Lefkada island: A Touch of the Caribbean in Greece



Nidri Beach, Lefkada. Source: Wikipedia

Located in the Ionian sea, Lefkada is a stunning island, even by Greek standards. It connects to the mainland by a small bridge and is easily accessed by car. Hospitable and with many activities on offer, the island prides itself on having one of the most beautiful natural landscapes and some of the most scenic beaches in Greece.

Lefkada, widely known as the “Caribbean of Greece,” is a recipe for the perfect summer holiday in the Ionian Sea, a perfect dream destination for people who love exotic islands.

The island is justifiably well known for its beaches. Simply scrolling through photographs of the island’s beaches will fail to reveal their true beauty, for the reality far exceeds any expectations. With their mesmerizing turquoise waters, surrounded by a pristine natural environment, Lefkada’s beaches will wash your stress away.

However, apart from the beaches, Lefkada rewards vacationers with seaside villages, including Agios Nikitas and Nidri, as well as other natural features including the Dimosari Waterfalls, and a number of exciting activities for the adventurous.

Scuba diving, horseback riding, windsurfing, paragliding, flights in prop planes, mountain biking, kite-surfing, sailing around the surrounding islets; there is no end to the outdoor activities from which you can choose on Lefkada.

You can explore the island while staying at luxurious or old fashioned and traditional hotels, while of course indulging in delicious food at seaside restaurants.

The warm and welcoming town will invite you to take pleasure in its culture by walking its alleyways, while listening to folk songs sung by local musicians.

Surrender yourself to this island’s sensations. Are you prepared to explore Lefkada?

BEACHES ON LEFKADA

Porto Katsiki: You simply must visit one of the main beaches of the island. This captivating beach provides one of the most spectacular scenes anywhere on the island of Lefkada. White cliffs form an impressive backdrop, while presenting a striking juxtaposition to the blue waters of the Ionian. Lavish plant life flourishes in the surrounding area, creating an enchanting landscape.

Egremni: This beach boasts white sand, pebbles, and crystal clear waters that create an exotic landscape which attracts many vacationers every year. If you are a person who seeks seclusion on your time away from the workaday world, don’t fret, for you can find isolation under the cliffs. Keep in mind that due to an earthquake, the beach is only accessible by boat now.

Nidri Beach: A popular resort, Nidri beach has white sands, crystalline waters and palm trees, which cover the beach, creating a lovely environment for adults and children. The resort is well-developed with bars, cafes and a number of restaurants.

Kathisma: Located 15 km (9 miles) southeast of the main town, Kathisma is one of the most beautiful beaches of Lefkada, with fine white sand and sparkling turquoise waters. Here you can enjoy a relaxing swim and sunbathing. It is also an ideal place for water sports, including and sky parachuting. Plenty of umbrellas and sun beds cover the beach and a number of accommodations are found nearby.

Agios Nikitas: Located 13 km (8 miles) southwest of Lefkada Town and very close to Kathisma beach, Agios Nikitas is a small fishing village with a picturesque crystal-clear waters along the beach. Even though it is quite small it is as gorgeous as the island’s other beaches. Why not go for the perfect combination of a nice swim and then a tasty meal in one of the best fish taverns close by?

Agios Nikitas Village. Source: Wikipedia
Kathisma Beach. Source: Wikipedia
Nidri Beach, Lefkada. Source: Wikipedia

THINGS TO DO

Diving: Lefkada offers an underwater paradise world, offering unforgettable experiences to divers. Organized diving centers arrange diving excursions, and can be found at Nikiana, Nidri and Vasiliki Beach.

Windsurfing and kite surfing: The most popular sports in Lefkada are windsurfing and kite surfing due to the strong winds that the island offers. The best spots for these activities are at the beaches of Agios Ioannis and Vasiliki. Surfing centers there provide equipment for rent and offer courses as well.

Mountain biking and hiking: Lefkada’s countryside is mountainous and provides great opportunities for hiking and mountain biking. Sign posts for old hiking trails are everywhere, and they lead to small forests and waterfalls, as well as some mountain villages. Local companies organize mountain biking and cycling tours, which vary in difficulty.

Horseback riding:  You can find numerous riding schools in the olive grove of Lefkada’s town which offer unforgettable horse rides.

