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LEFKADA ISLAND

[an error occurred while processing this directive] Travel to Greece

Lefkada was originally separated from the Greek mainland by a shipping canal. Today, a causeway and bridge links Lefkada to the mainland. After the fall of the Byzantine Empire, Lefkada was ruled by many including the Venetians, the French, the Turks and even the British - all leaving a distinct architectural impression that can still be enjoyed today. On holiday in Lefkada one can be busy exploring interesting historical and naturistic places, or totally relaxed enjoying its fabulous beaches. But why not do a little of both!

The island has an amazing landscape with hills covered by olive trees and quaintly traditional villages. The island’s 117km of coastline has impressively long, golden beaches and vivid blue seas and has much to offer as a holiday destination. Lefkada is the 4th largest of the Ionian Islands and is about 360 km2 so it is easily explored in a few days. Unlike most islands, the road network surrounds Lefkada in a big circle, which makes driving very straightforward. No matter where you go, you will always end up where you started!

Apart from its natural beauties and landscape, there are many fascinating reminders of the interesting history of the island. Ancient mountain villages, Venetian fortresses, archaeological sites, sea caves and waterfalls, rugged cliffs and lush green valleys - there are innumerable places to visit on Lefkada and certainly something to please everyone.

It is said that some of the best sights on Lefkada are the wonderful churches and temples, many influenced by Venetian architecture. The majority of Lefkada's churches were built between the 17th and 18th centuries. Some of the churches hold the graves of bishops and prominent locals, with the marble tombstones still visible today.

Lefkada Lakka town Lefkada Lakka town

Lefkada is a paradise of colour and surprisingly green - due in part to the abundance of well kept olive groves covering the island. It is also a very popular holiday destination and has two of most famous beaches in Greece for windsurfing and kite surfing (Vassiliki and Agios Ioannis (Frini)). The islands most remarkable feature though is the colour of the Ionian sea. The white soft sand creates a breathtaking turquoise sea that has given Lefkada some of the finest beaches in Greece.

Beaches are something that Lefkada is not in short supply of! A sample below:

Less than a ten minute drive from Lefkas Town is the sandy beach of Agios Ioannis. It stretches for miles and has immense variety, from golden sands at the western end to wild windswept sand dunes, dotted with old windmills, at the other end.

Lefkada town

Vassiliki Beach is one of the most popular resorts on the island of Lefkada. The reason for this is due to its position. It is open to the south and subject to strong winds off the land and has proved to be an ideal spot for windsurfing and kite surfing. It is widely considered by the experts, to be one of the best spots in Europe for wind sports.

Porto Katsiki, the most famous although most remote beach on Lefkada is of exceptional beauty and today, is considered to be one of the outstanding beaches in the whole of Europe. Its blue-green waters, sparklingly clear, with white sand and steep cliffs, make it truly spectacular and quite unique.

For those wanting more culture and exploration the capital of the island, Lefkada Town is the place to start. The buildings and historical architecture are a delight and very likely to surprise the visitor. The initial view of Lefkada is dominated by the great walls of the Agia Mavra fortress, and on entering the town it is apparent that it is unique to other Ionian island capitals. This is largely due to an earthquake in 1948 that destroyed the entire town. When the capital was resurrected, it was with limited resources and has resulted in a fascinating collection and colourful style of architecture. The houses have a stone ground floors and a light wooden storey above. Hammered sheet metal was used to cover the upper wooden storey and later brightly painted - resulting in a unique visual experience that has made Lefkada so popular today.

Lefkada For those more interested in nature, walking on the island is becoming more and more popular, especially during the early and late seasons when the weather is ideal. Like many of the other Greek islands, Lefkada is beautiful and green with rugged mountains and a sweeping coastline and headlands. The terrain on the south western area is covered with small pine trees. There are many varieties of cypress, oaks and plane trees are found elsewhere around the island. There is a rare and variety of beautiful kinds of plant life. The areas around the salt lakes play host to many of the winged inhabitants of the island, such as herons, swans, wild ducks and wild geese.

Enjoy the freedom of exploration at your own pace with a hire car as an excellent way to get around the island. The roads are generally in good condition and present no problem for driving. You may also take the town hall bus to travel in the same way as the locals or use a taxi. There are lots of boat cruises to see out of the way beaches and soak up the sun. Or better yet, hire your own small motor boat and pick a private little cove, just for you!