The Beaches of Lefkada

Azure, turquoise or the deepest sapphire, whatever your favourite shade of blue, you’re certain to find it in the waters around Lefkada, vibrant and shimmering under the intricate lacy patterns of the surf where the Ionian Sea laps at the island’s shores.

Steeped in legend, Lefkada is often claimed to be the land of Homer’s Ithaca, the mythical island home of the hero Odysseus. And it is also, indisputably, home to numerous beaches of mythical beauty—each with its own unique character, and each enjoying the cooling effect of those same magical waters.

Kastro and Ammoglossa – Where the magic begins
Sharing a common orientation, the two beaches of Kastro and Ammoglossa are located on the island’s northeasternmost tip, where Lefkada almost touches mainland Greece. They are the first beaches you’ll encounter as you cross from the region of Aetolia-Acarnania to the Ionian Islands.

Coming from the mainland, turn right just past the floating bridge at the Venetian Castle of Santa Maura, and you’ll arrive at the two beaches, which are located just to the north of TAOL’s (the Agricultural Cooperative of Lefkada) old winemaking facility. Soft underfoot, the fine sand at Kastro and Ammoglossa beckons you to wade into the crystal-clear waters. On the Kastro side, the beach has a lifeguard and offers some amenities including showers, a changing room, and portable toilets, as well as several rubbish bins along its length.

Good to know:
- Just a short distance from Lefkada town
- Easy access and parking
- Bring your own gear – think sunshade, beach chair, etc.

Agios Ioannis-Miloi and Vasiliki – The realm of the wind god
With frequent high winds, some rocky areas in the shallows, and a beach that sees sand give way to fine shingle along its length, Agios Ioannis-Miloi is set against impressive views of the island’s verdant hills seemingly plunging into the Ionian Sea.

Good to know:
- Just a short distance from Lefkada town
- Easy access and parking
- Ideal for surfing and windsurfing
- Has some amenities, including sun umbrellas, sunbeds, drink and snack stands, and a restaurant
At the other end of the island, all the way to the south, Vasiliki is a fantastic choice if you’re passionate about water sports, from windsurfing and sailing to kayaking and paddleboarding, as well as exploring underwater. The beach also offers a selection of food, drink, and entertainment options.

Good to know:
- Easy access and parking
- Perfect for kitesurfing and windsurfing
- Shallow waters that are great for younger swimmers
- Plenty of amenities, including sun umbrellas and sunbeds, water sports facilities, tavernas, and beach bars

Agiofili – An underwater wonderland
The boat from Vasiliki is the easiest way to visit nearby Agiofili Beach, which is sheltered from the wind in a small bay and boasts a marvellous underwater world and vibrant marine life. Make sure to pack a diving mask—and ideally a snorkel and swim fins too—so that you can enjoy the stunning underwater displays.

Good to know:
- White pebble beach with no natural shade
- Fantastic for snorkelling
- Can be accessed by boat or by road, but you’ll have to follow the trail from the parking area and climb down the set of stairs to the beach
- There’s a drinks and snacks stand, located in the area at the top of the steps leading down to the beach

Milos – To hike or to sail?
Named for the old, long abandoned windmill (in Greek, “milos”) that still stands atop the hill at its north end, Milos Beach is in a league of its own, backed by dramatic rock face and sand dunes. Make sure to bring along the essentials, including a sunshade, beach mat, sunscreen, snacks, and plenty of water. If you prefer a beach that offers more amenities at hand, the nearby Agios Nikitas Beach is the place for you.

Good to know:
- Can be accessed by boat (approx. 5’) from Agios Nikitas or on foot, hiking the trail down to the beach (approx. 20’)
- Wild beach with no amenities
- Not recommended for younger children, particularly when the sea is rough

Kathisma – Stealing the show
Without a doubt Lefkada’s most cosmopolitan beach, Kathisma offers a wealth of amenities, from sun umbrellas and sunbeds to beach bars and restaurants. The tree-and-shrub-covered hills that back the beach add a verdant touch that elevates the scene, while paragliders defy gravity to gracefully swoop down and alight on the beach. 

