Hiking in Lefkada
With a canyon, a gorge and a mountainous inland, hikers will enjoy exploring this beautiful island while pursuing their favorite sport.
Route through Melissas Gorge (Kavalos village):
If you’re looking for fairy-tale beauty, trek this enchanting route. Just follow the river as it winds through ancient oak, plane and elm trees skirted by wild rosebushes. An important part of Lefkada’s ecosystem, Melissas Gorge offers birdwatchers the opportunity to admire swooping falcons and hawks as you trek alongside the river. You’ll also be able to admire vestiges of the island’s commercial history, as watermills that used to process sulfur and grain dot the banks of the river. Let the moss-draped trees cast a spell on you as you explore the forest – which is rumored to be inhabited by fairies, elves and demons. Less experienced hikers can benefit from an easier trail which nonetheless takes you through breathtaking forests and quaint watermills.
Route through Dimosari Canyon (2 km from Nydri village):
Another breathtaking route takes you through Dimosari Canyon. Gushing waterfalls pool into exotic lagoons shaded by moss-draped oaks. This is a perfect swimming spot if you’re hiking in the summer, although the waterfalls and thick forest keep the temperatures comfortable. Take a break and drink some spring water – the locals swear it’s the best drinking water in the region. Once you’ve relaxed, continue your trek by climbing the stone steps carved into the mountain. Dimosari Canyon is one of Lefkada’s vital ecosystems, and played an important role throughout Antiquity by powering the island’s waterworks by harnessing the surge of riverwater from Mount Vafkeri. If you enjoy caving, there are a few small caves throughout the canyon for you to enjoy.
Hike through Skaron Forest :
Located up in the river-crossed mountains of Lefkada, this forest is made up of centuries’ old moss-draped trees, along with a very rare type of oak which can only be found in Lefkada and in a handful of other forests in Europe. Skaron Forest is exceptionally beautiful and plays a vital role in the island’s eco-system. This fact was only highlighted during the Venetian and Ottoman occupation, when guards were posted throughout the forest to protect it. If you’re an avid hiker and look forward to the climb all the way up, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the island’s dozens of villages as well as beautiful sea vistas. Hikers will occasionally run into wild goats, so look out for herds as you explore.
Explore the villages in the mountains:
This island’s inland boasts a landscape of small mountains which can easily be hiked through by experienced hikers. Stop by a number of enchanting villages which cling to the sides of the mountain and are often shrouded in fog.
Read about the paths in the official walking guide of Lefkada [EN] (or german version [DE]).