LEFKADA IS A BEAUTIFUL LITTLE GEM IN THE SHINING IONIAN JOINED TO THE MAINLAND BY A CAUSEWAY AND WITH A UNIQUE VIBE. SMALL AND RELAXED, ITS THE PERFECT SELF CONTAINED GETAWAY SPOT WITH BEAUTIFUL BEACHES, RUGGED COASTLINE AND CHARMING SEASIDE VILLAGES.
When is an island not an island? When it’s joined by a floating bridge to the Greek mainland. As soon as you arrive at Lefkada (from the handily close Preveza airport) you can see how beautiful it is; the green hills, the blue Ionian, the yachts lined up all along the causeway, the seafront lined with cafes and bars.
We motored through the islands capital to our base at Agios Nikitas along the twisting coast road, the inland is mountainous and green and the coast rugged and lined with little tracks leading to hidden coves. The scenery is stunning, reminded TC and I of the Bay of Islands in New Zealand with hilly green bays and myriad yachts dotted along the coast.
Agios Nikitas is a tiny, charming village with shops and tavernas along one main street leading down to a small cove. We spent some lovely evenings wandering down from our apartment to find a cocktail and catch the last of the rays. Looking out to sea you can see the layers of mountains on mainland Greece, stunning. We ate at Sappho Fish Taverna, right on the seafront and loved the big fresh fish platter. As so often in Greece, don’t spend fortunes on bottles of wine but try the house red, often from the Peleponnese and often very good. Only remember how to ask for a HALF litre, something TC can never remember.
Our base was the Myrto Apartments which offer a great vantage point high above the town with expansive views of the surrounding countryside, the turquoise sea – and the very inviting swimming pool. Clean, well appointed and well placed, Myrto Apartments are perfectly formed and a great location to strike out and explore. For the adventurous they offer all sorts of water sports and regularly take visitors out on their boat to better explore the quiet coves and eat al fresco. Dino is your go to guy for information. After a day out exploring we would head back and find we had the pool to ourselves – the joy of there being only six apartments – and we would enjoy a drink from the honesty bar in total peace.
We explored many of the beaches of Lefkada which have a well earned reputation for being among the best in the Med. Scrupulously clean of rubbish with sparkling water and dramatic cliffs, all have their own charm and you can find the one for you, whether you are after a breeze for wind surfing, bars and day beds or total seclusion.
Porto Katsiki, just down the coast from Agios Nikitas, has large white cliffs dropping down to a stunning sweep of sand. Don’t pack the kitchen sink as its a bit of a climb down the steps from the car park and kiosks to the beach. Or you can get a boat in.
Our favourite was Mikros Gialos for the total peace. There’s a smattering of houses at Poros, the village above the beach, and a promenade which follows the bay round. Follow the winding road down and you can park right on the front – none of those pesky steep climbs. There is a beach club offering sun beds and brollies, loos, drinks and very good fresh salads and seafood. In May it was beautifully quiet and we spent long days enjoying the peace, the scenery, the yachts coming and going.
Mikros Gialos also boast a really exceptional family run restaurant where the current young team are producing exciting Greek food with a twist, not just mousaka and Greek salad. Sitting in the small terrace of O Molos, overlooking the bay we enjoyed a couple of exciting meals and chatted with the owner, before slinking back to our sun loungers for a kip. I still remember the spicy sausage stuffed with tomatoes and feta!
We also found a favourite little town where we spent evenings exploring the seafront bars and restaurants after a tough day on the beach. Sivota is a bustling port in a beautiful bay surrounded by green hills. It’s popular with the yacht tours which means lots of good eateries and a lively night out. There are relaxing bars to watch the sun go down on the water and yachts mooring up for the night, before getting a brush up and heading out for the evening.
We ate at 12 Gods and had really good grilled fish on their open balcony overlooking the sea, a real treat, but there are lots of choices along the water front here. Its lively and bustling at night with a great friendly vibe. Many evenings we enjoyed a delightful complimentary dessert or glass of something whilst we sat watching the world go by. In the morning when the boaters are emerging from their berths and seeking a shower ashore, we headed for the Sivota Bakery Cafe for a delicious breakfast of eggs and fresh fruit and yogurt – or a giant fry up – before heading out to the beach again – its a hard life for a travel blogger!
So, Lefkada is a great option for a week exploring beautiful beaches and stunning coast. There’s plenty for those who want more adventure with its beaches offering wind surfing and scuba diving, and quieter boat only coves for those who want to lie with a good book. We loved the peace, the breathtaking scenery and the vibrant little port towns. The proximity to Preveza airport makes this a really easy option. A car is a real benefit so you can explore – the driving is really easy and parking never a problem.
Bear in mind we went in May so it was very quiet. Great for finding a secluded beach and a room in a new town at the last minute because you fancy the look of a particular restaurant (is that just us??). In July and August this may be a different kettle of fish.
We found the locals incredibly friendly and happy to stop and chat, offer advice. There are some bigger towns such as the island’s gateway, Lefkada, and Nydri, which may offer more for families.
We travelled to Lefkada from the Epirus region, further up the coast of mainland Greece, and we went from Lefkada to Athens for a few nights in the city. You’ll find articles on both these adventures in the blog section if you are interested in a Greek adventure.
I hope you are enjoying reading the articles, I’d love to hear your feedback and ideas.