Leros hiking

Hiking in Leros

Leros offers a great experiance for those who love hiking, the island has many paths and several routes to follow. Those paths are signed and takeing you to some of the most hidden treasures of the island. From the Italian barracks on mount Tsigounas to the fortifications of the bay of Lakki. To the north there are several hiking paths that go to Partheni and the gulf of Gurna. So after your swimm in the wonderful beaches of Leros, start a waking tour around the island to explore its monuments, museums and castles.


1. Lakki – Xirokampos

leros hikingAfter we have passed the school, we get to Temenia. The industrial zone was once here and today the DEH (electric power plant, formerly SIER) is still located here to our left. Next to the electricity power station is where there was once the factory which made the fizzy drinks called Dogliani. Right next to that was the workshop of the Italian carpenter Pengo, who once had the unique electric machine for cutting and polishing/processing wood.Near here there was also the catholic cemetery. The cemetery is still used and there are still some Italian graves there.

Continuing we see the mental hospital on our right which was once the Italian air and naval base G. Rosseti. You can distinguish its old building and one of the two cranes which once lifted the hydroplanes. The three big aircraft hangars do not exist anymore, one is located in Tatoi (Athens) today and is now an air – force museum.

It is from this point that the asphalted road to mount Tsingouna starts, to your left, where the buildings of the army camp of 113th battery.

Returning to the main road we reach Xirokampos, and from here the road to Skoumparda starts, to the 262nd battery and the battery of Agios Georgios The road is asphalted only at the start of the route. At the top of the mountain there is a wonderful view of the Aegean with many remnants of the fortifications. From Xirokampos the road continues towards Diapori and the photoelectric plant FT3. You can make out the observation post. The route is mainly on unasphalted road. From Diapori up until the 281st and 388th battery, we must go on foot, because there is no road. It is worth the effort, however, because you can even make out the sketches that were made on the buildings of the army camps during the period of occupation.

The best recommended route to Kokkina Homata.

2. Lakki – Patella

On the route to Patella, we first pass the monument to Vassilissa Olga on our left. On our right we see the massive building which was once the marine administration building, with its big store room next to it. Virtually straight away, again on our right, is the building of INTEL and right after the quarters of the commander of the base. It was here that the last admiral Mascerpa lived. The buildings at Gonia were the first to be built, before the town of Lakki was built, but they continued to be built later too. On our left you can see the dock where torpedo boats moored. Above the peak of the hill is the base of the anti aircraft battery.

Once we have passed Gonia we arrive at Merikia. Here there are the abandoned underground store rooms for ammunition and the workshops. This is also where the asphalted road ends. Continuing leftwards we come across Katsouni where there are army buildings and the place where the machine which pulled the anti submarine nets was. There is also the pole which wound the wire with the various obstructions which closed off the entrance to the Lakki bay. The bases of the batteries of the 250th and 227th batteries and the half demolished observation post can be seen.

Returning towards the main road and continuing our route we reach the battery Ducci, where there are some buildings, one of them with armoured doors and windows. Here the results of the explosions are clear for all to see. Continuing along a very bad road, we reach the peak of Patellas. This is where the administration for Fam di Cat was once, in other words the administration and coordination of the whole anti aircraft system. This system used aerophones (giant cones with the ability to turn for 3600 ) for spotting planes through sound. There are also observation posts which were administered by the commander V. Spigai. Today the roof of the observation post has fallen in. There are the remnants of where the large aerophone was once and the round base for the smaller one. You can make out the position of the anti aircraft gun 37/54, one of the most modern anti aircraft guns of its time. The buildings where the quarters and the administration were, are also distinguishable.

3. Lakki – Krommidi

From Lakki the road which starts from the P. Roussou square, passes the church Agios Ioannis Theologos, reaches Plakes and to the left leads to Krommidi. There is the 248th battery and nearby is the 508th.

4. Lakki – Partheni

On the road towards Platanos, if we turn right where the anchor monument is, we come to Bigla where the 306th battery is. It is one of the most impressive fortified positions on the island. There are the entrance tunnels to the firing positions and the camp’s quarters.

If we turn left at the height of the anchor monument we reach Agios Nikolaos o mikros. This is where the Italian radio once was, with its three very tall antenna. Today the building is without a ceiling and deserted.

From the anchor monument, if we take the higher road, we reach Rahi, where the positions of 211th battery are still visible.

From Rahi we can go to Gourna or Alinta and the tower of Mpellenis which houses the noteworthy museum Manolis Isihos, which is the only museum of modern history in the Dodecanese.

The museum has a wonderful folklore collection and remains of our glorious ship Vasilissa Olga. In addition it has a collection of weapons and objects from the battle of Leros and a doctor’s surgery from the interwar period. Following the road towards Partheni, Kamara and Smalou we come across some of the Italian store rooms which are still used today. Immediately after them, there is an unasphalted road which leads to the 906th battery of Mouplogourna, with evident signs of the explosions, as well as large quarters with drawings and inscriptions on its walls.

