After the hyper-romantic Naoussa, most tourists would jump on a boat to Kolymbithres Beach to enjoy the island’s eternal sun. Not us—we headed in the opposite direction towards the inland mountain village of Lefkes.
Our first sight of Lefkes is nothing less than impressive. An orange ray of light shines down on the Church of Agia Triada, a Byzantine jewel in the middle of a valley hugged by the Parian hills.
When we first planned Lefkes into our itinerary, we were impressed with the colorful houses. We wanted Naoussa part deux, but we got more than we bargained for.
As we slowly descended down towards the village, we realized that something is off about this place.
Lefkes is quiet.
The atmosphere gets eerier as you go deep down. Houses seem to have been abandoned. Doors and windows are shut tight, or blocked with woods. All personal belongings appear to have been left in a hurry. A narrative from I Am Legend begins to run inside your mind:
“Five years ago, an outbreak occurred in Lefkes, wiping off 95% of the village’s population. Those who survived are hiding somewhere inside; hiding from some creepy, infected creatures that are still lurking around in Lefkes.”
Perhaps you hear somebody’s voice once or twice, but as you turn around, nobody is there. Not a single soul is seen down here, except for this one lone cat staring at you from the ruins.
But whatever exists in your imagination couldn’t be farther from truth. Here’s the irony: A thousand years ago, when pirates and buccaneers ruled the Aegean sea, Lefkes was the save haven that kept the locals protected.
Far away from the beach, hidden by the mountains—and even if intruders managed to locate Lefkes, the winding alleys were designed in such a way to outsmart them. And we, the tourists, are experiencing first-hand how it’s like being the intruders… the monsters.
Who would’ve guessed this small village harbors such an ancient secret?
As the night falls, the streets of Lefkes really come alive.
Shop houses are open. Children are running around the main square while their parents are chattering at cafes over a glass of beer. Teenage girls in their clubbing clothes are busy texting their friends nearby the bus stop. Really??! Where have they all been??!
Well, that’s the upper streets of Lefkes.
Curiosity brought us to re-explore the site at night. Down there in the alleys, Lefkes is still as creepy as before.
Have you ever been to a place with such a strong character? Share with us your stories in the comment box below.