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18th February 2020

Greece – Lefkada and the wild West coast

Lefkada translates as white and, while the sheer cliffs of the western coast and the sand and pebble beaches are indeed white, what will strike you about this island is the exotic, electric blue of that sea. And, while the southern cape is the supposed location for the poet Sappho who leaped to her death following a broken heart, nowadays the only people jumping off cliffs will be para-gliders sailing through the thermals, enjoying the thrill!

We travelled to Lefkada in early June and discovered the wild western pretty village of Agios Nikitas we were perfectly located to enjoy some of the best beaches Greece has to offer. Our particular favourites were the beach at Agios Nikitas, with shade if you need it, plus beach side cafes and restaurants for when the sun gets too much.

The Beach at Agios Nikitas

A 20 minute walk (and a steep climb) from Agios Nikitas takes you to Mylos Beach. There are no amenities here at all, so take a sun shade, water and snacks!

Mylos Beach

We also liked Kathisma Beach for the amazing blue sea, the smaller pebbles and shingle make it easy to swim here and there are restaurants close by. You can drive down to the beach and park for free.

Kathisma Beach

We also drove down to Porto Katsiki which was a long drive through some quite difficult road conditions; some of the roads are so narrow that it is difficult for cars to pass each other. You can park at the top, but there are 80 plus steps down to the beach. This beach gets very popular in the summer with many boats arriving with day trippers. You can order food from the restaurant above and it will be bought down to you on the beach, which was handy for us as we hadn’t brought anything with us!

One word of warning, there are no petrol stations between Agios Nikitas and Porto Katsiki.

Porto Kathsiki Beach

We spent a couple of days exploring the island and driving up to the northern tip we stopped at Faneromeni Monastery, which features some lovely stained glass windows and also, oddly, some caged birds.

We drove through Lefkada Town and down the east coast towards Nidri to try and locate Nydri Waterfall. It is possible to walk from Nidri Town, but we parked a little closer and walked up from a café at the bottom. It is not a huge waterfall, but the walk to it is pleasant and shady. Wear sensible shoes as it is slippery in places and some of the hand rails are missing, not a walk if you are unsteady. You can dip in the pool at the bottom of the waterfall,
but be warned – it is freezing!

Colder than it looks!

We met up with friends who were staying on Kefalonia and who came across to Lefkada on the ferry. We enjoyed lunch in Nidri Harbour with its view of Onassis’s island, Skopios – it is possible to visit the island by boat. On the way home we cut across the mountainous interior, a complete contrast to the white and blue of the coastline. As we climbed higher and higher through the olive and cypress trees, the lush green contrasting with the yellow, white and blue flowers and the amazing scent of wild herbs assailed our senses.

We were looking for the enclosed village of Englouvi which has buildings dating back to the 16th century and which is famed for its cultivation of lentils. The lentils are grown in fields which still belong to their original families and are unique to this location. The lentils are small and white and create a thick soup when boiled. You truly get a sense of the old Greece here, with the traditional central square and black clad widows sitting around with their knitting!

We travelled with Ionian Island Holidays and stayed at Erato Villa in Agios Nikitas. For information about this destination or other Greek Island Holidays, please call or email us.

By Telina Lawrence
18th February 2020