Leros is very different from Kalymnos, being much greener and indeed, Lakki could even be called lush, with palm trees on the front. It's small enough to see it all in a day, being some15km long and it's width varying from 1 to 11 kms across.
Leros has always been associated with mental hospitals and prisons, being home to most of Greece's institutions. At some stage in the 80's, I think it was, there was mass publicity about the treatment patients suffered, being abandoned and left to wander around naked and dirty. This was shown on a television programme in England after we had been and I must admit, we saw no sign of any such treatment. We did pass a strange encampment which we took to be a prison but we weren't sure.
Nowadays, Leros has been discovered to a certain extent, with a few upmarket English holiday companies basing themselves here and the Scandinavians being very much in evidence amongst other nationalities.
Back-packers generally arrive by ferry or caique, either at Lakki, A. Marina or Xirokampos. There was, in 1985, a small airstrip where local flights landed. There are no international flights still, in 2006.
In 1985, Leros was peaceful and empty apart from Pantelli, Alinda and A. Marina. On our bike trips we hardly came across another tourist. Bliss.We hired a Honda (sit up and beg)50 and made our way round the island. Leros is deeply indented and again, like Kalymnos,there were not many navigable roads. Things may have changed now, but we managed to see everywhere we could get to in a day.
We loved the island and it's laid back atmosphere, it's ever-so slightly seedy port, Lakki and particularly the hill village Platanos, above Pantelli. This was a great place to wander round, sit and have a drink and souvlaki and watch the Greeks hard at doing not a lot!!!
Today, well, who can tell me? We haven't returned since then but I don't think things will have changed too much.
To read about our time spent on Leros, please look at my Leros page.