Ag Nikitas to Mylos Beach

A short trail over the headland between Ag Nikitias and Mylos Beach. Mylos is one of the best beaches on the island. Ag Nikitas, too, is a pretty seaside village on the north west coast of Lefkada; with a nice beach and tavernas. A pleasant place to spend time. However 30 minutes walk takes you to a much larger and quieter beach. On the headland is an old windmill – hence Mylos Beach (the English word “mill” comes from the Greek word “Mylos”). The beach is almost all wonderful sand.

The walk is short, but up and down steep steps. So best to do it in the morning or evening in summer, or anytime the rest of the year. There are no tavernas or anything else at the beach, although a caravan serves drinks in peak season. So best to take what you need – and, of course, bring back all your rubbish.

Note that this is the only public-access trail to Mylos Beach. Two other tracks down to the beach are private and blocked with locked gates. The cliffs make any other potential route highly dangerous. On calm days in summer boats will take you to the beach from Ag Nikitas.

0.75km one way, 1.5km to the far end of beach.
100m ascent and descent.

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There is an summer bus to Ag Nikitas from Lefkada Town.

Tavernas and accommodation in Ag Nikitas. A seasonal kiosk at the beach.

Park on the road on the edge of Ag Nikitas. The village itself is car-free apart from residents. There is quite a bit of space for parking on the road but, as Ag Nikitas is popular, fills up fast in summer. You can also park towards Lefkada town and walk into Ag Nikitas along the coast.

Sign in Ag Nikitas at the start of this trail

Half way down the pedestrian road from the nearest parking to the beach is a sign to Mylos Beach pointing left (if facing the beach). Take this path as it goes up and slightly left up steep steps. Climb up to the top with good views back into the village.

The path runs over the headland, some parts paved, other parts rough.

The path runs up and over the headland through a forest giving some welcome shade. It then starts to drop down the other side. Here you get your first glimpse of Mylos Beach ahead. The path now starts to descend down very steep steps. Take great care.

View down to Mylos Beach

At the bottom is the beach. You can walk along the wonderful sand to the headland at the far side. You can also walk on the dunes behind the beach – but please stick to the paths and don’t walk on the flowers, herbs and grass that bind the sand.

The old windmill up on the headland from which the beach gets its name.

Mylos Beach is a great place to sit, swim, picnic, smooch, whatever. A common question Lefkadians get asked is “what is the best beach”, with so many to choose from. A common answer is to avoid giving away that really nice quiet one. Mylos could be that beach.

Return back the way you came. Two other paths down are private. Don’t even think of climbing the cliffs at either end of the beach. On calm days in summer it is possible to get a boat back to Ag Nikitas. Note that the summer daily wind pattern is for a north westerly blow mid-late afternoon (it is why sailing and windsurfing is so good here). Be prepared to walk back.

Red Church – Skaros – Kollyvata loop

The Trail of the Three Monopati. Climb up Skaros mountain from the Red Church above Nidri. This routes forms a loop following three classic monopatis. Combined with the views from the top of Skaros it is one of the best medium length trails of eastern Lefkada.

436m ascent.

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You need a car or taxi to get to the start of the route at the Red Church.

Taverna in Kolyvata.

Make sure you take plenty of water. The trail is reasonably long and challenging. The trail is marked with red-orange markers along most of the route. At times you have to watch for them carefully. Don’t confuse with red lichen rings that can be similar. However, as always, we recommend you follow the GPX trail on your mobile phone.

The trail starts at the Red Church or Monastery of Evangelistria just off the road up from Nidri towards Platistoma and Karya. Park in plenty of space in front of the monastery. With your back to the monastery head left across the lawn to a track starting to climb up through the trees. You soon pick up the trail of orange/red blobs that take you to the top of Skaros.

The lawn in front of the monastery where this trail starts.

After climbing for 500m as the track forks right and then left you soon come to a monopati heading right just before the track curves left.

A monopati heads off right as the track curves left

This monopati was recently cleared and restored by the Nikiana mountain runners and it is a beauty. It climbs up along a wall with wonderful shade from the overhanging trees. It crosses a small ravine and then traverses up and across through the trees. Eventually you meet a track where you turn left up the slope. Climb up the track. After 500m the view starts to open out on the right down to Nidri and the Inland Sea.

After 500m views open up on the right down to Nidri.

After almost a further 1km a path goes off right where the track hairpins left beside a wood electricity pole. Take the path up the steep slope up to near the top. Follow the path to the top near the telephone antenna.

Amazing views down to the Inland Sea and the mainland beyond.

Take a while looking at the wonderful view down the east coast of Lefkada. When you are ready, head back down the track behind the masts. After a short distance the trail of orange/red blobs goes off right down a path – do not follow them, rather keep on the track. It joins another track at a T junction where you go right. Follow the wonderful track as it threads between the Skaros peaks and huge oak trees.

The track descends down a concreted section to a high meadow with metal goat huts and tracks heading off right. Ignore the turnings and keep straight on. The track climbs a little until you reach a large orange/red arrow pointing up a path heading into the trees up left.

A big red arrow shows the monopati going left in a corner of the track

Take that path and start to follow the orange/red blobs again. The path climbs up and passes over a ridge before dropping down and right down the far side of the hill.

