Leros or the island of Artemis (there is a temple of the goddess on the island) is a small island north of the Dodecanese with an area of 54 sq km, a population of about 8,000 inhabitants and together with small islands and islets such as Farmakonisi, Kinaros and Levitha, constitutes the municipality of Leros with Platanos as its capital. It is located between Kos, Kalymnos, Patmos and Samos. To the east of the island and in close proximity are the Turkish shores. Μain ports are Lakki and Ag. Marina.
The island has a long history. Homer mentions the naval participation of Leros in the Trojan War and Thucydides the support of the island’s inhabitants to the Athenians during the Peloponnesian War, which after its end, the Spartans dominated the island. Since then, the island has been enslaved by various and many conquerors. Leros joined the struggle of the rest of Greece in 1821 for independence, and also took an active part in the Second World War.
During the junta in Greece (1967-’74) many political dissidents were imprisoned in Leros.
It is a green island with quality tourism. Its soil is fertile and smooth (its name comes from leuros meaning smooth) with a Mediterranean climate. It has low mountains (Key is the highest peak of about 300m) and many hills. Its fertile plains and plains with olive trees, fruits and vegetables and citrus fruits reach the sea and its numerous creeks.
In Leros, the interesting nightlife in winter and summer does not leave anyone unsatisfied with the many bars, cafes, traditional fish taverns, restaurants, grills and ouzo. In the summer, of course, there is no lack of artistic events throughout the island, the naval competitions and the traditional folk festivals.
What to visit? Lakki is the deepest natural port in the Mediterranean and the main port of the island. It was built by the Italians in 1923 who housed the headquarters of the Royal Italian Navy. The rationalist architecture of the buildings combined the contemporary with tradition of the Aegean. Ag. Kioura to visit the small church with the frescoes made by the exiles.The castle of Panagia in Panteli, one of the most beautiful castles in Greece. With his festival on the 15th of August.
In addition to the car, you can climb the approximately 500 steps that will give you a romantic walk and the wonderful view of the castle.
It is worth a visit to the Tunnel Museum, which is the war museum of Leros in Merikia.
In Leros, in addition to museums and castles, you will find a cinema, libraries, playgrounds, soccer fields, basketball courts, or water sports.
There are also many routes that one can follow if wants to explore the island either by bike or by car since the road network is quite good. Other alternatives are ferry trips to nearby islands for swimming or diving as the island is full of shipwrecks.
At Cape Katsouni, visitors can admire the Aegean Sea as far as Kalymnos and Kos, or for those who like hiking, the beach of Kryfos will charm you. It is worth a walk in Xirokampos for the most beautiful church of the island, Panagia Kavouradaina. Walking or cycling in Lakki to admire the buildings of an older era, is something you should not miss.
Bowling in Vromolithos, where in addition to the game you will enjoy your drink and the wonderful view, while for the young visitors, the huge outdoor playground “the Dolphins” in Lakki with inflatables, trampoline and many toys, is their paradise.
You can also take part in the Yoran Shield regatta.
In general, the island is full of beaches with sand, pebbles and tamarisk trees that satisfy all the tastes and needs of visitors. For those looking for organized beaches in Alinda, Gournas, Vromolithi, Panteli, or in the two Liskaria, you will also find shops that meet the needs of bathers. In St. Spyridon or Koulouki you will find small coves with pines and snack bars. On the beach of ag. Marina with its shallow waters you will enjoy your bath if you have young children. If you want pristine and remote waters, visit Ag. Kiura which has sand in the sea but pebbles on the shore. For those who love diving on the organized beach of Xirokampos, there is a diving school and free diving sessions.
The island has tourist units, rooms, studios, furnished apartments and campsites, three shipyards – marinas that serve public and tourist boats since in the summer a large number of yachts arrive.
Whether you want to spend a quiet season and relax in Leros in the fall or spring or you want to spend your vacation with intensity during the summer months, Leros promises the visitor an unforgettable vacation.
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