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LEROS

Leros Island is always hospitable and friendly to each of its visitors.

It is the halcyon place of the 8.500 citizens, with the quiet and smooth shades that combines low mountains and small verdurous terrains with pines and eucalypts, olives, oranges and floriated gardens.

At Leros, masters the liquid element as from the north and the east it is surrounded by many desolate islets while it reminds of a lacy dot inside the Aegean rockgarden. Its coasts are laciniate with scenic voes and attractive beaches all around the deep blue sea while two isthmuses and seven moorings divide the island into three terrains.

The snow-white houses, other centralized or other dispersed complete this insular scene.

Its capital, Platanos with the old, neoclassical country seats, Panteli and the small port of Agia Marina sum up an exquisite team rooted on the small mountain with the Castle of the Seven Eons seating at its top.

Leros, according to the myth was recorded as the Artemis Island at the Land Registry of the Olympian Gods. It is also the fatherland of Pherecydes, the historian, as long as of the Scoptic poet Dhaemodocus.

The first habitants of Leros Island are considered the Phoenixes, the Leleges and the Karians. The initial signs of the inhabitation where tracked down at Partheni and Gourna and are traced back to the Neolithic Period. An important monument od the Prehistory of the island is the settlements of Kontarida and Partheni.

The Byzantine Ages with mark Leros with brilliant pieces of the Ecclesiastic architecture and the fortification works such as the Castle in Panteli with the three preserved surrounding fences and the Castle of the Blades of the Hellenistic Ages.

Today the city places modern marine services, for and, two craft-service units, modern market, hotel units, restaurants, night clubs and peaceful beaches for your plunges. Of much interest is also the "Monument to the Fallen" of the "Queen Olga"

Stew-can and many other monuments, such as the one for the German soldiers, the other for the Italian soldiers, the Monument to the Greek battleship "Adrias" and the Monument for the "Queen Olga" Stew-can itself.

The island recalls to the visitor's memory scenes of interwar motion pictures. Art Deco buildings, boulevards, villas, malls, and a cornice with characteristic pillars and lamp-brackets, literally and metaphorically pieces of a straightforwardly bonded with that period's historical facts. For this, undoubtedly pioneer architectonic style, accountable are the Italian architects and city planners of the 2nd world war who impressed the mixture of the classical, neofuturistic and rationalistic architecture reflected by that period's Italian colonialism philosophy.

You will also be impressed by the Public Market with the distinguishing Tower-Clock and the circular peristyle and by the Italian Custmhouse, the St. Nicolas Church-ex Chiesa San Francesco, the big Navy Administration building with the seaplane station and the State Hospital.

Platanos , Agia Marina an the scenic village of Panteli do not differ from each other, as they represent a uniform residential group that climbs through the castle and the surrounding hills, floodlights as it spreads and finally steeps in aquamarine waters.

Many traditional houses are maintained well here. Taking a walk you will meet Aulaki with the limpid waters gurgling from the springs of Palioaskloupis, the neoclassical townhall, the church of Christ and the church of the Holy Cross and Agia Paraskevi, the first island's capital city.

In Panteli with its seafood restaurants and Agia Marina, you can get a good percept of Leros while walking at narrows streets and pictorial alleys. Agia Marina, from the one side, with the old Romaic Presidio with the mosaics, the arched structures and the remains of the mains that, until '88 it was used as a wharf and on the other side we find the storied Windmill, built in the water.

Over the windmills queue and at 400 m. height upon the sea, at Pitikis hill erects the Castle. When you step its 499 stairs you will feel its territorial domination and you will have the chance to survey the whole island and the nearest of Kalymnos, Patmos, Leipsoi, also Turkish mountains.

At the west side of the Castle you will meet the ritual symbol of the island, Panagias church. Crowds of people follow the same root every year at the fifteenth of August to submit to Panagia's grace. At the eve, the mothers are dressing their vowed children in black, they prepare the Holy Bread, climb the 499 stairs and peel them leaving the black costumes to Panagia (Holy Mary).

The castle gets more beautiful under the evening lights. It has been built over ancient ruins and the Byzantine ages and the excavation revealed a tomb of the 7th century B.C. The Italians at the interwar years bulwarked it as a watchtower and today, almost intact, it lodges the Spiritual Museum.

At Agia Marina's town are centralized all the throngs of people as it features the majority of the bars, cafeterias and taverns.

You should also visit Ksirokambos. It is only 7 km. far from Agia Marina city at the southwards of the island. At Ksirokambos bay islet like Glaronisi and Velona pop up while Kalymnos coastline looms crosswise. Ksirokambos is the favourite area for all the spare fishers, as it represents a perfect swimming scene because of its sandy beach with the limpid and so transparent waters that you can observe deeply and clearly for almost the first 45 meters low. There also functions a Scuba-diving Training School.

At the end of the Ksirokambos natural fjord, tight between two huge rocks that veil it, you will find the lilliputian tabernacle of Panagia I Kouravadaina, one of the most beautiful in Leros. Its belfry is directly observing to the sea and shelving its scales appears the cavity of Panagia's rock. The Bema is the edge of this stone and Panagias icon is figured with a giant crab.

St. Isidoros  at Kamara is the most photographed tabernacle of the island as it gives the impression that it emerges from the thalassic rock, one of the numerous landscapes of Leros, while of much interest you will consider Gourna's Bay with its shallow waters, a whilom biotope for the birds of passage. Featuring thrifts, shelves and rocks it host the so called "Tears", the flavourful little white flower. If you reach the end of the road at sit at the precinct of St. George Church that is actually overhanging the sea you will have the opportunity to enjoy a delightful evening.

Three km. after Platanos is placed the most touristic spot of the island, Alinda, where the heart of Leros pulses and the area hums. Here you should visit the Belenis Castle, a voguish renovated palace that also hosts the Folklore and Historic Museum.

Near Platanos seats panteli, a small, picturesque hamlet with genuine insular temper. The old, thraditional houses, the boats, the sloops the ferry-boats and the fish-houses form an idyllic scene backgrounded by the azure of sea and the closest islet of Agia Kyriaki.

If you like the walks on nature Leros will recompense you. It worth's getting to Kleidi, of the 320 m. height, the best spot to survey the whole island. On the one side lie Alinda, Agia Marina, Platanos and Kastro and on the other outstretch Partheni, Belefoutis and numerous holms and skerries that look like pugmarks on the Aegean Sea. All around you, also, see Archangelos, Agia Kyriaki, Marathi, Aspronisia, Farios, Petalida, Faradonisia, Glaronisia, Velona and Chalabropa. Every angle in your visual field is filled by the picture of the island-seeded ocean.

From Kleidi you can also eye the wooden wolds with the pines, the eucalypts, the oaks, the olives and the carobs and realize the reason that the island took the name Leros that in Greek meens "glabrous", "flatish". This place bears excellent olive oil and honey, oranges, mandarins, lemons, mellows, prickly pears, carobs and the unique "Gavapha fruit" that externally seems like the lemon, it has many spores and it is sweet and sour. Gavafa fruit is only found in Leros and Egypt.

Map of Leros

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