The monopati descends though the Skaros forest

The track descends for 1.5km down a long stone ledge for much of the way. This is the second classic monopati on this route. You get great views ahead of you down to Kollyvata, Alexandros and over to Karya, with Profitas Ilias mountain behind. Eventually you pass a tiny monastery on your left and reach a road. Cross the road and continue on the path on the other side. After 300m you reach a track where you go right down towards a church and then take the track running down the left of the church. Keep straight on down heading into the houses of Kollyvata. The track runs down some stone steps going right and then turns left between two houses down to a road.

The path comes out onto the road between Maria’s taverna and a house.

The house on the right is Maria’s Taverna. If open this is a good place to stop for refreshment. If you want food you normally have to phone ahead and book. Maria runs the taverna by herself. If you do eat, the food is delicious.

Turn left along the road, past the small parking area, and down the path heading down a ramp straight ahead.

The trail leaves Kollyvata along a slowly descending path

Keep going down and the path soon starts to descend quite steeply into a small ravine. Keep an eye out for the orange/red markers and you won’t get lost. At the bottom you cross the stream and start to climb up more gently though the wonderful pine forest. The path becomes a track.

The track turns left twice and starts to head down the left side of a deepening gorge. At a fork turn right and start to descend again. After a while the path narrows. After 200m turn off left into the trees. Watch the red markers. Be careful as I’ve found the markers switched around (joke?). The arrow should point left and the cross should be on straight ahead.

The turn right to enter the tree lined path

The trail enters a delightful wooded section with the path threading around and under the thickening trees. The third classic monopati runs through the trees with the trees forming a tunnel over the path. An amazing path.

After a descent a similar path joins from the right. Go left and exit the forest. Cross a track and follow the path through to the open area where the Red Church is on your left.

A big shoutout to the Nikiana based Lefkas Trail Run> who cleared all three of these wonderful monopati. Their work keeping Skaros trails open has been consistent over the years. We wouldn’t be able to do this website without them.

Syvros to an ancient temple and Agios Ioannis Monastery

Gentle walk through the trees below Syvros to an ancient temple that has been converted into a Christian monastery. A perfect evening walk – or take a picnic and spend the whole day. You can still see stones and columns of the ancient Doric temple of >Dimitra, the goddess of agriculture and fertility. It was converted to a monastery in about 1650. It is still believed to be a good place for a couple wanting a child to visit and pray. Nice too, even if not currently desiring such a happy event. The lush valley is an ideal spot for a temple to agriculture and fertility.

The path is marked to “Agios Ioannis” along much of the route. The last part is a little indistinct and we recommend downloading the GPX file of the route and following it on your phone or GPS device.

4.4km one way – 8.8km both ways.
200m ascent one way – 320m both ways.

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There is an infrequent bus to Syvros from Lefkada Town.

Tavernas and accommodation in Syvros.

Start from the pretty town square in the middle of Syvros. There are two or three tavernas to take refreshment. With your back to the square facing the old schoolhouse go left down the road. Immediately after the first corner take the track/narrow road going left, followed immediately by a second left turn.

Follow the track generally straight ahead until forking left on a path. There are red streamers tied to branches along some of the route, but it is best to follow these turns on a map or GPS. The path goes through trees and olive groves and climbs up to meet a road. Go right and then take the first track off right again (signposted “Springs Pathway”. Drop down a short slope and then turn left towards the Kanali spring. You pass the path marker to “Agios Ioannis”.

Follow the path marker to Agios Ionnis

Keep half-right past the spring and take the track as it starts to descend down the side of the valley through the trees.

The track descends for 2.5km along the side of the valley

After 2.5km you reach a narrow road – turn right and then immediately right along another track. The track goes around a low hill through olive groves. After about 500m a path goes off right straight up the hill (following with a map or GPS phone really helps here). Take the path as it climbs between trees and bushes to the top of the hill.

A path turns off the track straight up the hill.

At the top of the hill is a clearing with the monastery grounds and a small parking area. Take a wander around the site. You will see the round columns of the ancient temple, and also see stones in the wall of the church that were once part of the old temple. It is also a good place to sit and picnic. The tradition is that couples praying inside the church may hear footsteps outside indicating that a child is due.

Stones of the ancient temple in the foundation of the church

Retrace your steps back to Syvros, or arrange for a taxi or friend to pick you up. An alternative is to walk down the quiet road to Kondarena and the main Vasiliki-Nidri road where there are buses.

A huge thanks to the Antelikos Sivros Cultural Club, especially Vasilis Deftereos who inspired this trail. They marked this trail and regularly take groups on it giving a fascinating description of the temple, wildlife and fauna. Take a look in their small museum too if you get the chance (in the old schoolhouse at the start of this trail). You can also learn Greek dancing at their weekly evening session.

Eglouvi to Karya monopati traverse

The old monopati route running from Eglouvi to Karya across a low pass below Profitas Ilias. Paired up with Lefkada Trail day 3 Karya to Eglouvi this makes a great loop trail from either Eglouvi or Karya. Go out on one and back on the other – a great hike – one of Lefkada’s best.

4.4km. 10.7km if paired with route back over Profitas Ilias.
200m ascent. 760m ascent for the full loop, 560m with the shortcut.

