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Lefkada | Best Things to Do | Where to Stay

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Lefkada is known for its stunning beaches and is one of the best Greek islands for beach lovers. Located in the Ionian Sea off the western coast of mainland Greece, Lefkada offers a variety of sandy shores, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and picturesque landscapes.

Here are the best things to do in Lefkada (including the best beaches), where to stay and practical tips from a local.

*My father comes from this island, so this is where I spent a month every summer as a kid. We still go every summer for at least a month to see friends and family – and enjoy some of the best beaches of Greece. These are truly insider tips!

In a Nutshell

How to Get to Lefkada

Getting to Lefkada by Plane

Closest Airport to Lefkada: Aktion, Preveza

The closest airport to Lefkada is Aktion, Preveza, which is about 20 minutes by car from Lefkada Town. You can find flights to Aktion from several major European cities, such as Amsterdam, Paris, Vienna and London. There are

The easiest way to get from Aktion to Lefkada is by car, as you are also going to need one in Lefkada anyway.

We always use this search engine to find the best car rental deal. They compare all major companies, like Hertz, Sixt, Europcar, and more, and you get the lowest price. The earlier you book a car, the lower the price. You also get free cancelation up to 48 hours before pick up, which is great if anything happens

Search for rental car deals here

While there is a bus connecting the airport to Lefkada, it only runs a few times a day (and only once on Sunday). You can find details on the bus and its timetable here.

Getting to Lefkada by Car

Lefkada is located on the northeastern part of the island and connected to the mainland by a causeway and a floating bridge. This makes Lefkada unique among Greek islands in being accessible by car without the need for a ferry.

We use this search engine to rent a car. It compares all available companies, like Hertz, Sixt, and many small ones,to find you the lowest price. The earlier you book a car, the lower the price. The cancelation policy is also flexible.

Search for rental car deals here

Getting to Lefkada from Athens

From Athens you can reach Lefkada either by taking a domestic flight to Aktion, renting a car, or taking a bus.

  • By car: You will need a car in Lefkada, so you might as well drive there yourself. Take the national road in Peloponnese – there are tolls, but it is much better. It takes about 4 hours to get from Athens to Lefkada by car. Search for rental car deals here
  • By bus: It takes a bit longer than by car. You can find details on the buses from Athens to Lefkada and the timetable here.

If you decide to stay in Athens for a few days, you can find our guide on the best things to do in Athens here. If you are only staying in Athens for a couple of days, then our 2-day itinerary of Athens guide would be helpful.

Read more: Athens

How to Get around Lefkada

Getting around Lefkada by Car

The best way to get around Lefkada is definitely by car. It gives you the flexibility to explore the island at your own pace and to combine different things to see in one day.

We always use this search engine to rent a car. It compares all major companies, like Hertz, Sixt, and many small companies, and you get the lowest price. The earlier you book a car, the lower the price. The cancelation policy is also great.

Search for rental car deals here

Getting around Lefkada by Bus

There are local buses, named KTEL, that run a few times a day depending on where you want to go. Lefkada is an island that is best explored by car. If this is not possible for you, then stay in Lefkada Town, as this is the best connected part of the island. You can find more info and the timetables for local buses here.

Where to Stay in Lefkada

If this is your first time in Lefkada and you want to see Lefkada Town and the most famous beaches (Kathisma, Egkremnoi, Porto Katsiki, all are on the west side of the island), then you would be better off staying at the north of the island, either in Lefkada Town or somewhere near Lefkada Town and along the west side of the island, like Agios Nikitas.

Vassiliki can be a great option too especially for families with very young kids, as the beaches there are shallow. It is far from Lefkada Town and some of the most well-known beaches, such as Kathisma, but close to Porto Katsiki and Egkremnoi (both beaches are amazing but difficult with little kids, more details on this under Beaches).

Best Hotels in Lefkada

Best Luxury Hotel

€€€ Porto Galini Seaside Resort & Spa is a 5-star hotel with a private beach, 4 outdoor pools and one indoor pool, a spa, 3 restaurants and a kids club. It is located in Nikiana, 15 minutes from Lefkada Town.

