sky, small islands, sea, church, BUSH

Leipsoi

NOW 19 °C

Next 5 days

  • SAT 32 °C
  • SUN 34 °C
  • MON 27 °C
  • TUES 28 °C
  • WED 35 °C

Source: National Observatory of Athens /meteo.gr

Leipsoi (pronounced Lipse) are numerous small islands and islets in the Southeastern Aegean Sea, which form the northern part of the Dodecanese island group. Leipso or Leipsoi is the name of the largest island of the Leipsoi chain, and it’s located between the islands of Patmos and Leros. It is blessed with a charming natural landscape, friendly people, ideal for day-trip excursions by boat and is the ultimate get-away-from-it-all island fantasy. This lesser-known destination is highly recommended for your next summer holiday, especially if you prefer relaxing in a place of pristine nature.

Odysseus the legendary hero in Greek mythology, in Homer's epic, the “Odyssey, was captured by the witch Calypso who fell in love with him and kept him captive for next seven years until he managed to return to his beloved Ithaca. The island of Leipsoi has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Today the only village on the island is Chora, built by Ilias, a Cretan guy who arrived there in the second half of the 17th c. and settled on the hill slope where present day Chora is located. The town expanded across the slope all the way down to the island’s natural harbour.
Lipsi is blessed with a charming natural landscape, friendly people, ideal for day-trip excursions by boat and is the ultimate get-away-from-it-all island fantasy.

Chora and environs

White and blue are the colours that stand out in the Chora, as is on other Aegean Sea islands. Stroll along its alleys and visit its monuments. Next to the Town Hall, you’ll see the impressive church of Agios Ioannis Theologos (St. John the Theologian), its beautiful blue dome and the two belfries. Inside, look for the icon of Panagia Mavri (Virgin Mary) which dates to c. 1500.

Visit also the Ecclesiastical and Folk-Art Museum, right by the church, where you will see ecclesiastical heritage items and the island’s archaeological collection. Take a trip to Panagia tou Charou, a monastery dating to the early 17th c. located only 1.5 km off Chora; there you will see a rare icon of the Virgin Mary holding the Crucified Christ, not the Divine Baby. On August 23rd, join the locals from the neighbouring islands who visit to Panagia tou Charou monastery for the religious feast that takes place in the area. Make a stop by Kastro, an archaeological site near Chora, where you will see the ruins of an ancient town.

The island is small enough for most people to be able to explore it on foot. The entire chain of islands is part of the Natura 2000 protected areas network. You will enjoy hiking along low hills, planes, and ravines, as the air is filled with the scent of oregano, thyme and savoury shrubs.

Local flavours

Fishing and farming are important activities for the locals. You will find delicious fresh seafood, you’ll taste locally raised lamb and goat kid meat and tasty cheeses like touloumotyri (soft white cheese with a slight piquant taste) & myzithra (a soft white cheese that resembles the Italian ricotta), and also other savoury dishes such as pitaroudia (crispy patties made with greens, eggs, tomato, cheese, and spices) and favokeftedes (fried split yellow peas patties). Your sweet options include the local must-try thyme honey on its own or as a topping on kserotigana with cinnamon and walnuts. Last but not least, try the sweet red wine made from the local Fokiano variety, which is bottled on the island. If you visit the island in August, don’t miss out on the three-day wine feast, check the dates!
BY SEA
Leipsoi is connected to Piraeus and other Aegean ports. The conventional ships make the route ""Piraeus - Lipsi"" in about 9 hours while the high-speed ones in about 8

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Ferry routes

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