Today we’re leaving beautiful Parga, catching a bus, and heading down the coast to Preveza. There we stop at the bus station and wait for another bus to take us across the isthmus to the island of Lefkada (sometimes known as Lefkas).
You can be excused for thinking Lefkada is not really an island, for it was once joined to the mainland. But Corinthians, way back in the 8th century BC, dug a canal through the isthmus and a causeway now sees you across. It’s a pretty drive over the flatlands, with sea views on either side, culminating at the Venetian Fortress of Agia Mavra (well worth a visit), obviously built to defend the island from pesky invaders.
From there it’s a short drive to Lefkada Town, the main town of the island. Due to earthquake damage and modern rebuilding, this town, to me, lacks ambience, so I prefer to move on. But Lefkada Town has a relaxed feel, a good place for R&R. It’s a great place for “yachties,” for the lagoon and its marina are peaceful and attractive.
Moving south, after a most attractive drive, the bus comes to the town of Nydri. The waterfront quay is probably the most interesting part of this town, and the only reason I can see for anyone stopping here is to catch a ferry to see the islands of Meganisi, Skorpios, or Madouri. Or to discover the hill towns such as the pretty village of Karya, which is noted for its special embroidery. Nydri itself is a souless place full of unlovely tourist shops – even the beach is not as pleasant as some.
But further south is Vassiliki, a lovely tranquil place, situated on a bay known for its watersports, and backed by high wooded hills. Because of prevailing winds, it has become known as the must-visit place for windsurfing in Europe. Here you can have the complete package – enjoy the peace of the little village, or live it up at the waterfront hotels across the bay – or both! Windsurfers fascinate me and I can sit on the pebble beach and watch them for hours, especially the windsurfing classes. I’ve stayed many times at Vassiliki – walks along the coast are very pleasant (look for the yellow butterflies).
Around the coast from Vassiliki are several very interesting villages and beaches – the one most visited by tourist boats is Porto Katsiki. Its sandy beach, sheltered by towering cliffs, is very picturesque.
From Vassiliki one can catch a ferry south to the islands of Kefalonia and Ithaki – where we’ll go next week! Come with me!
More pictures on my photo gallery…