See photos and availability here

Best Midrange Hotel

€€ La Vita e Bella is a complex of four villas with a common swimming pool in Lefkada Town. It’s about half an hour walk to the central square of Lefkada, and they also offer free bikes.

See photos and availability here

Best Budget Hotel

Avra apartments are located near Lefkada Town and have all the comforts of an apartment plus a swimming pool with a little kids’ pool. They also have a small playground in the garden. This is a great value-for-money option.

See photos and availability here

Best Things to Do in Lefkada

Explore Lefkada Town

Lefkada Town, also known as Lefkas, is the capital and main port of the island of Lefkada in Greece.

The town is known for its traditional architecture, charming narrow streets, and a lively waterfront filled with tavernas, cafes, and shops. It’s a bustling place with local markets and a vibrant nightlife scene. All buildings are new after a catastrophic earthquake in 1953, in contrast with Corfu and its historic old town.

One of the highlights of Lefkada Town is the pedestrian street called Ioannou Mela, which runs through the heart of the town. This street is lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops, offering a lively ambiance during the summer months when it is bustling with locals and tourists.

The town’s main square, Plateia Agiou Spyridonos, is a central gathering point where you can relax and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere. The square is surrounded by cafes and tavernas, making it an ideal spot to sit and people-watch. Our favorite restaurant there is Nissi and there is a video arcade with rides for little kids right opposite of it.

The wooden bridge of Lefkada is a small bridge and alongside the bridge, you’ll find charming cafes and restaurants, where you can enjoy a meal or a refreshing drink while admiring the scenic beauty and the boats passing by.

There is a playground near the wooden bridge and sometimes there is a small funfair right next to the playground or next to the KTEL stop (local buses).

Discover the Best Beaches of Lefkada

If you are visiting Lefkada with kids, be warned that the best beaches of Lefkada are not family-friendly – and the family-friendly beaches of Lefkada are not its best 🙂

Porto Katsiki

Porto Katsiki is the superstar of the island’s beaches. It’s constantly topping the charts as one of the Mediterranean’s best, and for good reason! Its stunning white cliffs are the most iconic view of Lefkada.

Porto Katsiki translates to “goat’s port”. Well, back in the day, the only ones who could get to this beach were goats! Oh, and of course, my dad and us on his boat 🙂

Brace yourself for a workout because there are 100 steps to conquer to reach this gem (and yep, you gotta climb ’em back up too – trust me, the struggle is real). If you’ve got little ones, it can be a bit of a challenge. But I promise, it’s totally worth every single step!

There are canteens at the top that deliver food and drinks to the beach, so at least that’s convenient. There are sunbeds and umbrellas, but they are scarce. So, either bring your own or go as early as possible – If you go in the morning, you’ll have shadow too from the cliffs.

One word of caution though, be mindful around the water. It can get deep pretty fast and the waves can turn huge before you know it. So, as I mentioned before, it might not be the most family-friendly beach, but it’s an adventure you won’t want to miss!


Miles and miles of soft sandy beach, water so turquoise it takes your breath away, and a lively beach bar scene. That’s Kathisma!

The beach is organized and there is also a free part. You can also order food and drinks from one of the many beach bars.

Again, as with all beaches on the west side of the island, the waves can get dangerous really fast. We used to have the time of our lives playing in them as kids, but they can be a bit dicey for the little ones. Another tip is to go to one of the beach bars with a pool when the waves are too big for the kids (sometimes they’re too big for adults too!).

Our top pick has to be Copla Beach Bar. No kids pool, but they do have this little jacuzzi that our kids just can’t get enough of. We used to hit up Copla for the parties, and even now with the kids in tow, we still enjoy it! Their burgers are decent too.

You can park right next to the beach at the free places or the private parkings, so it is easy to reach for families.

