We had a great day on the Seven Island Cruise aboard the Ikaros. The cruise departs from Nidri Harbour at 10.00am and returns at 6.30pm. The first stop we made was at Porto Katsiki Beach where everyone was allowed of the boat for a swim. Situated along Lefkada's southwestern coast it is noted to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece. Access by land is down 347 steps and many people will take the taxi boats available. Fiskardo in Kefalonia was the next port of call, the only village that was not destroyed by the earthquake of 1953. We stayed here for 1hr 30mins to take a leisurely walk through the picturesque village to enjoy shopping and lunch. Ithaka was the next stop but unfortunately we were not allowed to stay there as there wasn't any room for us to dock so we then made our way to Meganisi and its Papanikolis Cave where a greek submarine hid during the war, then the three Islands of Onassis which are Scorpios - Sparti - Kastri where we had a chance to have another swim. No one is allowed on these Islands. The last Island we passed before returning to Lefkas was Madouri which is a part of Greek history where the great poet Aristotelis Valaoritis was born and raised and where he wrote some of his best work. The commentry throughout the cruise is spoken in English, Greek, Italian and French. The cost of this cruise was €15 each which in my opinion is not at all expensive for a really enjoyable and interesting day out
Among the beautiful snow-white houses of Lefkes, are the distinguished and beautiful churches of the 15th-17th century, like the marble church of the Holy Trinity (Agia Triada) with its old icons, or the churches of Agia Varvara and Agia Theodosia.
In the settlement, there is also a remarkable folklore museum (unfortunately closed when we were there), and many workshops for pottery and weaving. What is worth visiting at Lefkes, approximately 4 km away, is the site of the archaeological excavations where ancient marble quarries have been traced, as well as the Monastery of Panagia Myrtidiotissa Thapsanon, Agios Ioannis Kaparos and the Monastery "Panagia sta Kelia" (the Virgin in Cells).
This was a lovely trip to a beautiful beach which was supposedly inaccessible by road. There was a rough road to it which we found later when we had the car.
There was even a "bar" onboard as the cantina at the beach was closed. Pricey of course.
A very steeply shelving beach which was extremely difficult to walk on as it was made from very small white pebbles.
Plenty of shade under the overhanging cliffs.
There were steps up to the closed cantina and a view-point. Absolutely stunning sea views.
Boat trip cost 1200drx. Leaves every morning from Vassiliki harbour.
Porto Katsiki translates as goatherd beach.
Ag. Nikitas is probably the most attractive resort on Lefkas.It's on the north west coast, 12km. from Lefkas Town.
The old buildings of the village tumble down the hill to the beautiful sand and shingle cove. When we visited you had to park outside the village and explore on foot. I imagine this is still the situation today. There are plenty of tavernas and cafe-bars as Ag. Nikitas is a great Sunday get-away lunch stop.
I can imagine it would be difficult to find accommodation in high season.
To the east of Vassiliki are a number of small coves, much prettier than the main beach. Also can be crowded due to their size.
One day there was a really rough sea and we were on one of the cove beaches. Nick was swimming and got into difficulties by being sucked out to sea wiyh the force of the waves. It was very frightening, fortunately someone realised and managed to push him into safety. What did concern us was a couple letting their toddler play in the shallows. She could so easily have been washed out to sea.
Syvota lies south east of Vassiliki and on first impression seems to be land-locked, lying in a fjord-like bay.
There is no beach, it's more of an anchorage for small vessels. Popular with the flotilla lot. Quite a few tavernas(particularly fish) and rent rooms. Also a supermarket.
We watched in amusement a fully clothed wind surfer plying to and frow across the bay, here.
German archeologist, Dorpfeld, believed Odysseus came ashore here after 15 years at sea.
The main beach of Vassiliki we didn't find too exciting. It was very popular with wind surfers and dinghies. We watched one wind surfer nearly come to grief as he was miles out to sea and just couldn't get back to shore. He had to be towed back.
Backing on to the beach was a popular campsite.
The castle is situated near the channel, two km outside Hora and has an interesting history.
The original building was constructed by the Sicilian, Ioannis Orsini, in 13th-14th century. In the Castle, one can admire the church of Agia Mavra. According to tradition, the church was built in the 15th century. After the island's occupation by the Turks in 1479, the church became a mosque.
Today the castle is open to tourists, many cultural events during the summer.
Call in at some of the small inland villages and watch life go by, slowly.
We would always stop somewhere for a drink at an uncommercialised village on our way back to Vassiliki at the end of the day.
The West coast, facing the great expanse of the Mediterranean, has the hyped beach of Porto Katsiki.
Porto Katsiki is a remote beach located on the south-western coast of the Ionian island of Lefkada. Since the creation of a sealed road during the mid 1990's, this remote beach has become one of the premier tourist destinations on the island.
The beach is accessed from the car park via steep steps that hug a rugged cliff face. The waters of Porto Katsiki are strikingly clear and the sunsets are frequently dramatic. The beach is composed of fine to medium sized pebbles that are very comfortable to lie on.
The word Katsiki means goat in Greek, and the area was once used by local shepherds to bathe their flocks. Every year the beach of Porto Katsiki is voted as the most beautiful beach in Greece.
We did find the road to Porto Katsiki.It was a dirt track but nowhere near as bad as we feared. The sea was very rough this time and there was only one other couple on the beach.
More pics. of Porto Katsiki in travelogue.
The town Lefkada is situated in the north-eastern part of the island. The town is the administrative, economic and cultural centre of the island, with approx. 8,000 inhabitants. Their main occupation is the cultivation and the tourism.
It is a small town built around a big and beautiful harbour.
Kalamitsi is situated 23 km southeast of Lefkada, on a slope with a fantastic panoramic view. It is one of the oldest villages of Lefkas and has thirteen windmills. The village was built is that altitude in order to avoid the pirate’s raids.
The area has many churches, like famous of Panagia stous Kipous.
You can get a boat from Vasiliki to go for a one day trip around the island. You will most certainly visit the cave of Papanikolis, named after the Greek submarine Papanikolis, which used to hide in that cave during the WW2. It is a really nice place to see. The waters are very very clean you can see everything. Unfortunately, you can't swim there, as first the water is very cold and secondly there are a lot of boats coming in and out and admiring the place.
Should you choose to go with a tourist boat, usually filled with not Greeks, it is quite funny to watch the 'photographers' [especially the Japanese] when you get inside the cave, because they get very excited and they start running all over the place to get the best picture and they usually bump on one another.
Plus you usually get to see dolphins swimming next to the boat and usually the captains play with them
The best way of getting around on Lefkas is definetely by vespa. A very nice trip is to go the one big beach on the north-west side - Kathisma beach.
Even though we got rained in at the restaurant for four hours we still got an hour of sun before heading back - the 1,5 hour one-way trip from our hotel in Nikiana (east coast) sure was worth it. :)