Lefkada, is the Ionian island paradise in neon blue and amazing shades of water green. Lefkada is surrounded by a total of 24 islets - Aristotle Onassis’ Skorpios being one of them. It connects to the opposite coast of Central Greece via a floating swing bridge (length: 50 m). The bridge offers easy access to Lefkada to visitors from all over Greece.
On Lefkada you will find noteworthy sights, churches and monasteries, picturesque villages, lush vegetation, idyllic coves of transparent, turquoise waters, busy and secluded beaches of stunning beauty, a significant cultural heritage and hospitable locals.Every island has its own identity, and so does this island.
Lefkada, has its own secrets, its own colours and its own flavours. The name of the island is said to come from "lefkos", which means "white" in Greek. Almost all the beaches are surrounded by very white cliffs that form a perfect frame for the incredibly blue waters.
You can admire the best sunsets on the west side of the island, where are the most beautiful beaches that attract even the most sceptical. The most famous, are Porto Katsiki, Pefkoulia and Kathisma, one of the most cosmopolitan areas of the island with many beach bars, but also Megali Petra and Ayali. Eventually you have to visit Egremnoi beach, having to walk down 100-350 steps to get there as it is surrounded by large cliffs. This is the scenery you find on Lefkas, which is one of over a thousand Greek islands, this being one of 227 inhabited islands.
10 Places to visit in Lefkada
1. City of Lefkada
t is the nearest inhabited centre to the mainland, to which it is connected by a bridge; it is the island's most important economic, commercial and administrative centre; finally, it is one of Ionio's best equipped tourist ports. Added to all this are cafés, bars, restaurants and nightclubs where a significant part of the island's nightlife is concentrated. But there's more, Lefkada also deserves it from an environmental point of view. To see, the lagoon to the north of the town, an ideal place for birdwatchers. It is not by chance that this area is included in the EU project "Natura 2000" which has the mission to protect this special marine habitat where several bird species transit.
2. Agia Mavra Castle / The Lighthouse
Near the bridge connecting Lefkada to the mainland are the ruins of Agia Mavra Castle, the fortress with sight-seeing and defence functions which for about four hundred years, from the 13th to the 17th century, protected the island from sea attacks, especially the Turkish ones which were very frequent between the 15th and 16th centuries. The Castle's construction dates back to the end of the 13th century and, obviously, over the centuries it underwent several alterations, eventually becoming a ruin.
3. Faneromenis Monastery
About three kilometres from the capital, towards the village of Agios Nikitas, the Faneromenis Monastery is one of the unmissable holiday stops in Lefkada. Not only because it is the most important religious centre on the island, a destination for pilgrimages and visits at any time of the year, but also for the wonderful view over the town and the nearby lagoon. Founded in the 17th century on the ruins of a temple dedicated to Artemis, the monastery has undergone several restorations over the centuries, one of which was particularly significant following a fire in the second half of the 19th century. Inside it houses an Ecclesiastical Museum with sacred icons and ancient manuscript texts.
4. Agios Nikitas / Kathisma Beach
About 10 kilometres from the city of Lefkada, Agios Nikitas (or Aghios Nikitas) is the only village on the west side that has developed along the coast. Nothing but a pedestrian street that ends at the sea on a small beach. Along the main road there are shops, bars and restaurants where you can shop or have a typical meal. In short, a seaside resort easily accessible (whether you come from the north or the south) and close to some of the most beautiful beaches of Lefkada. Next door, Kathisma beach is particularly famous among young people, both for the possibility of practicing water sports and for the presence of discos offering entertainment by the sea.
Less than ten kilometres south of Agios Nikitas, Kalamitsi is what is called a village with a double soul or, better still, a suspended identity. On the one hand, in fact, there are the rural traditions that still mark the daily life of the inhabitants; on the other hand, the tourist modernity appears with an increasingly wide choice of guesthouses and rooms to rent. For now, however, the images of the past still prevail: windmills, churches and above all chickens, goats and donkeys that circulate freely in the farms and domestic gardens. Special mention for Kavalikefta, the town's beautiful beach. White sand, crystal clear sea and, most importantly, room for everyone.
There are about 1000 inhabitants living in this inland village famous for the tradition of hand embroidery. To this day, lace and lace embroidered by local experts are sold in every bazaar on the island. The village centre is very pretty with bars, taverns and cafes everywhere. Tables and chairs, on the other hand, are strictly in the shade of large plane trees that rise majestically over the square. In short, Karia offers typically Greek surroundings that do not know the wear and tear of time.
7. Vasiliki / Port Katsiki
Many believe that Porto Katskiki is the most beautiful beach in Europe. The right one, the trip to Lefkada alone is worth it. We are talking about a place capable of thrilling like few in the world. A beach of fine white sand, protected by a cliff overlooking the sea and, what's more, sun-kissed until late at night thanks to the fortunate exposure to the west. The waters, needless to say, are crystal clear, completing a scenario that has no less than the most famous Shipwreck Beach on Zakynthos and Myrtos on the island of Kefalonia. In short, a fairytale place surrounded by other fairytale places.
8. Sivóta / Poros
One of the most beautiful places in Lefkáda and probably in the whole Ionian archipelago. A narrow cove, surrounded by two long strips of land, which give the guest the impression of being inside a lake rather than the sea. On land, by the marina, frequented mainly by sailors, shops, bars and restaurants brighten the days (and nights) of those who come here. The gastronomy, of course, is essentially fish-based, in homage to the maritime tradition of the locals who, before discovering tourism, lived (and in many cases still live) on the product of fishing. There is also a small pebble beach to relax and bathe in the island's wonderful waters.
Port from which ferries also depart to Ithaca and Cephalonia, as well as sea excursions to Meganissi, Sparti and Skorpios, the three islets that depend administratively on Lefkada. Of the three, Skorpios is the most famous, having been owned by Greek shipowner Aristotle Onassis for years. For some years, however, the island passed into Russian hands, preserving its reputation as an inaccessible place for the elite. To see, not far from Nydri, the "Tumuli of the Early Bronze Age", a Bronze Age necropolis with 33 tombs. Also in Nydri, finally, the waterfalls at the bottom of the Dimosari gorge are worth visiting.
Nikiana, a picturesque fishing village, built at the foot of Mount Skaros near a forest of age-long oak trees.
How to get There?
Access by car or bus: Lefkada is connected to the mainland by a floating bridge. Therefore, it is possible to go from Athens to Lefkada by car, spending more or less 4 hours (360 kilometres). There is direct bus from Athens to the town of Lefkada which takes 5 hours and costs €33.90, by the company Ktel Lefkadas.
Access by boat: from the nearby islands. You can, for example, take a ferry from Kefalonia (Fiskardo port), by the company West Ferry, which takes approximately two hours. The main ports are Lefkada (the capital) and Nydri (or Nidri). When we visited, the port of Vasiliki was still under construction.
Access by plane: the nearest airport is Aktion National Airport which is in Preveza on the mainland, 15 km (30 minutes) from Lefkada
Kefalonia - Kefalonia Anna Pollattou International Airport (100km) - Easy connection with many airlines and low cost airlines
Ioannina - National Airport of Ioannina (170km) - Connects mainly to Athens and domestic/booked flights.
Corfu - Corfu International Airport (180km) - Easy connection to many airlines and also low cost airlines.
Athens - Athens International Airport - Eleftherios Venizelos (421km) - The best connection to international airports throughout the year. Low cost airline possibilities.
Thessaloniki - Thessaloniki Macedonia Airport (440km) - Second largest airport in Greece after Athens. Good connections to international airports throughout the year.