The Greek island of Lefkada is situated in the Ionian Sea, off the western coast of Greece. It is the fourth largest island in the Ionian Sea, spanning over 300 km2. Lefkada is a mountainous island, with some peaks above 1,000 m. Despite its size, only about 22,000 people live on the island today, making it an ideal place for those seeking to avoid the crowds. Lefkada is considered one of Greece’s most beautiful islands with numerous breathtaking beaches and coves scattered around the island. A stunning contrast of white cliffs surrounding the island with the blue sea makes for a spectacular sight. Despite the cliffs, the island is easily accessible as it is connected with the mainland via a floating bridge.
Lefkada things to do
Due to its natural beauty and the number of beaches on the island, Lefkada is one of the top destinations for summer holidays in Greece. However, the island offers much more than just beaches. Small charming villages and historical monasteries nestled between mountains provide a whole other world to experience. That is why this is the perfect place to rent a car and explore everything the island has to offer. As is the case in most of Greece, Lefkada has several antiquity sites and museums that showcase the rich history of the area. For those seeking a more adrenaline-filled activity, there are several windsurfing and water sports centres on the island.
Where to stay in Lefkada
Crossing the bridge from the mainland, you will find yourself in the city of Lefkada, the biggest settlement on the island and the administrative centre of the island. There you will find lovely boutique hotels like the Hotel Allure Central Boutique and the Secret Boutique Hotel, both located in the city centre. The city of Lefkada has the perfect combination of everything the island has to offer - stunning beaches, historical landmarks and museums.
The most popular destinations on the island of Lefkada are the two resort towns of Nydri and Vassiliki, perfect for water sport enthusiasts. These two locations, located to the east and south of the island respectively, offer ideal windsurfing conditions. The town of Nydri has several hotels like the George Hotel, Athos Hotel, Palmyra Hotel, all close to the local beaches. For those visiting Vassiliki, there are several hotels to choose from, and even a campsite for the more adventurous ones.
The rest of the island of Lefkada offers quaint little villages scattered along the coastline as well as the inland part of the island. Lefkada has quite a few hills and mountains, ideal for a hiking trip. Exploring the mountainous area of the island will reward you with beautiful views and untouched nature. One of those small villages worth visiting is the village of Poros. Nestled in the hills but only 3 km away from Mikros Gialos, a small bay with a beautiful beach, Poros will offer you the best of both worlds.
The western coast of the island is the least populated and developed part but still has plenty to offer. This is where white cliffs meet the Ionian Sea and where northern winds blow mercilessly. The main resort town on the west coast is the small town of Agios Nikitas, wedged into a bay between pine-covered hills. The centre of the village is pedestrianised and offers several taverns for a more relaxed holiday.
The small mountain village of Athani is also located near the western coast and offers excellent coastal views. It is also the closest place for visiting Lefkada’s most beautiful beaches – Porto Katsiki and Egremni.
There is a big contrast between the western and eastern coast of the Lefkada island. While the east coast offers sandy beaches and turquoise sea, the west coast is more rugged with imposing cliffs and stunning views. It is worth noting that some beaches on the island are a bit difficult to access by foot, so renting a boat or taking an excursion is recommended when visiting them.
The most popular beach on the Lefkada is the Porto Katsiki beach, located on the southeastern part of the island, about 15 km from Vasiliki. Milky white sand and stunning blue sea create stunning visuals.
On the opposite part of the island, located some 40 km from the Lefkada city southwest, is the Egremni beach. This long and narrow sand beach was accessible by a stone carved stairway until the earthquake in 2015. Today, the best and safest way to visit the beach is by boat.
The island of Lefkada is characterised by a warm Mediterranean climate, influenced by the Ionian sea, as well as the mountainous area on mainland Greece. The summers are warm and dry while winters are mild and wet. Visiting during the spring or autumn is perfect for those looking to enjoy hiking and avoid the heat. Summer months of June, July and August see temperatures regularly exceed 30 °C making it ideal for cooling off in the crystal clear sea.
Due to the location of nearby mountains, Lefkada is a windsurfers’ paradise with strong winds offering ideal conditions for surfing. The bay of Vasiliki is known for its favourable wind conditions for both novices and experts. In the morning, milder winds and lack of waves are ideal for anyone hoping to learn how to surf, while experts will prefer stronger winds that pick up in the afternoon.
The island of Lefkada has a very busy festival schedule during the summer. Every month there are all kinds of festivals held on the island, from food and wine festivals to music and folklore festivals.
The city of Lefkada offers the biggest selection of cafes and nightclubs, but entertainment can be found in even the smallest villages on the island. A traditional Greek dinner is best experienced in a rustical local tavern or restaurant. Resort villages also offer plenty of things to do after dark and Vasiliki is one of the more popular nightlife destinations.
Lefkada is filled with restaurants, located almost anywhere, on most beaches and villages. The majority of restaurants can be found in popular tourist destinations, like the city of Lefkada, Vassiliki, Agios Nikitas, Sivota, Nydri and Nikiana. Restaurants are often located near the most popular beaches like Porto Katsiki, Egremni, Kathisma and Gialos. There you can enjoy traditional Greek dishes made with local fresh products while enjoying spectacular views.
As one of the best sailing destinations in the Ionian Sea and for exploring other western Greek islands, Lefkada island has plenty of marinas.
Lefkas Marina is a large marina situated in the famous city of Lefkada. It offers 620 berths available for yachts up to 40m in length with a maximum draft of 4m. The marina has a range of essential amenities but is near the city.
Sivota Marina is located in the city of Syvota on Lefkada. The 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. It is also very close to the Bella Vraka Beach and Mikri Ammos Beach.
The Sivota marina has an average depth between 2m and 5m and offers 90 berths for yachts of all sizes up to 40.5 m in length.
Nydri Marina is one of the most beloved and popular destinations in all of Lefkada island. Beautiful scenery accompanied by a nearby waterfall makes the area a perfect summer destination. Marina offers 222 berths for yachts up to 60 meters in length with a maximum draft of 5 m.