LEFKADA - LEFKADA THE ISLAND WITH A THOUSAND FACES
Lefkada is the fourth largest island in the Ionian Sea separated from mainland Greece by the Strait of Drepano. Its name comes from Cape Lefkata in the southernmost part of the island, where the lighthouse "Dukato'' is located. It is the only island with road access and for this reason it is called "land island". The mountains of the island are important habitats in which rare species of plants, birds and mammals live and grow, while dozens of caves, waterfalls and springs are also found. The capital and port of the island is the city of Lefkada, characterized by a special urban fabric reminiscent of "herringbone".
Beautiful alleys, squares, traditional houses, ornate bell towers and paved sidewalks, compose the character of the city. Next to the port is the famous park of poets, which houses the busts of great personalities such as Valaoritis, Sikelianos, Dimitrios Golemis and others. At the entrance of the city is the fortress of Agia Mavra, built in 1300 by the Sicilian Ioannis Orsini, with the aim of repelling pirates. No one should miss the visit to the Archaeological Museum that houses finds of the ancient capital of the island and the excavations in Nidri opposite the Princes' Islands, in the east of the island.
The Folklore Museum of the Musicological Orpheus Group of Orpheus of Lefkada "Pantazis Kontomichis" also contains exhibits representative of the tradition, culture, expression and history of Lefkada. The small private Museum of Phonograph and antiques with phonographs, records, rare objects, decorations, tools, stamps, banknotes is another worthwhile destination. A beautiful neoclassical mansion houses the Public Library of Lefkada which was founded in 1954 and houses more than 60,000 books as well as the collection of engravings of the 17th century by the Italian geographer Vincenzo Maria Coronelli.
In the central market, along with the wood-carved iconostasis and icons of great hagiographers, the Temple of the Pantocrator, which also houses the tomb of Aristotle Valaoritis. The gorge of Melissa is located in the area of the Municipality of Sfakiotes and extends at a distance of two kilometers, just outside the village of Kavalos. The lagoon is one of the remarkable wetlands of the Ionian which is protected by the Ramsar Convention, which is considered to be of international importance. The waterfalls of Akoni are another special location of the island as well as Poros which is a seaside village of Lefkada built in the green and calm, near the sea.
In Lefkada there are numerous islands with the most famous being Scorpio, bought in 1963 by the Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis. Meganisi has three settlements, Vathi, Katomeri and Spartochori and three picturesque ports, Spilia, Atherinos and Vathi with many beaches. On the islands of Kalamo and Kasto there are quiet, lonely beaches, with access mainly from the sea. One of the top beaches in the world is Porto Katsiki with the characteristic white sand strip in front of the white rock and the 100 steps to the sea. Gialos is a large sandy beach with rocks on the road to Egremni, a beach with impressive crystal clear turquoise waters where around there are impressive cliffs and access is via stairs. Kastro is a beach with clear waters opposite the bridge at the entrance of the island.
Agios Ioannis is the most cosmopolitan beach of Lefkada as well as Kathisma beach with its exotic beauty. Kalamitsi is a beautiful beach with turquoise waters and rocks. Near the village of Vlychos is the small, shady beach Desimi in which there are two organized campsites. Vasiliki is a sandy beach in the homonymous settlement that belongs to the ten best beaches in the world and the three best in Europe for windsurfing. Ammousa is also an organized pebble beach near Vasiliki while one of the most beautiful beaches with turquoise waters is Agiofilli which is located in a very picturesque cove on the left side of Vasiliki. The island is famous for the famous embroideries and textiles made by women mainly in the area of Karya. Traditional dishes of Lefkada cuisine are the burdeto, the cod bianco, the maridopita, the frigadeli, and various pies. Apart from the cabbage pie with wild greens, the rice pie, the macaroni pie (with eggs, milk, oil and cheese) and the briani, a pie made of thick green zucchini, are special. Something special that can be found is the "oil pie" with basic ingredients flour and oil, and Lefkada wine of the variety "Vertzami". Also, another special local product is the Lefkada salami, which is air salami with pepper. The traditional Lefkada village of Englouvi, is known for its delicious lentils, which are considered one of the best in Greece. Another very characteristic legume of the island is the lathyria or lathouria that is cultivated in various parts of mountainous Lefkada and mainly in Livadi of Karya. Excellent roe is produced in ivory despite the fact that it is produced in very small quantities.