Located between Patmos and Kalymnos, Leros is an island of the Dodecanese. The island is relatively small and isolated well worth discovering.
Its position on the Aegean makes it a perfect destination for those wanting to discover more than one island at a time. Frequent ferry routes allow you not only to reach Patmos and Kalymnos, but also the tiny Lipsi, Kos or Rhodes.
Greek mythology tells us that Leros was the place goddess Artemis would choose for hunting, due to the quantity of deer.
Unspoiled and relaxing, the island counts plenty of bays and coves for those seeking complete isolation and tranquility. Lush green valleys mix with a dry hilly landscape as well as breathtaking cliffs over the sea.
The ancient capital of Leros, Platanos, is located against the hills, right next to the village of Agia Marina. Platanos owes its name to an ancient plane tree dating back to 1765. A must-see landmark of Leros is the impressive Medieval Castle of Panteli, built during the 11th century. Other spots that shouldn’t be missed include the Turkish baths, and the church of Agia Paraskevi, the ancient cathedral of the city.
Platanos, as well as Agia Marina, has been renovated. Well-preserved neoclassical buildings are still standing and are worth a visit. Among them, the governor’s house and the public market, as well as the town hall and the public library. A walk along the narrow paths allows discovering many traditional Greek cafés, water fountains and the windmills.
Also, the village of Lakki deserves some attention. This coastal town is nothing similar to what you would expect from any Greek harbor. Visitors will find a rational, well-planned settlement, built in the 1930s architectural style known as Italian razionalismo.
Lakki’s original name was Porto Lago and its large natural bay was the feature that attracted the Italian occupying forces at the beginning of the 20th century. Porto Lago remains today as a tangible evidence of the Italian attempt to convert the Dodecanese into a satellite of Italy.
Over the last decade or so, the island has developed as a diving destination, attracting people eager to discover some of the many ancient shipwrecks that have been found in the surrounding sea.
Leros is also a great destination for hiking fans, beautiful trails take the visitor to special spots, such as the one that leads to the Lighthouse.
To reach the island you can choose a ferry departing from Athens. However, Leros also counts with a comfortable airport, that lets you get to Athens in less than an hour or even connect – through ferry – with other islands of the Dodecanese that have no airport facilities.