At Markello, you can find the Farinata battery along with a well preserved look out post and the administrative building. At Partheni there are many buildings which are still in action today, but which are prohibited. At the landing stage you can still distinguish the iron railings for the wagons that transported the mines and the torpedoes. Right next to this is the small harbour of Rina and it was here that the Ivorea had sought refuge when the Germans found and sunk her. One small part was saved from its destruction and is located close to the coast, half sunk.

Furthermore there are the mooring posts, where they tied the ships and the remains of the antisubmarine net. Continuing towards Mplefouti, on the hill, are all that remains of the 888th battery. At 889th battery, at Asfouggaro, there is the camp’s building, on the facade of which is written the inscription -Siamo orgogliosi di occupare un posto di combattimento, di sacrifici e di dovere-, in other words -We are proud to be in a battle position, a position of sacrifice and duty-. It seems that it was written for the soldiers to believe rather than because they actually felt it. Close by is the bay of Bagia, where the Germans disembarked.

Opposite at the island of Stroggili is the German landing craft, sunk to a depth of six metres. Ending our tour of the fortified positions on Leros, it is impossible for the visitor not to be impressed as well as for him not to consider the absurdity of war..

Hike to the castle of Leros

hike to the castle of lerosTo get to the castle of Leros, as long as you like romantic walks, you have to leave your car in the parking lot of Platanos and you can go up through the districts of Platanos towards Aghia Paraschevi. From there you will follow the path with about 500 steps.

Turn through the beautiful alleys of Platanos and Aghia Paraschevi and at the far end of the village you will climb the hill, smelling thyme, sage and other smells.

In Apitichi you will encounter casemates and quarter buildings. The panorama, during the climb, will repay you for the tiredness that you will surely feel. The Lerians make this ascent on foot by vow, when they ask the Virgin Marry for a grace.

Arriving at the entrance of the Castle, you will experience the sensation of crossing the boundaries of time. If you let yourself go to your imagination, you will see the knights and the inhabitants of Leros defending themselves from the crossbowmen, from the invasion of the enemy.

Hike from Lakki towards Xirocampos

With Lachi behind us, we follow the direction towards Xirocampos and arrive in Temenia, where the industrial area was located in the place of the current building of the old Electricity factory.

Exactly next to it is the area where Dogliani’s carbonated soft drinks factory was previously located. Next door was the carpentry of the Italian Pengo, which had the only wood cutting and treatment machine.
The Catholic cemetery was also located nearby. Today it is Orthodox even if there are some Italian tombs.

Leaving Temenia, we reach Lepida and we see, on our right, the psychiatric hospital, built to house the Italian air force base G. Rosseti (hydroplane base).
There are majestic buildings and one of the two cranes, which were used to bring hydroplanes to land.

The three large hydroplan sheds no longer exist, indeed one of these is currently located in Tatoi in Attica and houses the aerial museum. We leave the entrance of the State Health Center on our right, we continue towards Xirocampos, and we meet the village of Temenia, and, on our left, an asphalted road leads us to Mount Tsiguna. There are the buildings of the artillery department 113 and the room for the electricity generators.


As soon as we see the first houses of Xirocampos (shortly after the church of Aghios Vlasis) we find the indication that marks the climb towards Paleokastro.
The climb towards Paleocastro will take us back to the prehistoric period (relics of the “cyclopean” walls).

At the same time, it will give us the opportunity to visit monuments of historical and religious interest, such as the church of the Madonna and the ruins of the early Christian basilica. The ancestors of the Lerians found refuge from raids in the acropolis.

Continuing on the road towards Xirocampos, we will meet the village church, Aghios Fanurios, in front of which passes another road that leads to Mount Scubarda and the buildings of the artillery department 262 and Aghios Georgios.

The road is paved only at the beginning. Those who climb to the top will be fascinated by the splendid panorama that the whole island offers and will feel at one with the Aegean.

In addition, you will be able to observe the historic buildings, dating back to the Second World War. Going down the Xirocampos road towards the beach, we pass through the village.


Hike from Diapori to Turturas hill

The road continues to Diapori and Turturas and the photoelectric station. The road is paved up to the church of the Madonna Kavuradena, another destination to visit.

From Diapori to the artillery units 281 and 388, we will have to continue on foot, given the lack of road access. It is worthwhile, because the quartering buildings of the artillery units are distinguished by the frescoes that were made during the period of occupation.

Hike from Lakki towards Patella

Going towards Patella, a path that offers numerous notions on the military organization of the Italians on the island, you first pass by the monument of the destroyer “Queen Olga”, on the beach of Merikies.