Stunning places for riding are the field of Vasilikis and Agios Petros to Agios Ioannis Rodaki, as well as the lake of Marantochori. You could also ride to the magical pathways over the church of Agios Ioannis Antzousis.

In the village of Apolpena, outside Lefkada’s town, there is an organized riding stable where you can take lessons and enjoy the mountain and sea. Full equipment is offered, and every ride lasts 3 to 4 hours, depending on the program.

Paragliding: This activity is for the traveler who who would love to experience the awe-inspiring landscape of Lefkada by taking a guided paragliding tour.

Sailing: By choosing to sail around Lefkada, you get to all the parts of the island, and visit little islets, as well as avoiding the crowds at the main beaches.

Porto Katsiki. Sailing in Lefkada. Source: Wikipedia
Marantochori Lake. Source: Wikipedia

MUST SEE

Sea Lakes: In Lefkada you will also find two lagoons, called Divari and Ivaria. Several different types of migratory birds frequent these lagoons from winter to spring. There are thick rushes around the lagoons, which provide the necessary shelter and safety for these birds.

Dimosari Waterfalls of Nidri: Lefkada includes high mountains which are the sources for numerous waterfalls which flow through the mountainous territory, finally spilling into the sea. Dimossari Waterfall is one such enchanting feature, and can be found just on the outskirts of Nidri.

The Castle of Agia Mavra: Built in the 14th century, this magnificent castle has been  extensively renovated and has been very well preserved to this day. Erstwhile rulers of Sicily built it with the primary goal of protecting the old town.

A beautiful church dedicated to Agia Mavra can be found here, and it becomes the scene of much activity during the summer, offering many cultural events.

Dimosari Waterfalls of Nidri, Lefkada. Source: Wikipedia
Agia Mavra Castle. Source: Wikipedia

DRINKING, EATING, CLUBBING

Most places to drink and eat on the island are found in the three most popular villages of the island, Vasiliki, Nidri, and Lefkada Town. Traditional taverns, with local dishes and excellent seafood are found in almost all the villages of the island and of course in the seaside villages of Lygia, Agios Nikitas, and Sivota.

Lefkada is a perfect combination of serene holidays and nightlife. Having a number of bar types and music styles, the available entertainment there covers every taste. Lounge bars are found at the port of Lefkada Town, while visitors should head to Nidri for the clubs. A few cafe bars can be found in Vasiliki and Sivota, while the rest of the villages have almost no nighttime entertainment venues.

RESTAURANTS

Rachi: Located in the mountainous village of Exanthia, Rachi has a breathtaking view of the sunset and the Ionian Sea, and welcomes its guests with a terrace to serve tasty food that will be truly unforgettable.

The dishes are cooked in a wood-fired oven, while the vegetables are freshly picked from the owners’ garden, and locally-produced meat is featured on the menu. You can also visit the restaurant just for drinks during sunset.

Basilico: This restaurant, located in Nidri, has fresh Greek fish naturally, but many other dishes are served as well, all prepared with the best ingredients. Have a meal with some wine, raki, beer or ouzo, all carefully selected by the restaurant.

Rachi Restaurant, Lefkada. Source: Greeka.com
Basilico Restaurant, Lefkada. Source: Greeka.com

BARS

Taratsa: Located at the port of Lefkada, Taratsa is a bar on its own terrace. Apart from the amazing views it offers, it stands out for its cocktails and wonderful atmosphere.

Havana: A bar located in the heart of the Old Town market on the island, Havana will give you the feeling of being in Cuba, and when you enter the place it truly feels and sounds as if you are in the old Caribbean city. Cuban music is played in the background, which creates a unique atmosphere as the Cuban barman offers you delicious cocktails.

Karma: Karma is a 20 year old cafe bar which is located in the capital city of the island. During the day, Karma is an all-day café, but at night it is transformed into a nightclub.

Taratsa Bar. Source: Greeka.com
Havana Bar. Source: Greeka.com
Karma Bar. Source: Greeka.com

CLUBS

Capital Club: This club has been a must-visit destination on the island for more than 20 years. It includes a big garden and a pool, where you can enjoy your drink, as well dance, or just relax.

Capital Club Lefkada. Source: Wikipedia

For more information on all the many activities and accommodations on Greece’s spectacular Lefkada Island, please click here.