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There is an infrequent bus to Eglouvi and more frequent to Karya from Lefkada Town.

Tavernas and accommodation in Karya. Tavernas in Eglouvi.

The trail starts from the centre of Eglouvi. Here are three tavernas and a great small square shaded by a plane tree. A great place to seat and eat or drink, but today we are going walking. Head off down the road towards Karya. The road goes around a few bends and after almost 1km a track goes off left. This is the well-marked start of the monopati.

Take the track off left from the road down to Karya from Eglouvi

After 20m a second sign shows the monopati itself goes off left climbing through the trees. The monopati goes parallel to the track before starting to climb up the hillside. The monopati is well marked with yellow and red paint marks.

The monopati climbs up the hillside marked with yellow and red paint

Climb right up and over the low pass. On the far side there are a few easy rock scrambles and then a great traverse across the steep hillside. You get fantastic views across to Skaros, Nidri and down to the Inland Sea. A truly wonderful monopati.

The monopati traverses across the hillside towards Karya

After a couple of kilometers you reach a telephone mast. Follow the path around the mast and it becomes a quiet tarmac road. Almost immediately a red and yellow painted arrow on the road shows a track going off steeply down into the trees. Head down that track to reach Karya. If you are planning to walk back on Lefkada Trail day 3 Karya to Eglouvi you can take a short-cut by instead continuing along the quiet road. Follow the road until you meet the trail heading up from Karya about 50m past a fork in the road (go left). The shortcut saves 200m of climbing.

The yellow and red marker shows the path heading down to Karya.

The path down to Karya heads down through the wonderful pine forest above Karya. It is a little steep in places but reasonably easy down through the trees. The yellow and red markers show the way. Keep going until you reach the back roads in Karya.

Inventive yellow and red paint markers on the trail.

When on the road head down left and then immediately right. A short track heads off immediately left behind a house.

A track heads off immediately left.

At the bottom the short track rejoins a road. Take the road turning first left, first right, first left, and first right again. Then straight down, round a bend left, and down to the main square in Karya. If you miss those turns just head down and you will get to the square.

The main square is delightful with great tavernas and bars clustered around a square with plane trees providing shade. This is a popular place to come, in the evening especially.

The Lefkada Trail day 3 Karya to Eglouvi trail starts at the spring in the north west corner of the square. Head back here to Eglouvi, this time climbing to the top of Profitas Ilias. You can also walk back up the road, but not nearly as interesting.

Nidri – Dimosari waterfall – Neochori loop

Hike from the port of Nidri, to the nearby Dimosari waterfall at Rachi, and then up the hills coming back down through the pretty Neochori village. You can use this route just to go to the waterfall and then back to Nidri – or hike up above Nidri for great views. Most of the route is shady running through trees. You need good walking shoes both for the clamber over rocks to reach the waterfall and for the short very steep ascent going up from the waterfall path.

406m ascent
Moderate (Easy if just going to the waterfall).

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Nidri is a good base to stay in Lefkada. Many boats moor on the town quay. There is a regular bus from Lefkada Town.

Numerous hotels, tavernas and accommodation in Nidri.

The walk starts from the port in Nidri near the statue of Onassis. Head 50m south along the quayside and then right through the alley to Nidri main street. Cross the main street and take the road opposite with a small yellow sign to the “waterfall”.

Take the road from Nidri high street following the small “waterfall” sign.

Keep going straight up the road, past a parking area, until you reach the Nidri bypass. Carefully cross this road (cars go very fast) and take the road on the other side, to the right of the coffee shop. You keep straight on along this road following occasional signs to the waterfall. Keep straight on through the small Rachi village. Pass olive and lemon groves, a small football pitch, and a delightful stream – until you get to the waterfall parking area. If you are driving to Nidri you can park here as an alternate start for this trail.

Head up the path past the Plane Tree café and shop (a nice peaceful spot for a refreshment break) and on up the path towards the waterfall. The path runs over and under impressive big boulders until it reaches the waterfall. People bring swimming costumes and swim in the pools. It can get quite busy in summer. After enjoying the waterfall head back the way you came until just before the Plane Tree café.

Very steep path heading up on left of large water tank

Just before the Plane Tree café, as you head back from the waterfall, there is a large concrete water tank on the right of the track. On the left side of the tank a path starts climbing straight up the very steep slope. There is a rope to help with the first steepest part. It is a bit daunting but the very steep bit is short and you soon join a wonderful monopati to take you safely up through the remaining cliffs. If you can manage the start you will have no problems with the rest.

The monopati climbs up out of the waterfall gorge.

The monopati climbs up and out of the waterfall gorge until it meets a track. Turn right up the track and go for about 200m until another grassy track goes right into an olive grove. Follow the track through a few hairpin bends until you reach a quiet road. Turn left and follow the road going under a massive plane tree near a spring.

The road passes under a massive plane tree near a spring

Follow the road until you reach a T junction with a larger road. Turn right about 50m and take the first unsurfaced track going left slightly up by a house. After 50m the track forks and you take the left fork. The track traverses across the hill through the trees with great views down to Nidri. After 500m the track forks again, take the left track going slightly down almost parallel to the right-going track. After 80m the track turns into a rough path over rocks descending towards a stream in the trees. Cross the stream and take the path going up the opposite bank (marked by blobs of red paint). The path wiggles through the trees to a more open olive grove. Head diagonally up and left until the path becomes a track again. That track joins another and then traverses across the hills above Nidri.

