LEFKADA ISLAND TRAVEL GUIDE
Last week I visited the beautiful Ionian island of Lefkada, and fell in love with it. Greece has some amazing islands that are cheaper and less crowded than the popular islands like Santorini, Mykonos and Milos.
Lefkada is also known as the Caribbean of Greece because of the mountains, waterfalls, secluded beaches and turquoise water.
Kathisma, Egremni, Porto Katsiki – amongst the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean – have won international acclaim and are awarded annually with Blue Flags. Windsurfing, kitesurfing, paragliding, scuba diving, flights in a prop plane, horseback riding, mountain biking, sailing around the surrounding islets, like Skorpios… there’s no end to the activities on offer here on one of the most beautiful Ionian island.
Keep reading to see my recommendations on what to do and see while in Lefkada as well as some general information and tips.
Getting to and around Lefkada Island:
By car- Lefkada is the only island in Greece that is connected to the coast with an underwater tunnel. So unlike the other Greek islands you don’t need to catch a ferry to arrive. The highways in Greece are really nice and it’s super easy to drive.
By plane- closest airport to Lefkada is Preveza Airport, located 20km from the island.
By boat, if you are in some of the neighboring islands in the area, the fastest way to get there is by taking a boat or a ferry. There are daily ferries that have routes to the ports of Nydri and Vassiliki.
Lefkada is one of the bigger islands in Greece so you definitely need something to get around the island. One option is car, surprisingly Lefkada has a lot of parking even in the town Lefkada and most of it is free, also most beaches have free parking on the premises as well so parking is not a problem. The roads around the island are narrow and since there are a lot of hills there are many turns (but nothing scary)
If you don’t fancy driving renting a motorbike or an ATV is also an option and even easier for finding a parking spot
If you ask me the best way to go around the beaches is by boat. Either with a commercial line (there are dozens of companies that offer daily boat tours that offer beach hopping). Also renting a smaller private boat is even a better option, this is something I would definitely do when I go to Lefkada next time.
Best time to visit:
Summer months are the high season: June, July and August. The island is packed, however the beaches are quite big so you don’t really notice the crowd.
Where to stay:
I stayed in a house in the little town of Nikiana (link to house), around 20 minutes drive to Lefkada Town and around 40-50minutes drive to the popular Porto Katsiki and Egremni beaches. It was a very quiet location and super nice. My recommendation would be to avoid Lefkada Town it’s so loud and crowded. Go for the smaller towns or even hotels/accommodation that’s up in the mountains.
Some general information & tips:
- Bit basic but the currency is euros, and cars are accepted almost everywhere, but make sure to always carry a bit of cash with you
- Lefkada island is very mountainees and steep, and the best beaches are secluded. Therefore, it will require a bit of walking for some even hiking to get to them. You can definitely get to them wearing sandals or flip flops but I would recommend bringing hiking or workout shoes.
- The secluded beaches are nearly deserted meaning there are no sun beds to rent, no bathrooms, no showers, no food or drink bars etc and there is also no natural shade. So bring with you umbrella, hat, lots of SPF and water. Don’t go overboard with what you bring because you have to carry everything up and down.
- The majority of the beaches are with pebbles, if you are not a fan of killing your feet on the rocks bring water shoes with you.
- Something that I noticed while in Lefkada is that restaurants have dinner time slots one from 7 to 9pm and the other from 9 to 11pm, so be considered of that when making dinner plans. July and August are packed with tourists so my suggestion would be to book in advance.
Must see and do:
Porto Katsiki Beach– this is the most popular beach on Lefkada, so be prepared for large crowds. It takes a bit of walking and a bit of stairs to get there, nothing compared to Egremni Beach that you can read about bellow. There are no sun beds or umbrellas to rent so bring your own. As for food and drinks there is a delivery service from the beach bar so you can order. Stay until sunset, as people leave and the beach becomes emptier it’s absolutely beautiful.
Egremni Beach– the most painful beach to get to. You have a 20 minute walk down a paved road and then you have close to 4000 stairs to take to get to the beach. Given the fact that you have to do this on 30+ degrees is not ideal. But all of it is worth it, the beach is absolutely amazing, the water is so clear and in so many shades of blue. As I said it’s very much worth it. On the beach you can only rent umbrellas (5EUR for the whole day) but no sun beds, there is a small selection of drinks. So make sure to bring your own towels, umbrellas, SPF creams, some snacks, and lot’s of water
Mylos Beach– another beach that requires walking, this one even requires a 20min hike. Good things is that there is a boat service from the town of Agios Nikolaos which will take you to Mylos beach for 3EUR per way per person. That’s what I did, and it was a life savior. On the beach you can rent sun beds and umbrellas but also bring your own. There’s also a small beach bar where you can get some drinks.
Kathisma Beach– if walking, hiking to a beach that is deserted is not your thing than you should go to Kathisma Beach. This beach has various beach clubs and restaurants so you won’t have to deal with bringing your own umbrellas and sun beds. I was at Monato de Gusto beach club and I really liked it, it’s a chilled and relaxed vibe, also the restaurant is superb.
Nydri Waterfalls– a hidden gem in Lefkada in the town of Nydri. Short walk from the parking lot, around 15-20 minutes until the waterfalls. In July since it’s drought the waterfall wasn’t running a lot, but it was still beautiful. Photos from June and May show the beautiful landscape and the natural pool the waterfall forms.
Watch the sunset– every day there was an amazing sunset over the horizon. Make sure you are at a more elevated spot and enjoy the magical views. There are many viewing points, bars, restaurants and tavernas that have amazing sunset views so definitely don’t miss this.
Indulge on fresh fish and sea food– Greek cuisine is divine and where ever you sit down you will have some amazing dishes. Personal favorites to try: fried calamari and octopus with lemon.
Watch wind surfers– NAME is a famous beach in Lefkada for windsurfing. The wind here gives the perfect conditions for people to windsurf everyday. Even if you don’t windsurf it’s interesting to go and see them. There are around 50 windsurfers at the same time in the water and it looks magical.
Food & drink places recommendations:
FLYME Lefkada Sun & Stars Bar
Monato de Gusto