Maps and GPS

One of the big motivations behind this website was trying to find maps of the paths or monopati of Lefkada. We bought many paper maps and some had no paths at all, the best just a few. We could see trails heading off in interesting directions – but no maps to know where they went. So we set about walking up those paths with a GPS recorder running. We asked islanders. We followed coloured dots left by annual fell running. All we tracked we placed on OpenStreetMap. We are still adding to this.

Genuine Lefkada sign

OpenStreetMap > is like Wikipedia only for maps. A communal effort to map the planet (we do our bit for Lefkada). OpenStreetMap is now the authorative base of most other maps you see on the internet and in mobile phone apps. It sometimes appears as OpenCycleMap or Mapbox or Thunderforest. These are all OpenStreetMap with different rendering (drawing the final map) and with height contours added (essential for walking). The monopati we have mapped appear on the maps from all these sources. It sometimes takes a month or two for our changes to ripple through, but most monopati for our trails are there now.

Two exceptions are Google maps and Apple maps. Google eventually picks up OpenStreetMap but it can take a very long time. It isn’t really for walkers anyhow. Apple maps is a joke as many Lefkada town names are shuffled randomly or even over on the mainland. Don’t use it even for driving on Lefkada. Google often routes cars down unsurfaced tracks too.

Mapping Phone Apps

On all trails we supply a GPX file for you to download (completely free and with no registration needed). GPX files contain a list of points marking the route or trail. Copy (or “Share”) that file to your chosen GPS app (see below) on your phone and off you go. We strongly recommend you use some sort of GPS mapping our trails. A phone with an app works very well. Make sure not to run down the batteries so you can have a phone for emergencies. We carry a charging unit on longer hikes.

The best free mapping app with offline maps is Guru Maps >. Note there are two versions, free and “Pro” paid version. The free one does all you need to to follow our trails – but please support the developers with the paid version if you are able. Download the Greek map with Topographic Data (contours) whilst still on wifi. Then download and “share” the GPX trails you plan to walk with the Guru Map app on your phone – you can save several into a folder in the app. You can now follow the trails whether or not you have a phone signal and without using data allowance.

We also use Gaia GPS >. It has a good website and iPhone and Android apps. The free edition will let you follow our trails. All our trails are available on Gaia GPS and there are links to these on every trail. You have to pay for offline maps which costs US$40 per year. It shows OpenStreetMap, their own Gaia rendering of this (with height contours) or OpenCycleMap. Sounds complex but just set it to the one you like the best.

We have also tried: Alltrails, Avenza, Komoot, Maps.ME, OSMAnd, and several others. These all take the GPX file we provide. Use them if you like them better or have already subscribed.

We have no affiliations to any of these companies. Let us know your favourite GPS app in the comments and we will see about adding it too. As described above, all paths and monopatis we have mapped are probably on the map they use. So you can easily follow our written descriptions using your favourite mapping app right now. If it takes GPX or KML imports you can copy the trails from Gaia GPS.

Google will take you to many online guides to maps and GPS. One good short video is here >. A great intro to using Gaia etc.

GPS Devices

If you have a dedicated GPS device (nice) then you can copy GPX to that via its companion application. You may need to convert the route to a track. Get a device that uses OpenStreetMap sources (although some have the nerve to charge for this open data).

Paper Maps

At last, there is a paper map of Lefkada that is useful to walkers and bikers – Lefkada Tour & Trail Map > published by DWG. Published in April 2021 it shows many of the trails we have been mapping on OpenStreetMap. It is nice and clear and has contours. Amazon sell it but you can find it much cheaper elsewhere (for example the link above). It still doesn’t have all the trails but it is a long way ahead of any other map.

Two other maps that would be good if they showed more trails are below. Buy them to use in conjunction with GPS mapping if you like to carry paper. Hopefully they will update them soon.

Anavasi >
TerrainMaps >

There are other maps, some even labelled walking maps, which are very poor. Only buy after looking at them in a shop.

There are good bookshops in Lefkada town that stock maps. But for the above maps you are best to get online before you come to Lefkada.

Note that all these paper maps are also available as downloads if you use the Avenza app >. Then you can share our GPX trails and follow on your phone. Makes a good hybrid paper-digital experience.

Books of Walks

Lefkada tourist office have a great leaflet with walks. Download a pdf copy > or get a printed copy from tourist offices. They have a lot of shorter walks around villages and along the coast. Only one or two trails overlap with this site – we both describe the brilliant trail from Eglouvi to Profitis Ilias.

A common book you will see in shops all over Lefkada is Lefkada on Foot > by Lida Out. You can buy from Amazon for twice the price. It is a good book, and worth buying, but many of the routes and maps are out of date, using paths long overgrown. Also, many find the route descriptions a little hard to follow. Cross-check them with this website or our GPS mapping. Fagotto do publish some updates online > which help a little.

There are other very much older books – but probably not worth buying as they are so out of date.