Discover the best beaches in Lipsi

Lipsi has some of the best beaches of the north Dodecanese islands, 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.

Hochlakoura, 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.

The tiny Greek island of Lipsi lies just south of Samos and has just one resort in Lipsi Town and a few beaches. A large harbour puts Lipsi on the main ferry route and makes it a popular port of call for yacht flotillas. Good roads make access to most beaches very easy, with a taxi service from the port. All beaches can be reached on foot although the going can be tricky. Lipsi will suit those looking for a peaceful time.

Beaches on the west coast

Lipsi harbour is fairly central to the island in a sheltered bay. To the west is a ridge where a road snakes over to the north coast past the island’s old rubbish dump, now landscaped, and to the beach at Platys Yialos. A coast road west has also been improved to give access to more beaches.

Liendou beach

liendou beach Liendou is the Lipsi Town beach and it’s found over the brow of a small hill at the western end of the harbour just before the ferry jetty.Set in a narrow bay, the coarse sand and pebble shelves gently into the sea with some roadside tamarisk trees behind for shade.

It is usually quiet, but can get noisy with children when school closes in the afternoon. The sea bed is stony at first but sandy further out and the water shallow for some distance so it’s safe for children.

There are no facilities here but tavernas in the harbour are only a short distance away. Greek radio pop music sometimes wafts over from a nearby hotel complex but it’s not too intrusive.


Kambos beach

lipsi_kambos Before the road from Liendou climbs inland up the hill it branches off left along a newly constructed road down to Kambos beach.Remarkably similar to Liendou, with a few patches of sand on the narrow shingle shoreline, the Kambos sand is gritty and not as pleasant as at Liendou.

Some shade is provided by a row of tamarisks that edge the low stone wall but the trees are stunted and visitors must crouch for shade. Litter may also be a problem here.

The water is clear, good for snorkeling, but stony underfoot. Goats often graze in the fields behind to an endless clonking of goat bells.


Eleni beach

lipsi_helena0-beach Further along the coast from Kambos is a solitary whitewashed chapel (easily visible from Lipsi Town) and, beyond that, the stone and rock beach of Eleni, or Elena.

The narrow coastal track peters out well before the beach and its a tricky scramble over the rocky hillside to reach, mostly a case of tracing goat tracks through the rocks and scrub.

The beach is little more than a shower of rocks spilling into the sea and shade is hard to come by so Elena is only for the adventurous.


Kimisi beach

lipsi_kimissi-beach It’s a two hour walk to the tiny, but pretty, bay of shingle and rock at Kimisi, once the home of an octogenarian hermit and a sacred place for Lipsi islanders.

The beach is also home a pretty 16th century chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary – Kimissi tis Theotokos – which is open to visitors.

There are two routes to the beach. One is along an a narrow track off the island ridge road marked with red spots. The other leads past the chapel of St Stavros and the Church of the Five Martyrs then down into Kimisi bay along a narrow concrete staircase.A red arrow on the route leads to upper Kimisi, another small bay of rock and pebbles. The route, although marked, is not an easy one and there are no facilities here.


Platys Gialos

platys gialos beach The beach at Platys Yialos or Platis Gialos, has the best sand on the island although there’s not a great deal of it. A narrow strip of sand edges the end of a deep bay, south facing and with no shade.

The bay is long, shallow and sandy underfoot making it ideal for families and children. A shady taverna on the hill hasn’t capitalised on its exclusivity and offers good food at good prices.

It is reached up the hill by Liendou beach and along the ridge which offers panoramic views over the sea to Arki but less spectacular views of the scoured faces of inland quarries.

lipsi_platisyialos The beach is plainly seen at the end of the bay and visitors who don’t fancy a walk back can ask the taverna owner to summon a taxi.

The bulldozed road from Platis Yialos leads to the pretty inlet at Moschatou after after a 30 minute walk. There is no beach as such, just an inlet of rock and stone with the tiny chapel of St Theologus adding colour.

