How can I get to Leros?
If you are outside Greece, there are several ways to get to the island of Leros -
Option 1 - fly to Athens and then fly to Leros
From Athens, there is one flight every day to Leros in the Winter, operated by Olympic/Aegean. In the Summer, there are two direct flights per day.
Note: it is also possible to fly to Athens and then get a ferry from Piraeus (takes about 9 and a half hours to Leros and costs €39).
Option 2 - fly to Kos or Rhodes then take a ferry or catamaran to Leros
From April to October, there are charter flights to Rhodes and Kos from many European airports. Bookings outside the peak season or at the last minute can mean real bargains.
The catamaran is generally quicker than the ferry
A one-way ticket from Kos costs €21.50 and the journey takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes whereas a ticket from Rhodes costs €40.50 and the journey takes around 4 hours.
Dodekanisos Seaways operate the two catamarans, Dodekanisos Express and Dodekanisos Pride, that connect Leros to Kos, Rhodes, Patmos, Lipsi, Kalymnos, Symi and Agathonissi.
The catamaran may arrive/depart from the port of Lakki or Agia Marina - and sometimes this can be changed at the last minute because of the weather conditions.
The company was set up by brothers Yorgos and Yiannis Spanos,
born in Temenia on Leros. There is a history of the
company, and a fascinating biography of the chairman, Yorgos Spanos, in their Dodekanisos magazine which you can read online. (Choose issue 1.)
Their aim is to provide a metro-style service that is reliable
and punctual for the smaller islands of the Dodecanese. The company
employs local people from the Dodecanese so if you use the catamaran,
you are supporting the local economy.
A ferry is the cheapest way to reach Leros from Kos or Rhodes
A one-way ticket from Kos costs €14 and the journey takes around 1 hour and 40 minutes. A ticket from Rhodes costs €30.50 and the journey takes around 5 hours and 15 minutes.
Ferries to Leros are operated by Blue Star Ferries and usually call into the port of Lakki. One route is from Piraeus to Rhodes, calling at Syros (and Amorgos in July and August), Patmos, Leros and Kos and the timings given above are for this route.
Please note: For the past few years, the boats Blue Star I or Blue Star II have plied this route but from summer 2015 this route will be covered by the vessel Superfast XII.
There is also another route from Piraeus to Kalymnos, Kos, Rhodes and Kastellorizo that also calls at Astypalaia, Patmos, Lipsi, Leros, Nisyros, Tilos, and Symi at certain times of the year.
Check the Blue Star site for further details of ferry routes to Leros.
You can quickly check timetables and book ferries and catamarans online at www.ferries.gr
Of course, you can also buy tickets for the catamaran and ferry at agents on Rhodes, Kos or Leros. See the links page for details.
Option 3 - fly to Samos then take a hydrofoil (flying dolphin) to Leros
In previous years it was possible to connect with the island of Samos by hydrofoil operated by Aegean Flying Dolphins but this route no longer operates.
However, from 4th May 2015, the local company Dodekanisos Seaways (see above) has extended its routes as far north as Samos.
It will be possible, depending on the day, to go from Leros to Patmos, Ikaria, Fourni and then on to Samos or from Leros to Arki, Agathonisi and then Samos, or from Leros to Lipsi, Patmos and then Samos.
If you go to the website of Dodekanisos Seaways, it is possible to download a brochure with all the schedules. From 20 March 2015, you can also book online.
Note: all details correct, to the best of my knowledge, at 12 March 2015, but prices and timetables are subject to change.