Lipsi

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Getting to Lipsi

Dodekanese map

Where is Lipsi? The island lies at the northern end off the Dodecanese group, close to the coast of Turkey and south-west of the large holiday island of Samos.

Lipsi is a tiny island and has no airport so ferries are the only way to get there. Fortunately, it's on the regular route of the Dodekanisos Seaways' catamarans so it gets regular ferry services and there are also connections to the clutch of local islands that include Patmos, Leros and Samos.

Despite being very small, the roads on the Lipsi are remarkably good thanks to some generous EU cash. Holiday visitors have only a few beaches to choose from but they are all very pleasant, quiet and the main beaches have good tavernas.

There is a good amount of accommodation on Lipsi given its small size but it is not wise to turn up without a reservation in summer.

Updated for 2016

Lipsi flights: travel by air

Find a flight to Greece

There is no airport on Lipsi but the island is so well served by ferries. It means the island relatively easy to get to from several nearby island airports but journeys from the UK usually require an overnight stop on the way. Most visitors will fly either to the island of Samos, in the north, or to Kos, in the south.

Samos International Airport(SMI), just outside the port of Pythagorion, is the nearest to Lipsi but ferry services have become depleted in recent years. It's easy to get from the airport to the port but visitors usually have to spend a night on Samos before catching a boat the next day.

As well as charter flights to Samos there are five domestic flights daily (three in winter) from Athens and twice weekly flights from Thessaloniki.

Visitors to Lipsi will probably find it easier to get a cheap flight to Kos Airport, to the south, and catch one of the the Dodekanisos Seaways' catamarans that sail this route daily. However, it's a two-hour boat journey and it will almost certainly require an overnight stop on Kos unless the plane arrives early in the day.

An alternative route is to take a cheap flight to Athens followed by an internal domestic flight to the nearby islands of Patmos or Leros which do have small airports. It is then a case of catching of of the regular ferry crossings to Lipsi. Travellers will still probably need an overnight stop on the way.

Lipsi ferries: travel by sea

Lipsi island is on the main Dodecanese island ferry route and so is pretty well served by ferries and hydrofoils heading both north and south, despite it being such a small island.

Dodekanisos Seaways has a fast daily catamaran service from Rhodes to Patmos and back which calls at Symi, Tilos, Nisyros, Kos, Kalymnos, Leros, Patmos and Agathonissi during the summer. In winter it by-passes Tilos, Nissyros and Agathoniss.

Blue Star Ferries includes Lipsi on the Piraeus to Rhodes route of the luxury car ferry 'Diagoras' which calls in at Patmos, Lipsi, Leros, Kalymnos, Kos and Symi. It runs just one day a week, usually Wednesday and usually arrives at Lipsi in the early hours.

Local boats run regular trips to nearby islands and details of daily sailings can be found posted in the harbour. The Anna Express, for example sails from Lipsi to Kalymnos, Leros, Arkioi and Agathonisi most days, leaving around 8am and returning around 4pm.

Several small boats also offer summer season day trips to the local islets, notably the five-island cruise aboard the sailing boats 'Rena' and 'Margarita'. Details of sailings are usually posted in the harbour.

Lipsi map: getting around

Lipsi, or Lipsoi, is a small island that lies at the northern edge of the Dodecanese group between the islands of Samos and Leros. It is very small, only about about 16 square kilometres with about 35 kilometres of coastline.

It's hilly but has no mountains; the highest point is only 300 metres. The coastline, however, is heavily indented with small, sheltered coves, many graced by small shingle beaches. The island has a population of around 700 mostly engaged in fishing and tourism.

The large sheltered harbour of the main port of Lipsi provides very good anchorage and so the island is a popular port of call for yacht flotillas.

No beach on Lipsi is more than a two hour walk from the port, which is where most holiday visitors have accommodation. A good road links Lipsi Town to Platys Yialos beach in the north and Katsadia in the south but trips to many other beaches must be made on foot, for part of the way at least.

Lipsi has a typically Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. In July and August temperatures on Lispi can soar up to 40°C and many beaches have little in the way of shade. Beaches on Lipsi are bare of sunbeds too, so it's a towel on the sand or shingle for holiday visitors.

For visitors planning a walking holiday then September to October and April to late June are considered the best times to visit Lipsi. The weather in spring and autumn is warm and comfortable either side of the cooler winter period.

Lipsi transport: travel on land

Car rental

Lipsi is a small island but it does now have quite a network of paved roads criss-crossing the island and leading to the main beaches.

The main road runs from Lipsi harbour to Platys Yialos beach, in the north, and to Katsadia beach, in the south, with small branches here and there as it circles the hillside behind the port.

A minibus service often starts up in summer, leaving from a small park in the centre of the harbour and visiting all the main beaches. An island taxi service also operates to those beaches that can be reached by road, or drivers will drop visitors at the start of dirt tracks that lead to various beach coves.

The Poseidon Studios sits prominently on the hillside above the ferry jetty in Lipsi Town and has a selection of motor scooters and cycles for hire.

Lipsi rooms: places to stay

Rooms

There is a reasonable amount of accommodation on Lipsi given its small size (about 350 beds available) but it is probably not wise to turn up without a reservation in high summer as holiday rental rooms on Lipsi can be highly sought after.

Almost all holiday accommodation is centred around the main port of Lipsi port, including three small hotels. Accommodation is mainly rooms to rent but there are a few villas and apartment complexes about. The waterfront at Lipsi is lined with tavernas with even more found in the village centre around the church.

There are a couple of dozen studio apartments both in the main village and overlooking nearby Liendou beach. Rooms can also be rented near outlying beaches at Katsadia and Tourkomnia.