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Lefkada Island in the Ionian Sea: A Touch of the Caribbean in Greece

Lefkada greek island
Kalamitsi Beach on the Greek island of Lefkada. Credit: Ggia/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

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.

With hospitable locals and many activities to 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

lefkada greek island
Porto Katsiki on the island of Lefkada. Credit: Michael Paraskevas/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

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 attract many vacationers each year.

If you are one who seeks seclusion from endless workdays during your time off, you can find isolation under the cliffs. Keep in mind that due to an earthquake, the beach is only presently accessible by boat.

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

Kathisma is 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 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 quite close to Kathisma beach, Agios Nikitas is a small fishing village with 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 followed by a tasty meal at one of the best fish taverns close by?

Things to do

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.

The most popular sports in Lefkada are windsurfing and kite surfing due to the strong winds of the island. 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.

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 mountain villages. Local companies organize mountain biking and cycling tours, which vary in difficulty.

Furthermore, 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 above 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 three to four hours, depending on the program.

Paragliding is also available on Lefkada. This activity is for travelers who want to experience the awe-inspiring landscape of the island by taking a guided paragliding tour.

Of course, you could also try sailing. By choosing to sail around Lefkada, you get to experience all the parts of the island and visit little islets, as well as avoid crowds at the main beaches.

Must Sees on the Greek island

In Lefkada, you will find two lagoons, called Divari and Ivaria. Several different types of migratory birds frequent these lagoons from winter to spring. There is thick vegetation around the lagoons, which provides the necessary shelter and safety for these birds.

Lefkada also has high mountains which are the source of numerous waterfalls flowing 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 was built in the 14th century. This magnificent castle has been extensively renovated and remains 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, providing many cultural events.

Drinking and Eating on the Greek island of Lefkada

Most places to drink and eat on the Greek 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 nightlife venues.

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