Where to Stay on Lefkada: Ultimate Beach Resort Guide

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beautiful beach with electric blue water on Lefkada

Heading to the Greek island of Lefkada this year? Here’s a complete rundown on where to stay on Lefkada (also known as Lefkas) to help you choose which part of the island to stay in, which town, resort or beach is for you, and the best beach hotels, whether you’re booking DIY accommodation or looking for a package vacation.

This resort guide will cover:

  • which part of Lefkada island to stay in
  • where to stay in the capital, Lefkada Town
  • Lefkada’s main beach resorts; the best places to stay for nightlife, cheap packages and a younger crowd
  • the best resort hotels in Lefkada
  • a rundown of Lefkada’s quieter towns and villages; the best places to stay for couples, families and nature

white cliffs and blue seas on Lefkada

LEFKADA OVERVIEW

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WHICH PART OF LEFKADA TO CHOOSE?

One of the great advantages of staying on Lefkada is the easy transfer. No ferry is necessary to reach this island – it’s joined to the mainland by a causeway and the Rio-Antirrio bridge, meaning you can drive straight there in 30 minutes from nearby Preveza airport which is served by international and domestic flights. 

Tourist life on the island revolves around the twin resort towns of Nydri and Vassiliki which attract watersports fanatics thanks to their ideal conditions. 

The rest of the island is quiet and unspoilt. The appeal of Lefkada is the nature, the colours, the dramatic and unspoilt beaches with their white pebbles and electric blue waters. The pristine coast and perfect winds for exploring by various waterborne craft, with several tiny uninhabited islands to explore. The interior boasts green valleys dotted with traditional stone villages and leafy squares.

Overall, it has a laid back atmosphere with easy access and thrilling roads. It attracts Italians and northern Europeans in search of deserted beaches, as well as active travellers, sailors and adrenaline junkies who are spoilt for choice on Lefkada. As well as watersports there is plentiful hiking, mountain biking, hang-gliding, and paragliding.

The maistros northwesterly winds batter the west coast of the island (where you’ll find the most beautiful beaches) fairly consistently, to the delight of windsurfers and kitesurfers but not so much to the beach bums, which is one reason why Lefkada is not as busy as it could be. Over on the east side, small resort towns make the most of the sheltered bays and cool winds.

  • NORTH – Lefkada Town, plus smart villas tucked away in green valleys. Sandy beaches in the north-west are suitable for families.
  • SOUTH – home to Vassiliki, some pretty bays, and the sheer drops of Cape Lefkada
  • EAST – the developed side; the most built-up stretch is between Lefkada Town and Nydri
  • WEST – wild coast with stunning remote beaches and chalky white cliffs, few resort towns

Public transport:

  • KTEL – local bus timetables
  • The Lefkada – Preveza bus stops at the airport (Aktion) – see timetable

aerial view of Lefkada Town and marina

LEFKADA TOWN

Most visitors pass through Lefkada Town in favour of Nydri or Vassiliki, but those who want to use it as a base will find an enjoyably laid back town with a typical Greek feel yet cosmopolitan outlook.

The island had a short Venetian rule 1684-1797, during which extensive olive oil production was encouraged. But little remains of the original Venetian architecture in Lefkada Town due to the earthquake of 1953.

Rebuilding has resulted in a low-lying town, with upper levels sometimes built in wood or clad in corrugated iron as protection from earthquakes. The town’s churches are a mix of Ionian and Western architecture. Pleasant backstreets are strung with bougainvillaea and lanterns.

Cultural highlights include:

  • Archaeological Museum and Cultural Centre
  • 14th century Venetian Agia Mavra Castle
  • Phonograph and Folklore Museum
  • Gyra (or Yira) lagoon beach and western pier
  • Open-air cinema on Faneromeni Street
  • Frangoulis Distillery
  • Angelos Sikelianos Museum

The town’s main commercial is the main streets leading off Patia Ayio Spyridhonous, and the waterfront Sikelianos which lined with tavernas and ouzeries and cafes. Golemi Marina is thriving and popular.

You’ll find some accommodation at the main town beach Aghios Ioannis (or Aiyannis) beach which is 1-2km out of town. The beach is sandy but also windy and a popular wind/kitesurfing hub, centred around Milos Beach Club – a renovated windmill which transforms into a club by night. The beach is several miles long and dotted with a few places to eat and drink. The northern end is calmer, especially in the mornings. 

During the summer months, the town hosts the Lefkada Festival of Music, Arts, Literature and Dance.

STAY IN LEFKADA TOWN

There’s not an overabundance of places to stay in Lefkada Town. 

At the upper end,  check out the large resort-style Ionian Star which is centrally located and has a pool and sea views. 

