LEFKÁDHA (Lefkás) is an oddity, which is exactly why it is some people’s favourite Ionian island. Connected to the mainland by a long causeway through lagoons and a 30m pontoon swivel bridge, it barely feels like an island, at least on the busier eastern side. Lefkádha was long an important strategic base and approaching the causeway you pass a series of fortresses, climaxing in the fourteenth-century castle of Santa Maura – the Venetian name for the island. These defences were too close to the mainland to avoid an Ottoman tenure, which began in 1479, but the Venetians wrested back control a couple of centuries later. They were in turn overthrown by Napoleon in 1797 and then the British took over as Ionian protectors in 1810 until reunification with Greece in 1864.
Lefkádha remains relatively undeveloped, with just two major resorts: Vassilikí, in its vast bay in the south, claims to be Europe’s biggest windsurfing centre; Nydhrí, on the east coast, overlooks the island’s picturesque set of satellite islets, including laidback Meganíssi. The capital’s superb marina also appeals to yachties in large numbers. For the very best Greek flotilla and bareboat sailing holidays in the Ionian Islands including Lefkas, Cephalonia, Ithaka & Zakinthos choose Odysseus Sailing Holidays.
This is a port of entry with very helpful port police. The town is scruffy, lively and Greek, complete with markets and good shops. It's a real pleasure to take an evening stroll up the pedestrian high street, which comes to life between 2100 and 2230. Architecture? Upper floors look like tin shacks, designed to survive the rather frequent earth tremors. There's a good but expensive full service marina, or a much cheaper town quay with a very soft mud bottom — check your anchor won't come home if you're on the quay. Mooring lines and guardiennage are available for some berths.
Nikiana Harbour, Lefkas
A short way down from the end of the Lefkas canal, the beautiful Ionian port of Nikiana on the east coast of Lefkas (or Lefkada) offers an ideal overnight or lunchtime stop, and whilst it is only small you can usually find a good space to moor your yacht or anchor off by the nearby beach. Nikiana is the prefect spot to spend a few hours relaxing in the beachside taverna or one of the cafés nearby.
If you stay overnight in Nikiana the waterfront tavernas are a nice place to have an evening meal at sunset as the mountains on the mainland glow the most beautiful red.
Nidri is in a beautiful location looking out onto a wonderful vista of pine clad islands and calm sparkling water. From Nidri quay you also have a wonderful view of the beautiful island island of Madhouri with its wonderful yellow Baroque villa on the shore. Nidri is the busiest and biggest holiday resort town on Lefkas island, and perhaps even the whole southern Ionian, bustling with day trip ferry boats, traditional fishing boats and visiting sailing yachts. There is a wide choice of café bars, tavernas, bars and shops, yet it is still quite laid back.
Due to its size Nidri can become very crowded and occasionally noisy. If you need to do any shopping, visit a bank or maybe just fancy a night out then Nidri is the place for you. If you don’t like the look of the harbour wall for mooring then you can always anchor off in nearby Tranquil bay and then use your dinghy to come ashore.
Tranquil Bay, Lefkas
Opposite Nidri town in Lefkas Tranquil bay is a popular place for yachts to moor and, as its name suggests, even in the busier summer months, has a truly tranquil ambience surrounded by olive trees and cypress trees.
A beautiful place to stop and while away a few hours during your Ionian yacht charter the bay which is close to the tiny Southern Lefkas town of Vlicho (or Vliho).
Between Skorpios island and Meganisi island is an occasionally marked shoal which need special care and attention to avoid hitting it.
Dessimi Bay, Lefkas
Dessimi Bay (or Dessimou Bay) on the east coast of Lefkas island is a beautiful anchorage with spectacular views out towards the Meganissi channel and beyond. The Eastern side of Dessimi bay is very sheltered and close to some spectacular caves.
There is also a very good Greek taverna right on the beachfront at Dessimi bay where you can while away an afternoon sipping wine and eating fresh calamari.
Rouda Bay, Mikros Gialos, Lefkas
Rouda bay on the east coast of Lefkada is fairly large and ideal for a relaxed lunch at one of the wonderful Greek tavernas. With the pretty Ionian village of Poros, full of narrow alleys and beautiful traditional Greek houses built on steep wooded slopes above Rouda Bay is the perfect place for an afternoon stop on your Ionian yacht charter holiday and visiting by boat is the prefect way to visit the the areas coves, beaches and caves. The beach is lovely and the fresh fish served in the friendly tavernas is delicious!
Mikros Gialos, the beautiful white sandy and pebble beach in Rouda Bay has calm crystal clear waters, that shift colors from blue to dark green, and make it ideal for swimming and snorkeling.
Sivota Bay, Syvota, Lefkas
Sivota Bay (or Syvota Bay), on the southeastern corner of Lefkas island, is a sheltered, very pretty anchorage with a wide choice of tavernas and shops ashore. It is one of the prettiest ports in the Lefkas (or Lefkada) yacht charter sailing area with a couple of very nice, relaxed bars which are ideal places to watch the incoming sailing yachts arrive.
A tranquil and beautiful place to visit on your Ionian yacht charter holiday, Sivota is also a good place to eat freshly caught lobster and enjoy a sunset cocktail by the waters' edge.
To the southwest of Lefkada, the beautiful port town of Vassiliki deep in the large bay has maintained its authentic atmosphere, which blends well with the vibrance of the quayside bars, restaurants and cafes that come alive particularly in July and August. It's a good people watching site in a lovely setting. Moor in the small harbour or alternatively, the bay to the west of the large bay of Vassiliki, close to the village Pondi is a nice anchorage. There's a sneaky uncharted 1.7m patch of sand just north of the harbour entrance, which catches many yachts unawares and provides good entertainment, morning and evening. For nightlife, a nightclub may cut in after 22:30 with enough noise to keep some awake.
There is a nice choice of cafe bars where you can sip a cool Frappe coffee or enjoy a summer cocktail.
Wonderful fresh fish caught by the local fisherman can be enjoyed in Vassiliki.
One of the larger bays in the Lefkas cruising area and also one of the windiest Vasiliki is one of the best windsurfing destinations in Europe and attracts hundreds of enthusiasts every year - the sight of hundreds of windsurfers speeding across the beautiful emerald Ionian water is spectacular!
There are a couple of ATM/cash machines in Vassiliki as well as a medical centre, Post Office, a fabulous bakery and some lovely shops.