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Lefkada – The Ionian Sea Beauty

Lefkada – The Ionian Sea Beauty

Adorned with enchanting beaches with azure waters and unique mountainous villages that preserve the island’s tradition, Lefkada continues to amaze you as you explore its beauty. The picturesque island of Lefkada, home of poets Angelos Sikelianos and Aristotle Valaoritis, travels to the cool embrace of the Ionian Sea, but it is closely connected to the land of Akarnania, as they are joined by a tiny strip of land and a floating bridge that allows small boats to pass through its canal.

Lefkada captivates you every day in a different way, thanks to its unique magnificent beaches with emerald waters, such as Porto Katsiki, Egremni, Agios Nikitas, Kathisma, Vasiliki, Gialos, Pefkoulia, Mylos, Ai Giannis, Agiofili… and so many others. Aside from its stunning coasts, it also boasts charming mountain villages located high with breathtaking views of the sea, many of which are densely forested, and invite us to stroll through them. For sports enthusiasts, the island offers opportunities for windsurfing, kite surfing, sailing, hiking, diving, and much more…

If we want to discover one of its hidden beauties, we will drive to the lush gorge in Dimosari (6 km from Nydri) and walk to the waterfall hidden there. An idyllic landscape! We should dedicate, one day to a sea excursion from Nydri to explore the wooded Prigkiponisia. We will enjoy the most intense sunset on Kathisma Beach or from the cliffs of Cape Lefkatas…

In the paths of history…
Homer refers to Lefkada as the “White Stone” and Nirikos, the island’s initial capital, was named after the white cliffs at Lefkatas, that fall abruptly into the waves at the southernmost tip of the island. There once stood the Temple of Apollo, where, according to mythology, the lyric poet Sappho ended her life… Lefkada is an island that gave birth and nurtured renowned poets and artists. Aristotle Valaoritis found inspiration on the island of Madouri. This is where Angelos Sikelianos grew up and created.

Walking Tours and Worthwhile Routes…
The people of Lefkada are warm and hospitable, and make you a friend for life… Starting our acquaintance with the island from the town of Lefkada, we will get lost for a while in the picturesque alleys of the Historic Center and on the pedestrian street of the Central Market. A visit to the Archaeological Museum, the Charamogleio Special Library, is worth it… Not far from the city you can visit the beach at Ai Giannis, near Mylos, which is crowded with kite surfers’ colorful sails from noon onwards.

From the town of Lefkada, we will follow the two highway axes to explore the island’s many attractions by car. By traveling south on the coastal route we will arrive in Lygia, Nikiana, Perigiali, and the vibrant Nydri with its cosmopolitan vibe, with its luxury yachts and the ships for the daily cruises. We’ll go on to Mikros Gialos and the windless harbor of Sivota, where many boats sailing the Ionian Sea. The windsurfer’s heaven, Vassiliki, is next, from which we can take a boat to Lefkatas, the beaches of Porto Katsiki, and Egremni. These beaches can also be approached by another route or by Nydri.

Among the most picturesque mountain villages of the island is Karya, famous for its traditional embroideries and weavings. Also well-known is Egklouvi for its delicious lentils. We will explore the rural landmarks of walkways (stone vaulted buildings for crops and animals) and the chapel of Agios Donatos. Here on August 6th, the Feast of Lentils is celebrated. From Vasiliki, the road climbs to Agios Petros, Komilio, and Athani, famous for its exquisite honey.

The second route will take us from the town of Lefkada to the mountain village of Tsoukalades, to light a candle at the Holy Monastery of Faneromeni, which celebrates in mid-June. We will stop for a stroll in Agios Nikitas, with its picturesque settlement and beautiful beach with tavernas by the sea. A little before, we will encounter the enchanting beach of Pefkoulia. Beyond Agios Nikitas stretches the beach of Kathisma, one of the most impressive on the island. Climbing from Kalamitsi, we will meet the picturesque Drymonas with its stone-built houses and Exanthia overlooking the Ionian. We will pass through Dragano, with its elaborate belfry of Hypapante, while we will encounter the intersections for the exotic beaches of Egremni and Porto Katsiki. If we continue, we will end up at Cape Lefkatas, at the magical hour of sunset.

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In the center of the island, in a fertile valley with olive groves, are built the villages of Sfakiotes (Spanohori, Lazarata, Asprogerakata, Kavalos, Pinakochori).

A Seaside Escape and Lefkada’s Flavors
It’s worth taking a morning boat from Nydri for a full-day cruise to the Prigkiponisia (the lush green islets located in the Gulf of Lefkada) and getting to know up close Madouri, Skorpios, and Meganisi with their sea caves and seaside tavernas… Equally enchanting are the lush green islets of Kalamos and Kastos, which can be approached by boat or yacht from the port of Lefkada. As night falls, in the restaurants and tavernas in the streets and on the beach of the town of Lefkada, as well as in its picturesque harbors, we will enjoy freshly caught seafood on the grill and traditional flavors, such as riganada (toasted bread with feta and tomato), bianco lemon cod, octopus stew, Egklouvi lentil soup (served with grilled sardines) and much more. Of course, we’ll try the famous Lefkadian air-dried salami and the small shrimp sautéed in the pan. A traditional local dessert is considered the olive oil pie. Glasses clink with good Lefkadian wine, and the fun continues in the island’s bars, if the heart endures…

In Lefkada, we have the opportunity to engage in many activities, such as kite surfing at Ai Giannis beach in Mylos, windsurfing in the bay of Vasiliki, cycling, sailing, horseback riding, hiking on lush trails, and many other water sports.

What to buy
Pasteli (a bar from sesame seeds and honey), mantolata (traditional almond sweet), ladopita (olive oil pie), soumada (almond milk), rose liqueur, mint, or rose liqueur, cold cuts, olives and olive oil, lentils from Egklouvi, caviar from the lagoon, local white and red wines. High-quality thyme honey from Draganos and Athani. Embroidery and textiles from Karya.

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