A FABULOUS PLACE TO VISIT
Famous all over the world for the exotic beaches, Lefkada island is a fabulous place to visit for summer vacations. This island of the Ionian Sea, geographically located west of the Greek mainland, has the most amazing sea color. Beaches, like Porto Katsiki, Kathisma and Egremni, with the clear blue waters are among the awarded beaches in Greece and worldwide.
However this hospitable Ionian island is a destination that has a lot more to offer than just beaches. Green trails, unspoiled landscapes, awarded beaches, traditional villages and gastronomic surprises. Lefkada fulfills every holiday need and covers every taste and every type of accommodation. Admire its sights, try the delicious food, take a cruise and relax on beautiful beaches.
Lefkada also has lovely seaside villages, like Sivota, Agios Nikitas, Vassiliki, Nikiana, Lygia and also beautiful mountainous villages with traditional architecture, customs and culture, while the nature is fantastic.
Lefkada is impressive even as it first greets the visitor, as he crosses the narrow strip of dry land and the 50-metre long floating bridge from the coast of Aitoloakarnania. The bridge turns around on itself allowing small boats to pass through the canal of Lefkada. Gyra is one of Lefkada’s most important natural beauties. This narrow strip of white sand, 7 kilometres long, which embraces the lagoon on the north of the island, makes the landscape quite special. This lagoon which is the biggest liquid place of the island, every year welcomes the biggest masses of fowl fauna. You will be able to admire herons, Kalimanes, swans, wild gooses and wild ducks.
To the Folklore museum you will admire the fine hand woven materials, local dresses and the festival of the Lefkadian house in a room particular shaped for this purpose.
To the Archeological museum there are ceramics and other Greek exhibits from excavations in Nudri also sculptural, vessels and a collection of icons.
The demotic library concludes a collection of icons of after Byzantine art from the Ionian college of the 17th, 18th and 19th century, it also concludes old rare books and manuscripts.
Great interest presents the museum of photographs with a lot of souvenirs of the romantic Lefkada.
FESTIVALS AND EVENTS OF THE ISLAND
The evening opening celebration (1st Sunday) with the few minutes presentation of the groups, their formal presentation, during week and the magnificent ending ceremony, the exchanges of gifts and the dance of peace.
INTERNATIONAL FOLKLOR FESTIVAL
International Folklore Festival has been organizing, since its foundation in 1962 until nowadays, the idea of peace, friendship, fraternity and solidarity of the people worldwide, with folklore forms of art, dance and music. This is achieved with the rich tradition and the recognized folklore codes of expression and communication.
International Folklore Festival of Lefkada is the most ancient cultural constitution of our country, in dance and music of the traditional heritage worldwide with Pan Hellenic and international recognition.
Art softens the political, economical and cultural differences. The Festival takes place on the last week of August (from a Sunday to Sunday),starting with a huge parade of peace and friendship.
Varkarola is a traditional custom of the island where in a boat that crosses the canal in Lefkas town, local singers in traditional costumes, play music and sing old serenades (cantadas). The boat is floating slowly on the water only with oars and it is decorated with a row of small light bulbs. People are gathered across the sea front watching and listening to these lovely serenades. Unfortunately, during the last years the custom has lost a little of its original beauty because of the crowd’s voices. Still it remains unique and a must see. Usually it is held in August.
MUNICIPALITY OF KARIA
The well known lentil festival in Aghios Donatos church, takes place on the 7th of August. The housewives of the village cook in a traditional way the lentils of Englouvi, in huge pots and serve the guest together with olives and salted sardines.
The representation of the Lefkaditian traditional wedding: The Lefkaditian wedding comes alive following all stages: match making, hair, yeasts, wedding ceremony, beds, and feast.
The festival of Riganada: It has been taking place since 1983 in the main square. Riganada is served to the people, a snack but very delicious and aromatic food. It’s wet traditional bread from the village with oil, salt and oregano.
MUNICIPALITY OF SFAKIOTES
Festivals of wines: have been taking place since 1983, every August in the main square of Frya with the homonym historic well. The festivals are offering nights of folklore, demotic music, dance and exhibitions of local traditional products and folklore handicraft.
The feast of sardine: Organised at the end of July, in the square of Vathi, with a traditional orchestra, roasted fishes, mainly sardines and plenty of local wine.
A very important part of the cultural heritage of Lefkada is its traditional cuisine and its traditional products.
Honey from thyme which grows in Dragano and Athani, pasteli and mantolato, soumada( refreshment from bitter almond), liqueur like rozoli, mint, rose, traditional ladopitta (oil pie), ladokouloura (oil rolls), oil from the perennial olives, avgotaracho from lagoon’s ivari, white and red wine are products from the land of Lefkada.
