LEROS



redline

Leros - Lakki and the south and west of the island - Lakki to XeroKambos

Lakki to Xerokambos
(South, 5km)

The British were the first to begin to organise the sheltered and hidden southeast corner of Lakki­ Bay, at Lepida, into a naval base; but it was the Italians who developed it most intensively after 1923 and established the ‘G. Rossetti Air Base’ there, out of which soon grew the need for the creation of the town of Porto Lago. The densely treed area was originally the property of a wealthy Greek from Leros who worked in Cairo, Nikolaos Tsigadas, whose villa and gardens here were expropriated by the Italians and used as an officers’ club. In 1923, Florestano di Fausto made designs for the two large buildings visible on the south shore—the long Air Force Officers’ Quarters and the much more classical Administration Building to its west—which has something of the look of a villa on the Italian Lakes. All these buildings are now part of the Leros National Sanatorium (or Mental Illness Institutions) and are therefore generally out of bounds to visitors.
   As the road climbs to the south from Lepida, the site of Palaiokastro can be seen on the left, crowning the low ridge between the bays of Lakki­ (behind) and of Xerokambos (ahead); it is reached by a steep track from the main road. What is seen immediately—the whitewashed church of the Panaghia and the main enclosure wall—is not particularly old: but immediately below the chapel to the east are well preserved stretches of ancient wall in the precise, isodomic masonry typical of the 4th century bc, created from large, slightly rusticated blocks which have been drafted at the corners—the whole structure then rein forced by another course internally. The extent of the walls suggests that more than a tower stood here—probably a larger fortress, possessed of excellent controlling views of the two important bays of the south of the island, and with good sight-lines to the ancient acropolis of the city on the summit where the Knights’ castle now stands above Aghia Marina. A hastily erected mediaeval fortification, which now lies in rubble below, has also been raised on top of the walls here at some point. Traces of Early Christian mosaic in five colours in front of the west door of the chapel show that there was also a Palaeochristian church on this site.
   From the quiet fishing harbour and village of Xerokambos below (4.5km), are magnificent views of the north of Kalymnos: this *marine landscape can be further enjoyed by taking the early-morning cai―que from here to Myrties in the bay of Telendos on Kalymnos, and returning with it, if desired, the same afternoon.
   Five hundred metres along the eastern side of the inlet, a steep path leads down to the shore where the minuscule chapel of the Panaghia ‘Kavouradaina’ (Virgin of the ‘crab-fisher’) is built into a pyramidal cleft in the rocks, in the place where an icon was reputedly found by a crab gatherer. Inside the chapel is a charming, recent icon of the Virgin in an aureole in the form of a crab.


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


access

Leros Island, Greece.

By air: Leros has a small airport at the north end of the island (12km from Lakkí), to which Olympic Air operates a daily (morning) summer service. There is also a flight three times weekly to Astypalaia, Kos and Rhodes.
By boat: Two main ports are used on the island: the daily services by catamaran (Dodecanese Express), and four times weekly by car ferry (F/B Nisos Kalymnos) that ply the route between (Rhodes, Kos) Kalymnos and Patmos (Samos) call at Lakki; from the same port there are late-night ferries to and from Piraeus, four times weekly.
The faster Flying Dolphins on the routes linking the Dodecanese Islands, use the port of Aghia Marina on the east coast of the island: these run daily in summer only. There are also local services to Lipsi and Pat mos from Aghia Marina, and from Xerókambos to Myrtiés on Kalymnos. The latter is worth taking simply for the beauty of the scenery along the way.

Leros Travel Guide

eating

Leros Island, Greece.

Some of Leros"s best eating places are mezé tavernas, serving a wide variety of small dishes to be taken together with an ouzo or wine.
The mezedepoleion "Dimitris" has the most imaginative selection: it is signposted from a bend on the main Lakkí Aghia Marina road above the north end of Vromólithos Bay, and is hidden away beside the steps that lead down from the road. It has a terrace with a pleasant view.
To Koulouki, beside the shore at Koulouki Bay, just to the southwest of Lakkí, similarly serves hot and cold mezé on a peaceful terrace. For a shore-side setting of great beauty and for good quality fish,
To Kima, on the eastern side of Xerókambos Bay is a reliable taverna.
Locals, especially on Sundays, like to eat in the bay of Pandéli (south of the castle). There are three fish restaurants here; of these, Patímenos, is the most original and thoughtful in the presentation of its dishes, as well as the least expensive. But the liveliest experience and best value is represented by the small café, which produces a remarkable variety of mezés—situated in the tiny "square" just in from the shore at Pandéli, where the one-way system turns sharply back up to Platanos and Aghia Marina.

Leros Travel Guide

lodging

Leros Island, Greece.

One of the dozen nicest places to stay in all the Greek islands is on Leros, and is to be recommended above all else: the *Hotel Archontiko Angelou (T. 22470 22749 or mobile 6944 908182, www. hotel-angelou-leros.com) in Alínda is a fine 19th century neoclassical mansion set in its own gardens a little way back from the shore. The rooms are comfortable and beautifully appointed without being over-decorated, the breakfast is excellent, and the setting in every way a delight. Price is moderate: a rental car is advisable.
At the southern end of the island, in Xerókambos, the studio-rooms at Villa Maria (T. 22470 27827) are very simple indeed, but are given life by the burgeoning flowers all around: the lodgings are peaceful, inexpensive and pleasant.

Leros Travel Guide

practical info

Leros Island, Greece.

85 400 Leros: area 54sq km
perimeter 82km
resident population 8087
max. altitude 326m.
Port Authorities: Lakkí, T. 22470 22224
Aghia Marina, T. 22470 23256.
Travel and information: Lakki, Aegean Travel, T. 22470 26000, www.aegeantravel.gr
Aghia Marina, Kastis Travel, T. 22470 22140, www. kastis.eu

Leros Travel Guide

Book your Trip to Greece

ferry

advertisements