Holidays in Lefkada

Lefkada ,the fourth in size island of the Ionian Sea, is between Corfu and Kefallinia. A very short strip of sea separates Lefkada from Akarnia and  a floating drawbridge, 50 meters long,  connects it with the land.

The climate is Mediterranean and it is characterized by many days of sunshine, mild winters with lots of showers and warm summers which are so pleasant due to the breezes.

There are many reasons to love this island ….the colour of the sea, green and blue, the sandy beaches, the wild beauty , the combination of  green and blue, the picturesque mountainous villages and the traditional villages.

Moreover, the history and the tradition of the island as well as the choices that even the most demanding visitor may have make it  the ideal holiday destination either for quiet family holidays or for visitors who want intense night life , for the   windsurfing lovers, for the aquatic sports lovers ;Lefkada has so many to offer!

In Lefkada you have the chance to enjoy the most wonderful beaches not only of Greece but of all the world! Engremni, Porto Katsiki, Kathisma, some of the most famous beaches. However there are so many others like the Kastro, Ayophili, Mylos, Yalos, all of them with a special unique beauty  which is unforgettable.

Furthermore, from Nidri port you can go on a short cruise around the island or other exciting cruises toMeganisi, Scorpio(Onasis’ island), Madouri( place of origin of the famous Greek poet Valaoritis)Kastro, or Kalamos.

Another reason why Lefkada is the perfect holiday destination is that it is ideal for short trips to the beautiful places of the island. The capital, Lefkada, influenced by the tradition of the Ionian Islands, popular and cosmopolitan Nidri, picturesque and green-clad Vassiliki, Agios Nikitas, ,mountainous and traditional Karya, small and picturesque Sivota as well as Liya,Kariotes,Nikiana,Poros, Sivros,Athani and so many other villages which are worth visiting.

Acquaintance with the island

From the first moment the visitor is impressed by the contrasts. On one hand it is a mountainous island with crags. On the other, there are wonderful sandy beaches. The people are hospitable, the island has a lot of attractions with rich history dating back to pre-Homer times.

The coastlines of Lefkada are rich and breathtaking: ravishing beaches, peninsulas, bays which are natural ports like Vlychou, Sivota, Rouda in the east of the island, Vassiliki in the south side, capes. Cape Lefkata outstands as according to an ancient myth the ancient poet Sappho committed suicide because of her desperate love to Phaona. There are many bays at Meganisi, too and small impressive fiords have been created.

The island is green-clad. The vegetation is rich, the valleys are fertile ,there are canyons and tablelands. There is remarkable flora with olive trees, cypress trees, a great variety of pine trees, a unique species of oak, sweet –smelling herbs and rare flowers like the two rare kinds of the beautiful flower peony(peregrina and mascula).

The largest part of   the land of the island is mountainous with the highest peak the Stavrota at 1,182m. Then  Elati(1,126m),Ai Lias(1,014m) and Mega Oros(1,012m) follow.

The island has many springs like the famous springs of Kerasias at Sivro, which a lot of times they are rapid creating thus small waterfalls like Dimosaris in NIdri. There are also impressive canyons like Melissa at Sfakiotes and Charadiatikon.

In the north part of the island , very close to the capital there are two lagoons which are important wetlands for many species of birds.

In the north east part of the island ,just when we pass the bridge, the capital of the island welcomes us. The town has its own personality with the tile-clad roofs, the wood-bound houses and the green landscape all around it.

Just outside the capital , the fortress Agia Mavra(Saint Mavra) built next to the lagoon, is a sleepless guard and a patroness saint since 14th century with many tales to narrate. In this fortress in 1810 the flag of the Independent State of the Ionian Islands was raised.

The central road which leads to the central square of the town reflects its character: modern and full of life with elements from the past. Here in one of the traditional cafes you can enjoy a local soft drink or a “soumada”. The square is a meeting point which  is full of people day and night
Local people are vivacious, warm and they welcome tourists. En route from the West to the East the people were influenced by the Venetians, they were occupied by the Turks, they were under the British domination. However, they have kept their Greek characteristics more than the other Ionian islands due to the continuous contact with the mainland of Greece.

Most of  the villages are well hidden in the inland: in the dale (Alatros and Charadiatika), behind hillocks (Englouvi) or in the woods (Sivros), so that they were protected from the pirates. Those which were close to the coastline, in the past they were built on steep cliffs for their defense.   The streets of the town ,called kantounia, were narrow and mazy in order to confuse the pirates. The older houses are wood-bound to stand up earthquakes.

Lefkada is the birthplace of two Greek national poets, Valaoritis Aristotelis  and Angelos Sikelianos. Lefkadio Hearn was also from Lefkada. His mother was Greek and his father was Irish. He played a leading part in the spread of the Japanese culture and he is considered national writer of Japan,  He acquired the Japanese name YakomoKouizimi.