As well as spending your time on board with us, enjoying fabulous days sailing, delicious lunches and refreshing drinks with little umbrellas in, there are tons of fun activities to get excited about on the island of Lefkada. Lefkada is packed to the mountain tops with water sports, walks and wineries. There’re numerous festivals celebrated throughout the year and an extortionate amount of restaurants, bars and cafes to choose from!
On the water
The safe waters surrounding the island make it the perfect playground for water sports, sailing and any number of floating related past times. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, there’s plenty to keep you entertained. Here in Nidri, you can try your hand at windsurfing, dingy sailing and stand-up-paddle boarding. All of which are available at Horizon Watersports. Depending on your experience, you can take part in one of the courses available to get you started or just rent the equipment and head straight out.
If you’re looking for something a little more thrilling, why not visit the guys at Kavvadas Watersports and get strapped onto a flying sofa or a giant inflatable banana? You can also give parasailing a go. The views are incredible and it’s great fun. Just make sure to watch out for the passing yacht masts!
The south of the island is well known for its calm mornings and exhilarating afternoon winds. This combination provides the perfect conditions for beginners and pros to get out on the water with their boards. Club Vass, has been offering windsurfing holidays since 1987 and are well established as the leading waters ports centre on the island. They also offer a number of other water-based activities such as kayaking, sea safaris and scuba diving. So there’s plenty to choose from.
Driving onto the island of Lefkada always makes me smile. The water is an incredible shade of blue and it’s so shallow that the local fisherman can be seen wading right out into the middle of the bay to cast their nets and escape their wives. White flamingos gather in the salt marshes and when the wind picks up, the kite surfers come out to play.
Paralia Agios Ioannis beach lies on the north west of the island and has become a very popular destination for kite surfers from all over Europe. At Milos Beach Resort, you can enrol in a number of different courses including kite-surfing, windsurfing and even fly-boarding. Which I’m guessing, is definitely harder than it looks!
On the island
There’s so many fantastic ways to see the island and there are some great tours operating throughout Lefkada, so you can really go off road and explore. Travelling around by car is super easy and we always suggest getting over to the west side of the island for a breath-taking drive through the pine forests and along the coastal roads. Don’t forget to stop and buy a jar of honey from the Yia Yias you pass, it truly is the best thing you’ll ever taste and there are so many stalls along the way you’re sure to find some other irresistible delicious treats as well.
Or head out on foot, and discover beaches, waterfalls and ancient trails. Hire a mountain bike and cycle through the olive groves and find the traditional sleepy villages that lay hidden from view.
Hiking and Biking
From Nidri there are a number of enjoyable, and not to strenuous walks to embark on. The Dimossari waterfalls are around an hours meander away, with plenty of cafes and tavernas on route to take a break and enjoy a chilled beverage. A walk over to Desimi Beach takes you past Vliho Bay and through quiet lanes in just over an hour. And a leisurely walk around Tranquil Bay to the church of Agia Kiriaki shows off the true beauty of this area.
But if you’re looking for something with a bit more hike and bike, get in touch with the folks at Get Active Lefkas and join them for one of their guided tours around the island. A four hour hike costs €20 per person and run several times a week throughout the summer. There’s also various bike trails to choose from depending on experience, which will set you back between €20 and €45. It’s a great way to get out and see the surrounding area and take in the amazing views!
There’s just something about riding a horse along a beach at sunset. We’ve all seen the romantic moments in films or the adverts for perfume, which hopefully smell nothing like the sea or horses, with the beautiful people on horseback, galloping effortlessly through the surf with a warm evening breeze flowing through their hair. And thought to ourselves; Yes! That could be me! And you’re right, it could be you! Albeit slightly less glamorous due to the helmet strapped to your head but still! You’ll be riding a horse, on a beach, at sunset. So dream come true!
Eco Ranch and Aramis Farm both offer a variety of different riding experiences. The duration of the rides is anything from one to four hours and they provide your very fashionable headgear and any other equipment that required. There are horses suitable for children and adults so it’s a great day out for all the family. Of course, you could always spend a few hours alone re-enacting your favourite eau de perfum moment.
Over the years Greek wine has had a pretty bad rep. We have a number of guests each summer that tend to look, a little dubious, when we say there are some fabulous Greek wines out there. I can understand why, when most remember their first holiday to Greece in the late 80’s and the taste of distilled Christmas trees. It’s true, Retsina is definitely an acquired taste and the table wine could be rather questionable at times. But, nowadays Greece is recognised world wide as one of the top runners in vinification and produces a staggeringly large amount of truly great wines.
There are a few wineries on Lefkada to visit, all of which offer tours and tastings as well as the chance to purchase a few bottles of your new favourite tipple. Lefkaditiki Gi Winery, “Lefkada Land” is only a short drive south of Nidri and opens it’s doors and vineyards to guests throughout the summer sharing, the history and traditions used in Greek wine making. It’s a great way to spend a few hours, in a beautiful setting, enjoying some fabulous wines. And don’t forget, it’s educational so that’s a great excuse!
There are also a number of specialist wine stores and bars across the island to look out for. Make sure you visit the lovely Bob and Anja, at De Blanck Champagne and Wine Bar in Nidri. They have a great selection of Greek wines, beers and champagnes available in their shop and in their bar. They also host wine tastings on a Wednesday and they do the most amazing platters of local hams and cheeses to accompany your beverage. You can even combine your love of wine with your love of sailing and join us on board for an exclusive wine tasting cruise! Now you really are spoilt for choice!
Take to the Sky
If you thought we were limited to just land and sea based activities on the island, well you’d be wrong. There’s a whole lot going on above it as well. Lefkada has the perfect flying conditions for paragliding and therefore guided tours are available all year round. With the guys at Lefkada Paragliding, you can get up in the air with a professional strapped to your back for €89, which is probably the safest way to do it. Or jump in a Para-motor trike and zoom around the skies before walking away with the whole experience captured in HD!
Planning your trip
High season on the island runs from the beginning of June to the end of August. This is when we see the most visitors to the area and therefore, everything is at it’s busiest. We see people arrive daily from all over the place by the bus load, to take part in tours and activities operating in the area. I was actually living in Parga, which is one and half hours north of Lefkada the first time I visited the island in 2013. The only reason I was there was to catch one of the day trip boats out to visit the neighbouring islands! It’s most certainly the hub for holiday fun and the place to be.
Nowadays it’s so simple to plan and book your activities before you even arrive on holiday so that you can make sure you don’t miss out on a thing! But if you prefer to see how you feel when you get there, it’s just as easy to get in touch with the local tour operators or directly with the companies running the activities, that booking months in advance isn’t always essential. I would advise booking in good time during the high season though. If it’s something you really want to do, why risk waiting until the day before and possibly being disappointed?
TripAdvisor is the obvious place to find most local attractions in the area and to check out other peoples experiences. With most companies now, you can book through the site which is very convenient. I do always think it’s worth trying to get in touch with someone directly if you can. I know our guests sometimes have special requirements or requests and we always like it when people let us know before their time with us if there’s something extra we can do so their trip is exactly what they’re hoping for. Never be afraid to ask, most people will be pleased to help and provide any additional extras if they can. Plus, they can only say no and if you don’t ask, you don’t get!
Lefkada island really is the action packed holiday destination. There’s something for everyone and the best part is, there’s plenty for people doing nothing as well. So, if you’re up for just relaxing by the pool or on one of the many beautiful beaches and taking it easy then the islands got you covered too!
I hope this has given you a good idea of what you could be getting up to when visiting our little island paradise in the sea. Why not come and visit us this summer and find your next adventure!?