Lakki to Katsouni
(Southwest, 4km)
The road which climbs over the rise above the ferry landing jetty closely follows the north shore of the bay of Lakki­, passing the attractive cove of Koulouki, and reaches Merikia (1.5km from Lakki­), where the pebble beach, shaded by huge eucalyptus trees, is backed with empty wharfs and naval building dating from the Italian Occupation. The valley of hills, both natural and artificial, inland from here is perforated everywhere with war time tunnels, galleries and ammunition deposits: one of these now houses a small War Museum (generally open daily in summer only 10.30–1; T. 22470 22109 for information), whose entrance is marked by a compound containing a fighter-jet, armoured car and other vehicles. This is a collection of memorabilia relating to the Dodecanese Campaign and the Battle of Leros in 1943. Beyond on the hill to the left, 200m inland, is an interesting Late Mediaeval church: the western end (?narthex) of the original structure, cut down into the rock, has partly collapsed. In the domed crossing, the chapel of Aghios Zachari­as has survived. As so often on Leros, the hanging bell here is a converted war relic. Beyond Merikia, 400m after the asphalt ends, the road rounds a corner and ruined Italian military buildings are seen on the hillside opposite. Below in the valley is the double church of Aghios Spyridon and Aghia Paraskevi­. An ungainly concrete porch of the 1970s hides the fact that this a 14th century building. The north chapel has paintings of different periods on both its north and south walls: on the north wall there is a smaller St George with Dragon at a lower level (14th century) with the superimposed larger figure painted later; on the south wall, the Archangel’s face has been destroyed during the Turkish occupation. The track ends at Katsouni, a small fish-farming community by the entrance to the bay.

Leros Island is part of the Dodecanese Island Group, Greece.

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