Lipsi or Leipsoi is located between Patmos and Leros and is an ideal choice if you are looking for relaxation in nature, away from the crowded tourism that characterizes popular destinations.
History of Lipsi
According to mythology, this is the island where Odysseus shipwrecked on his way back to Ithaca and remained captive of the nymph Calypso, who refused to let him leave for 7 years. It has been inhabited since prehistoric times, but the only settlement on the island today, Chora, was built by a Cretan in the second half of the 17th century on the slope of a hill in the center of the island and developed amphitheatrically towards the natural harbor of Lipsi.
Beaches in Lipsi
Lipsi is a destination located between Patmos and Leros and is the ideal choice for those seeking relaxation in nature, away from the hustle and bustle of popular tourist destinations. In Lipsi, there are many beaches that offer unique experiences:
- Kampos: It is a small bay with beautiful sandy beach, crystal-clear waters, and tamarisk trees for shade. It is easily accessible on foot.
- Christos: The beach features colorful pebbles, clear waters, and a sunbathing platform. It also offers a wonderful view of the village and the Church of Christ.
- Koimisi: A pebble beach with turquoise waters. To reach it, you pass through the Church of Koimisi, nestled in the greenery, and descend towards the beach.
- Platis Gialos: A small and stunning beach with turquoise, shallow waters and tamarisk trees. It is particularly popular and located in a windless spot, with a tavern for refreshments and food.
- Katsadia: One of the most popular beaches on the island, with sand, shallow waters, and large trees for shade. The picturesque tavern at the edge of the beach offers an excellent choice for coffee, refreshments, and meals.
- Papandria: It has sand and some pebbles, with calm crystalline waters. It offers a magnificent view of the small islet of Lyra across.
- Monodentri: This imposing beach features a unique tree, a cedar that seems to stand alone on the rock. It once sprouted from a seed carried by the wind from Africa and continues to dominate this beach with its large white pebbles, creating an unforgettable sight with the wild turquoise waters.
- Kamares: This is a wild, secluded beach with large pebbles and rocks. It is accessible after a fairly long walk. However, it is not as ideal when it's windy.
Each of these beaches has its own unique character and offers unique experiences. Depending on your preferences, you can choose which of these you want to visit.
Sights in Lipsi
Lipsi has significant archaeological findings from the early Christian era. One of these is a large three-aisled basilica at the location of Kouselio, possibly from the 5th century, with mosaic floors and a baptistery.
Some of the most important attractions of Lipsi worth visiting are:
- The Church of Panagia tou Charou (Virgin Mary of the Gorge)
- The grand church of Agios Ioannis Theologos in Chora
- The Church of Koimisis Theotokou (Dormition of the Virgin Mary) in the small port of Koimisi
- The Church of Panagia in Kouselio, built on the foundations of an early Christian temple
- The two churches of Agios Nikolaos, to the left and right of the harbor
- The Church of Agios Theologos in Moschato
- The Church of Prophet Elias
- Agios Nektarios (church/monastery)
These sites offer a glimpse into the rich history and religious heritage of Lipsi.
Activities in Lipsi
In Lipsi, you can walk along the paved alleys of the amphitheatric Chora, the unique settlement of Lipsi, with its whitewashed tall houses, blue doors, and the stunning view of the harbor.
You can also visit the historic Monastery of Panagia tou Charou (1600), located in a lush area with olive trees and vineyards, east of Chora. You will be impressed by the rare painting motif of its icon, where the Virgin Mary holds the Crucified instead of the classical Infant Christ, as well as the antiquities that adorn the monastery's courtyard. Don't forget to explore the archaeological site of the Castle, at the highest point of the island, to admire the ruins of the ancient acropolis.
Gaze at the Aegean Sea from the courtyard of the Church of Agios Ioannis Theologos, located above the harbor. The church, built with carved stone, dominates Chora with its blue dome and twin bell tower. You will be impressed by its beautiful carved wooden iconostasis and the icon of Panagia Mavri (Black Madonna).
You can participate in the three-day Wine Festival, dedicated to the rich viticulture and winemaking tradition of the island, which takes place every August. Don't forget to buy the customary souvenir wine glass.
How to travel to Lipsi?
Some popular ferry connections to Lipsi are listed below:
- Ship Routes Piraeus - Lipsi: The route from Piraeus is operated by the ferry company Blue Star Ferries, and the travel duration is approximately 8.5 hours. The cost of a single ticket is €48.
- Ship Routes Ikaria - Lipsi: The travel duration from Ikaria to Lipsi is approximately 1.5 hours, and ticket prices start at €19. The ship makes an intermediate stop in Patmos before arriving at Lipsi.
- Ship Routes Kos - Lipsi: Ferry routes are operated daily by the ferry companies Blue Star Ferries and Dodekanisos Seaways with an intermediate stop in Kalymnos and Leros. The shortest travel duration for this route is 2 hours and is operated by Dodekanisos Seaways with a ticket cost of €32.
Additionally, you can travel to Lipsi from Karpathos, Kasos, and Kastellorizo. There are also departures from Nisyros to Lipsi, as well as from Samos, Symi, and Tilos. You can book ferry tickets to Lipsi online through booktickets and board the Blue Star Ferries ship from the port of Piraeus.