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A brief introduction to Lefkada
Located in the Ionian Sea, Lefkada (also known as Lefkas) offers ideal winds and calm sea, perfect conditions for an unforgettable sailing vacation. The island is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Greece, making Lefkada one of the top summer destinations.
Lefkada is connected to the mainland by a floating bridge, and the island is approximately 300 square kilometres, making Lefkada the 14th largest island in Greece. The interior of the island is mountainous with the highest peak, the Stavrota mountain, standing at 1,158 metres above sea level. The largest settlement and the administrative centre of the island is the town of Lefkada, situated on the northern part of the island.
Other popular destinations on the island include Nidri - the largest resort on the island located on the eastern coast, and the resort of Vasiliki - a windsurfing centre situated 20 km south of Nidri.
Historical landmarks, like the Venetian castle of Agia Mavra (also known as Santa Maura castle), attract visitors eager to explore the history of the island. Santa Maura was built and expanded in the 15th and 16th century, a period when the Venetians and the Ottomans battled for domination over the island.
Why you should choose a Lefkada sailing holiday
Today, the island of Lefkada is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors to its beautiful beaches and crystal clear blue sea. Seaside resorts offer ample entertainment and plenty of water activities, most notably windsurfing. Lefkada has 117 km of coastline with dozens of beautiful coves and spectacular beaches, attracting sailing enthusiasts from all over Europe. Sailing around the island, you will experience contrasting conditions on either side of the island. The eastern coast is sheltered from the elements, and the sea is calm - perfect for less experienced sailors. On the other hand, the western coast of the island is dominated by cliffs, more exposed to strong winds and sparsely populated - more suited for experienced sailors.
Lefkada sailing conditions
Lefkada has a typical Mediterranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers.
Winter lasts from December to mid-March, with daily temperatures around 10 °C and occasional patches of bad weather with plenty of rain.
As spring approaches, the weather gradually improves and rains become less frequent. May is the perfect month to visit the island before the summer heat.
Temperatures regularly exceed 30 °C in the summer months of July and August and can even reach 35 °C on a hot day. The sea in Lefkada is warm enough for swimming from June until September with temperatures varying from 22 °C to 26 °C.
Autumn on the island is mild and often quite warm to enjoy a late vacation. There is plenty of sunshine in September and early October but the chance of rain and thunderstorms is considerably higher.
Due to favourable winds, Lefkada is the preferred destination of windsurfers from all over Europe. During summer, Mistral winds blowing on the Ionian Sea create ideal sailing conditions.
The best time to sail in Lefkada
If you are looking to enjoy a beach holiday, the best time to visit Lefkada is sometime between June and September. If you plan to spend your visit hiking and sightseeing, April and May are the perfect time for your holiday as the weather is nice and not too hot.
Our favourite areas of Lefkada
Lefkada Town is the capital and the largest settlement on the island. You will find plenty of landmarks and museums, as well as an abundance of restaurants, bars and nightclubs. There are several villages located in the island's mountainous interior, perfect destinations to do some hiking and explore the natural beauty of Lefkada. Several coastal villages are typical tourist resorts, coming alive during summer months. Some of the most popular villages on Lefkada are Agios Nikitas, Vasiliki, Kalamitsi and Sivota.
Lefkada is known for its spectacular beaches, with the most popular being Porto Katsiki, located 45km southwest of Lefkada town and Egremni Beach, located about 30km from Lefkada town. Other beaches worth visiting include Kathisma, Agios Ioannis, Nydri, Ammoglossa and Poros Beach.
Lefkada sailing marinas
- D-Marin Lefkas - Situated in the town of Lefkada, D-Marin Lefkas is a large marina offering 620 berths for yachts up to 40m in length with a maximum draft of 4m. The marina also has 280 dry berths, basic maintenance facilities and a fueling station. Proximity to the town of Lefkada enables you to visit the nearby attractions.
- Nydri Marina - Beautiful scenery accompanied by a nearby waterfall makes Nydri Marina one of the most popular destinations on the island of Lefkada. Here you will find 222 berths for yachts up to 60 meters in length with a maximum draft of 5 m.
