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Cape Lefkas

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Cape Lefkas review & map

Cape Lefkas, also called Cape Ducato, is at the southernmost tip of Lefkas and is visited only by the more adventurous. It's a long and dusty 16km drive on poor roads to the cape where the poet Sappho reportedly jumped to her death from the sheer cliffs.

In antiquity Cape Lefkas was used for human sacrifice. Lunatics and criminals would be pushed from the 70 metre high cliffs to purify their souls, with birds tied to the victims to slow their fall. A lighthouse, built in 1913, now stands on what was once a temple to Apollo.

Rejected lovers were said to jump from Cape Lefkas in Roman times, aping Sappho, although many used primitive parachutes to slow their fall into the sea where rescue parties waited. Today the cape is used as a launching pad for hang gliders.

It is assumed that Homer is referring to Cape Lefkas' "white rocks" in his epic poem, The Odyssey, but this is not certain. The white limestone crags on this inhospitable part of the island were probably what gave Lefkas or Lefkada (White) the island's name.

From Cape Lefkas there are great views across to Ithaca and to the northern tip of Kefalonia island which is only about 4 km away.

The waters are popular with scuba divers and there is a dive centre based at the lighthouse

The wide variation in water temperatures supports some interesting marine life including large lobsters. The rocks are also home to a number of large moray eels.

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