The track traversing towards Neochori with great views down to Nidri

Ignore turnings save for one upward zig zag until you reach Neochori village. After the first few houses you reach the village hall on your left. Immediately after the hall take the road left. This runs down to a pretty church where you turn left again following the road running down from Neochori. Follow the road as it sweeps round to the right and then takes a first hairpin left. Fully around the hairpin a monopati heads right steeply down from the road (ignore the larger track at the hairpin itself). The monopati runs down below the road until it ends at a concrete track. Go right down the steep slope to a track at the bottom, where you go left. The track soon rejoins the road and heads down though the village of Paleokatouna (Ag. Christopher on some maps).

When you reach the taverna take the small road going right (appears straight on as the road turns left). Walk straight down the road going slightly right, then left, then left again (although generally straight on). You meet the main Lefkada-Vasaliki road at the Nidri bypass turning. Take the road heading directly into Nidri and then the first track off right heading down to the sea. Go left and follow the road back into Nidri along the waters edge to your starting point.

Syvros Springs Pathway

A beautiful loop between Syvros and Vournikas and the lush valley that surrounds them; above Vasiliki. The walk passes several springs, streams, waterfalls, and old water mills (the water runs all year). This superb classic route has been recently cleared and revived by the Antelikos Sivros Cultural Club led by the inspiring Vasilis Deftereos. They will happily guide you round and tell you the history of this ancient part of Lefkada. Do not miss the chance of walking with them.

The Springs Pathway is now marked with clear signs. Confusingly the route had been marked using red paint several times taking different routes each time. Most recently a mountain race was run using part of the route. The best advice is to ignore the red painted blobs and arrows at the junctions of roads and tracks, often they point in completely the wrong direction. The new signs make the trail much easier to follow. Still a good idea to have the GPX trail in your phone GPS map app too. Also ignore old signs showing the whole trail on an arial photo map – it has changed since then.

One of the new signs that mark this “official” route.

The route is well shaded for most of its route and so can be used in all but the hottest mid-summer days. For optimum shade start at 9am or earlier. It is easily shortened if you don’t want to climb up to the highest spring or prefer to miss the steepest paths. You do need good walking shoes and carry a bottle of water, which you can replenish as you pass the springs (apart from the few specifically marked as do-not-drink).

512m ascent

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You ideally need a car or taxi to reach the start of the trail. There is an infrequent bus to Syvros.

Tavernas and accommodation in Syvros and Vournikas.

Start from the Syvros village square. There are tavernas to take refreshment before you start. Head off on the road heading up to Agios Ilias on the north side of the square up the right of the old schoolhouse. At the first turn of the road to the left take a track going off right. After a short distance fork right and then fork left. You re-join the Agios Ilias road up right for a few metres and then take another track off right. Follow the track keeping right at each of two forks until you reach a large, paved area with a spring in an alcove of the wall and a delightful small waterfall over mossy rocks.

The first spring beside a large, paved area.

There is an option here to considerably shorten the trail and skip the steep mountain section and the highest springs. Go up the path passing directly up and behind the spring and take the track direct to the Gazina Spring (below). From there pick up the rest of this trail. You will miss two great springs and fantastic views, but it makes a much easier trail.

For the full trail, after admiring the spring, head back almost the way you came but keeping right going up the hill. After 100m a track forks off right. After a short distance the track hairpins right and a path continues straight on through an olive grove. The path rejoins another track where you keep right. Follow the track as it crosses a ford where gravel has been taken for local building projects. A track goes right just after the ford and climbs to where a path goes off left following up the course of a stream.

The start of the path heading up along a (usually dry) stream. The red arrows are safe to follow.

For this path only you can safely follow the red arrows and blobs climbing up the hill. You meet a track where you continue to follow the red arrow right. After a short distance you meet another track where you go left up the steep slope.

The track climbs up the steep slope.

Keep on climbing the hill until an almost parallel track to your right finally joins the path you are on. Keep on up for 100m until there is a group of plane trees to your left. In the midst of the trees is a very welcome spring. This is the highest point of this trail. Stop for a while drinking the clear water.

The highest spring on the trail and the welcome shade of the large plane trees.

After a break head back down the track you came up but this time keeping on the left-hand parallel track as it heads down and across the steep hillside. This section gives you fantastic views over the Vasiliki valley. The track passes some goat sheds up on the left but keep going down and across the slope.

The track traversing down the steep hillside with views of the Vasaliki valley. Note the welcome shade provided by an early start on this route.

The track becomes less clear as it traverses across the hillside. After about 1km the track becomes a monopati and becomes very steep and scrambly. Take care. Ignore paths heading down the hillside and keep going across the slope.

Eventually you meet a path with marked yellow blobs going left straight up the hill – don’t go up, keep going across and slightly down. After about 200m you arrive at the Klimatsa Spring with two white columns in the water. This spring is very pretty but the water is currently not safe to drink. The Klimatsa Spring is associated with ancient pagan rites here and on a nearby rock.

Pretty Klimatsa Spring with two white columns. You arrive down the track on the right and leave down track on the left.

