The island of Lefkada is located in the Ionian Sea between Corfu and Cephalonia. The access to Lefkada is easy as the island is linked to the mainland by a cause way. Ιnter-City bus itineraries are daily held between Lefkada to Athens and to Thessaloniki. There are also direct flights from Athens and other european cities to Aktio International Airport (18km from Lefkada).
The ideal destination for all those looking for:
• Unparalleled sandy beaches, seas in shades of turquoise. They are concerned to be the best in the Mediterranean.
• An unbelievable natural environment, a true ecological paradise.
• All the advantages of an island with none of its disadvantages since the island is linked to the mainland by a causeway measuring 50 m long.
• Easy access to the other Ionian Islands as well as important archaeological monuments and other sights on mainland Greece.
• A strong cultural tradition jam-packed with artistic and literary events. Some of the leading figures from the arts are from Lefkada such as the poets Angelos Sikelianos, Nanos Valaoritis, Aristotelis Valaoritis, the painter Theodoros Stamos, the mezzo-soprano Agni Baltsa and others.
The island capital was successively relocated from the area of Koulmos, to the Santa Maura castle (during the first decade of the 14th century) and once again in 1684 by the Venetian Morozini to the Amaxiki Plain where it is located today.
It is built on a peninsula surrounded by the charming sea chan- nel which separates the island from the mainland and the lagoon. This watery body reflects the capital’s colourful houses, its verdant mountains and the sky. Further to the north is the fine circular line of Gyra Beach with its scattered trees and windmills that punctuate, and in doing so, highlight the view to the Ionian Sea which stretches out before us.
The island capital’s layout follows that of medieval European towns. The town plan designed by the Venetians resembles a fish bone (or so they say) and is today the historical town centre. The style of building on Lefkada is unique in Greece and Europe, and is
a representative sample of how to build to with- stand earthquakes.
The island’s eastern side is calm and quiet with strongly developed tourist infrastructure.
Kariotes, Lygia, Nikiana, Periyali, Nydhri, Vlycho, Yeni, Desimi, Poros, Syvota and Vasiliki draw the most visitors.
Nydhri, the island’s best developed resort, dominates the eastern side of Lefkada. Every summer it is awash with tourists who can find modern hotels, restaurants, night clubs, water sports, and the wonderful view of the bay and the surrounding area there. In front of Nydhri lie smaller islands spotted across the sea; Madouri belonging to the Valaoritis Family, Skorpios and Sparti to the Onassis Family, Skorpidi, Meganissi (home island of the Taphians, mentioned by Homer) and the Ag. Kyriaki Peninsula where the German Homer expert Dörpfeld is buried, according to whom Lefkada has a strong claim to the Homerian Ithaca.
Vasiliki has tourist facilities but has managed to retain its charm. It has some of the best waters worldwide for windsurfing.
The island’s western side, moulded by wonderful rock falls, has a wild, grandiose air to it, with its precipitous rocks and wide open seas. The green colour dominates here in the from of pines stretching down to the sea and cypresses, olives trees, and Judas trees and the entire range of Mediterranean shrubs are to be found here and some remaining vineyards, the nostalgic reminder of the wine making tradition here, which was once the mainstays of farmers in the area.
Some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe also lie along Lefkada’s western shoreline including Kastro Beach, Ai Yannis, Pefkoulia, Mylos, Kathisma, Yialos, Egremni and Porto Katsiki. Here one can find sandy beaches with crystal clear waters, with trees reaching right down to the water’s edge in some cases or in others with rocks violently, yet magnificently slicing the coastline. These are beaches to stir the spirit…
The west coast ends in Cape Lefkatas also known as Kavos tis Kyras or Kavos tis Niras Cape (as the locals call it) where the temple of Apollo stood in antiquity. According to mythology it was founded by Odysseus’ companion Leucadius. In ancient times human sacrifices took place on this cape’s precipitous rocks while tradition has it that jumping from Cape Lefkatas can save one from the passions of unrequited love. Myth has it that Sappho jumped from this point into the waters of the Ionian to save herself from her unrequited love for Phaon.
The mountainous interior of Lefkada has retained its agricultural character untouched to a great degree. The first group of charming villages one comes across moving inland consists of Spanohori, Lazarata, Kavalos, Asprogerakata, and Pinakohori, which make up the Municipality of Sfakiotes. The villages of Drymonas and Exanthia with their wonderful views over the Ionian Sea also belong to the same Municipality. A lit- tle further on is Karya (Lefkada’s most important village), Englouvi famed for its lentils, Vafkeri abundant in both water and plane trees, Alexandros, Platistoma and Syvros.
In these villages many women still wear the traditional island costumes. However, the landscape here is never monotonous with wonderful plains stretching out before the eyes dotted with old churches and ruined monasteries, or dry stone walls climbing the sides of mountains, like the stepped seating of ancient theatres, built by the old residents of the island to hold back the soil on the mountain slopes for their crops.
In the island’s interior one can come across scattered wind- mills and water mills, gorges such as the picturesque Melissa Gorge, and wonderful churches and monasteries. These include the Aghios Georgios Monastery in Skari, the Ag. Pateres Hermitage, the famed Ai Yannis in the Monastery in Livadi (Plain), the historic Kokkini Ekklisia Monastery in Platistoma, the Asomatos Archangel Michael Monastery in Vafkeri with its major wall paintings, and the Ai Yannis Monastery in Rhodaki whose foundations rest on the ruins of the ancient temple of Demeter.