Lipsi is one of those tiny, sometimes forgotten, islands in the huge list of Greek destinations. Many believe that more popular islands have become too crowded or even too expensive. They look for remote places in the Ionian (such as Paxoi) or the Aegean (for instance Antiparos). Others give a chance to less-visited places in the Dodecanese, Lipsi is one of them. If still doubtful about giving the island a chance, you might want to make it a one-day visit from a nearby destination. With no direct daily connection with mainland Greece, the closer islands of Patmos, Leros, Rhodes, Kalymnos, and Kos are the best gates to Lipsi. If you depart from Patmos, it will be easy to reach Lipsi in a short time. Quietness, ferry connections, great food… all reasons proving that Lipsi is a great day-trip idea (or a destination on its own!).
Lipsi is a cluster of islets located in the southeastern Aegean, east of Patmos and north of Leros. Their collective name comes from the largest island Lipsi (also Lipso), a territory made of two comprised landmasses joined by a narrow neck. The landscape is made of low hills and valleys. Its rocky coastline is regularly interrupted by shallow bays.
There are almost no cars and few roads on Lipsi. Life on the island develops along the pedestrian waterfront area, with a quaint fishing port where very colorful boats move to the rhythm of soft waves. This unique settlement, also known as Chorio, boasts simple taverns, interesting ouzeries and traditional fish restaurants where locals and visitors gather for long chats, a few drinks, and live music.
The beaches of Lipsi are of unique beauty, and some of them rather solitary. Being the island so small, it’s also quite easy to cover most distances on foot or with a bike. The island is ideal for a romantic holiday, for those in search of peaceful seaside spots or even for families with children. The island is completely safe, and delicious local food complete the attractive landscape of Lipsi.
Places to see in town
Even being so small, there is an impressive amount of churches, monasteries and small chapels all over the island. Many locals often claim that every family of Lipsi could have a church of its own. All of them are worth a visit, either because they are located in dramatically beautiful settings or because they treasure valuable icons and hide religious legends.
If you are short of time, though, try a visit to the church of Koimisis tis Theotokou. It’s on the bay that dominates the area of the port and surrounded by a greenish landscape. Several natural springs spread all over the area.
In town, it’s also possible to find the Archaeological Collection of Lipsi. It exhibits clay artifacts and ancient inscriptions on columns, dating back to the Classical, Hellenistic and Christian periods. Excursions to nearby islets and inland hikes lead visitors to experience the most idyllic natural scenarios.
Once on the island, don’t miss some of the beaches. Most of them within a short walk from the port or if not, close enough so as to arrive with a taxi or renting a motorcycle.
The beach of Kampos is about 10 minutes on foot from the port. Many consider it one of the most beautiful sandy shores on Lipsi. Its clear, shallow waters attract mostly families. Trees offer the much-desired shade during the hottest months of summer. It’s quite a wild place, yet many visitors choose the area for its convenient location and calm atmosphere.
Lispsi is one of those forgotten gems of the Greek destinations. Give a chance to less visited places of the Dodecanese, Lipsi is one of those places.
We loved the seaside area of Platis Gialos. It might be the most famous spot, yet that doesn’t mean it’s crowded. Being about 6 km from the port, not everyone finds it accessible (though it is!). A very convenient tavern is the only organized structure you’ll find.
No sunbeds nor umbrellas, but the most pristine waters, wild ducks and tricky sand mixed to pebbles that turn into the finest surface once you’re in the water. A must-see in Platis Gialos is the church of Agios Konstantinos, not always open but with a façade picturesque enough for pictures.
Other beaches to visit
Moving to the south, Tourkomnima is a pebble beach with very clear water. A rather lonely area across from a small chapel on top of the rocks that adds a romantic touch to the landscape.
Not far, Hoxlakoura is the largest beach on the island. The location has white stones and (… again!) the water is crystal clear. If you’re still not tired of wandering around, give Lientou a try. With postcard-like turquoise waters, the shore is protected from the winds, making it also a favorite for families.
Where to eat on Lipsi
Tavernas and local restaurants
Two of my favorite places include Pefko, a tavern that displays genuine local gastronomy with very affordable prices. They serve excellent yet simple dishes, mostly fish and fresh seafood. They also propose an extensive variety of salads and the regular dishes of the Greek tradition. A place you can’t miss is Yiannis, a restaurant facing the bay. Yiannis offers not only great local dishes but also a magnificent view of colorful fishing boats. Ask for the dish of the day for a quick option.
On the seaside, you can also find different ouzeries. In these traditional type of Greek tavern the local drink, Ouzo, is a popular option. Ouzeries also serve different kinds of mezés or small dishes with mouth-watering ingredients. In many places, they are so rich and abundant so as to substitute your meal.
A popular choice that perfectly pairs with your glass of ouzo is the octopus, delicious in fresh in salads. One of the best places to try octopus is right in front of the sea. Stis Vasos tou Asprakis, or simply Aspraki, is a popular place. There, we enjoyed excellent ouzo, fresh seafood, live music and a friendly atmosphere.
Other local specialties include cheese and pan-fried pies. Popular dishes are also lentil keftedes, kalamari with dark rice and cheese in oil. Thyme honey, dried figs, and spoon preserves from local fruit are delicious bites to try for breakfast or after a meal.