Information about Leipsoi

LeipsoiLeipsoi, consist of a group of 24 islands one of which is inhabited, Lipsos. The architecture of Leipsoi is classic island style, with white houses and buildings, blue windows, a picturesque and sheltered port, the square that gathers all the services around it. The visitor will encounter a central settlement in Leipsos and some others that consist mainly of holiday homes.

You will come across many churches of the 15th and 16th centuries that are still preserved or parts of them integrated into newer churches, with many mosaics, bell towers, etc. to impress. In the peace of the green of olives and vines, with springs nearby, the harmony of faith with the environment is a perfect combination.

The surroundings of Leipsoi, with the many vineyards and olive trees coloring their dry and arid soil with green, ends in beaches of infinite beauty. With crystal clear blue or turquoise waters, with sand or pebbles, with natural shade some from tamarisks or trees, in bays protected from the winds of the Aegean or open to it, all of them are wonderful, with a unique virgin, still, beauty.

The ducks that, familiar with man now, swim next to him will make an impression. Boats ply routes to the islands so that one can visit even more beaches, just as shocking as those of Leipsos.

choraNature lovers in Leipsoi, with their small area, will walk on paths that lead to chapels, ancient ruins and small bays, through vineyards and olive trees. The main path, paved with stone, 900m long. Leipsoi is included in the NATURA 2000 network, it is a refuge for many wild seabirds, sea turtles and Mediterranean seals.

The island complex has to offer beyond enchanting images, a rich seabed to explore, with underwater caves that excite diving and underwater swimming fanatics. In Leipsoi with short distances, the bicycle or motorbike are the best means of transportation, since the terrain with low hills and plains is passable and easy. Tennis and basketball courts are there for moments of sport and fun.

leipsoi-islandLeipsoi are suitable for peaceful holidays and have accommodation in harmony with the natural environment, built with respect to the architecture of the place. Taverns with traditional dishes and appetizers, with fresh seafood and fish will cover every taste. The local recipes go beyond the imagination and the famous local wine or tsipouro complements it, offering a tasty and unique whole.

The local products of Leipsoi are prepared and cared for in traditional ways, which is why they stand out. Their supply from shops will cause the memory to return to the unique moments experienced by anyone who visited these islands.

Leipsoi, an island that has unparalleled beauty and hides treasures, is an ideal destination for those who want to combine history, knowledge, exercise and idyllic landscapes, sea in all shades of blue.

Historical past

In mythology, Leipsoi is often intertwined with the larger narrative of the Greek pantheon. According to legend, the island was believed to be where the goddess Calypso detained Odysseus for several years, as recounted in Homer’s epic, “The Odyssey.” Although this particular legend is more commonly associated with the island of Ogygia, some local traditions identify Leipsoi as a potential location for this mythic tale, adding a layer of mystique to its shores.

The name “Leipsoi” itself is said to derive from the ancient Greek word “leipein,” meaning to leave behind, perhaps alluding to the island’s role as a place of seclusion or hidden away from the main travel routes of ancient seafarers. This etymology hints at the island’s long-standing identity as a remote and somewhat isolated locale, which has shaped much of its historical trajectory.

Historically, Leipsoi has seen a succession of dominions, starting from its time under the rule of the Ionians, followed by Roman and then Byzantine control. The island’s strategic location in the Aegean made it a valuable outpost for these empires, serving both as a lookout point and a stopover for ships navigating these busy maritime routes. During the Byzantine era, Christianity took root on the island, a legacy that is evident in the numerous chapels and churches scattered across its landscape.

It wasn’t until the early 20th century that Leipsoi, along with the other Dodecanese islands, was liberated and officially integrated into the modern Greek state after World War II. This more recent history is marked by the island’s development into a modest yet thriving community, bolstered by advances in fishing, agriculture, and tourism.


port-of-leipsoiThe surface of the main island of Leipsoi is 15.8 with a coastline of 36 km. The terrain of the island consists of low hills (Skafi has the highest height with 277 m. followed by Plaka with a height of 200 m. Leipsoi’s geographical setting allows for numerous natural harbors and bays, which historically provided shelter for fishing boats against the often unpredictable Aegean winds. The main port of the island also serves as a quaint harbor, where small boats bob alongside the quay, adding to the picturesque scenery that defines the island.

