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Also known as Lefkada, this sizeable ‘island’ is joined to the mainland by a causeway and floating bridge, overlooked by an old, fortified, Venetian castle. Easily accessible from Preveza airport, it’s both a popular holiday destination for a week or two on the beach and a great jumping-off point for island-hopping around the Ionian under sail or by ferry.  

On one hand history and culture abound – some experts claim that Lefkas was Homer’s real site for Ithaca (well, the old boy was blind and there was no Satnav in those days!). Every conquering nation that cruised into these parts – Ottoman, Byzantine, Venetian et al – has left its legacy. On the other hand Lefkas is a place of great natural beauty, with some gorgeous beaches along its west coast and authentic fishing villages and harbours.  

The main town is set around and behind a bustling harbour. Walk back a few streets from the waterfront and you’ll find a nice central square with restaurants, cafes and shops. To be honest though there’s a lot of traffic and the smaller coastal harbours at Nidri and Sivota are altogether more charming. Here, life moves at a slower tempo and Nidri is the most popular tourist destination on the island. 

Many claim Sivota is the most beautiful bay on Lefkas, verdant hills sitting around a cove of blue, crystal-clear waters. It’s the most popular mooring for the many yachts that sail these parts and, in the evenings, you’ll find a cosmopolitan atmosphere in the restaurants and tavernas.  In general the food is very good all across the island and some of the local wines are excellent. 

Our recommendation: lots to see and do here, especially if you’re sailing in the area, with a wide choice of moorings for lunch or an overnight stay in between some interesting beats to the south of the main town or the west of the island. If you’re hotelling then do your research and find the perfect beach. 

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