- Sivota Marina - provides easy access to the marble shores of the Ionian Sea and lies in a beautiful cove among lush green hills and rich forests. The marina has an average depth between 2m and 5m and offers 90 berths for yachts of up to 40 m in length. The marina sees a lot of visitors and sailing enthusiasts due to the close distance to the beaches of Bella Vraka and Mikri Ammos.
- Ormos Vilkho Marina - is located on the shores of the Ionian Sea, in the small harbour of the beautiful village of Vilkho. It is the perfect spot to enjoy summer activities and explore the nearby sandy beaches nestled beneath green hills and beautiful pine forests. The marina offers berths for vessels up to 60 m in length with a max draught of 7 m.
- Ormos Vasiliki Marina - On the eastern side of Lefkada island, you will find the Ormos Vasiliki Marina. Another ideal spot for exploring nearby beaches and coves. The marina can support vessels up to 60 m in length with a max draught of 4 m. You will find several restaurants and shops here.
Beautiful places to anchor
- Sivota - is a charming little settlement located in the well-protected bay with the same name. Docking is possible at one of several pontoons owned by the local restaurants. The bay offers good protection from northern winds.
- Vlicho - the village of Vlicho sits in a wide bay offering excellent protection from the elements. During summer the area can get quite crowded with all types of boats. Be careful where you cast your anchor as the bay is moderately shallow. The berths on the pontoons and the nearby pier are usually reserved for charters.
- Desimi - bay sits on the southern side of the Vlicho bay and is a beautiful anchorage, significantly less crowded than Vlicho. You will find a hidden cave and a charming sandy beach on the eastern side of the bay, ideal location to anchor for the day.
- Nidri - the village of Nidri lies at the entrance of Vlicho bay and is a popular spot for local charter agencies. Here you will find several pontoons and a pier, usually reserved for charter vessels.
- Fraxia - a short sail away from the port of Nidri, Fraxia is a well-protected bay offering protection from the majority of winds, except the eastern ones. You will find a sandy seabed and depths varying between 4m and 8m. An ideal place to enjoy some quiet, away from the busy tourist destinations.
What to expect from Lefkada charter prices
The price for chartering a boat on the Greek island of Lefkada can depend on several different things. The most important parameters include the type of vessel you are chartering, the time of year you wish to sail and any additional crew you wish to hire.
If you do some research and book your charter in advance and outside the peak season, you will be able to get a sailboat with a capacity of 6 for as little as €1,000 per week. That same boat will cost you significantly more if you choose to charter it during the high season in the summer. Catamarans and yachts are even more expensive, with the lowest prices for a one-week charter sitting around €3,500. Weekly charters for some larger and more luxurious vessels can cost upwards of €20,000 during the summer.
Those looking for a more relaxed sailing experience should consider hiring a local skipper. The usual price for hiring a skipper is around 200 € per day. Before booking your charter, make sure to study if there are any additional fees not included in the total price, like the final cleaning service.
The best way to get to Lefkada
As there is no airport on the island of Lefkada, the fastest way to get there is by flying to the Aktion National Airport located near Preveza on the Greek mainland. The airport receives domestic flights from Corfu and Zakynthos all year round, with several extra charter flights from various locations around Europe available during summer.
From Aktion National Airport, located 20 km north of the island, you can easily reach Lefkada by KTEL bus or taxi.
Lefkada can also be reached easily by bus, with several daily departures from major Greek cities like Athens and Thessaloniki. The bus ride from those two cities to Lefkada will take around 5 hours.
There are no ferry connections between Lefkada and the Greek mainland. You can, however, reach Lefkada by ferry directly from Ithaki, Kefalonia and Meganisi, and arrive at either Nidri port or Vasiliki port. There are also international ferry lines from the Italian cities of Venice, Ancona, Bari and Brindisi to Igoumenitsa and Corfu, from where you can easily drive to Lefkada.
Breathtaking Lefkada itinerary options
Lefkada is one of the top sailing destinations in the Ionian Sea, famous for its exotic beaches and breathtaking natural landscape. Sailing around the island, you will experience the diversity between the island's eastern and western coasts. Visit the calm, protected east coast and its many seaside resorts before you head towards the spectacular white cliffs and the more challenging waters on the western coast.
