Love Greece, but long to visit the Caribbean? Then discover Lekfada, an Ionian island with surprisingly tropical scenery, from never-ending stretches of white sand and turquoise waters to an interior drenched in mountainous greenery.
Connected to the mainland by a bridge, Lefkada is possibly the easiest of the Greek islands to access, with no need to take a ferry. The island is a peaceful place, filled with stunning beaches, quiet villages and friendly locals. Nightlife is lowkey, but unlikely to be missed when the daytimes are filled with paradisiacal landscapes and dreamy scenery. The mesmerising Porto Katsiki is one of the most impressive (and photographed) in Greece, with its wild white cliffs reflecting the never-ending blue of the sea. Close by, Egremni Beach is sure to transport you directly to the equator, with its silver sand and crystal clear waters reminiscent of the idyllic beaches of Tahiti, Bali, Barbados and Bermuda.
Head to windswept Vasilki on the south coast for the region’s best windsurfing, famed throughout Europe for its cross-shore winds. In the morning, the sea is touched with a light breeze, resulting in flat waters perfect for beginners. Around lunchtime a strong cross-shore wind develops (known locally as ‘Eric’), providing some of the best kitesurfing conditions in the Mediterranean: Head to the lagoon off the Agios Nikolaos for a amazing flat ride on kitesurfing or drive a few km in the south to take off on the lovely white sandy beach of Milos. Meanwhile, over on Kathisma Beach, adrenaline junkies can sign up for a day of paragliding, whilst nature lovers can explore the island’s network of underwater canyons, gorges, reefs and caves with a programme of scuba diving and snorkelling.
Lefkada island is a relatively new, unexplored and very promising property market, a hidden real estate treasure for those who seek a truly authentic location in the Med. Prices of those very few prime homes available for sale are on average at the €5,500 while exclusive and rare properties with their own beach if available can reach €12,000 per square meter. The land rarity, the strict forestal zoning and coastal zoning as well the urban regulations will keep the island on the path of low property development. At the same time, Skorpios’ island renovation luxury project will be attracting in the area affluent travellers that will highly likely drive a quality transformation to the island’s hospitality and gastronomy scene. We feature frequently our finest homes in our Private Collection. Feel free reaching out to us for a sneak peek on the pinnacle of our homes.
Take advantage of Lekfada’s premium location with excursions to the nearby islets of Ithaca, Kastos, Kalamos and Meganisi, and catch a glimpse of the famed Scorpios Island, once the private retreat of the Onassis family and now being transformed into a new luxury development by the Rybolovlev family.
The northern tip of the island of Lefkada is largely dominated by Lefkada Town, the economic, commercial and administrative centre of the island and home to around 9,000 people. Surrounded by the sea on three sides, the town affords stunning waterfront locations for a large proportion of its many bars, cafés and restaurants. The marina, situated to the southeast of the city centre, is a particular highlight. It is the most modern and certainly one of the most beautiful marinas in the whole of Greece, with a mooring capacity for over 620 boats. Due to its popularity, the marina has become its own micro-metropolis, and at night its restaurants and bars bustle with the visitors who have come to watch the breathtaking reflection of the mountains in the tranquil waters as they take on the colours of the sunset. Just beyond the marina is the city’s new bus station from which you can take public transport to the vast majority of Lefkada’s sites and villages.
Lefkada Town centre
The road leading from the mainland ends in a large, shady square bordered by hotels and cafés offering a lively buzz at any time of day or night. Bosketo, a small nearby park often referred to by the locals as ‘the poets’ garden’, features busts of some of Lefkada’s most famous writers, including Angelos Sikelianos (1884 – 1951), one of the most significant Modern Greek poets, and Lafcadio Hearn (1850 – 1904). A native of Lefkada whose parents named him after the island itself, Hearn was best known for his writings on Japan where he spent the last 14 years of his life, becoming a naturalised Japanese citizen and assuming the name Koizumi Yakumo.
The main street, the pedestrianized backbone of the city, branches off from this area. Named after the archaeologist William Dörpfeld it extends as far as the central square and is lined with arcades of exclusive shops and cafés, which are just one of the many aspects that make Lefkada Town such a pleasant place to stroll through. A further attraction are the many churches dotted throughout the town that are certainly worth popping into to admire the iconostases, walls of beautifully-carved icons and religious paintings, created by famous local artists. Two of the best-known churches are Agios Spyridon, in the main square, and Agios Nikolaos, but you will find many more, most constructed in the Venetian period and often topped by impressive bell towers.
It is not only Lefkada Town’s array of beautiful churches that were built in the Venetian period. In 1684, the Venetian rulers decided to relocate the capital of the island of Lefkada from the settlement inside the walls of the Agia Mavra fortress to its present location. They applied the rules of Venetian medieval town planning to the town, creating it on a human scale in the shape of a giant fishbone: the main street as a central artery intersected by small side streets, which are in turn traversed by narrow alleys running parallel to the main street.
The Architecture of Lefkada Town
One of your lasting memories of Lefkada Town will without doubt be its array of colourful two-storey houses, whose upper floors are clad in brightly-painted corrugated metal. The city’s architecture is a prime example of the creative power of chaos: whilst the numerous earthquakes that hit the island laid waste to most of its historical buildings, it was one of the most devastating of these earthquakes that Lefkada Town has to thank for its truly unique architecture. At the time of the 1825 earthquake, Lefkada had just become part of the United States of the Ionian Islands, a collection of British protectorates. The town was rebuilt in conformity with British anti-seismic regulations and is the only such example in continental Europe.
Although the ground floor walls of the houses are made of stone, the buildings are constructed in such a way as to ensure that any load or tremor is transferred directly to the highly shock-absorbent foundations below. These consist of a framework of whole tree logs that run the entire length and breadth of the building, spread with tar and finally topped with a mixture of fine sand, porcelain dust and stone chips. The second storeys of the houses are constructed in wood and rest on wooden frames inside the ground floor stone walls, again to channel any load straight to the foundations. The wooden frames of the first floors are filled in with brickwork or branches of dried broom and then strengthened with plasterboard or corrugated iron. Today, these are painted in the bright colours that give Lefkada Town its particular cheery and welcoming ambience.
Tourism – As all real estate companies say, Lefkada is the next Mykonos. Every year, especially in the summer months, thousands of tourists from Greece and abroad visit Lefkada to enjoy the pleasant climate, beautiful beaches, spectacular mountains, clean sea, amazing waterfalls, and to explore the culture The richness of the island and the charming traditional villages.
Climate – Fax enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate with wet, hot summers and mostly cool winters. Summer temperatures start in May and last until October. The warmest months are July and August with average temperatures of 25C.
Accommodation – Accommodation solutions in Lefkada are plentiful and pleasant, from holiday apartments and studio apartments on a low budget to luxury hotels and private villas near the beach. Tourists can book hotel rooms in one of the island’s many hotels or holiday apartments that are fully equipped with kitchens, bathrooms and balconies or terraces, as well as with other modern comforts needed for a pleasant stay during the holiday.
Beaches – There are plenty of beautiful sandy beaches on the island, but the most popular include Porto Katsiki, 45 km southwest of the city of Lefkada, accessible via the 150 descending steps of the mountain and Agramani Beach, located about 30 km from the beach of Lefkada. Beer, surrounded by impressive cliffs. Both beaches are well organized, with parasols, sun beds and beach bars.