Meganissi is the largest of Lefkas’ half-dozen satellite islands by some distance, and the only inhabited one. Although just halfan- hour by regular ferry from Nidri, which sails past Onassis’ Skorpios en route, its sleepy atmosphere and slow pace of life feel like a different planet.
This is an island from which to forget the cares of the world, one where you can completely relax and lose yourself in magnificent views, walking, swimming and other simple pleasures. Meganissi has two ports, each with a village above. The first small harbour is called Spilia, named after a nearby seacave. It comprises simply a pretty bay where fishing boats jostle with visiting yachts for mooring, a popular taverna and, to one side, a shingle beach called Rocca, also with a taverna. It is a 10-15 minute walk up to whitewashed Spartochori above, a delightfully flowerfilled village with a couple of restaurants of its own.
3½ kilometres to the east is the small port of Vathy. Vathy has some half-dozen well liked waterfront restaurants, popular with Lefkadians who pop over on Sundays for a leisurely fish lunch! The attractive village of Katomeri is a kilometre inland. Some pretty pebble beaches can be found within a 10-15 minute walk, and others may be reached by water-taxi.
The ports and villages are all linked by a circular road which runs above the sea and then winds its way inland through an idyllic country landscape. A network of footpaths and goat tracks makes walking through the gentle rolling countryside a popular activity – you could, for example, complete the round of ports and villages. Serious walkers will enjoy the trail south along Meganissi’s spine.
In keeping with Meganissi’s unspoiled nature, beaches are generally uncommercial, pristine and uncrowded. Most are of white-pebble, backed by pine and cypress. Ai Yiannis, also linked by country road from Spartohori, is the best known in the west and has a taverna – views to Lefkas are exquisite. On the east coast, 1.7kms from Vathi brings you to beautiful Fanari.
The heavily indented coastline hides many more secluded coves, bays and beaches, some accessible only on foot or by boat.
Car hire is recommended for non-walkers and bicycles and motor-boats can be hired. Small excursion boats will take you around the sea caves and the neighbouring Prince’s Islands. For brighter lights it is easy to visit Lefkas for the day, or even just a few hours. But we think most won’t want to stir from this beautiful, restful spot.