And if you’re looking for some adventure, you’ve got to try paragliding from Rachi restaurant – the landing spot is right on Kathisma Beach! While you’re there, treat yourself to a sunset dinner at Rachi. But here’s a pro tip: get there early! The line can get very long.


Egkremnoi is an amazing beach, but getting there is a bit of a mission, to be honest. If you’re driving, be ready for a steep 1 km walk from the parking and then brace yourself for, wait for it… 400 steps down!

But there’s an easier option: you can just hop on a boat from Vassiliki or Nydri. No matter how you choose to get there, Egkremnoi is well worth the trip!

If you go on foot, go back during sunset! The steep uphill climb and the 400 steps can be challenging under the hot sun. As the day cools down, you’ll find the return trip more manageable and the sunset will be a beautiful backdrop to end your day at the beach.

There are no sunbeds, but you can rent an umbrella on the beach. You can also buy drinks on the beach and at the cafe at the top.

Agios Nikitas

Yes, this is the color of the water!! Amazing, right?

Agios Nikitas Beach is like stepping into a postcard! This small but charming beach is nestled in the heart of the traditional village of Agios Nikitas in Lefkada. The turquoise waters are amazing!

While you’re there, don’t miss out on Agnantio Tavern. There are several taverns and cafes on the street leading to the beach, and that’s the one we’re usually going to. We also stop for ice cream at Hann’s And Berry.

Parking can be extremely difficult, so get there as early as possible to avoid struggling for a parking place.


Mylos Beach is a true gem of a spot! Imagine crystal-clear turquoise waters and stunning landscapes.

There are scarce and expensive sunbeds and umbrellas. Someone with a tray passes and you can get loukoumades (Greek donuts) and drinks, and there is a bar at the top with pricey food and drinks.

To get to Mylos Beach, you’ve got a couple of options. You can either hop on a water taxi from Agios Nikitas, or, if you’re up for a bit of an adventure, you can take a short hike through a pine forest.

A little word to the wise for families with kids, though. Save the hiking for another time and take the water taxi instead. However you choose to get there, you’re in for a treat – Mylos Beach is a little slice of paradise!

Vassiliki Beach

Vassiliki Beach is a great destination for families. Its shallow waters make it a safe environment for families with children. Older kids will enjoy the Vassiliki Aqua Park inflatables.

You’ll find tons of taverns and cafes lining the beachfront, serving local cuisine and drinks. There are some smaller coves that are not organized too. Finish your day at one of the taverns around the harbor of Vassiliki (read more under Vassiliki).

Castle of Agia Mavra

A key feature of Lefkada Town is the medieval Castle of Agia Mavra (or Santa Maura), which was built in the 14th century and is located at the entrance of the town. When Orsini got married to the daughter of Nikiphoros I, the ruler of the Despotate of Epirus, he received the island of Lefkas as a wedding gift. The fortress was constructed to protect the island from pirates and invasions. Over the years, it’s been renovated and expanded multiple times.

Explore Nydri

Nydri, located on the eastern coast of Lefkada, is a popular tourist destination known for its vibrant atmosphere.

It’s important to note that Nydri is a popular tourist destination, especially during the summer months, so it can get quite busy. However, its popularity also means that there are plenty of amenities, accommodations, and services available.

Take a stroll through Nydri’s lively streets and explore its shops, boutiques, and local markets. You’ll find a wide range of souvenirs, clothing, and traditional products to browse and purchase.

Nydri’s waterfront is dotted with numerous tavernas and restaurants offering Greek cuisine. Indulge in fresh seafood, traditional Greek dishes, and local delicacies while enjoying the charming atmosphere and views of the marina.

Finding a parking spot can be tough as Nydri is partly pedestrianized. We usually park at this outdoor private parking here.

Visit Vassiliki Fishing Village

Vassiliki is a picturesque village located on the southern coast of Lefkada, and it is renowned as one of the top destinations for windsurfing and sailing enthusiasts.

Take a leisurely stroll around Vassiliki Harbor and enjoy the charming atmosphere. You’ll find fishing boats, yachts, and sailing vessels docked, creating a picturesque scene.