Take the path going back past the spring on the downhill side. Follow a track threading between the old stone buildings of Vournikas, some sadly derelict. It is safe to follow the red paint blobs for this section. Reach a surfaced track and almost immediately the covered Gazina Spring beside a cool pond. Take a look at the stone basins that were used to wash clothes. The water is very good to drink.

The covered Gazina Spring and pond with old stone clothes-washing basins.

After refreshing take a path that goes off down directly below the pond. There are steps at first and then a surfaced footpath. The footpath becomes a surfaced track. Almost immediately turn left and then right. Join a tarmacked road zig zagging down the hill. After two zigzags a track goes off right. After 300m the track crosses another road and then continues down the hill. Just after crossing the road a track goes off left. Go 70m down that track to the Kanali Spring before returning and continuing down the track to the right.

The track is concreted for most of the way. It descends a valley down to another tarmacked road. This is the lowest point of the Springs Walk. Follow the road right as it goes up for about 200m. On the right is a track signposted to the Daphne Spring.

The track goes off right signposted to the Daphne spring and waterfalls.

Take the track, past another spring, and keep right as it becomes a path, crosses a wooden bridge, and goes up the right bank of a stream passing several waterfalls. This section of the trail is very pretty.

Several pretty waterfalls along the path at Daphne spring.

Climb up beside the stream on this magical path through the trees with wild-flowers and wildlife. After 1.5km you reach a paved area and then climb some steps to a roadway.

Follow the road up right for 200m to a track going off right. Take the track keeping left until you rejoin the road again just before it passes back to the Syvros village square. This is where you started. Take more refreshment at the taverna.

A huge thanks to the Antelikos Sivros Cultural Club, especially Vasilis Deftereos who inspired this trail. They reopened this trail and regularly take groups around giving a fascinating description of the village, wildlife and fauna. Take a look in their small museum too if you get the chance (in the old schoolhouse at the start of this trail). You can also learn Greek dancing at their weekly evening session.

Klousouria Gorge loop from Agios Ilias

Follow an old monopati down into the Klousouria Gorge below Agios Ilias. Superb old monopati that navigates down past rock pinacles into this impressive gorge. Explore the gorge upstream for a while before following the monopati up the other side and looping back through the forests above Syvros. Runs back up to Ag Ilias by a different route.

I think this gorge is in some ways more impressive and has better views than the Mellisa Gorge, which appears in more tourist guides to Lefkada. However the steep drops are not fenced off so not as safe with young children.

280m ascent

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You ideally need a car or taxi to reach the start of the trail. There is an infrequent bus to Syros from Lefkada town from where you walk up to Agios Ilias

Taverna and limited accomodation in Agios Ilias. More of both in Syvos.

Start off from the taverna in Agios Ilias. Plenty of places to park the car without blocking the road or side tracks. Head up the road following the sign to Eglouvi and Karya.

The taverna in Agios Ilias

After a short distance pass a church and monument on the left, go round a bend, and meet a road junction where the road divides into the one-way system to navigate the narrow roads through the village. Take the turning left going against the flow of cars (and so this time NOT the road signposted to Eglouvi and Karya).

Turn left to walk the wrong way up the one-way road for cars

Keep going following the road a few hundred metres up a steep slope to a flatter part just after a bend right. After 40m there is a concrete track off left next to a phone/power wood post.

Turn left at the track by the wooden pole

Keep walking down the track ignoring turnings to a gate across the track with a sign “Leader II”. At this point a monopati starts down the left side of the fence leading from the gate. Take this monopati. At first the monopati keeps close to the fence as it passes around the compound. The fence has barbed wire and an electric wire running along the top (don’t touch it!!). Don’t worry as you will soon leave this unpleasantness behind. There may be a metal “gate” to untie, open and leave as found.

As the monopati leaves the fence it starts to drop steeper into the gorge ahead. Very soon fantastic views open up to the left with some wonderful rock pinnacles framing the gorge below. Descend steeper dropping slightly right down along the ledges taken by the monopati where you eventually reach the bottom with a bridge across the stream.

Looking up the gorge from near the bridge

You will eventually take the monopati across the bridge that goes slightly right up the other side of the gorge, but before you go that way explore the gorge upstream. The stream will be dry in summer making this easy – but take care if water is flowing. Don’t do this if heavy rains or thunderstorms are likely as the gorge fills quickly. Go up as far as you wish (and water permitting) – the sides getting more precipitous the further you go. After seeing enough head back to the bridge. If you only came for the gorge then go back up the way you came down – but if up for the full loop head up to the right from the bridge.

Climb up through the trees on a widening monopati until you reach the top and meet a track. Go left around the vineyards, past an olive grove and under a tall fig tree. Starts to descend for 1km working around the low hill to your left. You get some great views over the trees to Syvros and the Vasiliki valley. Ignore the turn off right sharp and go straight on heading back to Agios Ilias village.

Great views south over Vasiliki valley

Head along the track across the slope for another 1km until you meet a ford. The track crosses the ford and heads off right. The ford is over the lower part of the gorge you crossed higher up, at the bridge. It is possible to go back up the gorge along the stream bed (if it is dry). There are a few rock climbs up waterfalls so you need to be happy using your hands and feet. Far easier is to continue along the track.