Good to know:
- Plenty of amenities, including a restaurant, tavernas, and snack bars
- Great for water sports and paragliding
- Can be accessed by road

Porto Katsiki – 100 metres, 100 steps
Porto Katsiki is quite likely the most photographed beach on the island. If you’re adventurous enough to brave the approximately 100 steps that descend the cliff face down to the beach, make sure to bring along all the essentials. Alternatively, opt for arriving by boat, which makes for a much more relaxed experience.

Good to know:
- Wild beach with no amenities
- Can be accessed by boat or by road, but you’ll have to climb down the set of stairs to the beach
- If you drive here, you’ll have to pay to use the privately owned parking area
- There’s a drinks and snacks stand, located in the area at the top of the steps leading down to the beach

Egremni – Even more stairs!
A sand and white shingle beach of otherworldly beauty, Egremni is the product of the imposing limestone cliffs that rise above it—the very cliffs that you’ll have to descend (by means of a some-400-step-long stairway) in order to access Egremni’s impossibly blue waters. For a more relaxed arrival, you can also take the boat here from Nidri. Gialos Beach is another nearby beach in the area.

Good to know:
- Wild beach with no amenities
- Can be accessed by boat or by road, but you’ll have to climb down the (long) set of stairs from the parking area to the beach
- There’s a drinks and snacks stand/snack bar, located in the area at the top of the steps leading down to the beach

If you want to experience both Porto Katsiki and Egremni but don’t quite feel like hiking up and down all those cliff stairs, the two beaches can be beautifully combined and visited on a day cruise from either Vasiliki or Nidri. Such cruises offer wonderful opportunities to take in the views of Lefkada from the sea and to enjoy swimming in the island’s famously bright blue and crystal-clear waters. Most cruises have a duration of about seven hours in total and often also include a visit to Agiofili Beach.

Afteli – Homer’s shores
Looking out across the sea to Arkoudi, Ithaca, and Kefalonia Islands, Afteli Beach is situated in a calm and lush little cove on the island’s east coast. A little further inland, Chirospilia (literally, “pig cave”) is said to be the very place where the mythical hero Odysseus, upon finally returning home to the island after long years away fighting in the Trojan War, first revealed his identity to a local swineherd.

Good to know:
- A white pebble beach that offers a range of amenities
- Can be accessed by road, but practise caution while driving as the roads can be steep and winding
- There’s a restaurant/beach bar

Avali, Kavalikefta, and Megali Petra – Off the beaten path
Some of the island’s more low-key and off-the-beaten-path beaches, Avali, Kavalikefta, and Megali Petra seem to resonate with those calm, grounded vibes that we all seek on our island getaways—and at the same time, they also feel disarmingly fun. The drive over will take some patience as you’ll have to make your way down some rather narrow roads, but every minute spent getting there will be absolutely worth your while.

Good to know:
- Coarser sand and shingle beaches with some rocky areas
- Can be accessed by road, but practise caution while driving as the road can be narrow, steep and/or winding
- May offer some basic amenities

Amouso, Mikros Gialos, and Ligia – No fuss access(ibility)
By far easier to get to by road than other beaches on the island, Amouso is a fantastic little bay close to Vasiliki, on the island’s south coast, and a great option if the winds and waves are too high on the north side of the island. Mikros Gialos, near Poros in the southeast, and Ligia, in the northeast, are the island’s only two truly accessible beaches: They are equipped with Seatrac systems that allow wheelchair users and beachgoers with reduced mobility to independently access the sea.

Good to know:
- Plenty of amenities at hand
- Easily accessed by road
- Drink and snack stands, camping sites, hotels, and restaurants in the surrounding areas

In addition to the multitude of options for boat tours and cruises around Lefkada, you can also get around on the island using local public transport (buses). Make sure to check the official website for the relevant route and timetable information before travelling.