Visit Platanos and Aghia Marina

Leros capital town is Platanos that in recent years has been connected with Aghia Marina in the north and Panteli to the south on both sides of the slopes of Apitiki hill where is the Castle of Virgin Mary. Krithoni and Alinta tourist resorts are a few km away from Agia Marina and they are the most popular  resorts with many hotels and apartments.

The village of Aghia Marina is based on the east coast of Leros. Despite being the second harbour of the island , Aghia Marina will be the first sight of the island for many tourists.  Around the immediate port area, there are a number of outdoor cafes and restaurants where you can sit with a cold beer or a coffee and  and watch the activity as the fishing boats come in and out of the harbour.

Just behind the seafront, there are a few souvenir shops, agencies selling ferry and hydrofoil tickets, a bakery, a couple of craft shops, a bookmakers, a few other shops and a small art gallery. A short walk along the seafront brings you to Aghia Marina’s tiny beach, backed by a handful of whitewashed houses. The beach is pebbly and not particularly impressive, but the water is warm and crystal clear. At the end of the beach there is a traditional Neromilos taverna with a small windmill standing almost in the sea.

Platanos village

From Aghia Marina, it is a short uphill walk to Platanos village that is the administrative center of the island. This is a picturesque walk through narrow, whitewashed, postcard pretty streets, with old ladies knitting on their doorsteps and cats asleep in the shade. Platanos sits at the foot of the mountain on which Leros Castle stands imposingly.

Platanos is a typical Greek island town, with whitewashed houses, narrow cobbled streets, an abundance of flowers, mopeds zipping in and out of narrow alleyways, cars trying to squeeze down roads that look impossibly narrow, cats and dogs lazing in the streets, small grocery stores, traditional tavernas, elderly men sitting in shaded cafes playing dominoes or backgammon, elderly ladies sitting on their doorsteps knitting or chatting.

A small square, with a plane tree at its centre, is the focal point of the village. The town hall is situated along one side of the square, the Platanos Cafe along another, and a number of small shops skirt the other sides of the square. Along the road from Platanos to Pantelli there are stunning views of the island’s castle and a line of windmills standing on the mountain overlooking the capital. A flight of steps from the main village square lead up the mountainside to the castle. This is arguably Leros’ prime tourist attraction and I would highly recommend that you climb up to the castle to admire the panoramic views. The lovely seaside village of Pantelli is the third village on Leros, after Platanos and Agia Marina.

Pandelli village

Pantelli is a small village located on the island’s east coast, about 1km south of Platanos, and is connected to the capital by a paved road, making it an easy 10 minute walk away. A number of picturesque tavernas line the pebbly beach. You can sit and enjoy a meal in almost perfect silence, as I did, while watching the fishermen tend to their nets or clean their colourful fishing boats on the beach. A small fishing harbour lies at the far end of the beach.

Beyond the seafront, the charming lanes of Pantelli are home to a handful of traditional kafenions. The local fishermen and other local men  while away their days drinking, chatting and playing cards or dominoes. Climb up to the castle which overlooks Aghia Marina, Platanos and Panteli – the views are stunning.

The castle of Leros was built by the knights of St. John’s Order. It is located high above Pandelli and Platanos. It can be reached by foot – the steps from Agia Marina are well marked. On top of the mountain visitors can have a walk around the castle and see the local museum. The view from the castle is breath taking. If the weather is fine you’re able to see almost all of the island.