The name of the island implies the white color, which corresponds perfectly to the rare clarity and beauty of the beaches of Lefkada. The affluent alternation of the landscapes, the picturesque mountainous villages with the olive trees, the crops and the grains, the endless beaches, the excursions in the islets of Madouri, Sparti, Skorpio, and Skorpidi, the historical churches, and the renowned local cuisine not only satisfy the visitor?s demands, but they also win his admiration. Lefkada is the only one island of the Ionian Sea which is directly connected with the mainland of Greece, as a bridge crosses the short distance through the shallow waters to reach its shores. It is estimated that the population is about 21000 residents, while its size covers 302 sq.km.
History - Culture
During the Neolithic era, Leucas was still part of the mainland. The first settlements on the peninsula ?which has now become an island- are dated back to this period. Sometime in the 6th century BC, settlers from Corinth established a colony, which soon prospered. It was these Corinthians who wrested political control of Leucas from neighboring Aetoloacarnania. The island contributed three fully armed and equipped vessels in the famed Naval Battle of Salamina, while in the Peloponnesian War it sided with Sparta. In the following millennia, Leucas shared the same historical course with the rest of the Ionian Islands, as it successively came under the rule of Romans (197 BC), Byzantines (around 330 AD), Venetians (1204), Turks (1477), Venetians once again (1684), until it was finally united with Greece in 1864. Considering the fact that many poets, scientists and intellectuals originate from the island, Leucas has been associated with the field of the intellect, in general, contributing significantly through numerous literary and scientific works. Aristotelis Valaoritis and Angelos Sikelianos, two leading figures of Greek Literature, were scions of Leucas.
Leucas captivates its visitors from the moment they arrive. As they enter the capital of the island, they see the remains of the ancient city, much of its fortifications still standing guard over it. The ancient theatre is still standing, but, what is more important, its cultural aura is kept alive by the numerous literary figures birthed on the island. Ancient Leucas must have been one of the largest cities in Greece in size, if not in power. The Venetian Castle, built in 1300, the monastery of Panagia Faneromeni, the Bosketo (a park adorned with bust sculptures of local poets), and the numerous churches -dating back to the period of Venetian domination- such as Aghios Spyridonas, Aghios Dimitrios, Christos Pantokratoras, Aghios Minas, Aghios Yannis Antzousis, and many more, are more than enough to keep the visitor excited. Every monastery and church is an ornament to the island. On the west of the city, there is also the cave of Aghios Yannis. Exiting the town of Leucas, an equally captivating array of spectacular sights awaits the visitors. In Vassiliki, the southernmost village of the island, there are the ruins of a temple dedicated to Apollo. In this region, there is also the mountainous village of Aghios Petros, and the Lefkata Cape, from where, as the legend says, people used to jump in antiquity in order to test or sacrifice themselves and heal their love-tormented heart. Aghios Nikitas is a noted traditional fishing village with beautiful two-storey houses with wooden balconies, some of which stand over the edge of the water. Karya is the place of origin of the celebrated "karysanika" embroideries. It is a mountainous village where many elements of traditional architecture have survived, and so has the cultural tradition itself. The village of Eglouvi, in the also district of Karya, deserves a visit. In Athani, on the southern part of the island, one should definitely visit the coast of Porto Katsiki, an area of rare natural beauty, which is both a majestic sight and an exciting beach. In Lygia, there is the Valley of Love. In the cosmopolitan Nydri, the waterfalls towering above the prehistoric settlement must not be missed, while the green clad islets of Sparti, Skorpios and Madouri also deserve a visit. Madouri hosts the mansion of the notable poet Aristotelis Valaoritis. Poros is well protected, as its medieval tower is still standing nearly intact. Leucas is a place where the sophisticated environment and the family atmosphere combine ideally with beauty and serenity.
The steady inflow of visitors of the recent years has stimulated the rapid development of the island into a major tourist destination with a tourist infrastructure of highest standards. There are many taverns, restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, rooms for rent, pubs, bars, and clubs, in the areas of Vasiliki, Vlycho, Karya, Nikiana, Nydri, and of course in the town of Leucas itself. Visitors who seek vivid nightlife tend to concentrate in Leucas, Karya and Nydri, where the variety of bars and night clubs, all open all through the night, offer fun and excitement. All over the island, there are well-supplied shopping places, while the road network and transportation service is satisfactory, facilitating tours around the island. As for sporting activities, there are water sport facilities in Leucas, Nydri, Vasiliki and Poro, as well as in most major beaches. Local festivities are colorful and welcoming, offering visitors insight to the tradition and the culture of the people of the island. Leucas is celebrated for its embroideries, lentils (the ones from Eglouvi are considered to be the best in Greece), olive oil, wine, salami, honey, fruit, and fine sausages. Moreover, one can find excellent nuts, vegetables and fruits in Aghios Petros and Vassiliki respectively.
All year round, flights are carried out from Athens to Aktio in Preveza from where there is bus service to Leucas. There is daily bus service from Athens to Leucas.
On a daily basis, buses link Leucas, Aktio in Preveza and Agrinio. Ferries link Leucas (Vasiliki, Nydri), Cephalonia (Fiskardo) and Ithaca (Frikes, Vathy) throughout the year.
In Leucas one can find a significant archaeological collection and a Folk Art Museum, the Public Library, the Leucas Library and the Museum of Phonographs where memorabilia of past romantic days are kept.
Educational, cultural, spiritual, agrotourism, ecotourism, elderly programmes, gastronomy, archaeology. The mountains of Leucas offer unmatched trekking routes, especially the one though the chestnut forest of Skaros. Mountain bikes can also be used to enjoy these routes. Water sports are also fully available, as are scuba diving, sailing, yachting, and windsurfing. A jet ski and a formula 3 water speeders championship is takes place early in the summer.
LEFKADA AREA CODE : 26450-
POLICE STATION: 26450-29372, 22346
TOURIST POLICE: 26450-29379
PORT POLICE: 26450-22322, 92509
TELECOMMUNICATIONS ORG.: 26450-21099, 21180
POST OFFICE: 26450-22235, 24225
BUS STATION: 26450-22364
TAXI STATION: 26450-24600, 22218
HOSPITAL: 26450-25371, 31065
PHARMACIES: 26450-23864, 23853, 22200