This week-long walking trail holiday in the lush green island of Lefkada will offer you the opportunity to explore its overwhelming nature and dramatic coastline with its breathtaking views… its old network of footpaths and cobblestone donkey tracks… steep cliffs and stunning white beaches with turquoise waters… traditional mountainous villages… delicious local food and wine… friendly and experienced local guides…
Lefkada, Ulysses homeland, is a precious green stone in the turquoise blue waters of the Ionian Sea, an island of contrasts characterized by rugged mountains and lush green valleys. If you are a nature lover Lefkada’ s mountains, waterfalls, ravines, natural springs, gorges, canyons, lagoon, forests, lush vegetation and rare wild flowers… will enchant you.
By joining our walking holiday in Lefkada, Greece, you’ll get introduced by a local to a side of the Ionian that few people know about.
8-day walking holiday itinerary
- Day 1: Orientation and introduction to the history and culture of Lefkada
Arrival at the island of Lefkada and transfer to our traditional, family-run guesthouse at the coastal town of Lefkada. Orientation and introduction to the history and culture of the island of Lefkada. Today we’ll start with an easy walk through the olive groves west of Lefkada town. We’ll pass the small white-washed church of Ag. Ioannis Antzousis, the oldest church of Lefkada and visit the significant Faneromeni monastery from where you will enjoy a fantastic view of Lefkada town, the Gira lagoon and mainland Greece. After a short walk we’ll end up at the beautiful Ag. Ioannis beach. Welcome supper at one our favorite local taverns where you can taste the island’s acclaimed gastronomy.
- Day 2: From the Gira Lagoon to the waterfalls of Episkopos
One of the most unique features of this beautiful island is the lagoon that’s located literally in the middle of town which is a Natura 2000 site. Despite the proximity to the town, birds adapted well and have made Gira Lagoon a favorite migratory stop. You can either cycle along the perimeter of the lagoon or walk as you keep an eye out for pelicans, flamingos and ducks. Later in the evening, we’ll start our walk from the village of Ligia and follow the path towards the Waterfall of Episkopos. On the way you’ll hear the merry singing of birds and the purling of little streams in this lush valley. The views to the surrounding islands are breathtaking. We’ll end our walk at the picturesque mountainous village of Katouna where we’ll taste home made food at the local tavern. If we are lucky and one of the locals is in a good mood we’ll listen to folk music! (Walking time: 3 hours / Actual walking: 5 hours)
- Day 3: Hike to the top of mountain Skaros to admire the view
During the 3rd day you may wish to enjoy one of the beautiful beaches of the bay around the village of Nydri or take a rented boat to one of the surrounding little islands and remote bays. Late in the afternoon we’ll take you to a very lonely part of Lefkada, the top of mountain Skaros, where Ulysses used to take his sheep. The forest Skaros is one of the most important natural habitats of Lefkada. We’ll hike from the village of Nikiana and the lush green valley and follow the beautiful trail to Skaros and the remnants of an ancient oak forest. After a short break to admire the stunning views of the bay, the surrounding islands and blue waters of the Ionian sea, we will descend towards the village of Nikiana and have supper at a local tavern by the beach, famous for its delicious fish dishes. (Walking time: 5 hours. Actual walking time: 7 hours.)
- Day 4: Rest day
Opportunity to rest or explore the island’s stunning beaches or the surrounding islands. The island of Lefkada is surrounded by a total of 24 islets, including the renowned island of Scorpios, once property of Aristotelis Onassis. The options are endless and we’ll be happy to offer you advice.
- Day 5: Ancient trail connecting traditional villages
During the 5th day we’ll make our way towards the traditional settlement of Kalamitsi, where the elderly women still wear traditional dress and the most important means of transportation is by donkey. We’ll take the ancient trail via a gorge towards another traditional village, Exanthia. Ancient cypresses and olive trees will be our companions. After a short break to admire the panoramic views of the green hills of the island and endless deep blue of the Ionian sea, we’ll have a light lunch under the shade of pine trees. We’ll then descend a beautiful path to Drimonas and then the remote beach of Mylos, ranked among the islands’ nicest beaches. Swimming and snorkeling at the crystal turquoise waters of Milos are the best reward after our walk! From Milos we’ll either take a 5-min boat or walk to the picturesque village of Ag. Nikitas where we will end the day with supper at one of our favourite local taverns. (Walking time: 3 hours. Actual walking time: 5 hours.)
- Day 6: Walk and explore Lefkada’s most remote and famous beaches
We’ll explore the west side of the island and the island’s most remote and famous beaches; Porto Katsiki and Egremni voted the best in the Mediterranean (by Condé Nast Traveler). We’ll start our walk from Lefkatas Cape, the southern point of Lefkada island. The lighthouse there was built on the ruins of the ancient temple of Greek god Apollo, Leucatas. You’ll observe the 200ft white cliffs that give the island its Greek name. In antiquity they served as a trial by ordeal (the “Lefkadian leap”) for accused persons. It is the place where Sappho allegedly leapt to her death by jumping from the high cliffs. We’ll follow the coastal trail and admire the steep cliffs and rock formations and the turquoise-blue waters of the Ionian Sea. We’ll stop for a swim at the magnificent beach of Porto Katsiki; a long and sandy beach surrounded by impressive hills. We’ll then walk shortly to the mountainous village of Athani, amidst olive groves. We’ll end our day with a delicious supper and fine wine at the village tavern! (Walking time: 3 hours. Actual walking time: 6 hours.)
- Day 7: Circular walk and collection of herbs
Rest and swim at one of the island’s numerous beaches during the day. Later in the afternoon we will walk inland and explore two of the island’s mountainous villages. We’ll start from Kolivata, a village hidden in the greenery, and follow the most beautiful ancient path to the once deserted but now restored village of Alexandros. During the walk we’ll introduce you to the most common herbs one can encounter around Lefkada and depending on the season you’ll be able to gather thyme, oregano, lavender, sage to name a few. The day will end with a superb supper and live music
Our walks of this weekly walking holiday in Greece are graded as moderate. We will walk mainly on paths of moderate gradient with ascents of up to 500m in a day. We will walk up to 5-6 hours in the day including stops to rest and for lunch.
Flexible itineraries are available based on the needs of our guests. We can organize a more challenging or a more relaxed-pace itinerary offering you more time to relax and enjoy the sea and sun of the Ionian sea. You can also combine this holiday with a walking holiday in other islands in the Ionian Sea such as Kefalonia and Ithaki.
Solo travelers are welcome. It’s always more fun to walk with a group of like-minded travelers.
Best time to visit
We organise these walking trail holidays in Lefkada island in Greece all year round apart from July and August when it can be quite warm. Spring and autumn are the best times of year for walking. In spring nature is at its most abundant. The Judas tree and the broom are flowering and the island is covered with a blanket of wild flowers. During the walks you can also discover rare orchids. The colorful butterflies are a feast for the eyes; you smell herbs like thyme, oregano and sage. In the summer, it is a little drier but in autumn the first rains bring a new shower of flowers and amazing autumn colors.
We have reserved for you a lovely authentic family-run guesthouse. The owners are very hospitable and helpful and are known to provide the most delicious breakfasts. Lefkada is in a very central location and is very well connected with other islands in the Ionian (Ithaki, Cephalonia, Zakynthos) if you wish to continue your holiday. The combination of natural beauty, culture but also the hospitality of her residents will make this walking holiday in Lekfada Greece, unforgettable for you.