Leros Greek island Located Between Patmos and Kalymnos.Leros is an Island of small fertile valleys sandwiched between rolling green hills ,deep coves and pretty beaches .
Leros topography has given rise to many villages. The Most important is the capital Agia Marina - united tow other villages.Platanos and Pandelion the back side of the hill, a collection of little houses neoclassical buildings and marow allways.
It starts at the seaside and gradually climbs up the sides of the hill, whose sumbre remains of a Byzantine castle. Of special significance during Byzantine times, it's shape is that given by the Knights of John,who arrived in Leros in the 14th century. Still standing today are the circuit wall and the church of our lady withn it
Laki 3 km south of Agia Marina is the islands Port,It's build at the back of a deep ,practically enclosed bay,whose mouth is only 500m wide. This is one of the largest and the best natural harbours (marina) in the Mediterranean.
Alinda, Xirokambos and Partheri are charming seaside Villages.while you'lfind wonderful swimming at the beaches of Agia Marina, Pendeli, Vromolitho, Alinda, Laki, Merikia, and XiroKampos.
So a mountainous, green island with high cliffs and many small bays and villages, Leros is a popular holidayresort which still has kept most of its genuine atmosphere. One of the reasons is that it is not too dependent on tourism.
Many of the buildings on the island are built in Italian style, but you'll also find those typically Greek little white houses with blue doors and windows.
The people on the island live off agriculture, some work in the island's mentalinstitution, and in summer tourism is another source of income. Because Leros has a very large natural port, many sailingboats and luxury yachts arrive here in summer, giving the island an international flare.
According to mythology, Leros was first populated by the goddess Artemis. She had sent the Calydonian Boar to Aetolia, where the king's son Meleagros managed to kill it. Having angered the goddess, he was killed, and his sisters were struck with grief. Artemis then turned them into hens and put them on Leros which was so fertile they would always have food.
According to another myth. The first king of Leros was Thessalos, son of Heracles.
Archaeologists believe that the first inhabitants of the island were peoples from Asia Minor and Phoenicia. It took part in the Trojan War, and also fought the Persians by the Athenian side in the 5th century BC. It was then ruled by Macedonians and Romans.
As in the case of most Greek islands, Leros was tormented by constant pirate attacks during the Middle Ages, and for 300 years it belonged to the monastery of Patmos. The Knights of St. John from Rhodes took the island in 1319, and Leros was then invaded by the Turks in 1522. In the 16th century it belonged to the Venetians for a short time.
The men of Leros fought hard during the war of Independence that broke out in 1821. For a few years it was free, but the Protocol of London then turned it back to the Turks in 1830. The Italians ruled the island from 1912 and Leros was not given back to Greece until 1948. It was during this Italian occupation when many of today's buildings were constructed on the island, giving it the Italian style many are surprised to find here.
It was during World War II when a hospital for lepers was built on Leros, and the Greek junta kept many dissidents here until 1974. The hospital was then turned into a mental institution and orphanage.
One of the most striking features of Leros is the Kastro of the Virgin Mary (Panagia Kastrou) that towers above the island's capital Platanos. It dates back to the 11th century, and was a stronghold for the Knights of St. John.
Here, there is also a museum with findings from various time periods, as well as an old church.
In Platanos stands the old cathedral Agia Paraskevi. The town itself is nice for strolling around in, and most of the houses were built in the 1800's.
In Alinda you can visit the church of Agios Isidoros that was built on top of an ancient temple. There is also a castle here which is open to the public, and holds some interesting finds from the island, including parts of the warship Queen Olga that was sunk here by the Germans in 1943. The island's first printer can also be seen here.
Just outside Parthene there are the remains of a temple to Artemis.
In Xerokambos you can visit the church of Panagia Kavouradina ("The Virgin Mary of Crabs"). Legend has it that a fisher man found it here, and was immediately cured from a crab bite on his hand. In a dream he was told by a woman dressed in black to return the icon to where it was found, and so the church was built.