Mid-range options include the fresh boutique vibes at Allure Central and the Secret Boutique Hotel.

Slightly more old-school Boschetto Hotel has comfortable rooms and elegant decor. Ianos Hotel is near the marina and has a large swimming pool and free parking.

Enjoy the historic charm at The Aigli.

On the north side, Hotel Lefkas is not far from the beach. 

For accommodation in the Aghios Ioannis area, Kastro Maistro has appealing apartments with sea views, but there are plenty of good value studios and apartments tucked behind the beach.

The Mousses Villas complex not far from town and perfect for families – it has a kids club and creche. It’s only bookable through Simpson Travel.

For budget rooms in town try Airbnb where you can get a sense of location (some of the cheaper rooms are far out of town).

South of Lefkada Town you’ll find Kariotes beach. There are simple rooms at Artemis Pension and Kariotes Camping

LYGIA

Keep going south from Lefkada Town and you’ll hit the small fishing village of Lygia (also spelt Ligia or Liyia). It’s not really a beach resort, though it does have a few clean pebble beaches.

But Lygia is a nice enough working village with some excellent fish tavernas. It’s on the main road so ideal for those who want to stay somewhere smaller but within striking distance of town. 

STAY IN LYGIA

Hotel Porto Ligia makes the most of its prime seafront position and good facilities. You can walk from your room to the pool and across the lawn to the sea. It’s within walking distance of Lygia village.

Try Avra for simple studios or Polyxenis for a traditional aparthotel.

sunloungers on the beach at Nikiana, Lefkada

NIKIANA

Beyond Lygia is the similar village of Nikiana, home to a narrow shingle beach, several good hotels and a cluster of friendly waterfront tavernas. Lefkas Diving Centre is also based in the area. It has the same transport advantages as Lygia but is a bit prettier.

STAY IN NIKIANA

The best top-end hotel and suites in Nikiana are Crystal Waters Hotel, Ionian Blue Bungalows and Spa Resort, and Agni Studios.

To the south of Nikiana is the Porto Galini Seaside Resort and Spa, a one of the best resort hotels on the island, with its own quiet beach and sports facilities. 

On a budget? Check out Akorkaria Beach House, Nikoleta’s Studios, and clean and simple Gianni’s Studios.

 

chairs and straw parasols by the waterfront in Nydri, Lefkada

NYDRI

Nydri is Lefkada’s main resort town (though it’s still pretty small, winding around one busy 2km road).

It’s a popular centre for yacht charters, flotillas and dinghy sailing in the area. Boats leave here for trips to Meganissi and the other satellite islands, including Skorpios – the Onassis island.

Nydri has the highest concentration of package tourism of all the towns on Lefkada. There is a small beach but there are better places to stay for that – the main one in Nydri is small and the water a bit stagnant, though there are some nice pebble beaches in the wider area.

But it’s the coastal scenery that’s the real draw here, as well as the accessibility of the area’s watersports and activities. Most of the town’s accommodation is close to the water and sea views are available.

And Nydri has a picturesque quayside with plenty of tavernas and bars to keep you occupied, and the harbour is lined with boats offering day tours. If the heat gets too much for you then head inland to cool off in the waterfall, a 45-minute walk.

STAY IN NYDRI

The swankiest place to stay in Nydri (and perhaps the whole island) is the sumptuous Villa Veneziano.

The George Hotel offers traditional Greek hospitality and updated rooms. Athos Hotel has a tree-lined bar and hot tub. 

The Palmyra Hotel is a comfortable classic, and you can walk straight into the water from Palmyra Beachfront Studios.

Also right on the beach is the popular Avra Beach Hotel

To find budget rooms to rent in Nydri, browse through Booking.com and look for ‘studios’. 

VLIHO AND THE YENI PENINSULA

The next town along the coast is Vliho (or Vlycho), a large natural bay which is mainly popular with passing yachts. Directly opposite is Geni, an ideal lunch stop with its pier-side tavernas set out like sirens to attract hungry sailors.

Beyond the few tavernas, there’s not much in Vlycha to speak of. It lacks accommodation but has mosquitos in abundance.

However, Vlycho marks the entrance to the Yeni Peninsula, where you will find the small Yeni village and some discrete villas and hotels tucked away within an easy drive of Nydri. 

STAY THERE

The hotels to note on the Yeni Peninsula are Vlycho Bay Boutique Hotel and Ilios Hotel and Villas

There are a few campsites in Dessimi Bay on the other side of the Yeni Peninsula – Santa Mavra Camping and Dessimi Bay Camping.

Mikros Gialos beach on Lefkada, surrounded by green hills

POROS AND SYVOTA

One of the most attractive quiet resort villages is Poros Beach, which is south of Vliho on the other side of a hilly headland.

