Nestled in the Ionian Sea, Lefkada is a stunning Greek island that captures the hearts of all who visit.
Its lush forests and world-famous beaches make this jewel of an island a must-see destination. Whether you’re looking to relax on pristine beaches or delve into the rich history and charming villages, Lefkada has something for everyone.
Easily reachable from mainland Greece via a bridge, Lefkada offers a diverse range of attractions for travellers.
From the bustling harbour of cosmopolitan Lefkda Town to the serene atmosphere of Agios Nikitas, and the adventure-filled shores of Vassiliki, this island effortlessly caters to all tastes.
Alongside an array of beautiful beaches, Lefkada boasts numerous monasteries, museums, and picturesque seafront or mountainous villages, each with their unique charm.
With its friendly locals, traditional Greek hospitality, and some of the best beaches in Greece, Lefkada promises unforgettable experiences for every visitor.
Whether you want to immerse yourself in the vibrant culture or unwind in peaceful surroundings, Lefkada is the ideal destination for your next getaway.
A Tourist’s Overview of Lefkas
Lefkas, also known as Lefkada, is an Ionian island in Greece known for its stunning beaches and picturesque landscapes. It is located on the western coast of the mainland and is easily accessible by car via a bridge. The island boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean, such as Kathisma, Egremni, and Porto Katsiki, which are renowned for their blue waters and awarded annually with Blue Flags.
Lefkas has a rich history dating back to ancient times. It is believed that the island was first mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey as Ithaca, the kingdom of the legendary hero Odysseus. Throughout its history, Lefkas has been under the influence of various civilizations, including the Corinthians, Romans, Byzantines, and Venetians, before becoming part of the modern Greek state.
The island’s rich cultural heritage is evident in its historical monuments, museums, and folklore traditions, making it a popular destination for history enthusiasts and tourists alike. Additionally, Lefkas offers a unique blend of traditional and modern experiences, with a lively atmosphere and a range of outdoor activities for visitors to enjoy.
How to Reach Lefkas
Lefkas, also known as Lefkada, is a beautiful Ionian island in Greece, known for its stunning beaches, picturesque villages, and diverse landscapes. Reaching this paradise is quite convenient with various options available, including air, road, and ferry.
The closest airport to Lefkas is Aktion National Airport (PVK), located on mainland Greece, around 18 km away. Airlines such as Ryanair, British Airways, and EasyJet operate flights from several European cities to Aktion Airport during the summer season. Upon arrival, you can rent a car or take a taxi to cross the bridge connecting the mainland to Lefkas Island, which is a short 20-minute drive.
Lefkas is unique among the Ionian islands as it is connected to mainland Greece via a floating bridge, making it easily accessible by road. The bridge allows for a continuous flow of traffic between the island and the mainland. If you are driving from Athens or Thessaloniki, expect a travel duration of about 4-5 hours and 5-6 hours, respectively. The island’s well-maintained road network makes it easy to explore its beautiful landscapes by car, scooter, or even bike.
Although Lefkas is connected to the mainland by a bridge, travellers can still opt for ferry services to reach the island. There are several daily ferry connections between Lefkas and neighbouring Ionian islands, such as Kefalonia, Ithaca, and Paxos. The ferry terminal is situated in Vasiliki on the southern coast of Lefkas Island, and you can check the schedules and book tickets online or at the port. Ferries are a convenient way to explore the picturesque Ionian islands while enjoying the surrounding sea views during your journey.
Popular Attractions and Activities
Lefkada, a beautiful Greek island in the Ionian Sea, offers a variety of attractions and activities for tourists to enjoy. Visitors will discover stunning beaches, picturesque villages, and exciting outdoor activities, all making for a memorable trip.
Lefkada is known for its breathtaking beaches, each boasting turquoise waters and soft sand. A few of the most popular ones include:
- Porto Katsiki: Renowned for its striking white cliff backdrop and clear waters, this beach is a must-visit for anyone coming to Lefkada.
- Egremni: With its long stretch of sand and azure waters, Egremni is a summer paradise where sunbathers and swimmers alike can relish the beauty.
