Hire a car or bike in Leros

leros-car-hireYou can use buses or taxi to visit various places of interest around Leros but you may want to hire a car, scooter or bicycle to explore far flung corners of the island at your leisure. There are plenty of places where you can hire a vehicle – prices depend on the season, model and duration of the rental contract.

Many firms offer motorbikes and mopeds for hire but before you commit yourself to this particular mode of transport check that your travel insurance covers you for motorbike accidents because many policies don’t. And remember that wearing a helmet is compulsory in Greece if you’re riding anything over 49 cc.

With the freedom of your own set of wheels you’ll be able to visit the huge lake-like bays which indent the 77-kilometre coastline of Leros and explore the island’s many different beaches, pretty fishing harbours and secluded coves. The island has a decent enough road network connecting all the main seaside resorts, villages and historic sites.

From the main port of Lakki you can follow the road west along the northern edge of vast Lakki Bay (one of the biggest natural harbours in the Mediterranean). Or drive to Xirokambos Bay at the southern tip of the island where you can visit the ruined Paleokastro fortress or take an excursion boat over to the nearby island of Kalymnos.

Drive for three kilometres north east of Lakki and you’ll come to the capital Platanos which is the island’s main shopping centre. It’s an interesting place to explore for an hour or two and you can climb the stepped path from the village to the Byzantine Castle of Our Lady – worth the effort if only for the views from the battlements. Take the potholed road up to the castle if you don’t fancy the walk.

The road from Platanos lead one kilometre north to the bustling port of Agia Marina which is one of the best places to eat on the island. Or drive south down to the picturesque fishing village of Pandeli and the lovely neighbouring beach at Vromolithos.

The road to the north west of Platanos winds around Alinda Bay where you’ll find the island’s busiest beaches and the Allied War Graves Cemetery on the waterfront at Krithoni. Relatives of those who lost their loved ones in the 1943 Battle of Leros still make the pilgrimage to the well-kept cemetery which contains the graves of 179 British, two Canadian and two South African servicemen.

From Alinda you can drive the short distance over to the west coast which boasts the longest sandy beach on Leros in unspoilt but windswept Gourna Bay.

The road north leads to the twin bays of Partheni and Blefoutis and the ruins of the Temple of Artemis (the goddess of hunting who reputedly made her home on the island). There’s not much to see in terms of an insight into the life of a goddess but the views are wonderful.