Lipsi are a cluster of islets in the southeastern Aegean and are
found north of Leros
east of Patmos
. Their collective
name is taken from the name of the largest island Lipsi or Lipso, which is comprised
of two landmasses, joined together by a narrow 400m. wide neck. The total area
of the cluster is 17.3 square km. The name of Lipsi is a very ancient one. With
the form of the name "Lipsia" it is encountered on ancient inscriptions.
The landscape of the island is comprised of low hills (the maximum
height, in the northwestern part of the island, being no more than 277m. above
sea level) and small fertile valleys. Picturesque bays (Lipsi, Fontana
Moschato, Limni, Tarsanas, Platys
and Liendou), interrupt at intervals the rocky and precipitous coastline.
Around the main island, 24 islets and 6 rocky peaks make up an impressive island
group or "polynesia".
The history of Lipsi is inseparable from the history of a larger
neighboring islands and especially that of Patmos. As were all the islands of
the Dodecanese, Lipsi seems to have been inhabited continuously from pre-historic
times until now. Inscriptions and clay pots dating from classical times were found
in various parts of the island. Lipsi's neighborhood with Patmos leads us to believe
that Christianity was brought to the island as early as the first century AD.
The monuments belonging to the early Christian period are of importance. These
are: a large three-chambered basilica with mosaic flooring and a baptistery, probably
of the 5th century, situated at "Kouselio", remnants of walls, architectural remains
and mosaic floors at "Katsadia". Today the churches of St. Spyridon and St. Panteleimon
are also located at Katsadia.
At the turn of the century the inhabitants numbered some 200 persons.
Today Lipsi has 606 persons, although during the summer season the population
increases dramatically due to the visitations of emigrants returning from the
U.S.A., Canada, and Australia, Germany, Attica
of, the tourists, both foreigners and Greeks alike. The locals are occupied with
agriculture, animal farming and fishing. All the local products are of exceptional
quality. In the south of the island are wineries, which produce the delicious
local black wine. The main activity however is tourism, infrastructure for which
is satisfactory and is continuously being upgraded. Water is in short supply,
however recent works including the sinking of wells, construction of a reservoir
and a new water supply network meet the needs of the local and visitors.
The settlement of Lipsi
is situated roughly at the center of the island, deep along the windless bay of
the same name. The public services available are a transient police station, customs
house, pre-school, primary school, high school and a senior high school. Other
settlements are: Kouselio, Katsadia
Panagia of Charou and Platys
. Today the island of Lipsi, together with the surrounding islets, constituted
the municipality of Lipsi, which is under the administrative jurisdiction of the
province of Kalymnos.
Lipsi are an ideal place for anyone who wishes to spend their holidays
peacefully, away from the urban centers and to enjoy the sun, and the company
of simple folk. There are many very beautiful beaches on the island: Liendou is
a favorite due to its proximity to the main settlement, Kambo, Platy Gialos, Katsadia
are Located in the south of island, Papandria, Hohlakoura
Tourkomnima, Xirokambos, Monodentro
and Kamares are found in the north. The colorful town of Lipsi, with the white-washed
houses and blue shutters, preserves its island character. In the main square of
the town visitors will find taverns and cafeterias offering their fine local foodstuffs
and beverages. At the center of the town, north of the church dedicated to St.
John the Theologian, is situated (in a ground floor hall) the archaeological collection
of Lipsi. There the visitor will view exhibits of findings of clay pot pieces
and inscriptions both on tablets and columns, which are dated from the classical,
Hellenistic and Christian periods. It is worth the trouble to visit the picturesque
Panagia of Charou, which was built early in the 17th century and the surrounding
islets-daily excursions and boat trips are organized - and walk along the paths,
which criss-cross the island and direct the nature lover to idyllic places.
Traditional Foods, Sweets, Beverages
cheese pie, lentil keftedes, kouloures (rye and wheat, kneaded seven
times), kalamari (rerved with dark rice or stuffed), mezithra cheese, pan-fried
pies, cheese in oil or brine, spinialo, goat with potatoes or pasta, olives (black,
green), olive oil (made from koronaikes olives and of exceptional quality).
pougkaki (fried or oven baked), xerotigano or dipla, moustalvria-petimezi
(made from grape syrup). Thyme honey, dried figs, syrupy fruits (tomato, grape,
Fokiako sweet black wines, white wine or black which can be
semisweet or dry (it is the private produce of individual wineries).
This text is cited December 2002 from a tourist brochure of the Municipality