Mar 31, 2023
Leros, also known as the Island of Artemis is nestled amidst the charming isles of Patmos and Kalymnos, lies the exquisite Leros island, a precious gem in the crown of the Dodecanese archipelago. With a rich history dating back to ancient times, Leros bears witness to numerous archaeological wonders and legends of the Greek goddess Artemis (and the temple of Artemis) hunting for deer. But that's not all, for the island also boasts of pristine beaches and delightful villages that are sure to steal your heart away. Here is your complete travel guide to the beautiful island of Leros.
How to get to Leros
Getting to Leros can go one of 2 ways. It will be a breeze or it could be the mission of your life to get off the island. The reason, the Buffon! Also known as the wind! But dont let that scare you of visiting the island, in true Greek fashion, there is always a way to get off the island!
You may be thinking, is Leros even worth going to if I can't get off the island. Let me tell you, its a beautiful island where life passes you by while sitting on sun bed thinking whether to go for another swim, visit the windmills or do I order another drink.
You can get to Leros by either plane or ferry.
Getting to Leros by Plane
There are direct flights to Leros from Athens airport. The flight takes 1 hour. Be prepared to not find many flights during the summer period as the flights book up very fast. But do not fear, there is always the flight from Athens to Kos. Kos is close by the Leros so a short ferry trip from Kos and you have arrived at Leros.
Getting to Leros by Ferry
Being part of the Dodecanese group of islands, Leros is well connected by Ferries that go up and down these group of islands. If you are travelling from Athens a ferry is available for Pireaus. The ferry trip takes 9 hours and 35 minutes and the price of a one way ticket is €50.
As mentioned above, if you cannot fly out of Leros doue to high winds, your best option is to catch the ferry to Kos and fly from Kos to Athens. The reason being, the aiport in Kos is larger and can handle larger planes.
Best beaches on Leros
A pebbly beach and a beautiful cove located in the southeast of Pandeli village. It is well-organised with umbrellas and sundecks.
The south and north area is a beautiful sandy beach. The main feature of the beach is the crystalline waters. There are many taverns around the beach with many food localities from the island.
This beach is locaed only 3km from the centre of town and boasts a beautiful view of the Medieval Castle of Pandeli. The beach is organised with sun beds and umbrellas and has a cafe nearby that serves coffee, alcoholic drinks and snacks.
A more rugged beach that is not organised, located at the northern part of the island. The beach is sheltered from the winds which allows for all day enjoyment of the crystal clear blue waters the bay offers. This beach although fairly secluded is known as one of the best beaches on the island.
This beach is located 7 km north of Platanos (the main village of Leros) and boats clear blue green waters. The beach is not organised so bring your own towel and umbrella, but close by are a group of tavernas where you can buy lunch, coffees and drinks.
Best restaurants on Leros
Mylos Cocktail Rooftop Bar
Located at the Windmills on Leros this has to be your number one spot to visit. With impressive views looking across from Alinda through to Agia Marina and the Medieval Castle of Pandeli its is the perfect place to have a cocktail and some food and watch the sunset.
Taverna Paradisos Restaurant
Located at Vromolithos Beach serves traditional Greek food and wine with a nice view of Vromolithos Beach. Once a week there is also live Greek music played at the taverna.
Located at Ksirokambos beach this restaurant serves beautiful homemade Greek food. They serve delicous salads made from locally produced vegetables and olive oil, and have a wide range of seafood and fresh fish dishes.
Things to do and see on Leros
After having some lunch at Mylos cocktail rooftop bar you can take a few short steps out of the bar and visit the traditional windmills of Leros. They were traditionally used to grind grain, but these days they have been converted in to guesthouses that boast a great view over the bay of Pandeli
Visit the Castle of Panteli (Our Lady’s Castle)
Standing tall above Leros island's capital, the Castle of Pandeli is a magnificent fortress from the Middle Ages that has earned the nickname "Our Lady's Castle," paying homage to the Virgin Mary. This impressive structure boasts Byzantine walls that have stood the test of time and offer breathtaking views of the island's rugged mountains, shimmering seas, and charming villages.
According to legend, the Castle of Pandeli was built in the 10th century, replacing an ancient acropolis. Later, it was gifted to the Monastery of Agios Ioannis Theologos by Emperor Alexius I in the 11th century. During the Frankish period, the Knights of Saint John strengthened the castle, utilising it to fend off invaders and safeguard the island and its inhabitants. Over the years, the Castle has been used as a lookout by Turkish, Italian, and German conquerors, which led to significant damage.
Despite its turbulent past, the Castle of Pandeli has retained three circuit walls and a lovely church dedicated to Our Lady, located on the west side of the fortress. Visitors can marvel at the church's stunning icon and intricate wall paintings while taking in the awe-inspiring panoramic views from the Castle's summit. The Castle can be reached by taking either a rough road or a challenging 400-step path from Pandeli village.
Day trips to other Islands
A must thing to do when you arrive on Leros is to organise a a boat for a day trip to the neighbouring island Lipsi and the several other islands that are close by.
To orgasnise a boat trip its best to ask your hotel as they will be able to guide you on the best time to head off and what type of boat to hire (not a fishing boat!).
On the boat trip towards Lipsi you will be taken to the wonderful surrounding islands Makronisi, Aspronisi, Tiganakia, Marathi, and Arkoi before you eventually reach the port of Lipsi.
Once at the port, there you will see a group of tarvenas where you can grab some lunch. After lunch ask your captain to take you to the surrounding beaches where you will see traditional houses along the gorgeous coastline.
Transport on the island of Leros
There are public buses on the island but they seem to run on their own schedule. The best option is to hire a car either before you get to Leros or on the island. But book well in advanced as the car rentals will be hard to find, espeically during the summer season.
Need help organising your trip through the Greek islands? Do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your possible itinerary options.