Destinations - Dodecanese
On this small island people still live off farming and fishing, and the few tourists that come every summer. The life here is laidback, and if you decide to come here you'll be able to enjoy the quiet and just relax. Lipsi is very traditional with its white and blue houses, friendly people and nice little beaches. The only thing that disturbs the slow pace here are the excursion boats from Leros and Patmos, when the island livens up a bit. The island is quite green, and considered ideal for families with children, since most of the beaches are shallow and the waters calm and clean.
Lipsi was probably a quite wealthy island in the 3rd to 1st century BC, but we do not have much evidence on the ancient years on the island. It was probably inhabited at an early stage, perhaps by peoples from Asia Minor and Dorians.
Christianity came early to Lipsi and there are several churches on the island. One of the oldest is from the 8th century. Christianity has a strong foothold here, which can be seen in the many churches and religious celebrations on Lipsi. In the capital, Lipsi, there are several churches with blue domes, the most dominating being the church of Ag Ioannis (St. John). The mountain at Kimissi used to be a hiding place for hermits, and here there is a 16th century Church dedicated to the Sleep of the Virgin Mary (Kimissi tis Theotokos). It is very pretty and open to visitors, but remember to dress appropriately: longs skirt and covered shoulders for women, long trousers for men.
During the Middle Ages it was tormented by pirates, and belonged to the monastery of Patmos for almost 600 years. It was then conquered by the Turks in the 16th century, but they never actually settled here.
When the war of Independence broke out in 1821, Lipsi became an important refuge for people escaping the enraged Turks, and many battleships stopped here for repairing, planning and food.
The island was given to the Turks in 1830, and in 1912 the Italians took over. The island was liberated in 1948, but parts of Lipsi still belong to the monastery of Patmos.