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The Greek Island of Lefkada Ionian Sea (drivable by car) Page 2

Lefkada Page 2

Towns

Lefkada headlandsLefkada Town is very near the mainland and the causeway. It has a wonderful view of ruins of Santa Mavra fortress on the mainland opposite.

The whole town collapsed in an earthquake in 1948 and was hard hit again in 1953 and 1971. The rebuilt town is unusual in Greece. The bottom floors of houses are stone, but upper floors are wood or corrugated metal intended to hold up when the ground starts moving.

In Lefkada Town's main square is the Phonograph Museum with its collection of records and phonographs and old gramophones. There's also a small Folk Museum. Above the town is Moni Faneromenis. There's a festival at this monastery 50 days after Easter.

Lefkada harborBusts of Lefkada's three great contributors to letters are in Bosketo Park near the end of the causeway.

South of town is the island's oldest monastery, Paagia Odhigytria. It is the only monastery on the island to have withstood all the earthquakes, hence its claim to being the oldest.

The island's west coast is rocky and rough but has stunning stretches of sand. The road down the west coast avoids the shore until Tsoukalades, where you can find a rocky path down to the coast. Agios Nikitas is a small resort with a harbor and a beach. Further south is the mountain village of Kalamitsi. Kalamitsi has waves, and a sandy beach below it.

Far to the south is the windsurfer's paradise, Vasiliki (or Vassiliki). It gets crowded in August, even though it isn't on the package tour routes yet. Windsurfers whiz around the bay. The port is lined with shops and cafes. The breeze is usually gentle enough for beginners in the morning, with strong winds cherished by experts blowing in the afternoons. Of course, after dark there is a lively nightlife scene.

The main town on the east coast is Nydri (or Nidri). There are splendid views of the offshore islands from Nydri. Nydri has a commercial feel and gets busy in summer. There are tavernas very near the shore and it's a nice spot to sit a twilight.

From Nydri, hike 45 minutes to the hamlet of Rahi to see a wonderful waterfall at the end of the Dimosari gorge. There's a pool at the bottom.

The inland villages are the place to shop for lace. These traditional farming village still have women working at looms. Karya is at the center of the island's lace and embriodery industry. You can often buy directly from the artisen herself. There's a museum dedicated to the most famous embroiderer of them all in Karya, Museum of Maria Koutsochero.

The highest village on Lefkada is Englouvi, another good shopping place for lace and embroidery. Englouvi is also proud of its lentils, often the base of many prize winning recipes.

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