Introduction - About Lipsi Island
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.
At the magnificent church of Aghios Ioannes the Theologian dominates the icon (unique in all of Greece) of the Panaghia, which is not holding the Holy Child but the Crucified Christ from whence it derives its name Panaghia tou Harou.
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.
Lipsi is small so it's none of the "main islands" of the Dodecanese. Amongst the smaller ones I'd consider her big though. Since it is nowhere near any of the important ferry routes not too many people come here. The numbers went up in the last few years though. That to be honest doesn't surprise me the least. It might be difficult to get to Lipsi but it well worth's the effort. Lipsi is almost perfect.
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 bed 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.
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.