This dreamy little island consists mainly of olive tree clad slopes and the occasional sandy beach. It’s popular in the summer because of its sense of peace and friendly inhabitants. The best bathing beaches are: Lientou, Kambos, Elena, Katsadia, Papandria, Hohlakoura, Platys Gialos and Monodendri. In the island specialty department, don’t fail to sample fried dough layers with honey, sun-dried tomatoes and of course the fish and seafood.
It is an island with low, shrub covered hills, which result at indented beaches, small valleys with olives, plantations with market vegetables and grape vines. Roads and paths lead to the castle, the rural chapels and the pristine beaches.
The shores of Lientou, Kambos, Helena, Katsadia, Papandria gather a lot of people with their clean waters. Around Lipsi are dispersed islets (Makronesi, Frango, Refoulia, Aspronesia, Kalapodia), which compose an enchanting Aegean Sea icon.
Along the small port and at the village at the top of the hill the visitor will find most of the local accommodation in Lipsi, hotels, rooms and apartments. In small taverns and cafes you will find local delicacies. Look for local products, namely thyme honey (produced the traditional way), wine, cheese, dairy products (touloumotyri cheese, the local version of cottage cheese called mizithra) and grapes. Also to be found on the market: loom-woven fabrics, carpets and “fookadia” (cloth pouches used to strain cheese).
Day trips and cruises are organized to and around the surrounding islets whereas those of the peripatetic type will find various paths to lead them to some truly scenic spots. If you travel from Rhodes Island or Kos you can use on daily basis the Catamaran Dodekanissos. Lipsi does not have daily connections with ferries from Athens so you can get there either from Patmos or Leros. During the summer there is once a week connection with the Cyclades island of Mykonos with the ferry boat Milena from Leros.
Festivities & Local Traditions
In early August they celebrate the Wine Festival on Lipsi that lasts for three entire days.
Fountani, alias Pikri Nero, in the area near Koimissi along with other minor springs also flowing in this region.
The Cave of Ontas dominates the settlement. Other interesting geological formations of the kind may be found along the coasts as well as on the islands beyond the bay of the port.
A 960 meter paved path carved into the hill connects the upper quarters of Koimisi with the lower ones. There is also a Fortress to be found on Lipsi, crowning the uppermost spot of the island.
Churches and monasteries
There are several small churches and monasteries scattered around the island. So many are they, in fact, that the saying according to which there is one church for each family in Lipsi might just as well be justified.
Let us name a few:
Panaghia tou Harou: quite worthy visiting for the typicality of its architectural style (purely islander, Byzantine in perception yet austere and unpretentious). Once specialists decide to study this construction more closely, there will certainly be some very interesting conclusions drawn referent to the time the church was built (some time between the 7th or 8th Century AC.)
There is a holy icon of the Virgin in this church, reputed to be of miraculous powers, depicting Mary holding Jesus Crucified. The uniqueness of the concept and the artfulness of the rendition make of this icon one of the brightest moments in hagiography.
Other churches, also worth visiting:
Aghios Ioannis Theologos (St. John Evangelist), the building of which was financed by Lipsian immigrants. The church of Koimisis tis Theotokou (Dormition of Mary), dominating the ante-port picturesque little bay bearing the same name. Set in a green, endearing landscape, this construction is certain to enchant visitors who often come to quench their thirst at the spring nearby. Also to be found there: reliquaries containing the remains of monks reduced to martyrdom, slain by the Turks during the dark years of the Ottoman rule. Five of those monks have recently been beatified by decree of the Greek Orthodox Partriarch.
The church of Panaghia (the Virgin) at Kouselio: built on the very foundations of an early christian church. Embedded in the walls of this church – and therefore still to be seen – are inscription-bearing marbles of that earlier construction that were later used as building material for the new church.
Yet another interesting visit is that of the two St. Nicholas churches, raising on the caps on either side of the mouth of the port, along with the churches of Aghios Theologos tou Moschatou (17th century), Aghios Panteleimon (at Katsadia), Profitis Ilias – a church dedicated to Prophet Elijah and naturally built on top of a hill dominating the port, true to the perennial tradition for churches dedicated to this Prophet to be built in elevated locations. There are many more churches, dedicated to a multitude of saints: one that should not be missed is the church of Aghios Nektarios, built in or about 1980 by father Nikiforos, the parochial priest of Lipsi at the time and a favorite baptistery for the inhabitants of the island.
There are some really beautiful beaches on this island, amongst which Lientou, by far the most popular for being at a very short distance from the main settlement, but also Kampos, Platys Yialos – delightful sandy stripe of land on the sea – sandy Papandria in the south, facing the island of Leros, offering a typical sight of reeds and a beautiful natural setting.
Chochlakoura, widely celebrated for its pebbles, flat rocks and scenic caves, Tourkomnima and Xirokampos, Monodendri and Kamares, all of them remote beaches of wild beauty, definitely worth the trouble visiting.
Town Hall: Tel. 0030 22470 41209, 0030 22470 41206
Infirmary: Tel. 0030 22470 41204
Police Station: Tel. 0030 22470 41222
Harbor Master: Tel. 0030 22470 41133
Municipal Refueling Facility: Tel. 0030 22470 41101
Sources: www.dodekanissaweb.gr, www.lipsi-island.com and www.blueislands.gr