With its old town, marina, and many restaurants, Lefkada Town is an essential destination for visitors to the Greek island of Lefkas. It is also an easy day trip from Preveza on the Greek mainland.
Why Spend A Day In Lefkada Town?
Lefkada Town is the main town of the island of Lefkas (also known as Lefkada). It is in the far northeast of the island, connected to the Greek mainland by a long causeway. This means that it is equally accessible to those visiting the mainland region of Epirus as to holidaymakers on Lefkas.
The town has ancient origins but most of what you see today has its roots in the Middle Ages, when the area was under the control of the Venetians. It is full of narrow alleyways and colourful houses, with numerous bars and restaurants. A promenade beside the busy marina is lined with cafés, and you can walk across the causeway to reach a historic castle.
The Old Town Of Lefkada
Although at first sight the narrow streets and stone houses seem typically Greek, look closer and you’ll note some distinguishing features. The bright colours, particularly on the main roads, recall the Venetian era. And some of the more modern houses have been built with wooden frames and covered with sheets of metal, in an attempt to absorb the impact of frequent earth tremors.
Walk up to the central square, surrounded by cafés and restaurants, and stop to look at the 17th century Church of St Spyridon. You might also visit one of the town’s several small museums – particularly recommended are the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Phonographs.
Lefkada Lagoon And Causeway
A walk along the causeway is an activity in its own right. It crosses the Lefkada Lagoon, an internationally protected wetland. At certain times of year the lagoon is home to a variety of birdlife, including pelicans and little egrets. Peer down to the mud below the road and you will spot a vast range of small fish, plants, and other marine organisms.
About halfway along the causeway you come to a long spit of land that forms the edge of the lagoon and the northernmost part of the island of Lefkas. Here the road is connected to the land by a floating bridge, which swings around to let yachts and large boats through.
The Castle Of Santa Maura
Immediately on the other side of the floating bridge is the remains of the Castle of Santa Maura (or Agia Mavra). This was built around 1300 by a Sicilian count to control access to the island. The castle was later occupied by the Venetians, Ottomans and French (amongst others). It was substantially destroyed during the Second World War.
Today you can walk around the ruins of the fortress and enjoy the sea views. The outer walls and ramparts are well preserved, and parts of the buildings – including the 20th century garrison – are still standing. You can also visit the small church of Agia Mavra, which remains in use.
How To Visit Lefkada Town
- If you are staying on Lefkas, the main road around the island connects the coastal resorts to Lefkada Town.
- From the mainland Lefkada Town is 28 km from Preveza. Preveza is served by an international airport.
- Buses run between Lefkada Town and the tourist towns around the coast. There are also bus services to the mainland and the airport. The journeys are inexpensive but note that you need cash to purchase a bus ticket.
- You may wish to consider hiring a car but be aware that parking is limited.
- There are lots of shops and places to eat and drink in the old town and along the coastal promenade.
- If you are planning a longer stay in Lefkada Town have a look at the accommodation options on booking.com.