beauty and hospitality remain undisturbed. Its beaches are mostly sand and pebbles, but there is also the beautiful bay of Alinda, which has a soft-pebble beach with tamarisk trees. This is a fantastic spot for families with children to spend the day. Alinda is also home to the largest church on the island and there are plenty of accommodation options, cafes and taverns. The best way to visit the island is by plane; a small airport was built on the north of the island in 1984 and serves daily flights from Athens. You can also get here by ferry from Athens, Samos and Kos.
5. Visit the Beaches
For those who love to relax on beautiful beaches, Leros has an excellent selection of sand and pebbled ones. Some are crowded, while others remain tranquil and undeveloped. Nevertheless, the beaches are always worth visiting!
For example, the beach of Alinda is one of the most famous on the island. It is an organized, sandy beach with lots of facilities, a perfect place for spending your summer!
Another amazing beach is the one of Dyo Liskaria, found 7 km from Platanos village. It is a small beach with lovely waters and a few trees that provide shade. It is ideal for families!
Moreover, you should visit the beaches of Panteli, Alinda and Vromolithos. These beaches are among the best on the island, offering sand and crystal clear water. They are also well developed, with many facilities and taverns nearby!
You should also visit the beaches of Gourna, Drymonas and Blefountis. These are secluded, uncrowded and beautiful beaches on the western part of the island. They are covered with tamarisk and offer shade. Moreover, you can also visit the church of Agios Isidoros located in this area.
The Archeological Museum of Leros is another highlight of the island. It is a great place to see artifacts like inscriptions, tomb steles, coins and mosaics from different periods of history.