Lefkada is an island with unique natural beauty. Magical, with a harmonious combination… The sea and the nature… together…
The most significant natural beauties, a visitor can meet to his trip to the island:
Gira: The narrow lane of white sand 7 km long, embracing the lagoon to the north side of the island, creating unique scenery. It starts from the back side, nearly close to the Castle of Aghias Mavras, forming the Ammoglossa and reaching the other side, beyond the town.
The lagoon in the town of Lefkada and the Lagoon of Stena, create magical sceneries. They were enlisted to the network of NATURA 2000 as protected areas with significant ecological importance. The area of the lagoon in the town of Lefkada presents a great interest as an immigrate station of birds, characterized by the treaty of RAMSAR as a wildlife sanctuary of international interest. There you can meet many and rare species of birds, like heron, swans, a variety of gulls, ducks and geese. Inside the lagoon, evari exists, sea farms with special traditional kiddles, where the fishes live and grow under a natural environment.
The oil grove: To the north of the town of Lefkada, there is an oil grove with perennial olive trees. When the Turkish arrived for the first time to the island, there were already about 8500 olive trees to the field of Lefkada and to the villages of Apolpena, Fryni and Aghios Nikitas. The Venetians, who returned in 1684, appointed the cultivation of olive trees, as compulsory. In this way they tried to; balance the inhabitant’s loss caused from the damage of shipping business, and trade by transferring the town away from the Castle imposing heavy taxation. By replacing the grain, which until then was seeded to the field of olive trees, were keeping inhabitants in a deficient position in order to control them, being the suppliers of grain.
Pefkoulia: After the village of Tsoukalades and in the route towards Aghios Nikitas, the olive trees had been replaced by a forest of pine trees. This territory is called Pefkoulia, covers all this area reaching down the sea, ending to a big sandy beach, which is also called Pefkoulia.
Alikes (salt pans): From the other side, facing east, outside the town of Lefkada, you can meet the salt pans of the town. Salt pans have stopped operating in 1947 and together with Alikes (salt pans) Alexandros, near the bay and the port Drepani, are a very important part of the land’s history which should be definitely preserved. The first salt pans had been constructed by the Franks of Tokkous, in the early part of the 15th century with an expanse of 500 sq.m. They were composed by 26 alopigia or pans. During the Venetian domination, the salt pans had been supplying with salt, the market of Venetia and from there, every market of North Italy and Central Europe. The second salt pans had been constructed by Venetians of Morozini, in 1684, in an expanse of 50 sq.m with 34 pans. The salt pans of Lefkada supplied a great quantity and quality of salt. Protected from the wave, they were open spaces with dazzling sunlight and dry summer. The sea water was quickly evaporated, leaving the salt to the bottom of the pan, preserved for a few days and then carried to the shoulders and heads of the workers, to the huge central pile for elaboration and collection at the end of August. The work was very hard and dangerous for women workers, carrying barefoot 25 to 30 kilos.
The Forest of Skaros: A great monument of nature. This forest has a unique flora and fauna with a rare kind of oak trees. Many evidences exist, stating that this forest was a property of the Turk Achmet Aga during the Turkish domination, who sold it for a worthless amount to the priest of the Monastery of Aghios Georgios in Skaros.
To the field of Karya, a big span near Pigadisanous, you can meet all kinds of cultivation. The land is extremely fertile for grain, cereals, gardens and vineyards.
Another magical natural beauty is the waterfall of Akoni. The waterfall is also presenting an ecological interest. This nature was highly commended in the work of both great poets of Lefkada, Aristotelis Valaoritis and Aggelos Sikelianos.
Over Karya, you can meet Englouvi. While the altitude grows, the vegetation thins out and the environment becomes wilder and rougher. On every hill side, small walls, lithies, are keeping the dirt from tumbling down to create steps or levels for the viniculture. To the tableland of Englouvis, the visitor can admire the voltous, stone domed buildings, which were used as farm houses for the summer time.
In Ellomenos, the morphology of the land varies, combining the largest fertile field of the island, Egklimeni, with mountainous masses of Platistomo, Vafkeri, Neochori, Alatro, Fterno and the tourist coasts which become resorts for thousands of summer visitors.
The Canyon of Charadiatika: The area of Charadiatika is divine and unique for its beautiful canyon. Beautiful and impervious to human interference, ideal for long walks in the nature. In the canyon, many windmills are preserved, remainings of the area’s farm life, witnesses of wild waters existence used for grinding of the inhabitant’s harvest.
The Canyon of Dimosari: We meet a scenic shady trail which climbs the side hill of the Canyon Dimosari. The trail is cut and safe, perfect for the summer months. At the end of the trail there is a chain of rocks where the wild waters are forming a waterfall. The water is concentrated in a natural basin. The summer is maybe, not enough but yet, you can take an enjoying long walk in the green cool scenery. Dimosari is considered one of the most important wild life sanctuaries.
The wider area of Vlychos bay, the peninsula of Ag. Kiriaki, Prigiponisia (Madouri, Skorpios, Skorpidi, Sparti, Cheloni) and a little far away Poros, are composing some of the most magical places of the island.
There are many attractions in this place as well. A magnificent place with divine natural beauties. Some of them are:
The Melissa Gorge, among the villages of Kavalos and Apoplena. Inside the canyon, ruins of small settlement are preserved. Between them, you will find many old watermills, maybe the oldest of the island. The area has been included in a special transformation project, in order to be accessible for those who seek long walks in the magic of nature.
In the position of Vracha, there are many springs and the small homonym river. The scenery is completed with the traditional stone bridge.
Lagkada, is a narrow dale full of a special self sown variety of pine trees which is called Hallepios Pefki, reaching the sea and ending in a wide beautiful sandy beach, Pefkoulia beach, close to the traditional settlement of Aghios Nikitas.
The area covers a great part of the island. It embodies the entire huge south valley, a large and very fertile plain, the high mountains under the Central Lefkada, the peaceful southeast coast of Lefkada, the peninsula and the Cape of Lefkata with the white wild rocks, ending to the steep west coasts which are forming the island’s paradise beaches. The area has springs, rich vegetation, canyons, caves and many villages.
The most interesting sights are in Syvros, the Springs of Cherry trees, the beautiful forest of Dafnis, the Cave of Karoucha, and the pig cave near the village of Evgiros. The small natural lake of Marantochori is an important wildlife sanctuary for many kinds of flora and fauna.
The peninsula and the Cape of Lefkata. Where the steep and most fascinating west coasts of the island start. The scenery is mountainous and wild, reaching down to the end of the sea where the wild rocks are fighting with its rough waves. Its beauty is wild and magical.
Meganissi is a small verdant island full of olive trees and pine trees reaching the edge of the sea. It has many bays and sea caves which give shelter to the yachts traveling to Ionian Sea.
The most famous one is Papanikoli’s cave. A sea cave to the southwest end of the island, 30 meters deep, with a sandy beach inside.
The tradition says that this cave had been the hiding place of Papanikoli’s submarine. There are also 2 more interesting caves: The cave of Giovani and the cave of Demon.
The Pine tree Forest: This forest is one of the rarest ones. Its counterpart exists, according to testimonies, in Sporades of Aegean Sea.
It’s a rich, strong, alive and green forest which welcomes many kinds of birds.
Fokotripa: is located in the north side of the post of Kastos, in Aghios Emilianos. It is 30 meters deep with a sandy beach inside.
From its name, we can figure that this area had been sheltering seals (fokies-fokotripa).