Getting to Lefkada Island is as simple as its laid-back way of life – where olive groves and vineyards supply local tavernas, and the shops, museums and restaurants in Lefkada Town keep visitors entertained.
Seeing as you can drive to Lefkada via a long “floating” bridge from the mainland, it’s surprising how unspoilt by tourism this Greek island is. Travel further inland, and you’ll discover sleepy mountain villages surrounded by farmland and vineyards, where local wines are gaining a growing reputation. This island is a burgeoning holiday destination for lazy beach days and time spent pottering between boutique shops, old-time restaurants and waterfalls.
In the far-northern village of Frini, this gleaming, whitewashed building with russet tiles and wooden shutters is an active monastery, where you’ll see monks en route to prayers. Visit for free (make a donation if you can) to see gilded mosaics and religious art, and get a feel for the monastic way of life. For kids, there’s a mini-safari on offer, too, with deer, parrots and turtles in enclosures in the gardens.
The southwestern tip of the island pierces the Ionian Sea like a sword. At the blade’s point, jagged limestone cliffs are topped with thick forest and a little 19th-century lighthouse. The end-of-the-earth feel makes it a great spot from which to watch the sunset, turning the horizon red hot against an unobstructed, inky sea. It’s also the spot from where it is said the poet Sappho leapt to her death. Take the short walk from the car park to the lighthouse for the very best views.
This tiny private island is an Ionian curiosity. Only 74 acres (30ha) in size, it was bought in the ’60s by shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, who went on to marry Jackie ‘O’ Kennedy and throw impossibly lavish parties here for the world’s glitterati. It now has new owners, but you can still catch a day-trip boat from Nidri to paddle in the island’s jewel-bright shallows and spot the luxury villas and private marina hidden among verdant foliage and craggy coves.
To explore more of Greece, check out the best luxury hotels in Corfu and the best hotels in Astypalea. These are bookable with Culture Trip. During your stay, explore these must-see attractions in Athens, and relax on the best beaches nearby. Make sure you book a table at one of the best restaurants in Corfu to sample some delicious Greek cuisine.
This is an updated rewrite of an article by Ethel Dilouambaka.