Why visit Leros?
If you are looking for a truly Greek place still unspoiled, Leros is the place. Tourism is not the major source of income and the relatively long (10-11hrs) boat trip from Pireus puts off the big hordes of Tourists. (There is only one plane per day and often gets full well in advance).
Are there any ATMs around the island?
Yes, at Agia Marina and Lakki you will find ATM's there are banks at Lakki, Agia Marina and Platanos.
How does one travel around the island?
You can rent a bicycle, motorbike or car from any of the many garages around the island. I suggest a motorbike, Leros unlike most Greek islands is flat but the less fit amongst us can still find it hard going up a couple of the streets... a car would not be the best idea, as you might miss discovering some of the best parts of the island... although you would still see most of the island. You can find rental places in Lakki, Spilia, Pandeli, and Alinta.
There are of course a number of Taxis you can use with bases at Lakki, Agia Marina and the main base in Platanos. Finally there is a bus that can take you from one side of the island to the other (From Xerokampos to Blefouti) with plenty of stops in between. I wont post any timetables here as they change every so often but its easy to find info when on the island, just ask your hotel and they should know.
How about walking?
Easy enough to do but I would suggest as a base Spilia or Pandeli because from there you are within easy walk to two beaches lots of tavernas, Platanos and Agia Marina. You could even try to walk all the way to Alinda last time I tried that it took me about 45 minutes from Spilia to Alinda.
Is there a Diving School on the island?
The answer is yes. Panos the owner of the Camping in Xerokambos is also a qualified diving instructor. You can call or fax him on +302247023372 or call his mobile on +306944238490. Or you can check out Panos website: www.lerosdiving.com
Can I rent a boat to go around the island?
Yes with Alinda been your best chance and also a good place to start your adventure exploring the near by hidden beaches. For a bigger boat you can ask Mr Panagos at Hotel to Rodon, he often organizes trips for small groups. Also Barbarosa a Kaiki that leaves from Agia Marina offers some very good trips in nearby islands and around Leros. Last time I went with Barbarosa I had a BALL!
Which beach do you recommend?
That's a hard one since every one has their own preferences. My favorites are Vromolithos and Panagies but of course I often retire to the most secluded and serene places I can find such as Agios Nikolaos. Anyway you better go out there and find your favorite place here is a little help:
||Beaches with Pebles:
||Pebles with limited sandy parts:
What time you suggest to visit the island?
Once again personal choise, the busiest is in August so although I avoid this time every few years I still visit the island in August as it is the time when most of the festivals take place. My most favorite time is when the Greek Orthodox Easter time falls. End September is my second most favorite time, still warm enough but also as quiet as I like it.
What sites must I not miss?
Ok this could be a long list but I will limit it. In no necessary order: Pandeli Castle and Museum, Agios Isidoros, Xirokampos Castle, Artemis Temple Ruins, Belenis Tower and Museum, Agia Marina Museum, Agia Kioura, Panagia Kavouradena, Comonwealth Cemetary, walk around Lakki and take in the Italian Architecture. There are so many other sites especially Churches I love to visit but if in your first visit if you have done all of what I mentioned here you have done well!
What should I definitely eat?
You can find some top quality honey and you must try and find some Mytzithra. Its a salty cheese kind of like Parmesan but for me a little bit better. Depending on the season do try the figs which are of course free if you find em on the trees and Gavafes, a Guava type of fruit that can only survive in Leros climate no other island in Greece has them! Try the markets in Lakki or Platanos for fresh fruits and fish. If on limited budget you can still buy some prime quality fish and cook it yourself! Also if you can find some Soumada (a local beverage that is served during weddings) buy some! If you are really adventurous... you MUST try Fouskes (Sea Bubbles that's my best translation don't ask...) and Axinous (Sea Urchins) as well as Pines(Giant Sea Clams)! Best place for that sort of thing is Sotos in Drymonas, he fishes everything himself so you can guarantee the freshness.
What about nightlife?
There are a number of bars in Agia Marina a couple in Alinda and a couple in Pandeli. But if you are looking for extreme excitement you are looking at the wrong island...
Can I buy souvenirs?
Leros has the highest number of retail shops in proportion to its population, compared to the surrounding islands! My Favorite place for that sort of thing is in Agia Marina a shop that on the outside it has paintings of style that reminds El Greco. If you get in there and it kind of feels like you are in a small museum of art you are in the right place. If you are looking for clothing try Lakki for some very good quality clothes and good deals.
What else can I do to pass the time?
Snorkeling and fishing are my favorite past times, but in Lakki you ll find a Cinema also in Agia Marina some very nice Cafes, try to learn how to play Tavli one of all Grecians favorite past time. Avoid playing with Dimitris he is a champion I have warned you! He has only been defeated big time by his long lost brother Caraflas no2. If you are into sports in Agia Marina and Lakki there are basketball grounds and you ll find tennis fields in Temenia just after Lakki towards Xerokampos. Depending on the season look out for local festivals, Alindia and Boulafentia Sporting events are organized in August. Dances organized by the Cultural Group of the island "Artemis" and also concerts that are often organized but from experience they are also mainly in August. I have also often seen art exhibitions throughout the summer. Your best bet is to try Platanos just outside the Mayors office there is a Notice board and also outside Belenis Tower in Alinda often you find announcements of such events.
Any information for disabled access?
My best tip for this would be to try and get a Hotel in Alinda next to the beach, other areas of the island you might think have easy access to the beach but as any other Greek islands, staircases are a frequent phenomenon. Unfortunately Limited thought has gone into accessibility for the disabled.
Apart from that please feel free to email me with specific questions and if I manage to answer them I will post them on the site for the benefit of others as well.
Useful Telephone numbers:
Port Police: 22470 22224, 23256
Municipality of Leros: 22470 23711, 22937
Police: 22470 22222, 22223
Taxi: 22470, 22550, 23070
Hospital: 22470 23251
Medical Centre: 22470 23359
Tourist Information Office/Lakki: 22470 22937
Post Office: 22470 22929, 22587
Airport: 22470 22937