“Blue Flags” are awarded each year to beaches and marinas with exceptional water quality and services. In 2023, Greece ranked second in the world among 52 countries and has 15% of the total awarded beaches within its borders. Naturally, the pristine beaches of Lefkada are among the winners.
Just a breath away from Lefkada’s old town, Agios Ioannis is an earthly paradise for kite and windsurfers, with its turquoise waters and ideal thermal winds. Locals also favor this organized beach, named for the quaint Chapel of Agios Ioannis of Antzousi that stands at its edge. All services are available seaside, including a selection of cafes and restaurants and a lifeguard station.
Gyra beach has become one of the top choices for old town residents on account of its proximity as well as its calm waters. It’s located at the island’s entrance, immediately after the beach of Agia Mavra Castle, and takes its name from the way the coast wraps around the lagoon, obliging us to go “around” in order to get to Lefkada’s old town.
AGIOS NIKITAS - PEFKOULIA
In the shade of a dense pine forest lies the pebbly coast of Pefkoulia, a large, quiet, easily accessible beach with spectacular blue-green water. A portion of the beach is organized with umbrellas and lounge chairs but there is plenty of free space as well where visitors can use their own shade equipment. Just 12 kilometers from Lefkada’s old town is the beach of Agios Nikitas, named for the cozy coastal hamlet with its traditional stone houses, taverns and cafes. Sheltered from the prevailing summer winds, this spotless seaside haven is the ideal choice for families.
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Once the favorite of campers and nudists, Kathisma is today the most cosmopolitan beach on the island. Its white pebbly sand and turquoise water is fringed with umbrellas and lounge chairs, beach bars and restaurants. If you stay until dusk, you’ll be privy to one of the Ionian sea’s most impressive sunsets. But please beware if the maestro, or northwest wind, picks up. You should not attempt to swim in the surging waves.
Beneath the village of Poros is the pebbled beach Mikros Gialos, with crystal blue water that will cleanse your anxiety and cool your skin. Sheltered from the prevailing winds within the Roudas cove, the sea is almost always calm here, where you’ll find campgrounds, hotels, cafes and restaurants.
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Adjacent to Vasiliki, it’s the ideal beach for those who love watersports like windsurfing and SUP. The sea here is shallow and crystal clear, and you’ll find elegant taverns and beautiful cafes along the coast.
One of Lefkada’s most recent acquisitions is the marina, the most modern in Greece, situated on the east side of the town. Its mooring capacity is for 620 boats and its buildings comprise a control tower, a multi-purpose building, sailing club offices, a complex of offices and shops, a small hotel, a boat repair and maintenance facility, parking for 455 cars, winter mooring for 300 boats, a road network and a green belt. It has a 1700 metre - long breakwater and 940 metres of floating wharfs. It is a town within the town of Lefkada with its own life, bars and restaurants also frequented by non boat - owners to enjoy its comforts and the picture of the liquid mirror of the channel reflecting the rosy fingers of the sunrise and the mystique of the moonlight.
photos: Andreas Thermos