Where to Stay in Lefkada: Best Areas and Hotels
If you’re wondering where to stay in Lefkada Greece, or where is the best area to stay in Lefkada, you’re in the right place. In this article, I will give an insight into the best places to stay in Lefkada for first time visitors, couples, families, backpackers, all budget travelers; read on as I show you the best of Lefkada.
One of the lesser-known Greek islands, Lefkada is teeming with all the hallmarks of an idyllic Mediterranean paradise, still largely unspoiled by the tourist crowds.
The largest city on the island is the eponymous Lefkada town, with a population of around 8000 people; it’s a fabulous place to experience authentic, local Greek life.
With ties to ancient goddesses and legendary poets, believed by some to be the inspiration for Ithaca in Homer’s Odyssey, Lefkada is a cultural jewel. Traditional villages, as yet unmarred by the tourism industry, line the coast, flanked by stunning beaches.
A rising star amongst travellers, take the opportunity to visit now, before the rest of the world hears about it. Whether you want to delve into the island’s classical history and legends, or just relax on a beautiful beach, Lefkada has something to suit every style of vacation.
Where to Stay in Lefkada: Tips & Info
For all that Lefkada is less crammed with resorts and tourist attractions than many other parts of Greece, there is still enough variety across the island to make choosing a single location a challenge.
When considering where to stay, it helps to really think about what exactly you are looking for from your vacation.
Do you prioritise sightseeing and taking in the culture or do you simply want to escape the crowds and relax by the sea?
Do you enjoy water sports and adventurous activities or are you looking for peace and quiet?
When it comes to nightlife, are you more interested in clubs and parties or are bars and local entertainment more your scene?
Are you planning to take a trip to the mainland or any of the smaller islands near to Lefkada?
Will you be hiring a car for your trip or relying on public transport?
Do you need everything close by, or are you happy to travel a little outside of the local area for sights and activities?
Who’s in your travelling party and are you travelling with anyone that has specific needs?
Each region and resort will cater more towards a particular type of traveller. Consider making a checklist of all your specifications and tally up which area ticks the most boxes.
Where to Stay in Lefkada – The 11 Best Areas to Stay in Lefkada
We’ve narrowed down the numerous regions and towns of Lefkada to just eleven of, what we believe to be, the best areas the island has to offer. We hope that by summarising each one, you will be able to make a decision on where to stay for your dream getaway.
Where to Stay in Lefkada Map
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1. Lefkada Town, Where to Stay in Lefkada for Nightlife
Lefkada Town is the capital city of Lefkada. Located in the northeast corner of the island, right by the causeway connecting Lefkada to the mainland, making this an ideal place to stay if you want to explore more of the country.
Opened in 2002, the Lefkada Marina has become a focal point of the island’s growing tourist trade. Here you can find a variety of contemporary shops, bars, and restaurants, catering to the growing tourist interest in the area.
If you want to go clubbing on your vacation, this is one of the few areas on Lefkada where you are in luck. Whilst far from the wild strips you can find on more party-oriented islands, there are a few clubs dotted around town, mostly concentrated near the bridge across to mainland Greece.
Whilst the city may be the capital of modern tourism on the island, there are still no shortage of cultural delights to be found here. Despite violent earthquakes devastating the island in the 1940s and 50s, a number of churches still remain from the old town.
Just a couple of kilometres outside of the main town, you can find the remains of the 14th century Aghia Mavra Castle, which once defended the island from pirates.
For more information on the island’s history, and to see more of what it once looked like before the earthquakes took their toll, the Archaeological Museum of Lefkada is found near the centre of town.
Each summer the city hosts a number of festivals celebrating local art, literature, and culture. The biggest of these is the International Folklore Festival of Lefkada, usually held in late August. The celebrations last for around a week and include several parades and a packed itinerary of performances by dance troupes from across the world.
It’s worth noting that there is no airport on Lefkada. The closest airport is Aktion International, 25-kilometres away on the mainland. If you want to stay near to the airport, Lefkada Town is as close as you can get on the island.
