12 Reasons to visit Leros
Written by our Master Instructor Kostas Kouvas
Leros is an island with special architecture. There are Italian, neoclassical and Aegean buildings. It is enchanting that from village to village, the landscape changes completely. There are typical Aegean houses, neoclassical mansions, and the unique city of Portolago that is entirely built with the Art Déco architectural style of the 1930s by the Italians.
- Historic Wreckdiving
Leros was used by the Italians as the main naval base mostly due to the main port of the island, Lakki, which is the largest natural harbor in the eastern Mediterranean. This is why the island has a rich history. During the Second World War, the Germans’ attempt to occupy the island lasted 52 days, and during that time many ships and planes were sank. The bottom of Leros is a unique museum. The island has a diving center that can take you on a journey in time.
- Beaches and villages
Visit the famous fishing village of Panteli, Vromolithos, Alinda, Panagies, Dio Liskaria, Gourna, Xerokambos, Koulouki, Merikia, Blefouti and other bays for swimming. The beaches of Leros are for all tastes. Some sandy, some with pebbles, some central and some remoted, but everywhere you will surely find the traditional Greek tavern and the little chapel like Panagia Kavouradena with the characteristic hagiography, the multi-photographed chapel of Agios Isidoros and «Agia Kioura of the exiles», which was the church of the political prisoners of the Junta and today has been declared as a» preserved monument «.
Each tavern and every restaurant serves food truly cooked by housewives on the island. Good food is based on local ingredients and products, fresh fish, famous salted fish, local wine, homemade liqueurs, local cheeses, traditional pastries and thyme honey. It is no accident that sailboats and luxury boats approach the island initially for its tastes.
Modern and at the same time traditional units will make you feel at home, as Leros is very hospitable.
- Safe anchorage
If you travel by boat, Leros, with all the creeks and bays it has, offers safe anchorage. Lakki is one of the safest in the Mediterranean, at Panteli – Vromolithos , Alinda and Blefouti there are murrins , while the bay of Partheni offers safety from all wheather. The island currently has organized marinas and shipyards, and the local market, with its navy culture, is ready to offer refueling and repair services.
- Cultural events
The residents of Leros are actively involved in the organization of cultural events for both locals and visitors. Traditional festivals, representation of customs, musical performances, concerts, traditional dance seminars, events dedicated to the exiled and theatrical performances take place throughout the year.
- Historical Hiking and Cycling
Leave your vehicle aside and enjoy a historic excursion to nature. On foot or by bicycle, head towards the castle, see the imposing complex of the Mental Institution, which was originally built to host the Rosseti base, the Italian forts from where the Navarone cannons were inspired, visit the tunnels of the War Museum, the ruins of the Farinata artillery and the 281 and 388 firearms buildings with the murals painted by Italian soldiers. On the island you will easily find the locals who will be glad to tour you.
In Leros you will find a Nautical Club that organizes every year international competitions, social events and lessons for children and adults.
- Renew your vows
The natural beauty of the island combined with tranquility will make up the ideal backdrop for the organization of a beautiful ceremony. The island offers businesses that organize mysteries and will definitely offer you the best.
- Island hopping
Leros is a central island of the Dodecanese cluster, and can be the basis of an alternative program on the nearby islands, ideal for you and your children. I recommend daily excursions for climbing at nearby Kalymnos, visit to the monastery of Patmos, wine tasting in Lipsi and swimming in small islands with magical colors.
- Boat and plane access
Leros is approached by ships departing from the port of Piraeus and from the port of Rhodes. There is an airport with direct flight from Athens, but if you land in a near international airport like Rhodes, Kos and Samos, you can be in Leros with a catamaran in a while.
Don’t think about it anymore. We can spend together more 300 days of sunshine in Malta of the Aegean, as Churchill described it!