The climate of Leipsoi is typical of the Aegean region, featuring mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. This Mediterranean climate supports a rich variety of flora, with scrubby bushes, olive trees, and vines being predominant. These plants not only add to the island’s rustic aesthetic but also play a role in the local economy, with olive oil and wine production being notable industries.

The island’s coastline is punctuated by numerous beaches that range from small secluded coves to larger, more accessible stretches of sand. These beaches are often surrounded by crystal-clear waters and are a significant draw for eco-tourists and those seeking a peaceful retreat.

What to Do

Apart from its natural beauty, there are plenty of things to do on Leipsoi Island that will make your visit truly memorable. In this section of our travel guide, we’ll explore some of the top activities and experiences you can enjoy on this magical island.

Visit the Monastery of Panagia Harou

The Monastery of Panagia Harou is one of the most significant landmarks on Leipsoi Island. Located on top of a hill overlooking the picturesque harbor, this 17th-century monastery is not only a religious site but also an architectural masterpiece. Within its walls lies a stunning courtyard with colorful flowers and intricate carvings along with a museum showcasing religious artifacts dating back several centuries.

Relax at Platis Gialos Beach

No trip to Leipsoi Island would be complete without spending some time at Platis Gialos Beach. This beautiful beach offers white sand and turquoise waters that are perfect for swimming and relaxing under the sun. You can rent loungers and umbrellas or simply spread out your towel on the soft sand for a laid-back day by the sea.

Enjoy Water Activities

Leipsoi’s crystal clear waters make it an ideal spot for water activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving. The island’s rich marine life will leave you in awe as you explore colorful reefs teeming with fish species like grouper, octopus, red snapper, and more.

Taste Local Delicacies

You will be delighted by the traditional flavors of Leipsoi Island. Make sure to try local specialties like octopus in red wine sauce (htapodi krasato), stuffed eggplants (papoutsakia), and kaldereta (lamb stew). You can also visit one of the many family-owned wineries on the island for a taste of their famous Leipsoi wine.

Hiking and Nature Exploration

hikingOne of the most popular hikes on the island is to Panagia tou Harou, also known as the Virgin Mary’s Church. The hike starts from Chorio, the main village of Leipsoi, and takes approximately 1 hour each way. Along the way, you will pass through olive groves and traditional stone houses before reaching the church perched atop a hill with breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea. The church itself is also worth exploring with its carved iconostasis (altar screen), frescoes, and an impressive collection of religious paintings.

For those looking for a more challenging hike, there is a trail leading to Mount Skafi at 224 meters above sea level. This 2-hour trek rewards hikers with panoramic views of Leipsoi and its neighboring islands such as Leros and Patmos. The trail begins at Chorio but quickly turns into a rugged path that winds through pine forests and rocky terrain before reaching the summit where you can enjoy a picnic while taking in the stunning vistas.

Another must-do experience is to explore Leipsoi’s unspoiled coastline by foot. With over 40 km of coastline made up of cliffs, coves, and beaches – there is no shortage of options when it comes to coastal hikes on this island. One particular highlight is walking along Papanikolis Beach which stretches from Kambos Bay all the way to Platis Yialos Beach offering breathtaking views along with secluded spots perfect for swimming or picnicking.

If you are interested in learning more about Leipsoi’s flora and fauna, then the island’s nature reserves are not to be missed. The protected area of Kouselio is home to a diverse range of plants and animals including the rare Mediterranean Chameleon. You can hike through this reserve and gain insight into the island’s unique ecosystem.

Cultural Experiences

churchLeipsoi is the perfect place to immerse yourself in authentic Greek culture. One of the must-do cultural experiences on Leipsoi Island is visiting the Monastery of Panagia tou Harou. This stunning monastery, built in the 17th century, is perched on top of a hill overlooking the island’s main harbor.

As you walk through the picturesque winding streets lined with whitewashed buildings, you’ll reach this beautiful religious site that houses a museum and a church filled with intricate frescoes and icons. The peaceful atmosphere and panoramic views from the monastery make it a must-visit for those seeking spiritual enlightenment or simply looking to soak up some history.

