Lefkada is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea, connected to the mainland by a causeway. West coast beaches like Porto Katsiki and Egremni feature sheer cliffs and turquoise waters. The east coast is known for its traditional villages, including the seaside resort of Nydri. In the north, Lefkada town is the island's gateway and capital. Vassiliki, in the south, attracts windsurfers.
Here's a guide to some of the best, touring the island :
Where: Just south of Lefkada Town near the top of the east coast
Description: a small pebble beach in an important area for Lefkada's fishermen so there are lots of great seafood tavernas nearby and excellent views of the Greek mainland
Where: about 10km south of Lefkada Town on the east coast
Description: once a tranquil fishing village, Nikiana is now quite a developed tourist spot, though certainly not spoiled. There are two small pebbly beaches, one just north of the harbour, one just to the south. The former is flanked on one side by trees and both have views of the Greek mainland. The tavernas, cafés and bars of the village are nearby.
Where: about halfway down the east coast
Description: Nidri is one of Lefkada's liveliest resorts with some great restaurants and bars. The pebbly-sandy beach is quite popular and very well-equipped with lidos, tavernas and bars. There are also great views over the neighbouring islands of Heloni, Scorpios, Sparti and Madouri. If you're there in September, don't be surprised to see lots of sailing boats: this is just the Ionian Regatta, one of the most important sailing competitions in this part of the Med. For those interested in a little nightlife, Nidri also has a few clubs.
Where: a sheltered bay in the south-east, near Poros
Description: quite a long stretch of shingle-pebbly beach with lidos, bars and tavernas
Where: in a large bay at the south of Lefkada
Description: one of the busier resorts on Lefkada, Vasiliki has long been popular with windsurfers and sailors. It is also home to a long pebbly beach enclosed by the green hills that so characterise much of the scenery on Lefkada. The town has lots of tavernas and bars as well as facilities for watersports enthusiasts.
Where: at the southern tip of the west coast
Description: one of the loveliest, most colourful and most scenic of the beaches in the Greek Islands. It is flanked on either side by impressive white chalk cliffs and access is via a green wooded passage. Then the white sand and the azure waters complete the palette. This beauty makes it very popular in the high season.
Access: arrival at the car park is easy, but then there are about 100 steps that lead down to the beach. Again, it is possible to arrive by boat, from nearby Vasiliki or Nidri on the east coast.
Where: a few kilometres north of Porto Katsiki in the south-west
Description: a 2.5km-long expanse of white sand and pebbles, transparent waters and dramatic cliff surroundings...Sound good? Well, Egremni is another of Lefkada's A-lister beaches and well worth a visit.
Where: about one-third of the way down the west coast (about 15km south-west of Lefkada Town)
Description: another gorgeous long sandy beach offering lidos, watersports, super sunsets and nearby restaurants and bars. As with its southern cousins, it is bordered by wooded hills and cliffs that make for spectacular surroundings.
Where: between Kathisma and Agios Nikitas on the west coast
Description: another splendid beach in idyllic surroundings, bordered to the south by imposing granite cliffs and to the east and north by steep wooded hills. The turquoise, limpid waters are not so easy to get to, but worth the effort.
Where: on the northern part of the west coast
Description: the village of Agios Nikitas offers seafront tavernas and good transport links (also via boat) to many of the west coast's most popular beaches. Its own beach is small, pebbly and very pretty
Where: on the north coast of Lefkada
Description: the beach at Agios Ioannis runs up and round the thin promontory that flares of the northern coast of Lefkada. Being open to the northerly winds it has become something of a mecca for wind and kitesurfers. The sand is soft and golden, the water dreamily azure and the old windmills that dot the area give a fascinating backdrop. Restaurants and bars are to be found nearby.