The village of Poros itself is up in the hills, it’s a 3km walk downhill to the beach which is also known as Mikros Gialos. It’s worth noting that the local bus stops at the village and doesn’t go as far as the beach.

Mikros Gialos is a quiet bay although you won’t find it empty as many park up here for the day. The wider bay around is called Rouda and also encompasses a few smaller bays.

The beach here is white and stony which lends the water a brilliant colour. It’s perfect for swimmers as there’s a warm bit in the middle (in summer, at least), but the sea is cooler at the edges where the freshwater runoff from the hills meets the sea. There are several smaller beaches in the area to explore.

It’s a 15-minute drive from here to Nidri. The coast continues along to Syvota, a pretty inlet popular with yachties.

STAY THERE

Overlooking the beach is San Nicolas Resort, one of the best resort hotels on the island. The pool and balconies have stunning views. Rooms are decorated in fresh white and blue themes.

Right on the beach is the excellent value Rouda Bay Beach Hotel, with its prime seafront position and clean modern studios. Similar rooms and sea access can be found at the Captain Nick Hotel.

For the campers, there’s Poros Beach Camping.

pretty blue taverna tables by the water in Vassiliki, Lefkada

VASSILIKI

A close rival to Nydri in terms of popularity (and wind) is Vassiliki, with its stunning bay scenery and prevailing north-westerlies much loved by windsurfers.

It’s a watersports hotspot and hub for the island’s seasonal workers which ensures a lively youthful vibe in summer, and it is the best place on Lefkada for nightlife.

However, it also feels the most commercial and gets pretty packed out in peak season. Accommodation is often block-booked by tour operators and windsurf schools.

Windsurfers will find consistent conditions as well as plenty of facilities – there are several windsurf centres based here and its an excellent place for tuition. Milos beach, just north, is popular with kitesurfers.

The main beach is nothing to write home about, so beach bums are better off heading to nearby Ponti beach or getting a bus to the wild west beaches like Porto Katsiki. Ponti is a quieter outpost of Vassiliki, about 20 minutes walk, and you can also find rooms there.

There used to be a ferry connection to the neighbouring island of Kefalonia but the port is currently closed for construction work.

STAY THERE

Sappho Boutique Suites is the posh place to stay in Vassiliki, with several luxury suites that make the most of their ocean views. Each has a private plunge pool as well as access to a shared infinity pool

Vassiliki Bay Hotel is a solid choice for those looking for good value hotel comforts.

Budget Captain’s Studios is friendly and comfortable and located near the marina.

Centrally located Villa Delfini is another good spot for those on a budget.

If you don’t want to self cater, Nefeli Hotel and Ponti Beach Hotel are both based in Ponti right on the beach and are good value.

There’s a campsite too – Camping Vassiliki Beach.

ATHANI

There aren’t many resorts on Lefkada’s wild and wonderful west coast, but one place to stop is the small mountain village of Athani. As well as the great coastal views, it’s also the closest place for visiting Lefkada’s most beautiful beaches – Porto Katsiki and Egremni.

There’s a small smattering of tavernas and shops to service those who want to stop in the area.

STAY THERE

There’s a popular taverna called Panorama where you will also find some rooms to rent. Porto Katsiki Studios is another option.

If you’re looking for villas with views there are options around here. Serenity Boutique Suites have an infinity pool to die for.

 

aerial view of Agios Nikitas resort village on Lefkada

AGIOS NIKITAS

The main resort town on Lefkada’s stunning west coast is the pocket-sized Agios Nikitas, wedged into a bay between pine-clad hills. There’s a cluster of tavernas tumbling around a small pebble beach. It’s probably the prettiest place to stay on Lefkada – the main part of the village is car-free and it has an upmarket appeal – so perfect for couples and mature travellers.  

The downsides are that it doesn’t get the evening sun, and it’s not best placed for exploring the island. There are infrequent buses to Lefkada Town. 

However, you can hop on a boat to the nearby sandy beaches at Tsoukalades or Milos, or Pefkoulia for excellent swimming.

STAY THERE

Santa Marina is a large spacious resort hotel but it’s a bit of a trek down to the main village.

If you’re looking for simple studios Elena Rooms or Maria Filippa which are both central and close to the beach.

There are plenty of villas up in the hills making the most of those views.

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Image credits:

Lefkada Town: © verve / Adobe Stock

Nydri: © Kess16 / Adobe Stock

Nikiani: © cristianbalate / Adobe Stock

Vassiliki: © Kess16 / Adobe Stock

Agios Nikitas: © Calin Stan / Adobe Stock

Poros: © cristianbalate / Adobe Stock

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