STAY IN LEFKADA TOWN IF:
- You want to nip over to mainland Greece
- You want a bit more of an active nightlife scene
- You want to stay closer to the airport
2. Ligia, Where to Stay in Lefkada for Family
Just 6 kilometres south of Lefkada Town is the small fishing village of Ligia. With most of the facilities here centred around just one main street, Ligia is popular with visitors who appreciate the convenience of being near to the capital but want to stay somewhere quieter.
Likewise, being near to the causeway connecting Lefkada to mainland Greece will appeal to anyone who doesn’t want to travel too far from the airport.
Settled right on the coast, and with a pre-tourism economy that centred around fishing, you can find plenty of intimate, family run tavernas and restaurants here, which serve the freshest seafood you’re likely to find.
The active harbour also makes for a perfect spot to spend an evening watching the boats come in as you sample the local cuisine.
There are a range of beaches to choose from in Ligia, some sandy, some pebbled, with Ligia beach being the main offering, featuring soft sand and a number of sunbeds.
Further to the south of the village is the Panos Water Sports and Fun Park, which boasts an inflatable assault course, boat hire, and water sports lessons for those interested in wakeboarding and water-skiing. Ideal for keeping kids and adults alike entertained for an afternoon.
Aside from beaches, seafood, and a waterpark, the surrounding landscape is also beautiful and ideal for hiking or cycling, particularly in spring and autumn when the temperature is more comfortable.
Ligia is ideal for those looking for a short break to enjoy some peace and quiet. For longer vacations, however, you may want to consider somewhere a bit more lively.
STAY IN LIGIA IF:
- You are looking for a quiet small-town retreat
- You enjoy fishing
- You love fresh seafood
- You are travelling with young family
- You are only staying for a few days
3. Nikiana – Best Area to Stay in Lefkada for Fresh Seafood
Nikiana is another quiet fishing town on the east coast of Lefkada. Mostly populated with small shops and seafront tavernas, stocked with fish brought into the local harbour. The majority of the activity in Nikiana is focused around the seafront and the singular main road.
If sightseeing is your main goal, you may be interested in visiting the oldest Christian monument on the island, the Hermitage of Agii Pateres. The stone chapel can be found concealed in a cave about 5-kilometres west of Nikiana. Accessible via a winding road up into the mountains, it makes for a pleasant hike through the woods.
Conveniently located between the two primary tourist hubs on the island, Lefkada Town and Nydri, Nikiana is ideal if you want to be able to take advantage of the convenience and liveliness of larger tourist locations, while staying in a quieter, local village.
The main road that runs through the centre of Nikiana connects the two larger towns directly, as well as circling most of Lefkada. Regular bus routes travel along this road, servicing the whole island and making this a great little town to stay in if you intend to rely on public transport.
The beaches around Nikiana are mostly pebbly and not ideal for lazing on. If you simply want a swim, Nikiana’s beaches are fine, but more comfortable options are several kilometres away and best accessed by car or bus ride.
STAY IN NIKIANA IF:
- You love fresh seafood
- Soft, sandy beaches are not a priority
- You want easy access to larger towns, with the peace of staying in a smaller village
- You will be relying on public transport to get around
4. Nydri, Where to Stay in Lefkada for Active Nightlife
On the east coast of Lefkada is the village of Nydri. Though the village itself may be small and traditional, the area is the most prolific tourist resort on the island, featuring its biggest selection of hotels and tour companies.
Comfort and convenience for visitors is prioritised in Nydri, and many local shops forgo the customary afternoon break, staying open all day and late into the night.
Nydri is the best bet for anyone looking for an active nightlife on Lefkada. Here is where you’ll find the biggest selection of clubs and most bars stay open until the early hours of the morning. For the evenings when you want a calmer vibe, the surrounding area is well populated with intimate tavernas and an array of restaurants to suit every palette.