Go past a church on the left of the track

After a short distance you pass a church on the left. Keep going to meet another track. Turn left straight up the steep concrete track. At the top the track joins the road just below Agios Ilias. Turn left and go uphill until you reach the taverna where you parked your car. One of the big hairpins can be cut across by an initially concrete track.

Lefkada Trail day 5 Ag. Ilias to Ag. Petros

The trail is the fifth part of the Lefkada Trail running from the base of Stavrotas over to the start of the long tail of Lefkada down to the south. The walk crosses the Vasiliki valley descending down past the magical springs and waterfalls of Syvros before climbing back up to Ag. Petros. This sets you up for the final day of the Lefkada Trail day 6 Ag. Petros to Cape Doukato.

The trail is along unsurfaced tracks and paths for much of the route – with just a few kilometres on very quiet roads.

300m ascent

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Tavernas and limited accommodation in Ag. Ilias and Ag. Petros. Vasiliki and Syvros have much more.

You really need to use a taxi or have a friend/partner that drives.

Day 5 of the 80km Lefkada Trail.
Day [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

The trail starts where we left off day 4 outside the taverna in Ag Ilias (just below entering the narrow one-way system within the main village). Head down the road towards Syvros. After 400m the road curves to the left where a log-clad house is on the right. Just before that house a concrete track goes right running down behind the house and becoming an unsurfaced track.

The track goes right off the road behind the log-clad house.

Keep right at the fork and continue until you re-join the road. Cross straight over the road and take the unsurfaced track heading down. Keep right descending down the track. For a short distance the track almost re-joins the road on the right, but continues on down. A section of the track is part-overgrown but continues as an easy path before becoming a track again. The track descends steeply on a few zig-zags until it reaches a less-steep section. On the right of the track is a large plane tree and the topmost Syvros spring. You can stop here for a rest and the water is pure and delicious.

The highest Syvros spring under the huge plane trees

Continue down the track you left to enter the spring. After 100m a second track forks right (running down just below the lefthand track gradually getting wider apart). The righthand track is less distinct so look carefully. Where you see some metal-sheet goat-sheds up to your left a track goes sharp right. After 50m a path descends straight down left. There are a number of red paint marks to follow from this point, but many of the red arrows point back the way you came (ignore that fact). Descend the steep track (take care) along a stream bed (with water in winter). At the bottom you pass a junction and then meet a track fording the stream to the left. From this point stop following red marks, and take the track left and down.

After 200m from the ford a path forks off to the left. Take the track through olive trees keeping right at the second fork until you meet a track. Go left along the track for 150m to the second spring. This one too is good to drink. There is usually a waterfall over the moss beside the path – very photogenic.

The second spring in Syvros. The mossy waterfall is behind the wall.

Head back on the track almost the way you came, but taking the track going left and down across the slope. After 200m turn left to a T junction where you go left again. Round a bend past an old watermill you re-join the road briefly. Turn left down the road and then immediately left again on another track. Keep right then left continuing down until you join the road again. Follow the road a short distance into Syvros village square with its water channels and tavernas. Time for a coffee or more.

When ready leave the square along the road to the right from where you came into the square. Go around the corner of the schoolhouse building and after 50m take the track going left. If you reach the post office you went too far. Down the track keep right and then right again. You soon re-join the road going left down hill. Just past the car service yard a paved path heads off left down to Daphne Spring.

Keep going down the Daphne Springs path for about 1.5km past the spring itself followed by several waterfalls and cascades. The path is delightful. Just below the last waterfall the path crosses a wooden bridge. Note there is another wooden bridge just before the real one leading to a dead-end. After the bridge head down left past a final spring until you re-join the road.

Bridge across the stream after the last waterfall (looking back the way you came).

Turn left down the hill, then round a right hand bend to a junction where you turn right (signposted to the cemetery). After 0.5km keep left at the road fork. After a further 1km the road turns sharply to the left and a track goes right (almost straight on).

A track goes off right on the corner of the road.

Take that track going left at the immediate first fork then turning right a little further on. Straight on until it re-joins a road. Go right along the road as it gradually climbs up the valley. After 1.2km the road passes some huge olive trees and an unsurfaced track heads off left up the valley through some trees. Take that track and climb up towards Ag. Petros.

The track goes left off the road just after some large olive trees.

Keep right and then left, generally keeping to the track zig-zagging up through the woods. When you reach a road go right and then straight up, ignoring turnings, up the very steep road into Ag Petros itself.

Here you join the main road down the west of the island. There are tavernas as well as some accommodation for the night.

Tomorrow is your last day on the Lefkada Trail.

Lefkada Trail day 4 Eglouvi to Ag. Ilias

This walk runs between the mountain villages of Eglouvi and Ag Ilias. It climbs up and over Mount Elati visiting the high peaks of Katharia Rachi and Stavrotas before descending to Ag. Ilias. This takes you over the highest part of Lefkada; crossing from the north to the south of the island. The trail is along monopati and unsurfaced tracks for almost all the first half of the route – with a quiet road descent on the other side.

930m ascent
Difficult (but there are shortcuts).

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Tavernas and limited accommodation in Eglouvi and Ag. Ilias.

Infrequent bus to Eglouvi from Lefkada town. However you really need to use a taxi or have a friend/partner that drives.

