Lefkada

[ENGLISH] Lefkada, or Leucas is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea, connected to the mainland by a long causeway and floating bridge, as well as the island's capital city. The city of Lefkada, is at the north of the island, approximately 20 minutes by automobile away from Preveza Airport.

Lefkada Town (population: ca. 10,000), has a pedestrianised main street, a marina, and bus access to Athens.

The east coast section of the island has small resorts of Lefkada, Nikiana and Perigiali, all north of the largest resort on the island - Nidri. It is set in a sheltered location with views across to Skorpios - owned by Aristotle Onassis, Meganissi and other small islands, as well as the Greek mainland. The main coastal road from Lefkada to Vasiliki runs through the town, although a bypass is being built. There are regular car ferries to Kefalonia, Ithaca and Meganissi.

20km south of Nidri is the resort of Vasiliki - a windsurfing center. There are ferries here to Kefalonia and Ithaca.

South of Vasiliki is Cape Lefkada, where renowned Greek female poet Sappho allegedly leapt to her death from the 100 foot (30m) high cliffs. There are spectacular views across to Ithaca and Kefalonia, however the 16km (10 mile) unpaved road is enough to put off all but the most determined.

Indeed, the myth about Sappho's suicide at Cape Lefkada is related to other myths linking the island to the ancient Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, and to Odysseus, the hero of Homer's Odyssey. The German archaeologist Wilhelm Dörpfeld proposed the theory that the island of Nidri off the southwest coast of Lefkada was the real historical Ithaca, home of Odysseus. There exist several passages in the Odyssey suggesting that Lefkada is the real model for Homeric Ithaca. The most notable of these passages describes Ithaca as an island reachable on foot, which is the case for Lefkada, that is connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway (although analysis by geographers and hydrographers has concluded that the causeway is a more recent product of silting in the natural channel between the island and mainland and that in Homer's day Lefkada was indeed an island).

The West coast, facing the great expanse of the Mediterranean, has the hyped beach of Porto Katsiki. To the North, there are numerous beaches, with pale golden sand and powerful waves - a sharp contrast to the more popular East Coast.

Folklore has it that once upon a time, thousands of years ago, Lefkada was attached to mainland Greece (see above about Homer's Ithaca bein Lefkada). Some say the Leleges, its first inhabitants, transformed into an island, others that the Corinthians dug a trench in its isthmus.

Municipalities and communities

Municipality YPES code Seat Postal code
Apollonion 3601 Vasiliki 310 82
Ellomenos 3602 Nydri 311 00
Karya 3604   310 80
Lefkada (city) 3606   311 00
Meganisi 3607   310 83
Sfakiotes 3608 Lazarata 310 80
Community YPES code Seat Postal code
Kalamos 3603   310 81
Kastos 3605   310 81

Notable persons
- Aristotelis Valaoritis, poet and politician (1824 - 1879)
- Lafcadio Hearn - Orientalist and writer, who was named after the island
- Dimitrios Golemis, a historic Greek athlete
- Angelos Sikelianos, poet and playwright (March 28, 1884 in Lefkada - June 19, 1951 in (Athens)
- Maria Vamvakinou - federal politician, Australia
- Panos G. Rontoyannis, (June 20, 1911 in Lefkas - December 26, 1996 in Athens) a philologist and historian (the called "historian of Lefkas")
- Agnes Baltsa International opera singer

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org [ENGLISH]