get to Lefkada, you don't need to take a boat. Instead you go
by car or bus, quickly crossing over the narrow channel
separating the coast of Aitoloakarnania and the island.
It is said that once upon a time Lefkada
was united with mainland Greece. Some say the Leleges, its
first inhabitants, transformed it into an island; others
maintain that the Corinthians dug a trench across the isthmus.
Lefkada is a mountainous island, covered
with dense vegetation to the east and south. Its eastern coast
slopes gently down to the sea, which is sheltered from the
wind and dotted with thickly wooded islets. The most famous of
these are Skorpios, Madouri and Sparti. ?n contrast, the west
coast is steep, with a few stunted pine trees and lined with
spectacular stretches af endless golden beach.
The capital of the island is also called Lefkada.
Tranquil, picturesque town built ?n a natural
harbour, it is composed of distinctive, multicolored wooden
houses, whose upper floors are covered with sheet metal.
It is from here you'll set off - over good
roads - to explore the island.
Before abandoning the town, you may wish to
visit the castle of Santa Maura, right next to the channel.
It was founded in 1300 by John Orsini, a Frankish knight who
held Lefkada as a fief.
If you follow the eastern coast road,
passing through villages bordered on one side by the sea and
on the other by lush greenery - villages like Ligia and
Nikiana - you will come to Nidri, one of the
most popular holiday spots on the island. Nidri was the home
of the German archaeologist, Dorpfeld, who maintained that
Lefkada was in fact none other than Homer's Ithaki.
Sights worth seeing in the area are the
ruins of the prehistoric city and some circular graves. Your
next stop on your way around the Island is Poros and
the lovely pebbled beach of Mikro Yialo. Vassiliki is
Lefkada's southernmost seaside settlement. Here you can swim
from the village's long, flat beach or hop aboard a caique
that will take you in 30 minutes to Cape Lefkata.
At Letkata or Sappho's Leap, the
most southerly cape on the island, there once stood a shrine
to ????l?, famous throughout the ancient world. Here, too,
they say that the poet Sappho took her life, flinging herself
from the white cliffs, a hopeless victim of her unrequited
love for Phaona.
Your tour of the island finishes with a
visit to Agios Nikitas, a traditional, picturesque
fishing hamlet on the west coast of Lefkada, and a stop at the
island village of Karia, known for its handmade
traditional embroideries. Both before and after Agios Nikitas
you can take a dip in the sparkling waters of one of the most beautiful
beaches of Lefkada. Its fine white sand stretches as
far as the eye can see. From Nidri, you can take a short
ferryboat ride to Meganissi, 12 nautical miles southeast of
According to historians, Meganissi has been
settled since Homer's time. It has three villages, sea caves,
wonderful beaches and clean waters.