Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO)


Lefkas Travel Guide

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Lefkada, or Lefkada, is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea on the west coast of Greece, connected to the mainland by a long causeway and floating bridge. The city of Lefkada, is situated on the northern part of the island, approximately 20 minutes by automobile away from Aktion National Airport. The Prefecture of Lefkada comprises Lefkada island plus the smaller nearby islands of Meganisi, Kalamos, Kastos, Madouri, Skorpios, and Sparti. It is the smallest prefecture of Greece in both land area and population (2001 census). Lefkada Town (population: 6,903), has a pedestrianised main street, a marina, and bus access to Athens.

History of Lefkas

The myth about Sappho's suicide at Cape Lefkada is related to other myths linking the island to the ancient Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, and to Odysseus, the hero of Homer's Odyssey. The German archaeologist Wilhelm Dörpfeld, having performed excavations at various locations of Lefkada, was able to obtain funding to do work on the island by suggesting that Lefkada was Homer's Ithaca, and the palace of Odysseus was located west of Nidri on the south coast of Lefkada. There have been suggestions by local tourism officials that several passages in the Odyssey point to Lefkada as a possible model for Homeric Ithaca. The most notable of these passages pushed by the local tourism board describes Ithaca as an island reachable on foot, which was the case for Lefkada since it is not really an island, that it was connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway.According to Strabo X,2 the coast of Acarnania was called Leucas in earlier times. The ancient sources call Leucas a Corinthian colony, perhaps with a Corcyraen participation. During the Peloponnesian War Leucas had joined the Spartan Confederation. Ottomans called it as "Ayamavra" (According to Ottoman records) and ruled it between 1479-1502, 1504-1684 and 1715-1716.

Geography of Lefkas

The east coast section of the island has small resorts of Lefkada, Nikiana and Perigiali, all north of Nidri, the largest resort on the island. It is set in a sheltered location with views across to Skorpios—owned by Aristotle Onassis, Meganissi and other small islands, as well as the Greek mainland. The main coastal road from Lefkada to Vasiliki runs through the town, although a bypass is being built. There are regular car ferries to Kefalonia, Ithaca and Meganissi.

20 km south of Nidri is the resort of Vasiliki, a windsurfing center. There are ferries to Kefalonia and Ithaca from Vasiliki. South of Vasiliki is Cape Lefkada, where the Greek female poet Sappho allegedly leapt to her death from the 30 m high cliffs.

The famous beach of Porto Katsiki is located on Lefkada's west coast. Lefkada was attached to mainland Greece (see above about Homer's Ithaca being Lefkada). The Corinthians dug a trench in the 7th century BC on its isthmus.

Climate of Lefkas

The island has a typical Mediterranean climate: hot summers and cool winters, especially in the mountains.

Municipalities and communities of Lefkas

Lefkada City is a city and municipality in western Greece. It is the capital and main town of the island and prefecture of Lefkada. The city has a 2001 census population of 6,903 inhabitants. The surrounding municipality is located in the northern and northeastern part of the island, and has a land area of 60.628 km² and a population of 10,875. Its next largest towns are Lygiá (pop. 739), Nikiána (666), Apólpaina (507), Frýni (444), Kariótes (442), and Tsoukaládes (431).

Vasiliki is a town in the municipality of Apollonioi, Lefkada, Greece in the island and the prefecture of the same name. The village is linked with a road linking with the island capital and to Porto Katsiki and the eastern half of the island. The mountains surround the island and are made up with bushes, grasslands, rocks and a couple of trees, farmlands lie within the valley areas and around the villages.

Nydri is a town located in the eastern part of the island of Lefkada, Greece. It is part of the municipality Ellomenos. It is linked with a road linking with Vasiliki and north to Lefkada and with the GR-42 with the mainland. A bay is situated to the east overlooking its nearby islands including Madouri, Skorpio, Sparta and the mainland with the northwestern part of the Aitoloakarnania prefecture, The mountains surround the island with grasslands and trees. Nydri is famous for its hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, taverns and more. The town became famous in 1963 when Aristotelis Onassis bought an island named Skorpios, residents are not allowed on the island. The village was welcomed with tourists from around the world in which also visited the island named Skorpios. The town also has a port.

The town itself is situated on Nidri Fjord. this is one of the largest fjords outside of norway.

Beaches of Lefkas

Beaches of exquisite beauty stretch along the entire western coast of the island, boasting white sand, pebbles and crystal clear waters. About 4km away from the villas you will find the beach Pefkoulia, where pine trees reach the sand and offer shade from the sun. Moreover, the cosmopolitan Kathisma beach is located 10 minutes away by car, perfect for socialising and having fun. The isolated beaches at Kalamitsi and Milos near Agios Nikitas offer a more tranquil and remote atmosphere, as well the unparalleled beauty of an exotic paradise.

Driving 30 minutes along the western coastline you will come across two of the best beaches of the Mediterranean, Egremni and Porto Katsiki. Porto Katsiki on the Ioanian Sea island of Lefkáda is one of the most famous beaches in Greece and Europe in general. Translation to English means "Port of the Goat", due to the fact that before only a goat could reach this area.

A very famous and photogenic beach, it is at the bottom of an arc of pale cliff that seem to have the clean lines of something designed by an architect rather than a natural wonder. It rises out of the water like a wedge, narrow at the center of the bay where there are only a few stairs to the sand, and then towering upwards at either end. As well as the white lines of the cliffs, the water is bright, bright blue and the cliffs have grassy topped fringes. It is 35 km away from Lefkada town, near Athani village. The unique view of the white cliff over the beach combined with the surrounding green of the area and the cyan water of the sea make this beach a "must visit" place for tourists. It is consistently rated Top European Beach of the Year.

Porto Katsiki has parking lots and canteens, but you will not find anywhere to stay. Some people camp on the beach, but this can be relatively dangerous underneath the rocks. It is a long stairwell down to the actual beach from the cliff parking.

The last 5 km of the road are not wide enough and especially in August you may experience difficulties visiting Porto Katsiki at noon. In order to avoid this situation, you can go early in the morning (before 10:00) or at the afternoon (after 18:00). You may also visit Porto Katsiki with the cruise boats from Nydri or Vasiliki. The Soldatos family clan name is from a village Ai Lias (local patois dialect for Agios Ilias) close to the bay.

Accommodation in Lefkas

A wide range of luxurious villas and romantic holiday villas in Lefkas are available here on


Guided Mountain Biking

Get ActiveGet Active! offers daily guided biking on the island of Lefkas. Serene to extreme, the rides are suitable for all levels of fitness and skill, from gentle meanders through olive groves, past waterfalls and churches, to the extreme mountain rides up to the highest peaks on the island, they have got something for everyone. Get Active! are based in the coastal resort of Nidri and riders have the use of their 2012 Specialized Rockhopper bikes, helmets and gloves.

Check out their website for more information and 'like' their page on Facebook to keep up to date with local news and weather. Make the most of your time exploring the lush mountainous landscape Lefkas has to offer and Get Active!


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