Lefkada is one of the most beautiful islands in the Ionian Sea, with beaches such as Porto Katsiki and Eggremnoi.
Cities and villagesEdit
Although Lefkas is an island, it's connected to the mainland by a causeway and floating bridge. The bridge moves aside every hour on the hour to allow yachts to cross. Usually it is a short procedure with delay similar to that of a major traffic intersection. In high season (August) during peak weekend times, this could lead to significant delays at the bridge if you arrive when the bridge is closed or has just opened.
The airport, near Preveza, is 20 minutes drive from Lefkas town, at the north tip of the island.
Charter flights from many European countries operate to Preveza from April through October. Many European airlines also provide scheduled services during this period. The only domestic flights are from Sitia (Crete), Corfu and Kefalonia approximately 3 tines a week.
Athens is about 5 hours by bus, while Thessaloniki is about 4½ hours distance, each with several journeys per day.
There are daily ferries to Fiskardo on Kefalonia, and Ithaka, from the Southern coast town of Vassiliki. From Southeastern coastal Nidri, ferries run to Meganissi frequently. Ferries to Italy (Bari, Brindisi, Ancona, Venice, Trieste) run from Igoumenitsa, about a 90 minute drive onto the mainland from Lefkas Town.
Rental car, quad, or scooter is the most efficient mode of transportation.
The islands public coach transportation company (KTEL Leykadas) run frequent routes to all resorts and villages on the island. If travelling on weekends and public holidays it is suggested to check the timetables before attempting your journey.
Lefkada is full of incredible hidden wonders and caves that are only accessible by boat. You can rent a private sailboat or motor yacht with a skipper on Antlos for an affordable price.
- 1 Porto Katsiki (Πόρτο Κατσίκι). Worldwide known, chosen and voted more than once in top 10 of beaches in Mediterranean and in Europe. A relatively large and sandy beach surrounded by white cliffs. Whilst it is possible to drive to the beach and take the steps down the cliff, there are also daily boat trips that leave from Nidri and Vasiliki harbour. The journey takes around 1½ to 2 hours and can be fairly choppy sometimes. Don't forget the sea legs!
- 2 Egremni (Εγκρεμνοί). One of the longest beaches of the island and has the privilege to be the less "cosmopolitan". While you will faint on the idea to walk up and down 1000 or even more stairs to get there, you will definitely be awarded by a unique colour of the crystal blue "caribbean" waters. Note: as of August 2019, the path to the beach has collapsed, meaning the only way to get to Egremni is by hourly ferry from Vasiliki or as part of one of the cruises leaving every day from Nydri or Vasiliki
- 3 Kavalikefta (Καβαλικευτά). A very short, pebble beach, characterised by tall rocks in the sea and transparent water. It's served by a small bar with toilets and a changing room. The road to reach it is really sketchy, as shown by the many kandilakia: a narrow road, smaller than two cars, on a steep slope on a mountainside
- 4 Kathisma (Κάθισμα). A very long, but very densely packed beach, although you can always find a free spot. One of the only sandy ones of the island. Has a bar with pool, a beach volley field and offers paragliding rides. Beware of windy days: the waves can get dangerously powerful, especially for families with kids
- 5 Pefkoulia (Πευκούλια). A pebble beach below a forested slope, it's a favorite spot for wild campers. It has a beach bar similar to those shown in American movies. It has the same problem with wind as Kathisma
- 6 Agios Ioannis (Άγιος Ιωάννης). The "windmill beach", popular with surfers. After 13:00 the wind tends to get strong making it hard even to plant an umbrella. Bring your kite!
- 7 Kastro (Κάστρο).
- 8 Perigiali (Περιγιάλι). A very calm and quiet beach, sheltered from the wind. Restaurants, bars and hotels can be found. Boats can be rented (a 7-people boat costs €130 plus fuel), as can stand-up paddles (€20 per person per hour) and rides on a boat-trained parachute. The village of Nydri is 1.5 km from it. Going south from the beach, there is a fishing spot.
- 9 Mikros Gialos (Μικρός Γιαλός). A pebble beach sheltered from the wind by a bay. 2-people kayaks can be rented for €10 an hour
- 10 Afteli (Αφτέλη). A very short beach in a bay with an amazing, transparent, green sea. There is very little space and parking is really hard - even maneuvering, for big cars - so you should probably come early in the morning. Beware of the road - it's simply a former mule track that has been paved
- 11 Ammousa (Αμμούσα). A small beach in a bay, though big enough that you will usually find space to plant an umbrella. 2 beds are €10. It has a bar and a restaurant (you can have lunch with €8-9 per person)
- 12 Agiofylli (Αγιοφύλλι). Only reachable through either a ferry from Vasiliki or a dirt road from the same village. Tends to get very crowded in August. 2 beds are €15.
- Kite flying
- Wind Surfing - some of the best in Europe on the South of the island in Vasiliki
The wide and sheltered bay of Vasiliki in the South of the island is famous for its Wind Surfing due to the strong and consistent wind (known as "Eric" by enthusiasts) that blows down over the mountains in the afternoons. Cross winds of Beaufort force 9 has been recorded at the beach, but more typical is force 5 - 7 in the late afternoon. The section of beach named "Ponti" is usually packed with Wind Surfers and can be quite a spectacle to watch. It is possible to hire Canoes and Catamarans as well as Wind Surfing equipment on this main stretch of beach.
Lefkas is over 70% mountainous and said to be one of the best mountain biking spots in Europe. There are many places to hire push bikes along the high street in Nidri, however these bikes are not very well suited for the terrain and are more suitable for just getting about the town.
Fish recommended at Syvota bay or at fishport of Lygia while you can enjoy delicious meat meals at Karya village.
The harbour at Vasiliki bay houses around 15 restaurants and fast food outlets, all of which have covered seating outside next to the water. Be aware that on particularly warm evenings the water in some parts of the harbour smells and can be distracting when trying to relax and eat!
Food available at the harbour varies from traditional Greek cuisine, to simple meals such as beef burgers and chips and is relatively cheap. It is possible for 2 people to eat a large meal and drink wine for less than €25.
1 To koutouki (Το κουτούκι) (On the road between Lefkada town and Lygia, North of Lygia), ☏ . Daily 12:00-00:30. A restaurant serving mostly traditional Greek meat-based food. Frequented by locals. The English and Italian menus are improperly-translated so check what a dish is before ordering (or don't) Starting from €10 per person.
The most popular beers at the bars in Nidri and Vasiliki are Mythos and Amstel. There is a winery on the island (approx 8 km from Vasiliki town) which produces "Lefkadian Land White", a white wine which can be bought cheaply in the supermarkets and restaurants.
You can find every range of accommodation, from small and cheap apartments to luxury hotels and villas.
Crime on the island is low. In Vasiliki it is not uncommon to see doors and windows left open overnight, or restaurant drinks fridges and ice cream freezers left outside overnight without a lock. Beware of road accidents! Roads can be narrow and exposed and at night illumination is scarce. The roadside shrines (kandilakia) you see on places like turns and slopes are actually to remember someone who died at that point on the road.