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With a main settlement (Hora) that sweeps up on all sides from a naturally protected bay, like the tiers of an amphitheatre, Lipsi appears barely to have changed through the centuries.
It offers itself to visitors who want to escape and enjoy nature’s gifts in peace and quiet and the company of hospitable locals.
Enjoy swimming, diving and fishing in beautifully clear waters and wander the alleyways, amidst locals who cherish the values and customs of their island.
Wine-making is a time-honoured tradition in Lipsi, famous for its sweet wine which used to reach the Vatican for use in Holy Communions. The locals are justifiably proud of their exquisite product and arrange summer festivities to celebrate it. If you get the chance to experience a festival, you’ll be offered a glass or two. The traditional songs and dances will stay with you for a long time afterwards.
August 23 is devoted to the Panagia tou Harou festivity when hundreds of visitors flock to the island to pay their respects to the miraculous icon in the church of the same name. The feast, which starts with the Vespers on the beaches and in the two big squares, lasts for 24 hours.
A latticework of rocky outcrops and beaches – either sandy (like Katsadia, Kampos, Tourkomnima, Platis Gialos and Lientou) or pebbly (like Hohlakoura, Xerokampos, Papantria and Monodendri) – offer endless hours of swimming and relaxation.
On Lipsi, not a day goes by without being able to experience something new and original. The 24 islets that embrace Lispi await exploration, with rich flora and fauna protected by the Natura 2000 network, make an ideal refuge for the shy and protected Mediterranean monk seal, as well as sea turtles and birdlife, such as Eleonora’s falcons, herring gulls and other rare species that nest in the nooks and crannies of the rocks.
So don’t hesitate to take a boat ride to visit the many secluded bays, caves, coves and beaches. Keep an eye out for dolphins as you go!
The inhabitants of Lipsi use their local produce in delicious, traditional recipes using crayfish, prawns, crabs, oysters, fish and octopus. You’ll particularly enjoy the setting of the local harbour at sunset for an ice-filled glass of ouzo accompanied by seafood meze.
If you’re looking for home-cooked food, try stuffed mountain goat, courgette flowers with rice, pitaroudia (chickpea fritters) and giaprakia (stuffed cabbage leaves). The delicious hand-kneaded bread and local wine are specialities. And for a sweet tooth, ask for pougakia, patsavouropita and xerotigana drizzled with honey – they’ll leave no room for complaints.
If you love hiking, follow the wonderful paved footpath past the holy church of the Kimisi tis Theotokou (Assumption of the Holy Mother of God) to the temple of Ano Kimisi, or climb to the Aravis mill, the highest point of Hora. The view of the Aegean will be reward enough. And if you want to go higher, the castle with the remnants of an acropolis lies at the highest point of the island. The serenity will capture your heart!
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