The harbor area is lined with cafes, tavernas, and shops where you can relax and indulge in local cuisine while admiring the view. We usually stop at Giannis Grill House for a souvlaki or at one of the cafes next to it for a drink.

Vassiliki is famous for its strong and consistent winds, making it an ideal spot for windsurfing and sailing. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced windsurfer, you’ll find various rental shops, schools, and clubs offering equipment and lessons to suit your skill level.

Vassiliki beach is organized with sun beds and umbrellas, and shallow waters making it great for families. The Vassiliki Aqua park inflatables in the sea are another reason why Vassiliki is one of the most family-friendly beaches of Lefkada.

There are several smaller beaches in Vassiliki that are not organized, like this here.

Stroll through the Fishing Village of Syvota

Syvota is a charming coastal village situated on the southeastern coast of Lefkada. Surrounded by lush green hills and turquoise waters, Syvota offers a tranquil and picturesque setting.

The village is centered around a beautiful natural harbor, Syvota Bay. Stroll along the waterfront promenade, admire the colorful fishing boats and yachts, and take in the stunning views of the bay.

There are several waterfront tavernas and cafes where you can enjoy a meal or a drink while soaking up the ambiance. Sivota Bakery Cafe is great for breakfast. We always go to Liotrivi for drinks, an old olive press now turned into a bar.

Hike to the Waterfalls of Nydri

The Nydri Waterfalls, also known as the Dimosari Waterfalls, are a natural gem located near the village of Nydri on the island of Lefkada. Here’s some information about the Nydri Waterfalls:

The waterfalls are nestled in a lush green landscape, about 15 minutes by car from the center of Nydri to the parking near the waterfalls here.

You can reach the waterfalls by following a scenic hiking trail through the Dimosari Gorge. The trail is mostly upward, it takes about 15 minutes and although there are several steps, it is relatively easy.

Once you reach the waterfalls, you can take a refreshing swim in the cool waters of the natural pools formed at the base. The pools offer a great spot to cool off during hot summer days and enjoy the natural beauty of the area and the sound of the cascading water.

There is a cafe next to the parking called Platanos, where you can also grab snacks.

Visit Faneromeni Monastery and Its Mini Zoo

Faneromeni Monastery, also known as Moni Faneromenis, is a significant religious and historical site on the island of Lefkada, Greece. Perched on a hill above the capital town of Lefkada, it provides stunning views over the surrounding landscape and the Ionian Sea.

There is a mini zoo (emphasis on mini!) that families with little kids will appreciate.

The Faneromeni Monastery requires visitors to dress modestly, meaning that both knees and shoulders should be covered. If you don’t have appropriate clothing, you can borrow something at the site.

The monastery is the most important religious center on the island and has played a significant role in the history of Lefkada. Within the grounds of the Monastery, there is an Ecclesiastical Museum that holds a collection of icons, ecclesiastical artifacts, and other religious items.

The Faneromeni Monastery, situated 3 km west of Lefkada city, once hosted an ancient temple to Artemis. Apostle Paul, in 63 AD, sent three helpers to this site to preach Jesus’s teachings, leading to the establishment of the first church on the island. In 332 AD, Bishop Agatharchos expanded this church and laid the foundations of monasticism in Lefkada. The monastery has been destroyed by fire and earthquakes in the past.

In the 5th century AD, an image of the Virgin Mary is said to have been miraculously pre-designed on wood, and priestmonk Callistos added colors. It was named “Faneromeni”, meaning “she who is revealed”.

Myloi (Windmills)

These ruined windmills are located in the beach that is named after them. The beach is not great for swimming, as it’s usually so windy, but exactly because of that it’s a great place for kite surfing and other water sports!

Rent a boat

For additional fun, you might want to consider renting a boat from Dessimi, near Nydri. It’s a really fun way to see the island from a different perspective and explore some hidden spots at your own leisure.

