Lefkas

Lefkas (Lefkada) is one of the seven principal islands that make up the Ionian Islands, the cluster of islands located off the West Coast of Greece.

“Glorious beaches, sophisticated capital and easy accessibility, Lefkada remains one of the Ionian’s most unspoiled destinations.” The Telegraph Travel

Lefkas island is unique in being connected to the mainland by a long causeway and floating bridge. The bridge is located next to the Fortress of Agia Mavra and the causeway borders the Lagoon of Lefkada, an environmentally significant area, protected by the Natura 2000 network.

The capital Lefkas Town (Lefkada) nestles at the end of the causeway with the mountains that cover the centre of the island rising up behind it. Lefkada has a central pedestrianised street opening into a busy central square and lined with many shops, cafes and restaurants. It buzzes with life in the mornings as people go about their business, quietens in the afternoon before filing up again in the evenings as people head out for their ‘volta’, the evening stroll to see people and be seen!

Lefkas old town has a unique architecture unlike ordinary white-washed houses and buildings you associate with the Greek islands. The Town suffered from two major earthquakes in 1948  and 1953 which destroyed almost the entire island, therefore the people had to take measures to protect their property, the buildings were re-built from scratch and were made of wooden/stone ground floors and coloured sheets of metal.

 

 

The East coast of the island has the small resorts of Lygia, Nikiana, Periyiali before you reach the largest restort of Nidri. It is set in a sheltered location with stunning views across to Lefkas’ Satellite islands.

The largest, Meganisi, is the only inhabited island and the most famous is Skorpios, privately owned by the Onassis Family. Here in 1968 the shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis married Jackie Kennedy, widow of the assassinated American President John Kennedy and they used the island as a hideaway from the paparazzi attention. There is a statue of Onassis in Nidri harbour.

The south of the island has the sheltered bays of Mikros Gialos and Sivota, popular with sailing boats and large of Vassiliki. This resort is renowned for its afternoon cross winds on which summer afternoons, scores of windsurfers can be seen speeding across the bay.

The West coast of Lefkas stretches from Lefkas Town in the north to Cape Lefkada in the south. The myth about the poet 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 West coast beaches are stunning and there are several to visit including the famous Porto Katsiki below. Egremni involves 300 steps but the effort is well rewarded by a picture perfect beach. Other beaches on this coast to visit are Gialos, Kathisma, Mylos, Agios Nikitas and Pefkoulia.