This article was written by our guest author Stephania Tapela. After she gave us a full report about the Bulgarian seaside from the summer of 2016, we took her to Greece, more specifically the island of Lefkada, so she could share her thoughts from this popular and beautiful island. Let’s see whether she liked it and what impressed her there. The article was kindly translated by Petya Yakimova.
The magical Greece, where the water is blue and warm. I was a bit skeptical of a person who lives in a neighboring country but has never visited it before. After all, Lefkada is an island that is famous for the legends of Aphrodite who jumped from the cliffs because of her grief. Sounds optimistic, but let’s see…
In order not to get too tired from the journey and be more relaxed we decided to count on an organized transportation. It is all great… just go to the right starting point, not like me. You leave in the evening and after lots of bumps and moving around you wake up in Greece. Yes, Lefkada is connected to the mainland. Actually, it was connected even before, but the legend says that in the 7th century B.C. a canal was dig so Lefkada could become an island. Nowadays a few toll taxes for the highways and passing through the underwater tunnel can take you there even if you can’t swim.
Throughout the entire journey, you can see the sea. The hotels are rarely reaching up to 4 floors and just occasionally there are 2-3 lines of them. There are also parking places for those who travel by their car or rent one. In our case, we rented a car so we can be incognito among the Greek drivers. They rented it to us pretty easy. No questions and almost no documents. It all took about 15 minutes with the instruction of having to bring it back with as much fuel as we are taking it with.
- So, our journey started from Nidri.
It is a beautiful town with lots of restaurants, small hotels, and rent-a-car places. It is also the starting point for the ferries. If you have a boat you might like to know that there is a port, too. It is an inspiring view when you drink your coffee in the morning or when you drink something else in the evening.
It is possible that the following feature of the Greek restaurants is due to the fact that it was the end of the season, but anyway try not to go there 10 minutes before the end of the happy hour, so you do not hear “no”, or “ohi” in Greek, from the waitress.
Back to the walk, on the curvy roads that circle the island, you can enjoy the views. It is hard to say that it is very clean or organized, but you can definitely feel the charm of the islands.
- We continued south and west on the road that is carved into the white rocks of the island. That’s how we got to Vasiliki. It is a meeting point for windsurfers, divers, and lazy sunbathers. It is a perfect place for a quick lunch with Greek olives and fish. If you are not driving you can also try the cold beer or wine under the shadow of the umbrellas.
- Going south some more, and just a bit on the west, you get to the famous Porto Katsiki Beach. White round stones touched by the azure blue water and high white cliffs over the beach. The beach can be accessed from the island even after the earthquake that recently shook Greece.
- Going north the road starts to go up the mountain. In the distance, you can see lots of beautiful beaches such as Megali Petra and Katizma. There is a way to get to the beaches but it includes careful driving for 2-3 kilometers on an almost vertical slope with sharp turns and no visibility.
- Egremni also hides there somewhere. It is impossible to reach it from the mainland.
That’s why we sailed!
For just 17 euro, a 10-minute walk, and being friendly with the merchants you can sail between the islands with a ship. Talking in English is not very successful, but the important thing is that you hear “Doing to the beaTS”, so you know it is time to swim to the shore. You could also try the slide to get into the water. The timetables are not very strictly followed but when you hear the siren, you better run.
- Sailing is the real deal. By boat, you can see all the beaches and they can be all yours even if it is just for a while. Well, unless you are Onasis and you can afford to actually buy an island – Skorpios.
By sea, you can also see the futuristic villas of famous designers and actors. However, the islands themselves are way more interesting.
- It is time for a short break in Fiskardo, Kefalonia. We notice many elderly people from Europe who are carrying tons of luggage for their holiday. We hope we can do the same thing one day.
- Once we are back on the solid ground nothing can stop us from visiting Lefkada (the city) to eat something sweet and to walk on the Bridge of Lovers (the one in Sofia is bigger!). The cafes that offer shadows and no wind are full even at the end of the season.
At the end we have learned a lot about Lefkada – an island of broken hearts and hidden beaches for sailors, that has been ruined and built up again after big earthquakes.
For those who feel lazier, there are taverns, party ships, traditional Greek dinners, sweets and free beaches for everyone. Not bad at all.
A 10-hour race between the touristic buses on the road between Sofia and Lefkada is ahead of us. All we can do is remember the good times in Lefkada and dream about our next visit there that will probably be next year. This time we should go by boat!