It is the largest island in the Leipsoi archipelago, which includes the isles of Arkioi, Marathos and 35 uninhabited islets no larger than 1 square kilometre in size. On your way there you should stop for a refreshing swim at the transparent azure waters of the tiny Makronisi. This is an amazing place for snorkelling and if you are observant enough, you may be able to spot the short underwater passage to the lagoon at north side of the island.
Leipsoi is a small island but there is so much to discover here. The only settlement, Leipsoi village, is surrounding the deep bay of the island’s harbour. Stroll around the alleyways of the cosy old town, with its blue-shuttered houses, and visit the beautiful blue-domed church of “Panagia tou Harou” to enjoy the sunset views over the harbour’s entrance and the neighbouring Patmos. The harbour is where most of the evening action happens; a true island vibe and the smell of the charcoal grilled fish food dominates the atmosphere. Try the catch of the day in one of the traditional tavernas, often owned by the local fishermen. Don’t forget to taste the local wine and the excellent thyme honey produced on the island.
Where to Swim
There are numerous unspoilt beaches and hidden bays around the island, most of which are only accessible by boat. Just 1km north of the village you will find the gorgeous Lientou beach, which is one of our favourites. Another amazing beach with stunning turquoise waters is Platis Gialos, located on the north west. Our top recommendation however is Kouloura bay, which is a quick 20’ sail from the harbour and is an excellent spot to stay overnight if you are looking for a relaxed night under the stars surrounded by the sounds of nature. If you wake up at Kouloura, you cannot miss the chance for a refreshing morning dive right before breakfast. Once you are ready, it’s time to start sailing again. Destination Patmos!
We suggest exploring the remote islets and the heavenly waters of the Leipsoi archipelago. The first stop is Aspronisi, a tiny rock with a white pebbled beach located about 45 minutes from Leipsoi harbour.
Next is the stunning bay of Tiganakia in the hidden paradise of Arkioi island, a further 45’ sail from Aspronisi. The magical turquoise waters and the serenity of the bay will tempt you to stay for longer. You can certainly spend the night here or set-off again to explore other remote and virgin beaches around the island such as Patelia, Piso Patelia and Limnari.
Arkioi is a peaceful and quite place, almost untouched by tourism. Traditional Greek hospitality and a few tavernas is all that it offers. There is no mail village on the island; if you wish to explore it further, its harbour is located 30’ away from Tiganakia bay. Most of its 54 permanent inhabitants live there, the rest being scattered around the island. Their main occupation is fishing, goat herding or running one the island’s tavernas.
Near Arkioi, the remote paradise of Marathos (or Marathi) is only 15’ away and is definitely worth a visit. In case you thought Arkioi was quiet, Marathos is a whole different level. Only two families live here managing the two tavernas located on either side of the main bay. The owners, Pantelis and Mihalis, have laid mooring buoys so that yachts can safely stay overnight and enjoy their food and the beautiful surroundings. True sailors and nature lovers will fall in love with the serene atmosphere and remote feeling of Arkioi and Marathos; this is truly the edge of the Dodecanese and there is no better way to enjoy it than being on a boat.