The island of Lefkada or Leukas (303 sq km; 20,000 inhabitants), is the fourth largest island of the Ionian islands. The island is located near the Greek coast with which it is connected via a causeway and a movable bridge. Thanks to this connection it is one of the most accessible islands in Greece, the ancient Italian name of the island is Santa Maura.
The main center of the island, the town of Lefkada, is located at the northern end of the island, in correspondence with the connection with the mainland. Lefkada is the capital of the region which includes in addition to the island of Lefkada also the small islands of Meganisi, Kalamos, Kastos, Madouri, Skorpios, and Sparti.
The island is largely mountainous, the highest mountain, Mount Stavrotas (1,158 meters), is located in the central part densely covered with woods and pine forests. In the hinterland of Lefkada there are small towns where time seems to stand still, where traditions are still original and where you can taste the delicious foods of traditional island cuisine.
THE EAST COAST
The east coast, the one facing Greece is more developed and the one where most of the population lives. Along this coast there are famous seaside resorts such as Nydri, Nikiana and Poros. At the far north of the island at the end of the drawbridge that connects the island to the mainland is the Venetian fortress of Agia Maura built in the 14th century which controls access to the city of Lefkada (Leucade). The city of Lefkada, located at the northern end of the island, is a pretty town whose historic center has a Venetian layout, there are baroque churches and a beautiful archaeological museum with finds from excavations carried out on the island.
Skirting the east coast to the south you will find the fishing village of Nikiana and then the seaside resort of Nydri, the most touristic place on the island. From Nydri you can visit the small islands that face the east coast of Lefkada such as those of Meganisi and Skorpios. Further south are the beaches of Desimi and Poros, and the bay of Syvota. Finally moving to the west you arrive at the great bay of Vasiliki, a paradise for windsurfers. Further south in the same bay is Agiofylli beach.
THE WESTERN COAST
The west coast is the wildest and is rich in white cliffs, caves, ravines. Along this stretch of coast are the most beautiful beaches on the island. Porto Katsiki beach is located at the southern end of the west coast near Cape Lefkada. This beach is one of the most beautiful on the island, it is a beach nestled between white cliffs that can be reached through a long staircase.
Cape Lefkada is dominated by a lighthouse and here is the famous Lefkada jump, a cliff over 70 meters high on the waters of the Ionian Sea. Another wonderful beach is Egremni which is located just north of Porto Katsiki. Further north are the beautiful beaches of Kalamitsi, Kathisma, Mylos, Agios Nikitas and Pefkoulia, all located near the seaside resort of Agios Nikitas. At the north end of the island near the city of Lefkada there is the beach of Agios Ioannis on the strip of sand that surrounds the lagoon of Lefkada near the northern tip of the island, Cape Gyropetra, there are several windmills.
THE INTERIOR OF THE ISLAND
The interior of the island is very green full of woods and pine forests. There are also vast olive groves and vineyards. Many villages in the interior of the island have retained their original character. In your itinerary on the island, walk the roads of the interior of Lefkada and discover the agricultural and mountain villages that populate it. Here in a genuine environment you can taste the specialties of the delicious island cuisine. Among the most characteristic are the villages of Karya, Englouvi, Syvros and Vafkeri near which you can visit the waterfalls.
HOW TO GET TO LEFKADA
The island is connected to the Greek mainland by a movable bridge.
FLIGHTS: The island of Lefkada is served by the nearby Preveza airport (Aktion National Airport) which is located on the mainland just 20 km from the island’s capital. During the summer, the airport is connected directly to many European countries including Germany, Holland, Austria, Italy, the United Kingdom, Finland, Norway, Switzerland and Romania.
FERRIES: Lefkada is connected by a ferry service with Ithaca (Frikes) and Kefalonia (Fiskardo) the ferries dock in the ports of Nydri and Vasiliki in Lefkada. The time taken varies between 1 and 2 hours.