Lefkada's central position on the Ionian Sea makes the island an ideal starting location for sailing to other popular Ionian islands like Corfu and Kefalonia.
Option 1 - North along the Greek mainland towards Corfu
Total sail distance: 105 NM
Things to see and do: Sail the Ionian Sea and visit charming islands and enjoy some of Greece's most beautiful beaches. Explore the spectacular beaches on Lefkada, study the rich history of the island of Corfu, and taste the authentic Greek cuisine at every stop along the way.
This route is perfect for: Groups of friends and families wanting to enjoy summer activities on some of the more popular Greek beaches. Those looking for a more active vacation can enjoy windsurfing, diving and swimming in the crystal blue Ionian sea. Sailing enthusiasts will enjoy the safe waters, with an occasional challenge if the wind picks up.
Best time of year for sailing: From May to September
Day 1: Mytikas
Head north from Lefkada towards the small coastal village of Mytikas, located in the Preveza region. You can moor in the small yet secure harbour of Mytikas, protected by a long breakwater. Visit the nearby Monolithi beach, a majestic 25 km-long sandy beach, ideal for a day of summer activities away from the crowds. Monolithi is the longest sand beach in Europe and the recipient of the Blue Flag certificate, testifying to the natural and environmental protection of the area.
Day 2: Lygia
Leaving Mytikas and Monolithi beach, continue sailing north along the Greek mainland until you reach another small coastal village - Lygia. Here you will find the two most important things on any sailing itinerary: a safe harbour and beautiful beaches. The nearby Lygia beach is yet another beautiful long, sandy beach ideal for families with smaller children. Lygia is a famous fishing village, perfect for sampling some local seafood in one of the nearby restaurants.
Day 3: Parga
Continue north along the coast towards the magical town of Parga, one of the most popular travel destinations in Epirus. Here you will find a charming settlement, nestled in a picturesque bay, opposite the small island of Panagia. Take a walk through the old town streets and visit the Venetian castle towering above the town. Parga is a perfect place to enjoy the natural beauty, discover impressive medieval architecture and stroll along the bustling waterfront occupied by tourist shops, stylish restaurants and bars.
Day 4: Syvota
The last stop on the Greek mainland is the coastal village of Syvota. Here you will find luscious green islets, secluded coves and long sandy beaches with crystal clear waters, perfect for a day on the beach. Sail the nearby small islands of Mavro Oros, Agios Nikolaos and Mourtemeno, and explore some popular beaches like Bell Vraka, Diapori or Blue Lagoon. You can stay at the small but well-protected marina in Syvota which offers 90 berths for boats up to 40 m in length.
Day 5: Petriti
Sail west from Syvota towards the island of Corfu and the small fishing village of Pertiti, located on the east coast of the island. Despite mass tourism on Corfu, Pertiri remains a quiet fishing port, retaining its old charm and unique character. You will find several taverns here specialising in fish specialities, ideal for sampling some local seafood. The area around Petriti is perfect for hiking, with plenty of lush green forests and other traditional villages for you to explore.
Day 6: Paxos
Leaving Corfu, sail south towards the island of Paxos, located between the islands of Corfu and Lefkada. The lack of mass tourism on the island makes enjoying the spectacular beaches and the pristine sea a truly relaxing experience. You will find the town of Gaios, the main port of the island, on the eastern coast of the island. Here you can stay at the small marina nestled under the adjacent Panayia island. Stroll through the narrow stone streets of Gaios, marvel in the impressive Venetian architecture before visiting a local restaurant and sampling some traditional Greek food.
Day 7: Lefkada
Heading back to Lefkada island, the last day of your sailing route should leave you with enough time to visit the spectacular west coast of the Lefkada. Stop at Kathisma beach, one of the most beautiful beaches of Lefkada, located some 20 km southeast from Lefkada town. Enjoy the last day of this sailing itinerary on the white sand beach and swim in the pristine turquoise waters.