Especially, wine which is produced from a rare variety of “berjami” or barzamino is considered one of the best varieties of our country. Other varieties of Lefkaditian wine is giomatari, black sweet, keropati, white and lagkero, soft and mild wine.
The visitor is astonished by the local handicrafts, textiles and well known Lefkaditian needleworks of unique beauty. Karya’s needleworks, well known as “Karsaniki velonia” (stitch) are exquisite, with a special artistry compared with any other place in Greece. It is an art created exclusively from the women of Karya, which was also took its name.
Sivota is one of the most beautiful bays in Lefkada, located 32 km south of the capital town. The lovely port of the village provides a safe shelter for private yachts and quite close is also the main beach. Today, Sivota is probably the most popular tourist resort in Lefkada. It is fairly quiet during the day and much more lively at night. The village is a much preferred destination for the yacht owners. Tavernas, coffee-bars, souvenir shops, mini markets, boat and yacht rentals can be found at the village.
Vassiliki is a picturesque fishing village located 37 km southwest of Lefkada Town. It lies around the beautiful bay, a long sandy beach famous for its perfect windsurfing and sailing conditions. Water sports facilities and windsurfing clubs renting material are available on the beach as it is also well organized with sunbeds and umbrellas. In the surrounding area one will find a wide range of accommodations, camping sites, taverns, shops, cafes and modern bars.
Its picturesque port is accommodating a great number of tourists every year to the neighbour islands of Ithaca and Kefalonia as well as the nearby beaches that can only be accessed by boat.
Agios Nikitas is a beautiful fishing village located 13 km west of Lefkada Town. The village nestles around the bay and is built amphitheatrically in a beautiful area full of olive groves and an enchanting landscape. Agios Nikitas has been recognized as a traditional settlement that combines the traditional and cosmopolitan atmosphere. The village is bordered by some pristine beaches, the closest being the homonymous beach which lies right in front of the settlement and next to the picturesque port. It is ideal for families for its friendly and refreshing environment.
Kalamitsi is a picturesque village located 20 km west of Lefkada Town. It is built on a green slope offering magnificent panoramic views to the blue sea. Kalamitsi is one of the oldest villages of the island that stand on the hill with traditional neighbourhoods. The village enjoys little tourism as it is quite peaceful and unspoilt despite its close proximity to the main town. Nice restaurants at Kalamitsi offer delicious traditional meals.
Nidri is the most popular tourist resort in Lefkada located at a distance of 17 km south of the main town. The lovely settlement that lies around the natural bay has the best tourist infrastructure including a plethora of modern amenities like taverns, restaurants and various accommodations to choose from. The main street behind the bay runs full of cafes, bars and tourist shops. One can enjoy amazing views across the islets of Heloni, Sparti, Madouri and Scorpios, the famous island of Aristotelis Onasis. Nidri has one of the busiest ports in Lefkada with ferry connections to the neighbour islands of Meganisi, Ithaca and Kefalonia
Nidri is full of sightseeings such as the remains of the prehistoric settlement, the famous waterfalls and Dimosari Gorge. At the centre of the town is a small folklore museum.
Karia is a beautiful mountainous village built at 500 metres altitude above the sea within a lush green area. It is located 13 km southwest of the centre of Lefkada. The area is full of lush vegetation and natural springs. The village is built according to the traditional architecture. Between the narrow alleys old houses and a couple of small churches are found. The picturesque square is surrounded by old plane trees and lovely cafes and is known as the locals spot. This village is famous for its fine embroidery work reproducing the traditional motifs. Examples of this work are exhibited in the small Folklore Museum of the village. A lovely custom is revived by the inhabitants of Karia and every 11th of August a representation of a traditional wedding takes place in the village..
Athani, a lovely mountainous village is located 36 km north east of Lefkada Town. The village has a well-developed tourist infrastructure receiving a great number of visitors every year. Athani offers a plethora of modern amenities like mini-markets, local services, cafes and restaurants. However, it still is one of the finest examples of traditional architecture with old houses, unspoilt villages and small churches. Athani is also close to some of the most famous beaches like the Porto Katsiki and Egremni. A few kilometres from the village is the promontory of Lefkada where you can enjoy some breathtaking views to the Ionian Sea and the beautiful sunset. There you can also find and buy the well-known honey of the area.
Eglouvi is arguably one of the most beautiful mountainous villages of Lefkada located 19 km from the centre of the island. The village is built at 730 metres altitude within a vast green area and its fabulous location offers breathtaking views to the Ionian Sea. This small fertile village is well-known for the production of lentil and for its traditional architecture. It consists of beautiful stone houses and red-tiled roofs, narrow streets and picturesque neighbourhoods. At the central square, under the huge plane tree is a nice old fashioned cafe that gathers a mix of locals and tourists during the summer season. It is worth visiting this village for the relaxing and peaceful atmosphere. Some delightful hiking paths amidst the lush green forests around Eglouvi lead to small chapels, ruined windmills and old wells.