In fact, with the widest variety of dining options on the island, Nydri is perfect for anyone travelling with fussy eaters. Combined with the plentiful choice of accommodation in the area, and generally calm waters ideal for swimming, this is a particularly convenient location for those with children too.
Just off the coast of Nydri are several smaller islands, only accessible by boat, with tour companies in the area that will take you around the archipelago. In summer, regular ferries run from Nydri and can have you on nearby Meganisi in around 20 minutes, which makes for an excellent day trip.
Alternatively, if you would rather explore the islands by yourself, it is possible to hire a motorboat and sail out at your own pace. Protected by the natural bay, the waters here are calm enough that even inexperienced sailors should be comfortable.
STAY IN NYDRI IF:
- An active nightlife is important to you
- You want to visit some of the smaller islands off the coast of Lefkada
- You would like to take a boat out yourself
- You are travelling with children
5. Mikros Gialos – Best Coastal Scenery Area to Stay in Lefkada
Known as one of the most beautiful beaches on Lefkada, Mikros Gialos is a must visit for anyone looking to see the best that Lefkada’s famously dramatic coastal scenery has to offer.
Previously the fishing harbour for the nearby village of Poros, the area around the beach is now solely populated with hotels and facilities catering to visitors. The waterfront is lined with beach bars, tavernas, and restaurants, offering delicious food and views out over the bay, providing a taste of idyllic Mediterranean luxury.
If you are looking to experience the authentic, local atmosphere of Lefkada however, this is probably not the best place. The nearest local village, Poros, is 3.5kilometres away, but there is no direct road, so it’s further to actually travel.
Whilst beautiful, the beach is entirely pebbled, so not the most comfortable for spreading out your beach towel. Fear not though, as sunbeds and parasols are available to rent, so you can spend your days lounging in peace if you so choose.
The sea here is protected by the high cliffs surrounding the bay, keeping the waters calm and free of large waves. Such docile waters are perfect for families with young children, or any less confident swimmers.
Lack of turbulence and sand also makes for particularly clear waters, ideal for snorkelling and exploring the world beneath the waves.
STAY IN MIKROS GIALOS IF:
- You value beautiful beaches
- You are a less confident swimmer who appreciates calmer waters
- You prefer to stay in a resort than a local town
- Experiencing the local culture is not a priority
- You enjoy or are interested in snorkelling
- You are happy with pebble beaches
- You are travelling with children
6. Vlicho & The Yeni Peninsula, Where to Stay in Lefkada for Sailing
Just south of Nydri is the small fishing town of Vlicho. So small in fact, that it consists of just two roads, running parallel to the coastline. Accommodation within the town is sparse, and what is available caters primarily to boaters, with villas available to rent with adjacent mooring points or launch ramps down to the sea.
The village started life as one of the many fishing towns on the island and evolved into a yachter’s wonderland, famous for its boat repair facilities. The peninsula that curves around and shelters the bay leaves the waters here almost as still as a lake, perfect for mooring. If you have your own boat, or are interested in learning to sail, Vlicho is definitely for you.
The area also provides some charms for inbound visitors too, as Vlicho serves as the gateway to the beautiful Yeni Peninsula. Curling around to form the opposite wall of the sheltered bay, the Yeni peninsula offers some of the most stunning scenery on the island.
Still particularly popular with boaters, there’s a broader variety of accommodation on the peninsula. Hotels and apartments line the shore along the west side of the peninsula, overlooking the picturesque Vlicho Bay.
The water in Vlicho bay isn’t suitable for swimming, both due to the risk from the high boat traffic and the pollution that comes with it. A number of small, cleaner beaches are present along the west of the peninsula, but only accessible by boat. The only beach on the peninsula accessible by land and suitable for swimming is the pebbly, Desimi Beach in the south.
If you are open to more adventurous accommodation, there are also a number of waterfront campsites along Desimi Beach.