Day 4 of the 80km Lefkada Trail.
Day [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

The trail is the fourth part of the Lefkada Trail. It is one of the hardest days as it climbs high and is long too. The full route takes you over both Katharia Rachi and Stavrotas. Katharia Rachi is the end of a ridge and has the best view in Lefkada. Stavrotas is the highest peak on Lefkada. If the day is too long for you then you can easily skip one or the other of these. But do come back when you have finished the Lefkada Trail and do what you missed on this day. Otherwise, you don’t get the T-shirt 🙂

Start in Eglouvi in the main square with the tavernas. If you haven’t got water fill up now – there will be no more drinking water until you get back down. There is a tap next to the plane tree or buy from the tavernas.

Start of three trails in Eglouvi; even the corrected distances are wrong

Go up and round to the left of the tavernas and down the narrow path to the right. You will soon see the sign for the start of three trails. You follow A4, and A1 will accompany you as far as the windmills. You follow red and yellow paint markers and A4 signs all the way to Katharia Rachi for the first part of this trail. They are pretty clear for most of the way.

Walk through the quiet village roads until you see a monopati heading up to the left up the hill. Follow this diagonally up until you reach the windmills.

Approach to the windmills. This trail goes up that ridge on the skyline.

After exploring those and enjoying the view take the track up to the right behind the windmills. Follow to a surfaced road. Turn left and follow around a few bends until there is an unsurfaced track going off right. The track has a read and yellow arrow painted on the road pointing where you need to go. Beware there is a second track a few hundred metres later also with a red and yellow arrow. Make sure you take the first.

Track off right with yellow arrow marker – note now red and yellow

The track approaches a vineyard where a monopati branches off left. It skirts around the vineyard and starts to climb the ridge. The monopati now goes up the crest of the ridge to its top. This is a steep climb but you get fantastic views all the way up – a real classic. There isn’t much shade but it is well worth the effort.

At the top of the ridge the monopati becomes a narrow track going past a very small lentil field (make sure you go round not over). The track turns right to head up to the radio masts on the top of Mnimati, but the A4 monopati actually goes straight on and slightly downwards. Make sure you don’t miss the monopati painted dots.

The monopati is now much easier following down to a small pass and then gently up the ridge to the top of the peak. Finally you get to the sign indicating the end of the A4 on Katharia Rachi.

Below you is a wonderful view down to Nidri – with all of the Inland Sea and islands behind. If you have eaten at one of the tavernas at Geni and looked up – this is the steep crag fringed peak you will have seen above you. A fantastic place to sit and enjoy the view.

The end of the A4 trail. And a great place to sit and take in the view.

When you have finished looking take the path heading sharp-right almost back the way you came. The same red and yellow paint marks descend down and right down to high pass below you. After about 200m the marked path turns back left and descends more gently to the pass. The path then turns right and goes over a low hill until it reaches a T junction with an unsurfaced track. Follow the painted marks off right.

Follow the track as it winds across the high plateau. There may be wire fences to cross but most have tied “gates” where crossing the track. Leave them as you found them as they stop the cows roaming.

Track winds across the high plateau

The track eventually climbs back up to the road near the radio antenna at the top of Mnimati. At this point leave the paint-marked trail and take the road going left away from the masts.

Follow the road left away from the antenna

Descend the road for 1.5km until you reach a junction. Take the road left going down towards Ag. Ilias. After a few bends there is a track off up to the right. Here you have a choice whether to climb Stavrotas up above you or to carry on down the road to Ag Ilias. The route up Stavrotas from here is 1km long and 220m of climbing – and then back on the same route. If you do climb Stavrotas, and being Lefkada’s highest mountain you really should if able, you will eventually return to this point on the road.

The track heads into a small high valley with fields and pasture. Very shortly you reach a small hut on the left where the track divides. Take the left track running past the hut on the left hand side. There is often a dog attached to a chain blocking the track – but this is easily avoided with a path that run around to the left and then re-joins the track.

Distant view of trail up Stavrotas. Track comes up in lower left (the road just out of shot), past the hut, up to the ridge line up on the right, and then up left to the summit.

The track turns suddenly to the left and heads straight up the steep slope – at this point carry on straight ahead on the path that goes off right.

The trail is marked in yellow dots and steadily climbs up the slope going diagonally to the right. It is unclear in parts so a GPS map helps. Goats don’t have GPS and make several tracks – but keep going to the ridge up and right. After a climb the path goes over a small ridge marked by two large yellow painted arrows on the rocks.

Large yellow arrows on stones

At this point a second path joins from the right marked with red dots (Stavrotas from road above Eglouvi). Carry on upwards and slightly rightwards following both yellow and red dots. Sometimes the yellow and red take slightly different routes for short distances but either path works. Climb up through a small field system and up onto the steep rocks of the last part of the climb.

Keep going up to the top. There is a slight false summit just before you get to the real summit. The real one is clearly the highest and has a small cairn, flag pole and shrine box.

The views from the top are the best in Lefkada. You can see up North over Preveza to Paxos and Corfu – South to Ithaca and Kefalonia – east to the Gulf of Corinth – west out over the Ionian Sea.

South over Ithaca and Kefalonia

Retrace your steps back down the path until you reach the road where you started up Stavrotas.