Porto Katsiki is one of the main beach attractions of Lefkada and among the 10 best beaches in Greece and in the Mediterranean. It is located 45 km southwest of the island’s capital and close to Athani village. The natural beauty of Porto Katsiki offers one of the most impressive themes that Lefkada is famous for. Abrupt white cliffs form a wild yet magnificent backdrop and a unique antithesis with the deep blue waters of the Ionian. Lush vegetation covers the surrounding area creating one of the most idyllic landscapes in the world. Porto Katsiki is simply irresistible for thousands of visitors around the world and a unique sightseeing experience. It is frequented with private yachts and is simply the best way to access this beach, apart from a car. It can also be reached by taxi-boat from the villages of Vassiliki and Nidri. A car parking, bars and canteens are found on top of the stairs.
Egremni is a beautiful beach situated 40 km southwest of Lefkada Town. The long sandy beach is surrounded by impressive barren cliffs that create a magnificent backdrop. The white sand, shiny pebbles and crystal clear waters compose an exotic setting that attracts thousands of visitors every summer. The unique beauty of Egremni is one of the most photographed landscapes in the world and it offers an ideal swimming experience.
Kathisma is arguably one of the most beautiful beaches of Lefkada located 15 km southeast of the main town, close to the village of Agios Nikitas. One of the longest beaches of Lefkada with fine white sand and sparkling waters of amazing turquoise color. The beach is surrounded by an idyllic mountain backdrop which offers a feeling of total isolation, despite the major tourist activity. It is a much preferred destination among young crowds. Kathisma is also an ideal destination for sky parachute. Plenty of sun beds and umbrellas cover the huge area and various accommodations are found closeby.
Agios Ioannis beach is the closest beach to Lefkada Town separated only by a couple of kilometres. The long beach stretches for many metres and it is surrounded by sand and blue green waters.The area boasts an exotic landscape which attracts thousands of visitors. It is well-organized with sunbeds and umbrellas facing the wonderful sea. Agios Ioannis is home to some old windmills that create a charming atmosphere. The beach here is usually windy thus the ideal destination for windsurfing after Vassiliki. It attracts many skilled windsurfers. Some cafes and water sports centers board the beach of Agios Ioannis.
Mylos is a wonderful beach located 14 km southwest of Lefkada Town, between the coasts of Agios Nikitas and Kathisma. Mylos is characterized by its unspoilt environment and beautiful features. Surrounded by the streep green cliffs that offers an imposing backdrop, the area is totally secluded, ideal for those who want to spend some relaxing and peaceful moments in this popular island. This beach impresses visitors with the large size, the soft sand and the crystal water. It doesn’t have any tourist facilities, so it provides the best spot for total relaxation.
Agiofili beach is situated 38 km south of Lefkada Town and close to the village of Vassiliki. This is one of the clearest beaches in Lefkada with brilliant crystal waters and pebbles. It is surrounded by white stone cliffs that create a beautiful setting and a feeling of seclusion. A nice trekking path connects Vassiliki with Agiofili while it can be accessed by boat or car from Vassiliki.
POROS MIKROS GIALOS
The beach of Poros Mikros Gialos is one of the island’s beautiful beaches. It is located 30 km south of the capital, nearby the village of Poros. The long pebbled beach has sun beds, umbrellas, taverns and snack bars.
Kalamitsi is among the prettiest beaches of Lefkada located 15 km southwest of the main town. With brilliant crystal waters and white sand, Kalamitsi provides a perfect environment for swimming and sunbathing. Close to the seashore lie many rock formations and give a wild aspect to the beach.
The beach of Amousa offers clear waters, big white pebbles and a refreshing swim. Sunbathing can be comfortable on the sun-beds that can be found there. This superb beach is popular with families. Tavernas are also there to offer a meal or a drink.
Gialos is one of the longest beaches of Lefkada located 35 km southwest of the main town. It doesn’t get that crowded like most of the beaches of the island but it is equally beautiful with unique features. Part of it is well-organized with sunbeds and umbrellas but there are also some spots that provide total privacy. It is accessed through a road from Athani village. There is a parking area and a nice cafeteria with view to the Ionian Sea.
Pefkoulia is an impressive large sandy beach located 10 km southwest of Lefkada Town ad close to the fishing village of Agios Nikitas. Considered as one of the best beaches of the island, the sea at Pefkoulia has a wonderful turquoise colour that attracts many visitors. On the eastern side there not any umbrellas so it is less crowded. It is easily accessible and very popular. A beach bar with a pool offers food and drinks.