Things to do in Lefkada with Kids
Lefkada is one of the best Greek islands for families, whether your children are after sandy beaches, fun activities, unspoiled island life or history and culture. We spent seven days in Lefkada with kids in May exploring the finest beaches. May is perhaps the best month of the year for a family traveling to Greece. It is not too hot, not overcrowded and the weather is pleasantly warm.
It is much easier to get to Lefkada than to most other Greek islands because it is connected by a floating bridge with Akarnia. This Ionian island has a few of the most amazing beaches we have ever seen. Porto Katsiki beach is rated one of the most beautiful in Greece and among the top 10 in the world. People call it the ‘Maldives of Europe’. It was an impossible mission to take a photo of all those 100 shades of the blue. This beach looks much better in real than in photos. I had never seen this color on a beach before.
The sea temperature is pleasant. Even in May, there is no crowd on the beach and natural shade can be found beneath the rocks. Above the beach, there is a cafe bar with ice-cream, fast food, and a panoramic view. The sea at this beach easily changes moods, so you can expect a wave of even Michael Jordan’s height. It was funny to see kids being surprised by giant waves. It was not funny to them though.
If you get bored in this paradise, on the island of Lefkada there are several beautiful beaches worth visiting. At the time we visited, two of them were closed due to the reconstruction of the road at Egremni beach and Gialos beach.
One of the best beaches for families with small children on Lefkada is Mikros Gaios. The sea is crystal blue and waves could hardly surprise you there. There are a few restaurants nearby with local food. The only bad side to this beach is the lack of natural shade.
Vasiliki is a little charming village with a small waterfront full of restaurants and cafe bars. There is nothing much to do there but eat, drink and enjoy the simple sea ambiance. We suggest you taste the traditional vegan pastry (ladocrole) made of a lot of olive oil, anise, and cinnamon from a local bakery.
Agios Nikitas is the most picturesque village on the island, with a street between traditional houses and flourishing gardens that brings you right to the beach. It has a small pebbled beach with rocks on the sides so children can climb up and jump into the clear blue sea.
It seems to be a favorite place for many local cats to do their ‘toilet stuff’. I wasn’t happy to see that, but at least the children could learn how clean and tidy cats can be. There are a few small shops, cafes, and charming tavernas overlooking the sea within walking distance. Agios Nikitas is one of those paces that look the best when there are no people around. I guess this little beach is crowded in the summertime, so it’s better to come when no-one else does.
Kathisma is the longest sandy beach with turquoise water on the west coast of Lefkada. It has everything you need to spend all day there with your family: sun umbrellas and chairs, beach bars, swimming pools, and para-gliding.
It was terrifying to see some paragliders accidentally dropping into the sea and everyone from the beach running in to save them. Everything was okay and they survived but this scene just reminded us of why we do not like extreme sports. In the summertime, this is a crowded party beach. We prefer nature and calm places away from crowds and noise.
It is definitely not one of those beaches where you can read a book and let your kids swim near the shore. If you are not a good swimmer, do not dare to swim very far from the shore. The extraordinary thing here is that this beach looks different every year. Sea waves during heavy winters alter the beach. Big stones move around and the whole beach changes. It is a perfect example of how nature is the best creative designer.
If you have enough time to explore the middle of the island, you shouldn’t miss visiting Karya. It is the largest mountain village with traditional stone houses. The heart of the village is a unique square crowned by huge old plane trees where you can enjoy drinking coffee or ouzo. The main street is lined with lace and embroidery shops where you can find very imaginative hand-made puppets and crafts made from the bark of olive trees.
Lefkada Monastery οf Faneromeni
The Monastery of Faneromeni (from the 17th century) is located on a green hill above the town and gives an amazing view of enormous lagoons and beaches around it. We spent some time here to contemplate and admire the rare Byzantine icons. The children loved the orthodox churches because they could light candles in there.
This monastery has a lush garden and mini zoo with deer, squirrels, chickens and more. They all seemed to be very well cared for, but we are not fans of zoos at all. It was beautiful to hear the cacophony of squawking and song of birds, ducks, parrots, and geese, but it was so sad to see squirrels running wildly in the small cage.
Nydri is the most touristic village at Lefkada, with so many hotels, shops, and restaurants. It is hard to find some peace there. Beaches are not that nice compared to those at the south side of the island, but it is a great starting point to explore nearby islands by boat for only 20 euros per person.
Where to stay in Lefkada?
We were lucky to stay in charming Horizon View House in the village Anthea and enjoyed the most beautiful sunsets from the terrace. The house is in a great location in a quiet, unspoiled area only 15 minutes from the magical beach Poto Katsiki.
Where to eat in Lefkada?
There are a few tavernas in nearby Porto Katsiki beach, but we kept coming back to the Oasis, a restaurant with an idyllic ambiance. It is a family-run restaurant where you can find a few of traditional vegan dishes (baked beans in tomato sauce, eggplant salat, stuffed vine leaves). The restaurant has a sea view and outdoor playground with a box full of toys to play with.
Best family destinations in Greece
Another great island for family holidays is Hydra. It is a no-traffic island with fabulous beaches, but accommodation is much more expensive than in Lefkada. In our opinion, the best family destination in Greece is Pelion. Olymp gods used to spend their holidays in Pelion area and we had to find out why.
If you travel to Greece, you might find some inspiration in our travel stories, because we try to look at things from the new point of view.