Area of island: 302 sq. km/117 sq. miChief town: LefkásLefkás or Lefkáda (Ancient Leukas; Italian Santa Maura) is a hilly island, marked by karstic action, lying off the Playiá peninsula in Acarnania, from which it is separated by a shallow lagoon varying in width between 600m/650yd and 5km/3mi.
At the north end of the island of Léfkas is its chief town, Lefkáda. The unusual structure of the houses, with supporting timber posts and beams and lightly built upper floors, is designed for protection against earthquakes.
The Lefkáda Spa is recommended for skin diseases, gynecological disorders, rheumatism, circulatory disorders, hepatitis. The method of treatment is bathing, drinking, electrotherapy.
3km/2mi north of the town of Lefkáda, on the shingle spit, stands the Venetian fort of Santa Maura (Ayía Mávra; 13th century). 3km/2mi west is the Faneroméni monastery, from which there are magnificent panoramic views.
14km/9mi south of Lefkás, reaching far inland, is Nydri Bay. On Cape Kyriáki, opposite the little port of Nydri on the east side of the bay, are Dörpfeld's house and his grave. Off Nydri Bay, to the east, lie the picturesque little islands of Spárti (sea-caves), Madourí, home of the 19th century poet Aristotelis Valaoritis, and Skorpiós, which belongs to the Onassis family.Nydri is one of the most popular holiday spots on the island. Sights worth seeing in the area include the ruins of the prehistoric city and some circular graves.
Lefkatas (Sappho's Leap)
Lefkátas or Sappho's Leap, is the most southerly cape on the island of Lefkás. Here once stood a shrine to Apollo, famous throughout the ancient world. It is also said that this is the spot where the poet Sappho took her life, flinging herself from the white cliffs, a victim of her unrequited love for Phaona.
Lefkás Festival of Literature and Art
The Lefkás Festival of Literature and Art is held annually in August.This festival runs for two weeks and includes lectures, folk dances, theater pieces and exhibitions. The festival revolves around St. Spyridon Day.The feast day of this saint, the patron saint of the island, is celebrated with a traditional wedding ceremony performed in the central square of Karya village. There is also traditional folk dancing, dining and singing.
Off the southeast coast of Lefkás lies the attractive island of Meganísi (area 18 sq.km/7 sq. mi; alt. 267m/876ft), the ancient city of Thaphos, with sandy beaches and sea- caves. There is some farming land in the flatter western part of the island; the eastern part is occupied by a range of wooded hills (quarries). The chief place on the island is the little port of Vathy (regular service from Lefkás). To the west is the harbor of the village of Spartokhóri.