Numerous charmingly hidden-away sandy coves are to be found along the coastline on holidays to Leros. Cafes and eateries are in abundance, and the stunning marina lined with luxury yachts offers a touch of sophistication. The marina occupies an enclosed bay with a mouth only 500 metres across, one of the largest natural harbours in the Mediterranean.
The beautiful green contours of Leros are lightly peppered with cubed white villas and holiday homes between small sandy coves, olive groves, figs, carobs, tobacco, fruit and grapes. Travel the excellent roads lined with eucalyptus and pine, to discover the beautiful beaches and visit all the island’s resorts in no time at all.
The chief local attraction here is the Belenis Castle Tower founded by a wealthy Leros family in 1925. A restored, stone-built mansion, it now houses a fascinating folklore museum. Within is a delightful courtyard used as a venue for local festivals taking place during the summer months. But, if no Greek holiday is complete for you without some time spent in the serene interior of an ancient monastery or church, then choose between the Monastery of Agios Sofronios and the churches of Agios Saranta or Agios Isidoros. Nearby are the remains of some ancient stone dwellings.
The main shopping centre is in Platanos, selling fresh produce and locally produced goods such as honey and cheese. The island’s three traditional markets can be found at Agia Marina, Platanos and Lakki with a variety of products to peruse. For souvenirs, check out the local folk art shops for traditionally hand-woven fabrics, embroidered goods and ceramics. Jewellery can be purchased in the boutiques and you will also find alcohol, clothes and shoes imported from overseas sold at low prices.
The island capital Platinos, overlooked by a castle on a hill, lies on the south side of the bay, a brief taxi-ride away. With its striking, richly-coloured Italianate buildings, it is a lovely place to spend the day. It offers some chic boutiques and, where it connects with the picture-postcard port of Agia Marina, there are waterfront cafes and bakeries to tempt you in for a baklava or spanakopita perhaps.