Leros - Ten things you must see and do! (and help the Greek economy)
|Leaving Kos for Leros|
|Lunch at the beach|
|Kerrie, Judy, Anna (the hairdresser) and Jodie|
|Underground war museum|
|Mr Nikitas showing Dimitri the Guns of Leros (Navarone) site|
|Dimitra at Paninos|
- Hire a scooter from Rena at Leros Rentals and ride the winding hills and magical bays of this peaceful paradise (a peace which is only broken by the sound of scooters winding through the hills and magical bays).
- Introduce yourself to Mr Nikitas (the father of Rena) at the leather goods shop next to Leros rentals. He was living on the island when the Battle of Leros took place. See if he is available to take you on a personal tour of ‘The Guns of Navarone’ site and also through the underground bunker war museum.
- Go to Paninos cafe in the main street of Lakki. It has views of the harbour, excellent coffee and home made lunches. There you will meet Dimitra, the beautiful owner, for another perspective on what you should see and do while enjoying your stay on Leros. She may even offer to take you to some of the beautiful Byzantine churches that are scattered throughout the island.
- Have a barbecued whole calamari, stuffed with fetta, peppers and tomatos for lunch, right on the beach at on of the authentic cuisine restaurants that line the stony beaches of the timeless bays that skirt Leros.
- If you have the desire for a new hairstyle to suit the warmth and exotic nature of your island environment, look for Anna Phya at Salon de Coiffure. After a few days of sailing down the winds she will have you looking like the Greek Goddess you truly are in a heartbeat.
- Casually enquire at the security gate to the Leros Psychiatric Hospital. There is a good chance that Agiris will answer your call and if you can speak Greek (thanks Dimitri) you could ask him if he will give you the ‘unauthorised’ motor scooter tour of the world war two military and submarine base that also includes the history of the psychiatric hospital on the site from 1957 until its current day operation.
- Have an inspirational morning run (or walk) from the Lakki marina to the northern rim of the harbour, soaking up the natural beauty midst the scent of lemon eucalypts. Then stop off for a coffee, tea or freddochino at Paninos on the way back.
- Visit the ancient Temple of Artemis (10th century AD) on the archaeological site of Partheni near the airport. The inside of this church was decorated with haunting icons by some of the 4000 political detainees (depicting their own faces) that were held in a prison camp in this region of island during the 1967-74 dictatorship of Greece.
- The six windmills (waiting for their sails to be repaired) of Leros, standing guard high on a ridge overlooking three sides of the island are an experience that will sit with you forever. Mr Nikitas has a key to one of them and if you ask him nicely I am almost certain he would love to share their history with you.
|The old admin centre of the psychiatric hospital|
|Inside the admin part of the old hospital|
|The windmills with castle in the background|
|View from the castle|
|One of the over 100 churches|
|Icon decorations by political detainees|
|Dimitra with Dimitri|