Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Mon October 12 2015

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  • A Cruising Couple | October 12, 2015 9:00 PM ET

    A Guide to the Beaches and Bays of Leros

    A Guide to the Beaches and Bays of Leros

    PHOTO: The harbor of Agia Marina on Leros island (photo courtesy of Thinkstock, all other photos courtesy of A Cruising Couple unless noted)

    The often-overlooked Greek island of Leros is full of surprises for the tourist willing to make the trek to this tiny Dodecanese isle. The irregular shape of the coastline makes for some very dramatic scenery; the many beaches entice with calm cerulean waters surrounded by huge bays.


    Photo via Flickr/Dinos P

    There are four main regions on Leros based on the cardinal points of the compass. Each of the zones offers a different experience:

    In the north of the island is where you will find the airport as well as the old insane asylum. The east side is the most developed on the island with cafes all along the beach and the ancient Castle of Leros. The South is less developed and has enormous cliff faces that rise high above the sea. Lastly, the West is home to the famous island church lighthouse and boasts the best views of the sunset.

    To experience the best the small island has to offer, we recommend renting a scooter and setting out to explore. Here is a guide to the many beaches and bays you'll come across on your trip to Leros.

    Alinda Beach

    This gorgeous beach sits comfortably in the bay and has some of the most beautifully colored water on the island. The Castle of Leros Island stands upon the hill in full view across the crystal clear water of the bay. Ainda Beach is also one of the most conveniently located as it's along one of the island’s main roads.

    On the other side of the road, there are plentiful choices of bars and restaurants, some of which have seating on the beach itself. Agia Marina Inside the same bay, a small peninsula divides Agia Marina from Alinda Beach. This picturesque port town with its windmill perched at the end of the causeway to the north is oozing with charm. Here you’ll also find great views of the Castle.


    Panteli Beach

    The southern side of Leros and its rocky and dramatic coast are a bit more untamed. The sea here stays relatively shallow, and the bottom becomes sand not far after you leave the shore, making it great for travelers who want to get wet with their children.

    Xirokampos Beach

    To the far south is Xirokampos Beach. Here you'll find local schoolchildren jumping from the small jetty. Up the hill is an ancient castle, Paliokastro, built on the site of an even older Acropolis, thought to date from around 2500 BCE. Though the road turns to dirt a bit further west, it is worth at least driving to the end of the pavement to see the view looking out from the top of the cliffs.



    Gourna is one of the longest beaches on Leros, though more suited for walking than sunbathing. The sandy expanse is dark grey and often littered with seaweed. This is the rural side of Leros, more rolling hills and olive groves than taverns and cafes. Further to the north along the bay is where you will find the Church of Agios Isidoros, which sits on an island connected by a small causeway.


    Ksirokambos Beach

    This beach is particularly popular among tourists who take excursions from Kalymnos. The water here is so clear that in some spots you can see almost 150 feet down. The incredible visibility offers great opportunities for scuba diving throughout the area.

    Above water the soft golden sands of Ksirokambos are surrounded by native tamarisks trees, and the beach enjoys amazing views of the mountains of Kalymnos and a few islets that rise from the sea. WWII history buffs will also be interested to learn that there are countless wreck diving opportunities off the waters of Leros, as well as a museum dedicated to The War of Leros.

    Where To Stay: We recommend the quiet and quaint Hotel Angelou Leros. This beautiful, family-run B&B is located in a historic home dating back to 1895. The location is just off the beach of Alinda, surrounded by a sweeping garden. The owner makes you feel at home, and the fresh breakfast served on the terrace is a romantic way to begin each morning.


    That’s just the start of all there is to see and do! While Leros might not get as much press as islands like Santorini or Rhodes, this laid-back destination offers plenty of reasons to go off the beaten track.

    Have you visited Leros before? What did you think?

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A Cruising Couple A Cruising Couple's Column

A Cruising Couple Dan and Casey are the two lovebirds, world travelers and adventurers extraordinaire behind the popular travel blog A Cruising Couple - adventure travel with a dash of class. Their stories and photographs feature that special place where experiential and stylish travel meet. Find out how you can spend less money, live more adventurously and travel more luxuriously on their blog,
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