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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 25 July 2015
16 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 25 JULY 2015 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Lefkada: the jew Mountainous mainland and remote forests give way to exotic blue waters ALEX PAPASIMAKOPOULOU How very Greek of me to never take the most straightforward option: of all the times I'd visited the Ionian, I'd never made a stop in Lefkada until a few weeks ago. In recent years the photos of Porto Katsiki and Egremni beaches definitely made me realise I was the one missing out. Could anything really be that 'blind yourself' blue? It turns out that Lefkada really is the idyllic beach paradise that the brochures rave about. Like its sister islands in the Ionian sea, it is a green and fertile land surrounded by an almost unbelievably luminescent sea of turquoise, blue and aquamarine which, on its west coast, laps the shores of some of the finest beaches Greece has to offer. Hugging the coast of western Greece, Lefkada has been identified as the most likely candidate for Homer's mythical Ithaca, an island that was 'reachable by foot'. Once a part of the Greek mainland, Lefkada became an island in the eighth century BC when invading Corinthians dug a canal through the narrow isthmus that connected it to the mainland. Today a narrow causeway provides easy access to the island, making Lefkada very popular with RV enthusiasts and visitors from neighbouring countries, while the recent opening of nearby Aktion airbase in Preveza as a commercial airport means that it's now easier than ever to visit this Homeric retreat. Direct flights from all over Europe make this the perfect starting point to explore both this group of islands and the amazing mainland coastline in this part of Greece. The Ionian sea also offers far safer sailing conditions than the Aegean in the summer months, so Lefkada is a goto choice for the yachting crowd. The port towns of Lefkada in the north and Vassiliki in the south become a forest of yacht masts in July and August. Every conceivable form of water activity is also available here, from skippered cruises around the coast to nearby islands and islets to windsurfing, kite surfing and waterskiing; for those seeking an active holiday, Lefkada won't disappoint. There are also options for hikers as a lot of the beaches can be reached through walking trails and some serious numbers of steps, which aren't for the faint-hearted! Let’s be honest though, Lefkada really is about those stunning beaches. Although Parascending over Kathisma. Vasiliki is one of the most famous villages on the island, located in a bay in the southernmost part of Lefkada. Tavernas offering delicious seafood meals are perched along its harbour.
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