Leros: a quiet but lovely island
Leros has only recently started to attract more tourism (most of the tourists we saw there were Greek), and this makes it the perfect place to go relax for a few days (and in my case, finish up some translation work).
We took the catamaran to the Agia Marina port, and stayed at Utopia Hotel Apartments, a fifteen-minute walk from the centre. (The studio apartment was huge, bright, and about a third of the price of a much smaller flat in zone 2 or 3 of London.) Agia Marina and three other towns – Alinda, Platanos, and Pandeli– bleed into each other, so if you stay in one of them you can easily see the rest. Make sure you bring enough cash with you for your stay, because most places don’t accept cards and the only ATMs we saw were in Agia Marina.
Roser and I started off our time in Leros by heading to the beach in between Agia Marina and Alinda. After that, we had dinner at Mylos Restaurant. We had white wine, bread with taramosalata (a salty fish egg dip), fresh grilled shrimp, mussels, and fresh sardines. It was all excellent and we would have gone back if it hadn’t been a little pricier than we tend to like our meals.
The next day we rented bikes (the road between Agia Marina and Alinda isn’t really made for pedestrians and the buses didn’t seem that regular, so it’s best to rent a vehicle) and had lunch at To Fanari, where we were given a sample dish of fresh green beans in tomato sauce as well as the dolmadakia and meatballs we had ordered.
We spent another day walking around Agia Marina, walking up the hill to Platanos (from there you can also walk up to see the castle for views of Leros), and then walking down to Pandeli, a small harbour where we had lunch, swam, and watched the boats go by.
Our last day was spent on the beach in Alinda. Then we walked back for fresh fish and chicken souvlaki at Xenonas before heading to bed early (our flight to Lesvos was at 7am the following morning).
On Leros we sunbathed, ate good food, and played a lot of cards on the beach. It was great to do nothing and just enjoy the scenery after all the island hopping we had been doing. There is still plenty of the island we haven’t seen yet, and we will definitely be back to enjoy it – and maybe go on one of the boat tours to the archipelago of smaller islands in the north.