STAY IN VLICHO & THE YENI PENINSULA IF:
- You want to take advantage of the prominent sailing community on Lefkada
- You are planning to learn to sail
- You are travelling with your own accommodation, such as a yacht or caravan
- You aren’t interested in swimming
- You are interested in camping
7. Vassiliki, Where to Stay in Lefkada for Water Sports
Vassiliki is a small fishing town and beach resort at the south end of Lefkada. Another of the main tourist locations on the island, Vassiliki is particularly popular with fans of water sports and adventurous activities. The numerous late-night bars also make this resort one of the few areas on the island with a notably active nightlife.
The area is home to a particularly potent thermal wind, known as ‘Eric’ by the windsurfers that flock to Vassiliki to take advantage of it.
Rental companies along the beach offer windsurfing equipment for hire, and beginners in the sport can learn from one of the many instructors based in the area. Several of the surrounding hotels even provide storage space for windsurfers who want to bring their own gear.
The ocean winds also make this a popular destination for sailing, though quieter than the yachting hub of Vlicho Bay. The harbour at the eastern end of the town provides a number of mooring points.
The area surrounding the marina is full of bars, restaurants, and cafes, perfect for enjoying a meal or a drink whilst watching the boats drift around the bay.
At the south end of the beach is the Vassiliki Aqua Park, providing an assault course of inflatable obstacles floating on the water, ideal for keeping older children entertained.
If you want a break from the water, the surrounding mountains and cliffs make excellent scenery for hiking or mountain biking. Tour companies in the area offer both equipment and guides, with routes suitable for all fitness and experience levels.
STAY IN VASSILIKI IF:
- You enjoy water sports, particularly windsurfing
- You are looking for a more active vacation
- You would like to enjoy sailing without the crowded waters of Vlicho
8. Athani – Best Area to Stay in Lefkada for Authentic Greek Life
On the western edge of Lefkada, settled in the cliffs high above the sea, is the little village of Athani. One of the best areas on the island for anyone looking to experience authentic Greek life, the village is full of traditional old buildings and beautiful churches. You can even find the ruins of a temple dedicated to the God Apollo nearby.
Athani is most well known for its stunning views out over the water and incredible sunsets, which are particularly beautiful when viewed from the cliffs looking out over the Ionian Sea.
Anyone looking for a romantic break should take advantage of the intimate tavernas peppering the village, to enjoy a romantic dinner as you watch the sun dip below the horizon.
For a somewhat more macabre romantic link, this is where the legendary classical poet Sappho supposedly threw herself into the sea after being rejected by her love.
The most popular beaches are located in nearby Egremni and Porto Katsiki, but for something closer to the village, follow the winding road down the slopes to the quiet Gialos beach. Whilst not as well catered as busier beaches, Gialos beach is still serviced by two beachfront restaurant bars.
STAY IN ATHANI IF:
- You want to experience the traditional Greek atmosphere
- You are on a romantic getaway
- You want to witness some truly beautiful sunsets
9. Agios Nikitas – Best Area to Explore Traditional Architecture and Culture
The small fishing village of Agios Nikitas in the northwest of Lefkada is one of the most beautiful locations on the island. Full of traditional architecture, the little town offers one of the best glimpses into the local culture along the coast.
The surrounding landscape consists of white rock forms and beautiful beaches, located on the edge of lush olive groves, that make for some beautiful walks in the local area.
The village is home to some lovely beaches, with the easiest to reach being the eponymous Paralia Agios Nikitas on the northern shore of the town.
Right next to the village, this beach is well serviced with tavernas and beach bars. Situated at the end of the main road, it is within easy reach of local hotels, perfect for families with young children.
For those willing to take a slightly longer walk through the woods, the larger, more secluded, Milos beach offers a quieter alternative away from the town centre.
There are no bars or restaurants here, so it’s worth picking up some refreshments from one of the mini-markets in town before heading out. Located on the western coast, this beach is perfect for anyone who wants to watch the sun set over the water.
Just 14-kilometers from Lefkada Town, along the island’s main circular road, it’s a convenient place to stay for anyone wanting to be in a quieter village, but still near the island’s main entry point.
