A pretty working fishing village with a friendly atmosphere, Pandeli is the perfect place to slow down to the pace of Greek island life.
A pretty working fishing village with a friendly atmosphere, Pandeli is the perfect place to slow down to the pace of Greek island life. You won’t encounter over-exuberant young people or over-developed tourism here. Instead you’ll wander a labyrinth of old streets flanked by unpretentious whitewashed walls and splashes of floral colour. Gaze out at the tamarisk, olive and pine over the hillside, and the glistening sea in the bay. The scent on the air may be hibiscus and bougainvillea, or calamari frying in a welcoming taverna with retsina to wash it down. Relax and drink in the experience.
Couples of all ages will enjoy the romance and tranquillity of this traditional Greek fishing village. It’s also ideal for young families with its welcoming atmosphere, and abundance of pretty coves, beaches, and nearby towns to visit.
Built along the curve of the bay, Pandeli resembles an amphitheatre of dwellings, looking down into the blue of the Aegean below where sailboats and private yachts are moored. It is one of the oldest fishing villages on Leros, and the local population still work the waters daily bringing in hauls of fish to supply the many tavernas that line the quayside, or knitting their nets in the sunshine. The backdrop is of steep hills and greenery, crowned with the ancient Byzantine Castle of Panagia which glows gold in the sunset. Add to that the enchanting little line of traditional windmills adorning the hilltop like a gap-toothed grin and you can understand why Panteli is regarded as one of the most picturesque spots on the island. Paths and alleyways lined with traditional cubed white houses wiggle their way up the hillside from the waterfront affording some wonderful views out to sea as they go. In the heart of the village are some old-style kafeneia where friendly old locals sip strong, sweet coffee, twinkly eyes in leathery faces watching the world go by with enviable nonchalance.
The beach at Pandeli is sand and pebble and protected by the shade of tamarisk trees. It has a taverna serving fresh fish and cold drinks. In the same sweep of bay is sandy Vromolithos beach around which hotels, apartments and shops have been built with a choice of restaurants and bars to try. It’s an altogether bigger affair with sunbeds and parasols lined up on the sand next to a clear, crystalline sea but with no less charm, nonetheless.
Travel in either direction up or down this coast, and you’ll come across yet more coves and bays, hidden away and inviting. It’s a perfect place to explore. You can hire a car or, even better a scooter, from the island capital of Platanos, a couple of kilometres north of Pandeli. You may decide to stay there a while strolling among the souvenir shops or chilling out in one of the many tavernas. You may even be tempted to book a day out a little further afield by hopping on a ferry departing from the adjacent harbour of Agia Maria, heading for one of a number of neighbouring islands, for a complete change of scene.