You don’t need a permit, but I recommend having someone with you knowledgeable. We went with my father, who used to own a boat. Just make sure you’re confident handling the boat and familiar with any important local rules on the water.

Go Paragliding

Paragliding from Rachi Restaurant to Kathisma Beach is an awesome experience. The adrenaline rush combined with the breathtaking aerial view of the beach is amazing. We have both tried it with my son and he keeps asking when can we go paragliding again!

After your thrilling flight, I highly recommend heading back to Rachi Restaurant. The restaurant itself is well known for its delicious food and stunning views. It’s the perfect way to wrap up your adventurous day.

Fun for Kids

Go to Playgrounds

There is a fenced playground in Lefkada Town, but keep in mind that there is little to no shade, so practically it’s impossible to use it during the day. The exact location is here.

There is also a fenced playground in Vassiliki. Again there is no shade, but it’s a good option for late afternoon, if you’re staying in Vassiliki. The exact location is here.

Video Arcade and Little Rides in Lefkada City

The main square in Lefkada town is such a lively place, packed full of all sorts of fun stuff. They’ve got this video game arcade right in the center. If you’ve got kids, they’re gonna have a blast too with these adorable little rides with a coin – think tiny merry-go-rounds, little planes and cars.

Now imagine sitting in one of the many restaurants surrounding the square, munching on some delicious Greek food, while all this is happening in the background!

Enjoy the Fun Fair in Lefkada Town

There are just a few rides, but it’s so much fun! There is a small fun fair next to the playground in Lefkada and sometimes a bigger fun fair next to the KTEL station. The photos are from the bigger fun fair and the exact location is here (you can find it there around mid August).

Mini football and jumping castles in Nydri

There is mini football and jumping castles in Nydri. This was so much fun for the kids and we got to enjoy our drinks! The exact location is here.

Have Fun at Aqua Parks

There are a few places in Lefkada with an aqua park, ie inflatables in the sea. Panos Water Fun Park is in Lygia here and Vassiliki Aqua park is in Vassiliki here.

Visit Museums in Lefkada

The town is also home to the Archaeological Museum of Lefkada, where you can learn about the island’s history and see artifacts from various periods. Other important cultural sites include the Phonograph Museum, the Public Library and the Charamoglios Library.

In terms of natural beauty, the town is surrounded by a picturesque lagoon that is an important habitat for many bird species. The lagoon is part of the Natura 2000 network and a popular spot for bird-watching.

Best Restaurants in Lefkada


If you choose to go to only one restaurant during your holidays in Lefkada, then this is it! The sunset is glorious, the food is amazing and you can paraglide all the way from the top of the mountain to the sea! Try the seafood kritharotto, it’s great.

If you’re looking for more adventure, then try paragliding to Kathisma!

Nissi Mediterranean Cuisine (Lefkada City)

Nissi Restaurant is a gem to discover in Lefkada. The burrata salad is a great choice, and, if you’re a fan of seafood, you’ll appreciate the tarama and the squid ink risotto. This and Rachi are our favorite restaurants in Lefkada.


Pavlos’ family business, which opened in 1976, is a trusted local restaurant offering a variety of delicious dishes and mezedes. Their frygadeli and kokoretsi are really good. Their kontosouvli is a safe and popular choice among patrons. So, if you’re after authentic local cuisine, this family-run establishment has been delivering just that for decades.

Read more: Best Greek Foods to Try in Greece


Agnantio Restaurant is a great spot to enjoy a meal or coffee while taking in the views of Syvota Bay. There’s a spacious grass area where kids can play.

Corfu is a cosmopolitan island in the Ionian Sea. Here are the best places to visit, activities to enjoy, and practical tips such as where to stay, where to eat, and how to reach it.

Read more: Corfu with Kids

I felt I found gold when I started diving into the Facebook group posts.

Thanks for beeing a real “childhood memories” builder!

Cristina O.

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All places mentioned above are also gathered on the map!
Indoor and outdoor activities, kids friendly cafés/ restaurants, hotels and more all under separate layers

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