The Greek Island of Lefkada - Walks, Beaches, Sightseeing and Holiday Guide.

Fishing boats and nets at Vasiliki Harbour on Lefkada Greece.

Lefkada has lovely beaches but there are many other things to do while on holiday from enjoying the beautiful countryside to visiting monasteries, churches and castles.

Travelling to Lefkas / Lefkada Island in Greece.

Lefkada is only just about a Greek Island as one part of it is merely a few metres away from the Greek mainland. This means it is very simple to drive onto the Island from the mainland - which is what many Greeks and Italians do once the summer arrives. If coming in for your Lefkada holiday from Northern Europe you are flown into Aktion International Airport (also known as Lefkada Airport) at Preveza on the mainland. This is actually still a military airport used by Nato and the Greek Air Force but now also by various charter airlines and carriers with lots of flights going there during the Summer season. The flight time out of Gatwick is around 175 minutes and once there you are then loaded onto coaches which take you off onto Lefkada island - Nidri is around a 50 minutes away by coach for instance.
Our items about things to do while on Lefkada Greece:

Roads, Tracks and about Driving on Lefkada Greece.

There is an extensive series of tracks going off here and there on the island - sadly quite a few just come to a dead end sometimes in the middle of nowhere. These tracks often as not were really suitable only for goats, sheep and pick-up trucks - probably most cars would end up with nice shiny bottoms if used on many of them.
With easily the best Lefkada beaches located on the Island's west coast and with most people on holiday staying in towns along the east coast it is sadly the case that you cannot easily and quickly cross from one coastline to the other. This is because of the mountains in the centre of the Island - at best you have to take big diversions around the interior to achieve a crossing. Otherwise you have the option of the long trip up along the coast to Lefkas Town and then back down the coast the other side.
However we did find a couple of ways across the island - several routes shown as tracks on the Freytag map at the time have actually been tar-mac'd. The best map we found was the Freytag - according to our gps trackings in most cases the map was really accurate - although even this map did not have all the tracks shown. Although the surfaced roads are signposted at junctions many of the unmarked tracks you may come across have no indication of destination at all.

Old Stonehouses in the hills on Lefkada Island, Greece. Nikiana Harbour at Lefkada Island in Greece.

Sightseeing and Touring around on Lefkada Island.

The Island's mountains are very impressive of course especially up in the Pirghos area where the rock formations are beautiful and really show off the absolute masses of wild flowers - we spent a lot of time up in this area during our holiday just wandering around on various small roads and tracks. There are a variety of monasteries around to visit - with we believe only one actually fully occupied. The monasteries are often signposted quite well but amazingly although most of them are unused and sometimes derelict - in quite a few cases you find after the long trip to reach one that it is closed and padlocked. A typical example of this is the Lefkada's Aghios Nikolaos Monastery which is located far south around Cape Axani.
Poppy fields up in the Pirghos Hills of Lefkada, Greece. Poros Church at Lefkada in Greece. beautiful colours and cliffs at Porto Katsiki, Lefkada, Greece. Aghios Nikolaos Monastery on Lefkas Greece.
This really lovely monastery is in good condition and signposted from miles away yet is well and truly padlocked and has double high fencing around it so you can hardly see the buildings let alone go inside to have a look round. We have quite a few photos of this monastery plus quite a few other monastery photos as well as of a variety of castles, lighthouses and windmills which can be seen on our Lefkadas beautiful monasteries. There are also quite a few photos of various locations around the island for example Nidhri, Vasiliki and Aghios Nikitas which are to be found on our Lefkada Photos.

Beautiful Pirghos area - Lefkada mountains in Greece.

Walking and Hiking On Lefkada Island.

In reality unless you don't particularly want nice long (or even short) circular walks on paths and sometimes tracks then perhaps forget Lefkada for a walking holiday. There are no paths to speak of - the tracks quite often go no-where and very few are signed anyway so you have to just walk them there and back or else you have to get into a commitment for a really long walk of maybe 25 km to make a circular walk up.
In this case almost certainly a huge amount of climbing is required and you may well have to walk a lot of the time on tarmac roads or lanes. We think that Lefkas is probably much more suited to biking than walking - it is of course just as hard going when your route takes you up into the mountains but the tracks and roads are nice and quiet and you can at least have a nice freewheel on the way back. On the plus side the roads are generally very quiet indeed with only the occasional pick-up truck meandering by and in May you are walking between masses of broom and wild flowers etc. - but it is nice to be able to walk on non-hard surfaces at least for a while.
Nevertheless we did find a few track and lane walks which were enjoyable mainly due to the scenery and abundant foliage and wildlife and these are described with photos on our Walking and Hiking on Lefkada Greece.

Wildlife on Lefkada Greece - including some snakes.

Lots of birds were around with buzzards frequently seen up in the mountains - accompanied by the usual grumpy crows trying to scare them off. Around the towns and villages there were loads of sparrows which is nice to see (we seem to have lost a lot of our sparrows in England), also the fantastic flying displays from the swifts and swallows were always available. We spotted quite a few lizards around especially up in the hills - as far as snakes were concerned there must be quite a few about as we frequently saw - sadly - dead ones on the roads. Again once up in the mountains we did on occasion come across various snakes busily basking away in the sun alongside the tracks - but generally speaking you can only get to within a few yards of them before they clear off. Who can blame the snakes for being so frightened considering the way many Greeks will go out of their way to kill any they come across - pathetic.
A snake seen on Lefkas Greece Lizard seen in lefkada Greece A small spider seen on Lefkada Greece. Wildflowers and butterflies everywhere during Spring on Lefkada Greece.
Is it justified to kill a potentially dangerous viper? - moot point of view if you are a Greek farmer working in the fields amongst them because they do obviously pose a threat but there again the farmers in the fields wear heavy boots and thick denim trousers just for this reason. However grass snakes, leopard snakes, Montpelliers - these snakes are harmless - why oh why slaughter them.
Bees and Wasps and Butterflies. Particularly up on the mountain areas in Lefkada there were an incredible amount of butterflies and bees around - obviously enjoying the fields of red poppies and other wild flowers which were in such abundance in this part of May/June. Generally speaking we did not find any problem with the bees however if there are goats or sheep about watch out for flies - some of these will give you white a bite if they can. As a matter of interest we drove to one monastery buried up in the hills and ultimately decided not to even get out of the car (we could see the gates were locked anyway) however the reason for not even trying to find a "back way in over the fence" was the massive amount of bees around - they were really swarming and banging into the car windows and bodywork. Having decided to just leave, the bees followed us down the track for over half a kilometre. We were around the area a couple of days later and thought to try to visit this monastery again but the bees were just as active.
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