- Kathisma: Its azure waters and lively atmosphere make it an ideal destination for tourists seeking a day relaxing in the sun.
Villages and Towns
Exploring Lefkada’s charming villages and towns will give travellers a glimpse of the island’s rich history and tradition. Some of these villages are:
- Nydri: Known for its bustling marina, waterfalls, and numerous tavernas, Nydri is popular among tourists and locals alike.
- Vasiliki: A picturesque port village, Vasiliki is perfect for those who love water sports, bougainvillea-lined streets, and quaint cafés.
- Karia: This mountain village offers visitors a break from the busy coastal areas, with its cobbled streets, local tavernas, and artisan shops.
The island’s varied landscape provides a wealth of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to take advantage of. Here are some activities to consider:
- Sailing: Explore Lefkada’s coast and surrounding islands by hiring a yacht or joining a sailboat tour.
- Hiking: With its lush landscapes and coastal trails, Lefkada offers stunning hiking routes for all abilities.
- Windsurfing and Kitesurfing: Vasiliki beach and Agios Ioannis Beach are famous for their windsurfing and kitesurfing facilities, attracting enthusiasts from around the world.
- Exploring Waterfalls: Visit the majestic waterfalls of Nydri to enjoy a refreshing swim or leisurely hike.
Lefkada, also known as Lefkas, is a beautiful island in the Ionian Sea, offering a variety of accommodation options to suit different tastes and budgets. Whether you’re looking for luxury hotels, private villas, or a more back-to-nature camping experience, Lefkada has something to offer.
There are plenty of hotels available in Lefkada, catering to different preferences and budgets. Lefkada Town is an excellent place to base yourself, with options such as Allure Central and the Secret Boutique Hotel providing boutique town hotel experiences. For families, consider staying in Nidri – an area known to be family-friendly, with hotels like Mousses Villa and Kids’ Club. Couples looking for a more romantic, adults-only experience can find solace at Katouna Suites through Simpson Travel.
Villas and Apartments
Lefkada is also home to numerous stylish villas and apartments. If you’re seeking a luxurious villa, some of the swankiest options include Villa Veneziano, Milos Beach Aphrodite, and Skyfall Villa. These villas often come with stunning views and amenities such as private pools and generous outdoor spaces. For those who prefer apartment stays, consider the charming village of Nikiana, which offers various accommodation options, including comfy apartments near beautiful beaches and amenities.
For travellers who enjoy a more nature-immersive experience, Lefkada has several camping sites available. While camping may not be as widespread as hotels and villas on the island, it allows visitors to get up close with Lefkada’s stunning landscapes and natural beauty. When selecting a campsite, consider the proximity to beaches, walking trails, and amenities such as showers and bathroom facilities. Do some research in advance to find a camping site that best suits your preferences, ensuring a memorable stay on this idyllic Ionian island.
Local Cuisine and Dining
Traditional Greek Foods
Lefkas, also known as Lefkada, boasts a rich culinary tradition full of authentic Greek flavours. Here are some traditional Greek dishes that you should try while visiting the island:
- Souvlaki: Grilled meat on skewers, usually served with tzatziki sauce, pita bread, and salad.
- Moussaka: A tasty dish made of layers of eggplant, minced meat, and a béchamel sauce topping, baked to perfection.
- Pastitsio: A pasta bake made with tube-shaped pasta, minced meat, and a creamy béchamel sauce, creating a delicious meal.
- Horiatiki: A delicious Greek salad made with juicy tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, onions, and feta cheese, dressed with olive oil and oregano.
- Spanakopita: A scrumptious spinach and feta cheese pie, wrapped in delicate layers of filo pastry.
- Dolmathakia: Stuffed grape leaves, commonly filled with rice, herbs, and sometimes minced meat, served as a meze or appetiser.
There are many excellent dining options in Lefkada. Here are some top restaurant recommendations, based on user reviews:
- Seaside Restaurant: A popular choice for its seafood and Mediterranean cuisine, the Seaside Restaurant offers dishes like fresh calamari, seafood linguini, and sea bream. Many reviews praise its high-quality service and exceptional flavours.
