Leros


Leros, situated in the northern part of the Dodecanese, has an area of 64
km˛. Approximately 9000 people live here. The medium-sized island became famous (or rather infamous) during the dictatorship of the Greek military junta. The old Italian barracks – left over from World War II – were used as a detention centre for political prisoners. 

Only recently Leros also became a destination for tourists. Tourism is growing rather slowly; the island still is pretty laid back.

Until World War II Leros was Italian. When you wander around you can easily tell. The architecture is quite different from what Greeks at the time considered beautiful. Lakki for example was built in the 1930's. The streets by Greek island standards are unusually wide. The town for this reason appears to be more open, bright and welcoming. The local capitol Agia Marina in contrast was built in a for the islands rather typical style. You can visit both and make up your own mind which you prefer. Also worth visiting are the fishing villages Alinda and Xirokambos.

Leros' beaches are generally not necessarily considered beautiful. On top the island is rather densely populated. That's bad news for hikers. Why you might think would anyone visit Leros? Well, the people are extremely friendly and hospitable, rooms are cheap and the food is not only delicious but also very reasonable. Especially the fish is a good choice. On top it's a good spot to dive.

Worth visiting in Agia Marina (the local capitol) are the Archaeological Museum and of course the quite impressive castle. It was built by the Knights of St John. The view from there is amazing.

The tour doesn't necessarily have to end after dark. There are plenty of bars and night clubs in town that offer cheap drinks and loud music. 

In Xirkambos is a nice little camp site (Panos camping). As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of rooms on Leros even if you travel on a light budget.

Ferries to Leros: The island is easy to reach by ferry. There are daily connections from Leros to Kos, Samos, Patmos and Piraeus (the port of Athens). Leros also has a small airport but the only connection is to Athens. There are however charter flights to the neighbouring islands Kos and Samos.

By the way: The three biggest lakes in Europe are all in Russia.

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