The island of Lefkada set in the Ionian sea just off the south west coast of greece is connected to the mainland by a causeway and a floating bridge. Just 22 miles from north to south and nine miles wide Lefkada covers an area of 130 square miles and has a population of just under 23,000. The island is named after Lefkatas a cape on the southern tip of the island with steep white cliffs. It has a sheltered location with views over the famous island of Skorpios owned by the Onassis family. There are regular car ferries to Kefalonia, Ithaca and Meganissi. With Preveza Airport on the mainland only about half an hours drive away this is a very accessible island.
Lefkada Town with a population of 8000 is a town of narrow streets and small squares and home to traditional houses. It has an Archeological museum with finds dating back to the 4th Century AD. The Charamogleios special library of Lefkada houses a collection of rare books and maps. Every August it plays host to an international Folklore festival. A well known local feature is Papanikolis cave a world war 2 submarine base which is the second biggest cave in Greece. It is famous for it’s brightly coloured rocks and stalactites.
The island boasts a fine range of beaches. Porto Katsiki on the southern side of the island is one of the most photographed Lefkada features with it’s exotic waters and wild landscape. On the western side of the island are the beaches of Egremni and Kathisma both long sandy beaches with clear blue waters. If you are looking for greek seaside villages there is the choice of Agios Nikitas in the west and Sivota in the south. Both have all the features you would expect of greek coastal resorts. If paragliding, Kite surfing or windsurfing are your thing then head south to the resort Vasiliki. It is also an attractive destination for scuba divers with a range or reefs and underwater caves.
The largest resort on the island is Nidri. It has gently shelving beaches of pebble and shingle. But along with Lekada Town Nidri it is one of the main yachting destinations of the ionian sea and is the starting point for several flotillas.Being on the east coast the sea is usually calm and with a coastline dotted with secluded bays and sprinkled with ofshore islands it is a perfect setting for chilled out yachting. There are a variety of boat trips from the harbour and it is also possible to hire motor boats and sppedboats. Every September the town hosts an annual regatta which is one of the largest in the mediterranean.
Flora and Fauna
The island is rich in flora and fauna. The lagoon between the island and the mainland is a protected wetland area and acts as a shelter for a wide range of migrating birds. In spring walkers are rewarded with the scent of wild flowers and herbs. It is home to rare lilies, blue ivies, wild gum,olive, lemon and orange trees. Natural features include the waterfalls at the Dimosseri gorge.
Wherever you choose to stay on the island you will definitely enjoy traditional greek dishes in the restaurants around the island. Most of the tavernas serve seafood and fish and are usually located at the waterfront either in Lefkada Town or the small harbours of the villages. Apart from the international dishes and the Greek delicacies, on Lefkada you can taste a typical dish of the islands in the Ionian Sea called “mpourdeto”.
While you are there try some of the some of the rare lentils of Eglouvi which have been awarded with many accolades and are well known for their quality. Other local products include honey made from thyme. Traditional sweets called “mantolato” and “pasteli” can also be found. Look out for local salami, a mint based liquer and local wine.
It is worthwhile spending a little time thinking what type of acc ommodatoion will suit you best. You can find rooms, villas and hotels of all standards. You may prefer one of the quieter resorts or be attracted by the larger reorts of Lefkada Town and Nidri. There is no shortage of companies available that arrange holidays and accommodation on Lefkada so a quick internet search will show you your options. Because of it’s location Lefkada could be a base for a single resort holiday or as a stopping off point on a touring itinerary. Several companies specialise in niche holidays for yachting and water sports.
More info on Wikipedia.org