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Leros

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Greek Islands » Leros » Travel

Getting to Leros

Dodekanese map

Where is Leros? The island lies at the northern end of the Dodecanese group north of Kalymnos, close to the coast of Turkey and in a clutch of islands than include Patmos, Lipsi and the larger Samos, to the north.

Domestic flights from Athens land at the small airport to the north of the island. Flights also operate less often to Rhodes to the south.

Leros is also a port of call for the fast catamarans of Dodekanisos Seaways that sail the route between Rhodes and Patmos daily. There are also small boat services to several other local islands.

The Leros road network is good, thanks to the Italians who occupied in the island in the last war and developed it as a military base. Even far-flung beaches to the north of the island have decent road links.

Leros has a good supply of hotels, rooms and apartments right across the island and visitors should be able to find a room at any time of the year.

Updated for 2016

Leros flights: travel by air

There are no charter flights to Leros and visitors usually fly to Athens, Samos or Kos and catch a ferry to Leros.

A small Leros Airport (LRS) was built at Partheni on the north coast in 1984 and this takes daily flights from Athens.

Taxis usually line up to meet incoming planes; there is no public bus service.

There are also flights to Rhodes, but it is best to check with the airport as these can be irregular.

Leros Airport is tiny and has no facilities. It's worth noting that the runway at Panteli is very short.

Most visitors to Leros fly to Athens and catch at internal flight. Olympic Airlines and EasyJet both offer scheduled services to Athens, useful for travelling out of season.

Another option is a cheap flight to Kos and a catamaran to Leros, a sailing time of about two hours. If visitors cannot make a same-day connection there is no problem picking up an overnight room on Kos.

Kos airport is located in the centre of the island, about 26 kilometres west of the ferry port of Kos Town, so time must be allowed for buses or taxis. There is a closer port at Mastichari but this only runs ferries to Kalymnos, although it is possible to pick up a Leros catamaran sailing from there.

Leros ferries: travel by sea

Leros has two main harbours. Long route ferry services usually call in a the deep water port of Lakki in the north while smaller boats tie up at Agia Anna in the south.

Blue Star Ferries has sailings on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to Leros from the Athens' port of Piraeus, a crossing of more than nine hours, that calls in at the islands of Syros and Patmos before sailing on in the early morning to Kos and Rhodes. It makes the return journey on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.

A Blue Star ferry also calls in during the small hours of Wednesday sailing from Piraeus via Patmos, Leros, Lipsi, Kalymnos and Kos and from Rhodes late Wednesday night via Symi, Kos and Kalymnos.

Leros is also on the main daily Dodecanese island route run by Dodekanisos Seaways with fast catamaran connections to and from Patmos, Kalymnos, Kos, Nisyros, Symi and Rhodes with the boats Dodekanisos Express and Dodekanisos Pride.

Local boats run services to nearby islands most days and details are posted in the port of Agia Marina. The Anna Express, for example, includes Leros in daily sailings to Lipsi, Kalymnos, Arki and Agathonisi while the Patmos Star runs services between Patmos, Leros and Lipsi.

The 'Barabarossa' sailing boat offers daily excursions from Agia Marina at 11am and returning at 7pm. There are also day trips from Leros to islets at Kinaros, Levitha and Farmakonissi.

Leros map: getting around

Leros is one of the Dodecanese islands located between Patmos and Kalymnos, off the north-west coast of Turkey.

The heavily indented coastline and large deep water coves, notably at Lakki - one of the deepest in the Mediterranean - made Leros an island of strategic importance in World War Two.

It has an area of around 53 sq km with a length of 15 kilometres and a width of 1.5 kilometres at its narrowest point. The coastline is about 46 kilometres long and the population of about 9,000 mostly live in the Platanos region between Agia Marina and Lakki.

Much of Leros is relatively flat (Leros is Greek for 'smooth') and it has many freshwater springs that keep the island green all year, Leros is also surrounded by many small and uninhabited islets.

Leros enjoys typical east Mediterranean weather of long, hot summers and mild, wet winters. In spring the temperatures rise quickly to 24°C by May. June sees another steep temperature rise to an average 29°C and very little rain. Clear days and hot sunshine are almost guaranteed until September.

October and November days can still be warm and sunny with only six to eight days of rain but December sees plenty of heavy rainfall on the island.

Leros transport: travel on land

Car rental

Leros has a good road system, the result of Italian occupation when they turned the island into a major military base, so all the beach resorts can be reached fairly easily.

There is a bus service on Leros that connects Agia Marina with Lakki via Platanos and times are posted in the village squares. The main bus station is in Platanos and the route serves Agia Marina, Krithoni, Alinta, Kamara, Partheni, Platanos, Lakki and Xirokampos.

There are local Leros car rental outfits in Panteli and Alinda. In Panteli there is a car hire firm on the beachfront opposite the Psaropoula taverna and another on the road to Platanos. At Alinda a car rental firm operates near the Belenis tower.

Taxis are found in all the main villages, notably around the ports when ferries are due. The main taxi station is in Platanos. You can also call for a taxi in Platanos area on 023070/024970 or in the Lakki area on 022550

Leros rooms: places to stay

Rooms

There is a good supply of hotels, rooms and self-catering studios in the main ports and coastal resorts of Leros. As the island has escaped mass tourism visitors should be able to find a room on spec even in the high summer season.

The main port town of Lakki has a number of good hotels and studios and it's handy for catching a ferry but most visitors head for the east coast resorts of Agia Marina, Pandeli and Alinda. Pandeli is a slightly better option, offering a good selection of hotels and studios but without being as crowded .

Holiday accommodation in Agia amd Alinda can get block-booked by tour firms, although independent travellers should be able to find something. Much of the island's holiday accommodation shuts down from October to April.

The south coast resort of Xirokambos has a few rooms and the only campsite on Leros, located in an olive grove set back from the sandy bay. Camping Leros is also home to a scuba diving centre, a small restaurant and a bar.