Amazing Day Trips to Take Around Lefkada by Boat

Porto Katsiki is the stuff of pure Greek Island fantasy
Porto Katsiki is the stuff of pure Greek Island fantasy | © Dream Yacht Charter
Judy Cogan

With 227 Greek Islands to choose from, Lefkada is something of an oddity. The only Ionian Island accessible from the mainland – via a causeway in the north – there’s an embarrassment of otherworldly, cliff-backed beaches to explore here. Charter a boat and enjoy sheltered bays, tiny islets and swelling surf. Once you’re tired out, relax with a glass of something local as you witness one of the island’s famous knock-out sunsets. Here’s how to see the best of Lefkada by sea.

Surround yourself with coastal Grecian scenery and cuisine with the Culture Trip’s Greece Cyclades Sailing Trip.

Porto Katsiki

Known as Port of the Goat because at one time only goats could reach this area, it is located at the foot of a gigantic chalky cliff 35km (22mi) from Lefkada town. Arrive on an early morning boat (crowds swarm here during summer months) and rent a sunbed under a green and white striped umbrella. Climb the 80 steps from the beach to the top of the cliff to admire the view.

Egremni Beach

This should be on your top-beaches-to-visit-in-Lefkada list, a remote curve of sand on the southwestern coast, which first became accessible by road and 720 steps in the mid-1990s. Since the 2015 earthquake, it is only accessible by boat. But it’s worth it to reach a beach with such powdery soft sand lapped by turquoise waters and sheltered enough for afternoons spent paddle-boarding, swimming, and wind-surfing. It’s as pure as shores can get.

Milos Beach

Sailing to this beautifully coarse sandy beach on the northwest coast is easy, but it’s hard to reach by road and on foot. That means no unexpected coachloads will interrupt your desert island experience. It’s often even empty in the middle of summer – just the odd surfer or two enjoying the swell. There are no bars to rent out sunbeds or umbrellas. But you are just south of Agios Nikitas village with its quaint old windmill and gorgeous sea views.

Kavvadas Watersports

What says fun-in-the-sun more than a banana boat ride? Between the relaxed dinners and breathtaking ocean views embrace the fun of this watersports centre in Nydri on the east coast of Lefkada. This spot offers warm, calm, and shallow waters: excellent for learning or perfecting windsurfing, kitesurfing, kayaking or dinghy sailing. Adrenaline-pumping experiences such as jet skiing are also on offer. Boats sail in and out of this bay all day.

Cape Lefkatas

This is the spot just south of Porto Katsiki that gives the island its name. Swing by the cape at sea to take in the dramatic cliffs in all their glory. According to legend, around 3,000 years ago, human sacrifices were made right here. But mythology aside, sit back with a cocktail on board and enjoy the magnificent view. Look out for the Doukato Lighthouse that has been standing on this coastline since 1890.

Scuba diving

When it comes to water sports on the island, windsurfing and kite surfing reign supreme, but there are dive centres in Nikiana, Nidri, and Vassiliki. Opt for all levels and discover diving sites, underwater caves, reefs, and old wrecks. The islets close to Lefkada, such as Meganisi and Scorpios, are popular diving spots. You can even opt for night dives from some of the centres. Who needs waves.

Vasiliki Beach

Even if you’re not into the sport, this popular European hub for windsurfing is still a lovely spot to visit by boat. The quaint harbour town of Vasiliki is a 10-minute stroll from the beach. There are plenty of low-key tavernas and bars that spill over to the seafront. Although the bay is tucked among hills, a strong wind is created by convection as the sun warms the shingle beach. It only picks up after lunch, so it’s perfect for a gentle morning swim.

Errikos Taverna on Meganisi

The tiny island of Meganisi is a favourite getaway for reclusive billionaires and is accessible by boat from Lefkada in under an hour. Why not make a day of it, and after basking in the sun, enjoy a long sea-facing lunch at Errikos? This family-run taverna has been open since 1978 and serves hearty portions of fresh homemade fishy bourdeto, seafood pasta, chicken souvlaki, and grilled fish. Sit at water-skimming tables on powder blue chairs, shoes off.

Go islet hopping

A scattering of small islands belong to and orbit Lefkada, such as Meganisi, Kalamos, Kastos, and Kythros. These are accessible by boat within one glorious day trip with highlights you can look forward to, including the Papanikolis Cave, a famous World War II hideout, and the caves of Kalamos, which are twinned with Kastos island. Both are currently being rewilded to boost their natural biodiversity and wildlife. Look out for monk seals and even sperm whales.

Kefalonia

Sail to Greece’s sixth-largest island, famous as the backdrop of Louis de Bernières’ novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. The 2001 film starring Nicholas Cage was shot on the sandy beach at Antisamos and among the bays of Myrtos, Skala, and Lourdas. Fiscardo is the main harbour town with buzzy tavernas and bars. Order Kefalonia’s meat pie with tzatziki and a Greek salad and pop a bottle of local wine. For dessert, head to the small shop by the waterfront selling iced-whipped-Greek yogurts with delicious sugary toppings.

Discover all the Greek coast has to offer and some of its great spots with Culture Trip’s Sailing Trips.

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