Option 2 - Island-hopping south towards Zakynthos
Total sail distance: 145 NM
Things to see and do: Sail the Ionian islands of Lefkada, Kefalonia and Zakynthos. Discover their natural beauty and enjoy the bustling nightlife in popular resorts found along the way. You will find some of the most visited beaches in Greece on this route, located in some truly spectacular locations.
This route is perfect for: Families will enjoy the beautiful beaches and wide selection of summer activities, while groups of friends and couples will embrace the rich nightlife and late-night entertainment. Sailing enthusiasts will enjoy this relaxed sailing route, with short distances and calm weather.
Best time of year for sailing: From late April until the end of September.
Day 1: Meganisi
Sail along the eastern coast of the island of Lefkada south towards the island of Meganisi. Located on the northeast coast of the island, Vathi houses a charming harbour with deep blue waters where fishing and sailing activities are conducted safely. Here you will find the Plous Odysseas Marina, a modern marina with 72 berths - each with a water and electricity connection. While on the island, visit the spectacular Papanikolis Cave, the second largest cave in Greece, which was used as a secret submarine base in WWII.
Day 2: Kalamos
The sparsely populated island of Kalamos lies east of Meganisi, near the Greek mainland, and is the perfect destination for those wanting to get away from the crowds. The largest settlement and the main port of the island is the village of Kalamos, located on the island's eastern coast. The two beaches located in the vicinity of Kalamos village, Agrapidia and Mirtia, are beautiful pebble beaches ideal for an all-day visit.
Day 3: Ithaca
Due south from Kalamos is the mythical island of Ithaca, world-famous as the island to which Odysseus desperately tried to return in the classical Greek tale written by Homer - Odyssey. The history of this famous island is best explored by visiting the island's capital, Vathi. The town sprawled along the deep and sheltered bay has been the main harbour of Ithaca since the 16th century. You will find a well-protected marina in Vathi, offering 100 berths for vessels up to 10 m in length. Take a stroll through the narrow streets of Vathi and explore the rich history of the island by visiting the local Archaeological and Naval museums.
Day 4: Kefalonia - Poros
Poros is a quiet coastal village on the southeast side of the island, surrounded by mount Atros and mount Pahni. Poros is a port that links Kefalonia to mainland Greece and the neighbouring islands. The village is divided into three bays with the main square and Poros port located in the central bay. The ferry port has recently been expanded, allowing increased ferry circulation. The area around Poros is popular among sailing enthusiasts due to a high number of beautiful, secluded beaches, accessible only by boat.
Day 5: Zakynthos
The southernmost stop on this sailing route is one of the most beautiful Greek islands - Zakynthos. The capital of the island is the town of Zakynthos, located on the eastern coast of the island. Strongly influenced by the Venetians, there are many impressive landmarks to visit while in Zakynthos Town like Saint Mark Square, the Venetian Castle, Solomos Square and the Post-Byzantine Museum of Zante. Being among the most popular and tourist developed islands in Greece, Zakynthos offers plenty of bars, restaurants and nightclubs, attracting younger crowds.
The island is home to many spectacular beaches, none more famous than the Navagio (also known as Shipwreck) beach. Navagio beach is accessible only by boat, offering pristine turquoise waters, white sand and is walled off by imposing white cliffs.
Day 6: Kefalonia - Argostoli
Sail north from Zakynthos town towards the island of Kefalonia and its capital of Argostoli. The town of Argostoli gets quite busy during the summer season and offers a wide selection of interesting events and activities. A visit to one of several museums in town will acquaint you with the island's rich history. The beautiful promenade is ideal for a leisurely afternoon stroll before visiting the nearby restaurants and taverns for a quality meal. Mooring is possible in Argostoli Marina, located in Argostoli harbour, offering 250 berths for vessels up to 30 m in length.
Day 7: Lefkada
The last day of this sailing itinerary will be spent sailing back north towards the island of Lefkada. Depending on your remaining time, visit the seaside resort of Vasiliki on the southern coast of Lefkada island and enjoy a day under the sun at Vasiliki beach. If you are heading all the way to Lefkada town, you can choose between sailing the western or eastern coast of the island.
Let us help you plan the perfect sailing trip
Provide your travel details, receive free offer and enjoy your holiday!