According to mythology, this is the island of Artemis (Diana), the goddess of forests and hunting. It is ideal for peaceful vacation, while you will be amazed by its impressive architecture, clean coasts and the imposing castle of Panaghia, on Apitiki hill. The picture is completed with the hidden bays, hills, pine-trees forests, olive groves, and the law plain areas full of water springs. The history of the island is dating from Neolithic times. During antiquity, it was part of the ionic area, while during Palaeochristian period (5th – 7th cent.) several settlements were built on the island’s coast. From 1309 until 1522 the island passed under the Knights’ -and subsequently- the Turkish rule. The period of Italian occupation began in 1912. The Italians exploited the strategic location of the island along with its natural harbor. Leros was finally united with Greece in 1948, while during Civil War and dictatorship (1967-1974) it was used as an exile destination. The island extends over a surface of 54 km2, its coastline is 71 km long and it has 8,500 inhabitants. It can be reached by ferry from Piraeus Port, the islands of northern and eastern Aegean and several Dodecanese islands or by airplane from the Athens International Airport, «Eleftherios Venizelos».