Lefkada – a paradise island in the Ionian Sea

This year my and my wife we decided to visit Lefkada. Lefkada a Greek island in the Ionian Sea, which is situated between Kedelonia and Corfu. The island is connected with Akarnania mainland with a 50-meters floating bridge, which makes it the island with the easiest access as you are not dependent with a ferry schedule.

The main idea behind this trip was to go windsurfing. We usually go to Limnos island but this time we decided to try windsurfing in Lefkada as it has the glory of one of the best windsurf stops in Europe. So, we booked an apartment in Vasiliki, which is a nice harbor side village.

We had a nice, ground floor apartment, with a big shady, front space where we cool relax after the long and sunny days. The host, an annoying Greek lady, gave us a map, where she marked us all the beaches on the island that were worth visiting. This was the best thing she did for us and it helped us a lot during our stay. As it turned out that the wind starts to blow after 17:00 we had a lot of time visiting different beaches.
Because of its green and mountain landscape the island of Lefkada also offers many possibilities for mountain biking, hiking, and paragliding. It has a population of 23 000 inhabitants and an area of 356 sq.m.
The first day we stayed at Vasiliki beach, as we wanted to see the wind conditions in order to plan the coming days. The East part of the beach consists of relatively big stones and you need water shoes to go to the water.

In contrast the seabed was sandy. On the West side of the beach there were small stones mixed with sand. That was the place we chose to stay in front of Grand Nefeli Surf School and hotel. It was maybe the only place where you could have a sun umbrella and sun bed without being a guest to the hotel. They also have a nice restaurant where you can have a lunch on the beach.
In the morning Vasiliki bay looks like this.

But when the wind starts, the bay gets full of hundreds of windsurfs.
In the evening we had a nice a walk on the harbor with a tasty dinner in one of the restaurants by the sea.

I was impressed by the way they served the food, using fish-shaped plates. My fish soup was delicious even though the fish bones were not cleaned.

 

The second day we decided to visit a beach different from Vasiliki. Our idea was to go to Milos beach. Google maps drove us to a place with a beautiful view to the beach, but unfortunately there was no access to the beach (at least we didn’t find it). It turned out that the beach is accessible from Nikitas beach with a boat.

We turned back, and we arrived on Kathisma beach. It was almost 11 o’clock and the parking place was full, and we had to park in a paid parking. It turned out that the parking in Kathisma is cheaper than in Vasiliki and they charged us “only” 7 euro for the day (in Vasiliki a hole day stay in the parking costed me 15 euro).
When I first saw the beach, I was impressed – the blue sun umbrellas, the yellow sand and the turquois blue water are a lovely picture that is still printed on my mind.


The beaches on the West side of the island are splendid. The water is incredibly blue, clear and you feel yourself like you are in paradise.
At around 13:00 the beach was full of people, but it was so big that there was place for everyone.

At the North end of the beach there were some rocks, that were perfect for sea jumping. The rocks were no more than 5-10 meters from the beach, but the water was so deep that you can jump from 5, 7 or even 10 meters height. As I adore jumping, I spent quite a long time there.

The rocks are also ideal for snorkeling. There were underwater caves and different rock structure that made my snorkeling very interesting. I spent some good time in the water and I even swam to Milos beach. The beach is 15 minutes swim from Kathisma, but if you want to visit it and spend some time there it is better to take a boat from Nikitas.

The biggest attraction on Kathisma beach was paragliding. There were several teams that proposed flights from around 400m and 650 m height with a flight duration between 2 and 15 minutes. I was surprised that my 4-year old daughter show a great desire to go for I ride. So, we took a drive to the nearest hill. After a sudden stress of my daughter when the kite was lift in the air, she when to her instructor and flew away with him. We followed them with my instructor. It was my first time paragliding and the feeling was amazing. You feel free, you feel light, you feel like a bird. And I think that this will be my next hobby especially when near my city there is mountain with perfect conditions for flying. 😊

The flight was no more than 2 minutes and after the landing I went straight to my daughter. Her first words were: “When are we doing it again”. She is only 4 years old and she had already a flight in the air.

As we spent a good long time on the beach and it was already after 18:00 we decided to go and check the kite spot on the island Agios Ioanis Beach. It is situated on the West side of the island, near the city of Lefkada. On our road to the kite spot we stopped to look at some beautiful landscapes.

The landscape was so beautiful and divers that I stopped several times to take photos.

White all these mountain view over the blue sea I felt like I was in an Homer’s poems.

As we were coming from the mountain we had a wonderful view to the spot. It was fantastic and full of kites. Unfortunately, when we arrived on the beach it was almost 19:30 and the was going down. As I had only a 10th kite I was underpowered, and I couldn’t ride.

The third day we took a hole day cruise. You can read about our cruise here.

The fourth day we decided to visit another beach and we chose Gialos beach. The beach is on the West coast of the island. The view from above is astonish.

Apparently, the road was destroyed during the earthquake and recently renovated. Now it is new and easy to ride even it looks a little bit scary from the top.

The carparking is big enough and free of charge.

On the beach there is no sand, but small stones. The water is full of large stones, so it is a little bit difficult to enter. Still the water is crystal-clear and blue, like every beach on this side of the island. The beach is long, and there are isolated places.

There are two row of sun umbrella which are paid. It costs 10euro for and umbrella and two sunbeds and you get a -2 euro discount ticker for the nearby caffee.

And the caffee is a perfect place to relax.

Gialos beach is nice, but I definitely prefer Kathisma beach, so the last day we visited it again. For me it was the best beach we went to. We had a great time. We swam a lot, I jumped from the rocks and even my 4-years old daughter had the courage to jump in the water from some rocks.

We left the beach at 14:30 at a temperature of 38 degrees and the were still people coming to the beach. As normally the Greeks sleep until lunch time and then there day starts. Even the life guard schedule was from 10:30 (in my country the lifeguards work from 8:00). So, if you want to a beach in Greece and enjoy it calmly I will advice you to do it early in the morning – there will be little people on the beach, you will easily find a place to park and you will avoid the afternoon heat.

The last evening we had a nice dinner at Pondi restaurant, just by the beach in Lefkada. The food was delicious which made a great ending of our vacation. We had a fresh fish

and some starters

As a conclusion I can say that Lefkada is a magnificent island with remarkable beaches and crystal-clear turquois water. It is a great place to stay for a vacation, but you should keep in mind to plan so time to ride from your hotel or apartment to the beach.

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