The beach was good for clean swimming until a fish farm was set up in the bay and now visitors report the water muddy with fish waste.


Beaches on the east coast

Beaches east of Lipsi Town are a little more difficult to reach than those in the west as progress is mainly along unmarked paths and goat tracks. Beaches are mainly stone and shingle with little or no shade, but they do have dramatic settings and the stark, isolated beauty that many visitors crave.

Kamares beach

lipsi_kamares beach A dramatic setting with sheer drops into the sea but not much else is found at this rocky cove backed by fir trees in the remote north-east of the island. It’s a tricky route to Kamares, beach too.

The main beach is 100 metres of pebble and large stones with fir trees at the southern end before ending at a headland with a rocky inlet. To the north are a couple of small coves.

The easiest, if longest, route is to take the road past the school out of Lipsi Town and turn right at the junction to the main island ridge road. On the ridge road is a track leading right next to a shed.

Beyond a quarry and an isolated chapel is a left fork along the path that keeps Aspronissi (White Island) directly ahead on the horizon.

The track turns into a goat trail before dropping down to the stony beach. The walk should take about 45 minutes.


Monodendri beach

lipsi_monodendri The name Monodendri means single tree and that’s what the visitor gets – one lonesome pine growing out of the flat sloping rocks on the end of a pebble spit.

There are in fact three beaches here. The most northerly has the single tree, the central one is just a small bay of large stones and the south beach has a small stretch of stone.

There is no shade but the water is crystal clear and ideal for snorkeling. There are several coves nearby and all are small but visitors wonder at the brilliant blue of the sea.

To get there follow the road north from the harbour up the hill past the moped hire shop. At the top of the steep hill go straight over the crossroads then right along a wide dirt track.

You pass a house with an olive grove then through a couple of gates before a sign pointing left to a goat trail down to the sea. A taxi will reach the start of the track. The full walk takes about 50 minutes.


Tourkomnima beach

lipsi_turkomnima The beach at Tourkomnima lies north of the headland, back to back with Kserokambos and is usually deserted.

The main beach is north facing and mainly stone with patches of sand. There is decent snorkeling on both sides of the bay and some trees for shade. A pretty chapel sits on the headland.

To get there head for Kohklakoura out of Lipsi Town but turn left at the fork and follow the path around the headland past Kserokambos. The walk takes around 45 minutes.


Xerokambos beach

lipsi_xerokambos South east facing, with islands offshore, Xerokambos has more sand than its neighbour Tourkomnima but not much.

There are smaller coves further south along the shore and some splendid snorkeling to be had around the offshore rocks.

To get there follow directions to Hohlakoura then turn left at the fork in the track and over the headland. The walk takes about 40 minutes.


Hohlakoura beach

lipsi_hohlakoura There is a fine wide beach of white pebbles at Hohlakoura but it suffers from the lack of shade. Beware it can get very hot here on the sizzling stones.

To get there take the road east from the harbour and turn right at the school, past the priest’s house with the blue neon light to the crossroads.

Carry straight on down the hill, past the chapel until the asphalt gives out then take the right fork and follow the track downhill to the beach. It takes about 30 minutes.


Katsadia beach

lipsi_katsadia beach Katsadia bay and the neighbouring cove at Panpandria make a very popular anchorage for yachts and a largish taverna has sprung up to serve the yachting set.

It is a beautiful wide bay with a very narrow shingle and sand beach and the islet of Limni offshore. The water is shallow and sandy offshore with the occasional large stone.

A broken sea wall provides seating beneath the shady trees along the back of the beach and the eastern end has a good taverna overlooking the sand with tables set among shady palms and car parking nearby.

To get there take the road to Hoklakoura but turn right at the crossroads and follow the road to the headland with views of Lipsi harbour below. Take the left fork to Katsadia and the rightfor Papandria. The walk takes 30 minutes but a taxi will drop and pick up later.