Be sure to attend one of Leipsoi’s many festivals throughout the year. One of the most popular events is Yacht Racing Week held every August where locals compete in sailing races while visitors can enjoy live music, dancing, and delicious food made using fresh local produce. The island also hosts an annual music festival featuring both traditional Greek music acts as well as international artists.

Traditional dishes such as moussaka (layered potato dish with meat) and souvlaki (grilled meat skewers) can be found at family-run tavernas across the island. However, for a truly unique and immersive experience, book a cooking class with a local family who will teach you how to prepare authentic dishes using traditional island ingredients like fava beans and mizithra cheese.


beachLiendou the main beach of Leipsoi Town, it offers a picturesque setting with calm turquoise waters perfect for swimming or enjoying a leisurely stroll along the shore. This beach is also known as “Hohlakoura” locally and has a few traditional tavernas nearby where you can grab a bite to eat after your swim.

For those seeking more secluded spots, Makrys gialos Beach is just 20 minutes away from Leipsoi Town by foot. This pebble beach boasts stunning views of the surrounding landscape and is ideal for sunbathing or snorkeling in its shallow waters. It also has a small taverna serving fresh seafood right on the beach – making it a great spot to spend the entire day!

But perhaps one of Leipsoi’s most unique beaches is Katsadia Beach located on the northern side of the island. Accessible only by boat or by trekking through a scenic path, this unspoiled gem offers privacy and tranquility with its soft sand and crystal clear waters. It is highly recommended to bring some snacks and drinks as there are no facilities available here.

If you’re feeling adventurous, head over to Monodendri Beach which can be found at the northern tip of Leipsoi Island. This remote beach can only be reached by hiking down a steep path but rewards visitors with breathtaking views once they reach it. Its serene atmosphere makes it an ideal spot for relaxation or snorkeling in its deep blue waters.

Apart from lounging on sandy shores, there are also plenty of water activities available on Leipsoi Island. You can rent kayaks or stand-up paddleboards at several beaches such as Hohlakoura and Drakos Beach, and explore the coastline at your own pace. Or if you prefer a more adrenaline-pumping water sport, book a windsurfing or kitesurfing lesson with one of the local schools on the island.

Where to stay

For those seeking an authentic and budget-friendly accommodation, Leipsoi has a number of affordable guesthouses and apartments available. These accommodations are usually family-run and offer a charming and homely atmosphere.

You can expect comfortable rooms, basic amenities, and warm hospitality from the locals. This option is perfect for travelers who want to immerse themselves in the local culture and lifestyle without breaking the bank.

If you’re looking for something more upscale, there are several boutique hotels scattered around Leipsoi Island that offer a touch of luxury. These hotels often have stunning sea views, elegant interiors, and top-notch facilities such as swimming pools, spas, and restaurants. They also provide personalized services to make your stay even more comfortable and enjoyable.

For those who prefer being closer to nature, camping is also an option on Leipsoi Island. The island has designated campsites where you can pitch your tent or rent a pre-set-up one. This is an ideal choice for adventurous travelers who enjoy outdoor activities like hiking or stargazing.

How to Get there

By Air

The closest international airport to Leipsoi is located on the neighboring island of Leros. The Leros Airport (LRS) offers direct flights from Athens and some other major European cities such as Berlin and Vienna. From Leros, you can take a 30-minute ferry ride to reach Leipsoi Island. Another option is taking a flight to Kos International Airport (KGS), which has more frequent flights from larger cities such as London, Amsterdam, and Rome. From Kos, you can take a ferry to Patmos and then another one-hour ferry ride to Leipsoi Island.

By Ferry

Ferries are the most common mode of transportation for reaching Leipsoi Island. There are frequent ferries connecting Leipsoi with other neighboring islands in the Dodecanese region such as Patmos, Leros, Kalymnos, Kos, and Rhodes. Depending on your starting point, ferry rides can take anywhere between 2-10 hours. While traveling by ferry may be time-consuming compared to air travel, it offers a unique opportunity to witness the stunning views of Greece’s blue waters.

By Private Yacht or Boat

For those seeking luxury or private transportation options, hiring a yacht or boat is another way to reach Leipsoi Island. There are many marinas scattered throughout Greece that offer charter services for yachts or boats. This mode of transportation allows travelers more flexibility in choosing their departure points and offers an exclusive experience while cruising through Greek waters before arriving at Leipsoi Island.