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Lipsi is the largest island in a cluster of many other islets. It is part of the Natura Network, and an ideal destination for relaxing, quiet holidays. Here the landscape and people alike will help you find inner peace and tranquility. Lipsi is also surrounded by countless uninhabited islets ideal for bird watching.


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The settlement on the island was founded in 1669 by a Cretan named Elias. Lipsi was united with the rest of Greece in 1948. The island has a total area of 16 km2, a coastal length of 35 km and a population of 700 inhabitants. It is connected by steamship to Leros and Patmos.
This island’s most significant sights include the magnificent church of Agios Ioannis (St John the Divine or Theologian), beside City Hall Square, and the Museum where there is an icon of the Panagia Mavri (Our Lady in Black) dating to 1500.
Also in the Ecclesiastical-Folk Art Museum, which is 1.5 km from the settlement of Lipsi, there are ecclesiastical relics, a small archaeological collection and an icon of Our Lady of Joy (Panagia tou Harou). The latter is the only such icon in Greece, in which the Virgin Mary is not holding the Divine Infant, but the Crucified Christ. The monastery and icon alike have been dated to 1600.
Around Lipsi, there are some 25 uninhabited islets. The largest are Makronisi and Franko to the southwest, Kouloura to the southeast, Aspronisia to the east and Refoulia to the north. Many of them can be visited on excursions by tourist boats.
The name of the island is very ancient. According to mythology, Lipsi was the mythical Ogygia, the island of Calypso on which Odysseus sought refuge. It appears as “Lipsia” on inscriptions from the pre-Christian period, while later names refer to it as Lipsos or Lipso and finally, Lipsi.
Lipsi appears to have been inhabited continuously from the pre-historic era to the present. At certain points on the island, inscriptions and pottery have been found that date to the classical period. In the island’s Folklore-Ecclesiastical Museum, there is pottery from the Mycenaean period (1600-1100 BC) and the Geometric period (1110-800 BC), The Carians inhabited the island in 1370 BC. They were followed by the Dorians (1200 BC) and then by the Ionians. During the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC), ships of both warring parties sought refuge in the island’s natural bays.
At the end of the 11th century AD, the Emperor Alexius I Comnenus assigned Lipsi, together with Patmos and Arkii, to Blessed Christodoulos as a gift to the monastery of St John the Theologian. The Golden Bull of the donation has been preserved in the monastery of Patmos.
During the years that followed, Lipsi was occupied by the Knights of St John (1308), became subject to the Ottoman Empire (1522), took an active part in the struggle against Turkish rule (1821) and offered shelter to Theophilos, the exiled Patriarch of Alexandria, and to admirals from Hydra, Spetses and Psara (1824). In 1912, the island was placed under Italian rule, and then became part of Greece, together with the other islands of the Dodecanese, in 1948.

Source: lipsi.gr