Lefkas Town resort guide Lefkas
Photo: Andrea Fiorino
The island capital Lefkas Town, at the north-east tip of Lefkas, has been hit by three major earthquakes since 1948 and today the town is a quaint, if odd, architectural mix of brightly painted houses, many of them topped with wood and corrugated iron to mitigate any damage from seismic shocks. The narrow lanes help to give Lefkas Town a village atmosphere.
The main Lefkas Town square is an attractive spot that splits the traffic-free shopping street in two. There are cafes and tavernas around the square which can become lively at night as the street sellers set up their stalls. More bars and tavernas are found in the harbour area with views across to mainland Greece.
Ostensibly a port, there is little to be seen of the sea. Lefkas Town lies alongside a huge and sombre lagoon where a newly-built marina with about 650 berths is worth a stroll around.
A series of fortresses along the causeway approach to Lefkas Town testify to the island's strategic importance in the past.
The main fortress at Santa Mavra was erected in the 13th century and was extensively rebuilt by Venetians, Turks and, most of all, by earthquakes. An explosion in 1888 reduced many of its buildings to rubble.
Lefkas Town has four museums, the oddest being the Lefkas Phonograph Museum's collection of old gramophones. Other sights include the 17th century Faneromeni Monastery set in pine woods on the hills above and offering great views.
For its size, Lefkas Town boasts a wide variety of cultural events and festivals including cycle and speedboat racing. It also has its own philharmonic orchestra.
Lefkada is also noted for its cultural events that include an arts festival in August and the town has its own orchestra. There is a good archaeological museum and fine churches of Agios Spiridonas in the main square, Pantokratoras and Agios Minas, built in 1707 with many good icons.
There is no beach but a four kilometre pebble strand across the lagoon at Yira or Gira, with some tavernas and bars, is very popular with windsurfers. Daily buses leave for all the main island resorts.
There are beaches to the north-west of the town across the huge lagoon. The beach stretches for many kilometres along the coast but it is mostly pebble and shingle and somewhat windswept. Agios Ioannis beach and the Gira beach are typical, with a band of shingle and sand backed by low dunes and a line of windmills.
Exposed to the northern winds, the seas can get choppy but the conditions are ideal for the many windsurfers and kite surfers that frequent this part of the coast. Kastro beach is popular with the locals. Amoglosa beach is found near the lighthouse.
Whether you are an experienced diver, a beginner, or just a snorkeler, Greece has a seabed for you. Andy Cornish swims in one of the world's best aquatic park.
Set on a pine-clad hill above the capital town of Lefkada, the Monastery of Faneromeni, dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Panagia) has panoramic views over the whole area.
The fortress of Santa Maura may have suffered earthquake, fire and bombs but it still stands guard on the island of Lefkas where a narrow bridge links the island to mainland Greece.
Meganissi lies six kilometres south of the major Lefkas holiday resort of Nidri and excursion boats attract plenty of day trippers to taste the delights of this sleepy offshore idyll.