STAY IN AGIOS NIKITAS IF:
- You are interested in the island’s traditional architecture and culture
- Beautiful, varied, local landscapes are a draw for you
- You want a quieter village with easy access to larger towns
10. Egremni – Best Area to Stay in Lefkada for Dramatic Scenery
Egremni is one of the most popular tourist spots on the island, drawing thousands of visitors a year to its sandy shores and waters known to be some of the most spectacularly blue in all of Greece.
Paired with the dramatic scenery of the towering cliffs against the beautiful white sand, Egremni is a popular muse for travelling photographers.
Located at the base of the surrounding cliffs, Egremni is accessible either by boat or the singular set of 300 steps leading down to the beach. These stairs were severely damaged by an earthquake several years ago, leaving Egremni only accessibly by boat since 2015, but their restoration is due to be complete by summer of 2021.
The nearest village to Egremni is Athani to the north, but the immediate area is serviced by several hotels and guests houses that allow visitors to stay close to the beach.
Being set in such an awkward to reach location means that, despite the beach’s popularity, there are no shops or bars along the sand. Visitors should therefore pack their own refreshments before heading down for the day.
The cliffs overlooking Egremni Beach are home to several tavernas, bars, and a small shop. Aside from these, there isn’t much to see or do in the local area. Egremni is best for those visiting for a shorter break, or as a day trip for those staying elsewhere on the island.
STAY IN EGREMNI IF:
- Staying close to the best beaches in Lefkada is your priority
- You are fine with staying outside of a town or village, without local shops and conveniences
- You are planning on a short trip of just a day or two
11. Porto Katsiki, Where to Stay in Lefkada for Best Beaches
Further south down Lefkada’s southwestern peninsula is the popular beach, Porto Katsiki. One of the most popular beaches on the island, due to its beautiful blue water, Porto Katsiki has been dubbed one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. Its name translates as ‘Port of the Goat’ and is allegedly derived from the beach being so awkwardly situated that once only goats could reach it.
In modern times the beach is much more accessible, primarily by boat, or via the set of 80 steps leading down from the cliffs overlooking the sea. Parking is available at the top of the stairs, where you will also find a restaurant with views looking out over the beach and surrounding sea.
There is no accommodation on offer around Porto Katsiki and camping in the area is prohibited other than in the designated caravan park. The nearest hotels and villas are a few miles up the road, closer to Egremni beach. Alternatively, stay in the nearby resort of Vassiliki or the small local village of Athani and travel to Porto Katsiki by bus, car, or boat, for the day.
STAY IN PORTO KATSIKI IF:
- Beaches are your priority
- You are travelling around the island by boat or campervan
- You don’t need to stay close to tourist conveniences like shops and bars
Best Things to Do and See in Lefkada?
Lefkada is famous for the beautiful blue seas surrounding its coast. These crystal-clear waters make the island an ideal spot for scuba divers and snorkelers. A number of beaches around the island are equipped for water sports, such as water-skiing and wakeboarding.
The beach resort of Vassiliki is particularly popular with windsurfers and sail-boaters, due to the uniquely potent thermal winds in the area. Companies offer instruction and equipment rental, making the area attractive for both experienced windsurfers and those looking to get into the sport.
The smaller islands nearby Lefkada are worth visiting if you have the time. Book a boat tour, or hire your own motorboat, to explore the archipelago off the coast by Nydri. The water around this area is calm enough that even inexperienced sailors should be able to navigate comfortably.
Alternatively, hop on a ferry across to Meganisi, the little neighbouring residential island that is well worth taking a day trip to explore.
Anyone who has their own boat will find the Bay of Vlichi particularly attractive for its placid waters and mooring facilities. The Veni peninsula that curves around the bay is also home to several waterfront campsites along its southern beach, ideal for anyone travelling by campervan.
In August, Lefkada Town plays host to the International Folklore Festival of Lefkada, which brings performers from all over the world to share their cultural dances in parades and shows lasting at least a week.