Descend down the road about 3km into Ag. Ilias village. If you use your map, there are a couple of paths down this slope as alternates to the road, but very rough and overgrown and indistinct lower down, so hard to recommend (use your discretion and scrambling ability).

The road passes a monastery and bell-tower viewpoint. Near the village the road becomes a one-way system (the roads being super narrow in the village). Best to follow the right hand side where cars also descend. Just as the road recombines there is a very welcome taverna.

Well done, you have just done the hardest day. Take a well earned rest and consider day 5 tomorrow – being much shorter and much less climbing. There is limited accommodation in Ag Ilias. There is much more accommodation and tavernas in Syvros a few km further down the road (walk taking a very good path running to the left of the winding road). Or arrange a taxi or lift back to your base. Day 5 will start back in Ag. Ilias – or in Sivros if you walk down to overnight there.

Lefkada Trail day 3 Karya to Eglouvi

This walk runs between the mountain villages of Karya and Eglouvi. It climbs over Profitis Ilias which is a church set on a mountain top with one of the best views in Lefkada. Warning – there are hundreds of churches on peaks in Greece called Profitis Ilias. This is the 1,009 metre peak just SSW of Karya. The trail then descends down the other side to the village of Eglouvi. The trail is along monopati and unsurfaced tracks for almost all of the route.

560m ascent

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Accommodation and tavernas in Karya. Tavernas and limited Aaccommodation in Eglouvi

Infrequent buses to Karya and Eglouvi from Lefkada Town. However you really need to use a taxi or have a friend/partner that drives.

Day 3 of the 80km Lefkada Trail.
Day [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

The trail is the third part of the Lefkada Trail. It is a relatively easy short day on the Lefkada Trail – but then tomorrow, day four, is one of the hardest. You can walk it as a stand alone and walk back a different route to Karya. It is a steep climb up Profitis Ilias mountain and a steep rocky descent to Eglouvi.

Start from the town square in Karya, with all the nice tavernas and the shade of the plane trees.

Start of trail up hill between spring and bakery

This trail is marked as M4 from Karya – with red markers and arrow signs for most of the way. Go up the steep path/ narrow lane in the north west of the square, by the drinking well. There is a good baker as the path starts where you can get cheese pies for the top.

Follow M4 red arrows

Follow up through the steeply climbing streets going straight up – but bear a little left at first and then a little right. The path narrows and reaches a turning right up stairs. The M4 red arrows show you the way.

Turn right up stairs

At top of stairs you reach a road. Turn right and go a short distance to a monopati heading up the hill left.

The first section of monopati leaving the road.

The monopati zig zags up the hill passing through ruined stone buildings and past a small church. The path then goes left to meet a road on a sharp bend. Go up the road until a T junction where you turn right. Very soon a monopati starts up the hill on your left.

Second monopati leaving the final bit of road out of Karya

Follow the really nice monopati up the mountain. It passes a wonderful natural amphitheatre full of olive trees. Keep going up through some rocky outcrops (but with a good path to keep you safe). The path is well marked by red-yellow paint marks.

As you come to the top of the hill another path joins from the right. The markers now become red-yellow-blue. At the top go left following the markers (there is a less distinct path continuing straight on down to Eglouvi direct).

When you reach the top of the ridge the vista west will open up. Below you is a quarry and over beyond that to the left is the old American communications base. Follow the red-yellow-blue markers up along the ridge until you reach a road heading up the mountain. Go left up the road.

Old American communications base above Eglouvi

Climb the twisting road up towards the top of Profitis Ilias. The odd car ventures up here, but it is being undermined by the quarry, and difficult to pass. As a walker you won’t have any problem. Stick to the road all the way to the top.

Reach the mountain top and the very pretty church of Profitis Ilias with its amazing views in all directions. Many describe this spot as being close to heaven. You can see all of the Inland Sea from here – on a clear day to the entrance of the Gulf of Corinth.

Church of Profitis Ilias looking back over the last half of this trail

Note that this peak is a drone-free zone. And you can see why many would fly drones here if permitted.

Looking down to Eglouvi and your destination for today

Head back down the road you came up. After about 100m there is a large red and yellow arrow indicating a footpath off left. Descend that path down towards the quarry. The path skirts a small field and then almost gets back to the road. Instead go straight down the slope left. The path is clearly marked with red and yellow paint markers.

Cross the quarry keeping to the path. At the bottom you meet another path coming from the right. You head down the dry streambed to the left. Again, follow the painted markers.

The junction of the A3 (coming from Profitis Ilias) and M4 (going to Karya)

The path becomes steep and rocky so take care. As it steepens the path takes the right hand side of the stream or gorge.

Looking back up the steep path

The path eventually meets a road on a hairpin bend. Go down left towards Eglouvi. After a short way paint markers show a path leaving the road and running down into the village. Take this path following back down the A3 trail. If you miss the path the road goes to the village too.

The start of the A3 trail in Eglouvi – or end of this trail for today.

Eglouvi village has three or four tavernas in the main square up a little on the right. Sit in the shade of a wonderful plane tree and relax. There is some accommodation in the village and an infrequent bus to Lefkada Town. Day four of the Lefkada Trail will take you up over Lefkada’s highest mountain and down to the south of the island.