“A slice of pastoral paradise at this graceful country house, a short stroll from Leros' loveliest beach”
You’re 250 metres from the loveliest beach on Leros (itself one of the jewels of the Dodecanese), yet fields surround you and mountains rise behind. Goat-bells and cockerels interrupt the afternoon cicadas. Hire a car or moped to discover tiny churches paddling in the sea, castles on top of mountains, undiscovered fishing villages that bask in the sun and sandy beaches where you can throw you towel under an olive tree.
- The house: a graceful echo of a grand past
- The position: hidden away in sublime countryside, yet minutes from the sea
- The owner: Marianna is just delightful
- The island: Leros is a dreamy secret
- The diving: there are 2 diving schools close by, and WW2 underwater wrecks to explore
- The menu: Marianna's food is vegetarian, gluten-free friendly, dairy-free friendly, vegan-friendly and raw-food-friendly
- Food on the island tends to be simple
- No pool, but the beach is at the end of the lane
- Not much in the way of amenities, but you're here to switch off!
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique B&B
- Breakfast only (walk to restaurants)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
This is a big old house with fine proportions, and an extremely sympathetic renovation has brought former glories back to life. The feel is warm, grand, nicely airy. You get high beamed ceilings, cast-iron beds, crisp white linen and original wood floors. Wander around and you’ll chance upon old rocking chairs, brass lamps, original murals on the walls. The same cool style runs through the house, but no two room are the same, and all the peculiarities of an old country house survive; one room has original alcove wardrobes, another has an 1895 tiled floor.
Rooms on both levels run off a central hall where you find sofas and armchairs to sink into. Only 2 rooms have air-conditioning, but thick walls and ceiling fans (or table top fans in some rooms) suffice (downstairs rooms tend to be cooler). No in-room phones, but - much more usefully - small fridges for keeping drinks cool. Lovely bathrooms come in the English style, with showers instead of tubs.
There are 5 rooms on the upper floor (better views) and 3 rooms below (much cooler). All are similar in size except a Double with A/C (Room 3) on the first floor which is smaller, and there are also 2 Suites with 1 double and 2 single beds (perfect for families with older children). Two side rooms (Superior #2 and Double with A/C #4) have small balconies.
- Central heating
- Extra beds
- Internet access
Marianna’s lemon curd is legendary; twist her arm and she may give you a jar to take home. Much of what makes it to the breakfast table is home-grown and home-made; marmalades come from fruit plucked for the garden. You get freshly-squeezed orange juice or lemonade, yoghurt and honey, fruit and home-baked bread, maybe rice pudding or fresh local cheese with honey and cinnamon. Marianna is extremely good at catering to dietary requirements. She doesn't make anything with gluten (except dinkel bread sometimes) and her cakes rarely feature sugar. Her specialties include gluten-free bread, raw flax seed crackers, cashew cheese, almond milk, chia pudding, gluten-free chocolate muffins and more delicious healthy food.
If you want to head off for the day, Marianna can (with prior notice) fix you a picnic lunch (juice, sandwiches, fruit) or you can stop off at beachside tavernas (in Pandeli you can actually eat on the beach).
In the evenings you look after yourself. You can walk up to Alinda (a 5-minute stroll), where 8 or 9 restaurants are open each evening (simple taverna food, on the whole). Otherwise, just blow with the wind. All the villages have tavernas, and nowhere on Leros is more than a 20-minute drive.
- Restaurants nearby
- You can wander up the lane to Alinda beach (250m away), the best on the island. The town itself, strung out around a wide bay, is the pinnacle of development on Leros (eight restaurants, five shops, a couple of bars)
- The island’s beaches are mostly sandy, but tend not to be particularly deep; you can lie on your towel and have the waves lap at your toes - well, nearly. Mariana can prepare picnic baskets with one day notice
- The snorkelling is excellent, and you can go diving at Krithoni (1.5km) or Xirokambos (10 km). There is also a diving centre - Marianna can arrange for lessons and boat hire to explore the WW2 underwater wrecks.
- Heading south to Xirokambos, keep left (for the southern tip of the island) and you’ll pass a tiny whitewashed church from the 12th century, Built into the side of a rock, its feet paddle in azure waters; there's wonderful swimming off the rocks here
- Agia Marina is your best bet for nightlife. Follow the road around the coast, then head over the mountain to Gourna. Try the Mylos Taverna in Agia Marina (where a windmill stands in the water), drop over to Pandeli for lunch on the beach, then drive up the hill and check out the castle that surveys the faded neo-classical capital, Platanos. The views here take in the whole island and stretch across the sea to Turkey
- Don’t miss the north: the untouched fishing village of Agia Kioura where absolutely nothing happens, but where you can watch fishermen land their catch and fix their nets. Keep to the coast roads and you can scramble down to tiny coves (sand or shingle) and have them to yourself.
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Museums / galleries
- Scuba diving
- Scuba diving courses
Well behaved children of all ages are welcome, and there's plenty of flexible accommodation for families with kids. Under 3's go free (though you'll have to bring your own baby cot as the hotel has none), and there's a small charge for 3-12 year olds.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
Double with A/C (#4) has a double and a single bed, one of the Standards (#8) has 3 single beds, while Suite 5/6 sleeps 4 in a double and a twin room. Suite 9/10 also sleeps 4 in a double and a twin room, but is the best overall as it's larger and located close to the garden on the ground floor.
Kids Activities on site: