Area of island: 53 sq. km/ 20 sq. miChief town: Ayía MarínaLéros is a hilly and fertile island with an abundance of water and a much indented coast. The inhabitants live by farming and fishing.In antiquity, Léros was dependent on Miletus in Asia Minor. Although continuously inhabited since then, it has never played a part of any importance in history. In the 14th century the Knights of St John established themselves on the island and held it against the Turks until the 16th century. In recent years it has had a rather mixed fate: For many years a leper colony, it was a German naval base during WWII, a re-education center for the children of Communist partisans from 1947 onwards, a notorious psychiatric institution from 1957 onwards and a concentration camp for opponents of the military dictatorship from 1967 to 1974.Every year, on the last Sunday in Lent, there is a Carnival in Leros - complete with chariot parade, fancy ball and festival.
Ayia Marina, Greece
The chief town on Léros is Ayía Marína. It lies on the south side of Álinda Bay, on the south coast. Above the little town, on the ridge of hills between Álinda Bay to the north and Plátanos Bay to the south, is the Kástro (14th C.), a castle of the Knights of St John, on the site of the ancient acropolis.
To the south of Ayía Marína, on Leros, in a sheltered bay that cuts deep into the west coast, is Lakkí, with a British military cemetery. The village has a medieval church of St John.Lakkí is the island's port and is built at the back of a deep, practically enclosed bay, whose mouth is only 500 m wide. This is one of the largest and best natural harbors in the Mediterranean.
Xerokambos & Palaiokastro, Greece
In the plain southeast of Lakkí is the village of Xerókambos, above which are the remains of ancient Palaiokastro, a stronghold of the fourth century B.C. In the north of the island is Parthéni Bay (closed military area), closed on the northwest by the little island of Arkhángelos.
Alinia Beach Festival
The Alinia Beach festival, an annual sports and arts event on the beach of the same name, takes place in early August.
Area of island: 13 sq. km/5 sq. miAgathonísi (formerly called Gaidouronísi), the most northerly island in the Dodecanese, lies off the coast of Asia Minor, half way between Sámos and Léros. It was ancient Tragia, where in 76 B.C. the young Julius Caesar was captured by pirates. The whole coastline of this karstic island, 7 km/4.25 mi long by up to 3 km/2 mi across, is ringed by sheer cliffs, with little in the way of sheltered anchorages. Off the north, east and south sides of the island are seven uninhabited islets, some land on which is farmed from Agathonísi. The inhabitants live modestly by farming and fishing. With no sandy beaches and no ancient monuments, Agathonísi has remained completely untouched by tourism - an example, now difficult to find, of a totally unspoiled Aegean island.Local connections with Sámos, Pátmos, Lipsí and Arkí.