Leros in the Dodecanese is a good-sized island with a population of over 8,000. It's one of those places that's become a popular holiday destination for Greeks but is less well-known to overseas travellers, even though it's an attractive island and has its own airport. It also has some good beaches, an impressive castle, a few museums, good dining and hotel options, and several towns and villages worth exploring.
A Leros Cat Waits for a Fishing Boat!
There's a daily ferry from Piraeus to Leros, the journey taking about eight hours. There's also a daily ferry from Kos, with a journey time of just over three hours on the slow ferry or less than an hour on the fast connection. Other islands with several ferry connections per week in summer include Kalymnos, Patmos and Lipsi, all less than an hour away.
Ferries in Greece has an excellent and very thorough website where in addition to checking ferry schedules and times, you can also book tickets and get lots of useful information about travelling by ferry in Greece.
Platanos is the island capital, and adjoins the port of Agia Marina. Here there's an Archaeological Museum, and also the remains of a magnificent medieval castle. Pandeli Castle is an impressive place with fantastic views all around. Inside the imposing walls is a beautiful church.
Not far from Platanos but on the other side of the island is the town of Lakki, where there are more hotels and restaurants, and a War Museum. North of Agia Marina is Alinda, which has a lovely beach and also a Historic and Folklore Museum.
This Athens dining guide doesn't list restaurants but gives practical advice on types of eating places, tipping, hotel breakfasts and picnics.
Spetses in the Saronic Gulf Islands of Greece is an easy day trip from Athens and has some good beaches. This page gives details of ferries and what to do.
Athens Airport hotels include the luxury Sofitel at the terminals, Holiday Inn near the airport, and others close by like the Hotel Pantheon.