Lefkada, the Caribbean of the Aegean

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Lefkada, the Caribbean of the Aegean

It’s a step away from us but it’s like being in the tropics, it’s green, mountainous, full of beaches, still safe from mass tourism. Here is Lefkada in 6 chapters
Are you looking for a destination within a telescope, but with turquoise waters like the Seychelles? A paradise, what’s more cheap, just around the corner, that will give you all the remaining emotions and make your “Instagram numbers” skyrocket (if you’re a social type)? Do you dream of anticipating the summer by diving into the adamantine blue, eating well and breathing the energy of a wild and pristine nature? Well, then consider Lefkada, a jewel that is still saved from mass tourism, immersed in the Ionian Sea, in a splendid Greece.

Lefkada is the only island in the land of the Gods to be reachable without leaving the mainland: in fact, there is a mobile (but fixed) bridge that appears and disappears precisely for this purpose. It is also known for its extreme closeness to Skorpios, which was the private island of the shipowner Aristotle Onassis: he celebrated his marriage with the former American first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, after having left in the lurch, without even warning her, the immense Maria Callas.

How to get there. Just book and take a ferry from Ancona or Brindisi (for example Grimaldi Lines, Minoas ferries), destination Igoumenenitsa. Once there, the distance to travel is about 110 km. If you have boarded the car, it takes just over an hour and a half on the E55. Or, very close, there is the airport of Preveza, a delightful tourist town that deserves a stop (or a mini-vacation) in itself.

The capital. Once we reach our travel goal, we immediately come across the most important center, the eponymous Lekfada, which has a population of roughly 10 thousand and has a decidedly original architecture. It was rebuilt after an earthquake, with metal and wooden structures in colorful colors. Bars, taverns, restaurants, clubs and accommodation facilities can be counted on the fingers of many hands. Here the post-tan is a ritual that is observed every night, from April to October.

When to go. Of course in summer (for long swims in a fabulous sea), but spring and autumn are also fine to enjoy the green of the interior, the mountain and coast landscape, the treks with a cooler climate. But don’t forget that here we are in the “Caribbean of the Mediterranean”, and a swwiming must be done.

The most beautiful beaches. The first essential step, in order of beauty, is undoubtedly Porto Katsiki, on the southern tip of the island. One of the most famous postcards of Greece and the Mediterranean in general. You go down several steps (nothing impossible) and this show opens up before your eyes. Very white pebbles, a vertiginous cliff that creates a natural basin, one of the most transparent waters on the planet. Legend has it that the poet Saffo has thrown herself into the void nearby. Another states that Homer’s Ithaca was precisely Lefkada.

Photo by pagro47 from Pixabay

Going up along the west coast, you meet the beautiful beaches of Egremmi, reachable through a suggestive stairway; Kathisma, where on weekends you can dance in its modern premises; Aghios Nikitas, a picturesque village from which small boats go to the sublime beach of Mylos; Aghis Ioannis, known to kitesurf lovers and its windmills. The south-eastern coast differs a bit from the western side, with smaller beaches but easy to bathe such as Poros (Mikros Gialos), Sivota, Agiofili and Vassiliki, a very windy bay and windsurfs friendly. Then there are the fishing villages that rise directly on the sea and preserve the traditional lifestyle of the island, offering the freshness of excellent fish dishes and conveying to the tourist all the warm hospitality of its inhabitants. The most popular tourist center of the island instead is Nidri, which attracts both for the view on the islets of Skorpios, Sparti, Madouri and Maganissi, and for the liveliness of its taverns.

Culture. Museums are concentrated in the capital Lefkada. The most interesting are the archaeological and ecclesiastical museum, located in the famous Faneromeni convent, the main religious center. The island has an important literary heritage: many famous poets, such as Angelos Sikelianos and Aristotelis Valaoritis, were born there. In the center of Lefkada-city, the Municipality built the Poets Gardens, in honor of these two writers.

Where to eat. There is only the embarrassment of the choice. We recommend Drymonaki (a Drymonas) for value for money-location. A small restaurant overlooking one of the most enchanting coastal views from above. Many go to dinner in the late or late afternoon, to enjoy the show of the sun that fades to the horizon. One of the most exciting sunsets ever seen. Meat, Greek salad, tatsiki, wine and dessert of the house with applause. All for less than ten euros each.

Original Article from VanityFair

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