- Loulistasteproject: Serving Italian dishes and pizza in a charming atmosphere, this restaurant has received rave reviews for its delectable fare and friendly service. If you are a fan of Italian cuisine, it is definitely worth a visit.
- Patio Dining: An Italian and steakhouse restaurant that offers great variety and delightful flavours. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Patio Dining is a fantastic spot to enjoy a meal while exploring Lefkada.
- Nissi Mediterranean Kuzina: A seafood and Mediterranean restaurant located near Lefkada Town, Nissi dazzles its guests with dishes like calamari, seafood linguine, and salmon. It is known for its scrumptious desserts as well.
Visiting Lefkas is a culinary delight, offering visitors both traditional Greek foods and other fantastic dining options from around the world.
Best Time to Visit
The ideal time to visit Lefkada, Greece, is between June and September. During these months, you can enjoy warm temperatures, sunny weather, and plenty of opportunities for swimming at the island’s pristine beaches. The peak season is in July and August, when visitors flock to the island, so it might be worth considering visiting in June or September to avoid the crowds.
Safety and Health
Lefkada is generally a safe place for tourists, with the usual petty crime risks present in any travel destination. To ensure your safety, practice common-sense precautions like not flashing valuables and keeping your belongings secure, especially on the beach.
In terms of health, there are no specific vaccine requirements for Lefkada. However, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor or travel health clinic before any trip to ensure you are up to date on any routine vaccinations. The tap water is typically safe to drink, but you may choose to drink bottled water if you prefer.
When it comes to sun exposure, remember to apply sunscreen and wear appropriate clothing to protect yourself from harmful UV rays, especially between 11 am and 4 pm. To avoid insect-borne illnesses, use mosquito repellent and sleep under a mosquito net if possible.
In case of medical emergencies, Lefkada has a hospital and several pharmacies to meet your health needs. Remember to have your European Health Insurance Card or travel insurance handy when seeking medical assistance.
In summary, Lefkada offers a fantastic experience with beautiful beaches, charming villages, and a diverse range of attractions. By following the travel tips in this guide, you can ensure a safe, enjoyable, and memorable trip to this stunning Greek island.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time to visit Lefkas?
The ideal time to visit Lefkas is between late spring and early autumn (May to September), when the weather is warm and sunny, perfect for enjoying the island’s stunning beaches. June and September may offer better accommodation deals, while July and August are the peak tourist periods.
What are the top attractions in Lefkas?
Lefkas boasts some of the best beaches in Greece, with well-known ones such as the Porto Katsiki, Kathisma, and Egremni. Other top attractions include the traditional village of Agios Nikitas, the bustling Lefkada Town, and various ancient sites and monasteries scattered throughout the island.
What’s the best way to get to Lefkas?
Lefkas is the most accessible of the Ionian Islands, as it is connected to mainland Greece by a floating bridge. You can reach the island by car, bus or boat. Aktion/Preveza Airport is the nearest airport, located about 20 minutes by car from Lefkada Town, and it services flights from various European destinations.
What accommodation options exist on Lefkas?
There is a range of accommodation options on Lefkas, from hotels, holiday rentals, and family-run guesthouses to self-catered apartments and luxurious villas. Popular areas to stay include Lefkada Town, Nidri, Agios Nikitas, and Vassiliki.
What is Lefkas’ nightlife scene like?
Nightlife in Lefkas ranges from quiet tavernas, idyllic for a traditional Greek meal and a glass of wine, to lively bars and clubs where you can dance the night away. The busiest areas for nightlife are Lefkada Town and the coastal village of Nidri.
What’s the best way to get around Lefkas?
Taxis and rental cars are readily available and offer a reliable mode of transport to explore the island. However, if you prefer to stick to public transportation, there is a bus service operating between Lefkada Town and major coastal villages. Alternatively, for venturing to the smaller secluded areas of the island, consider renting a bike or scooter.
Born and raised on the sun-drenched island of Crete, Sofia Mavromatis is a seasoned traveler and writer with a deep-rooted love for Greece’s vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and rich history.