Major earthquakes in the 1940s and ‘50s destroyed most of Lefkada’s historical buildings and structures, but a few can still be found scattered across the island.
Between Lefkada town and the mainland, along the causeway, you can find the remains of the 14th century Aghia Mavra fort that once defended the island. To the east of the town, you can also find the Faneromeni Monastery. Built in 1634, the monastery is open to visitors and even boasts a small petting zoo and tavern.
How to get Around Lefkada?
The easiest way to get around Lefkada is, of course, by car. The freedom of being able to explore the island at your own pace is unbeatable, as is the convenience of not having to carry your entire day’s supplies on a bus.
That said, the island is well serviced with public buses, so those who intend to rely on public transport should be able to access the majority of the island with little trouble.
For more remote areas with poorer public transport service, a number of local taxi services operate across the island.
If you intend to visit any of the nearby smaller islands, particularly Meganisi, regular ferries run throughout summer from the larger tourist resorts. Most allow you to take your car with you, but you should book ahead in this case, to ensure you get a spot.
Best Time to Visit Lefkada?
The typical Mediterranean climate of Lefkada, with its distinct seasonal temperatures, means if you want to soak up the warm weather, you had best visit in summer.
July and August are usually the hottest months, making them the best time to visit if you intend to spend your time at the beach. This is particularly true if you intend to take advantage of the water sports on offer, as even the surrounding seas will be comfortably warm.
Visiting in August will also allow you to see the colourful International Folklore Festival of Lefkada. A week of parades and live performances held in Lefkada Town, it’s definitely worth experiencing.
Temperatures are generally comfortable from May through October, with the spring and autumn months perhaps best if you intend to do a lot of hiking, as they are cooler than the height of summer, but without the creeping chill of winter. If you really want to avoid the crowds, this is the perfect time for you, with generally good weather and far fewer families.
Best Beaches in Lefkada?
Mikros Gialos is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Lefkada. Settled back into a cove, defended by tall cliffs, the waters here are crystal clear and incredibly calm.
While the beach itself is pebbly, sunbeds are available to rent, so you won’t be lacking for comfort. The area immediately surrounding the beach is entirely populated with beach-bars, restaurants, and hotels, all aimed at keeping visitors happy and relaxed.
The most iconic beach on the island is Egremni, located on the west of the island, near to the small village of Egremni. Kilometres of white sand, stunningly blue waters, all set against the backdrop of towering cliffs, make for a uniquely aesthetic location that enthrals sunbathers and photographers every summer.
Just a little south of Egremni is the neighbouring Porto Katsiki. Similarly popular for its blue waters and soft, white sands, Porto Katsiki is more remote, with fewer hotels or villas nearby, which keeps the crowds noticeably smaller.
Both Egremni and Porto Katsiki are only accessible by boat or a single set of stairs, so don’t forget to pack food and drink before you go, as there are no bars or shops down by the water.
Best Restaurants in Lefkada?
Lefkada is heavily populated with fishing towns, which in turn provide a wealth of restaurants serving exceptionally fresh seafood.
Porto Nikiana Restaurant in the small town of Nikiana is a great example, serving a contemporary take on traditional Mediterranean food. The waterfront restaurant serves food cooked with ingredients so fresh you can watch the fishing boats that caught them drifting into the harbour whilst you eat.
If you are looking to sample traditional Greek food in beautiful surroundings, you really can’t beat O Molos in Mikros Gialos. A small, family run taverna, that sits right up against the water, with views from the open terrace looking out across the bay.
The restaurant serves classic, homecooked Greek cuisine, with a personal twist, prepared with local ingredients. You can’t get much more authentic than O Molos.
Anyone with a sweet tooth will also want to stop in at To Loukoumadaki in Lefkada Town, to try some traditional Greek pastries.
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Lefkada is a largely undiscovered delight, that is better suited for those looking for a relaxing break away from the hustle and bustle of bigger tourist islands. That doesn’t mean it’s boring though, as there is plenty to keep everyone entertained as long as you know where to look.