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Location

Municipalities: Vasiliki, Aghios Petros, Athani, Dragano, Komilio, Hortata, Kondarena, Marantohori, Evgiros, Syvota, Vournika, Syvros, Aghios Ilias.


The region of Apollonion is one of the biggest on the island. The region is rich in water springs, vegetation, beautiful forests, ravines, caves and a lot of villages.

Sightseeing

Vasiliki is the main village of the municipality and has known great growth in tourism. The main attraction is the beach of Vasiliki that extends to the tip of the bay of Ponti. It is one of the most ideal beaches for windsurfing in the Mediterranean Sea. The wind comes from the central mountains and helps the windsurfers speed up. Hundreds of windsurfers spend their time on the beach of Vasiliki windsurfing offering the visitor a unique sight.

The region had been inhabited already from an early time. During his excavations in Hirospilia, in Evgiros, Dorpfeld brought to light finds dated from the palaeolithic and neolithic era. (around 3500BC). They are on display in the archaeological museum in Lefkada town. According to the archaeological authorities, the ancient ruins lying in the valley of Vasiliki are probably the ruins of an ancient town.


In the southeast the magnificent bay of Syvota resembles a fjord and offers safe mooring to a lot of boats that come here in order to escape bad weather or rest. Along the waterfront you will see a lot of fish tavernas which are among the best on the island. They are open all year round. A lot of tourists as well as locals choose to eat there. The north part of the region offers a lot of highly interesting natural as well as cultural places worth visiting, despite the fact that they haven/t been sufficiently promoted. Going up the road to Syvros, 5 km north of the village Vournikas, in a peaceful landscape looking over the entire bay of Vasiliki, lies the derelict monastery of Aghios Ioannis sto Rodaki. It is one of the most interesting monasteries on the island. It was probably built in 1654.

The church was built on the site of an ancient doric temple, probably dedicated to goddess Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and fertility. (This probably explains the tradition, according to which if a childless couple prayed in the church, would have a baby). Parts of Doric capitals as well as paved flooring can still be seen. The church grew, the cells increased and a lot of facilities were built over the years. The church is well preserved and has got a spacious yard. The church has got two entrances. Part of the frescoes on the east wall are well preserved and of exquisite style.


In Vournika lies also the church of Aghios Ioannis Prodromos. It used to be a private church and belonged to the Karavias family. It is concidered to be the oldest church of the Byzantine era on Lefkada- even older than the monastery of Odigitria. It is a singlenaved basilica. On the north wall of the church a picture of an unknown saint praying to God dates back around the end of the 11th century or the beginning of the 12th century. The rest of the frescoes date back to the 17th century.

The whole region of Syvros is of a special beauty. You will see olive trees as well as plane trees. The region is rich in water springs and cultivations. It is said that Syvros used to have 24 watermills. Here lie also the springs of the gorge of Kerasia one of the most beautiful places on the island. At a short distance lies the cave Karouha, also worth visiting. Over Syvros, on a high altitude lies the village Aghios Ilias. It is the second highest village after Englouvi. The vegetation here is sparse due to the altitude. It used to be an old refuge against pirate raids. On the main road leading from Nydri to Vasiliki, you will get the chance to visit Marantohori, a traditional village. Near the village, at the location Bisa lies the monastery of Aghios Georgios. Its foundation are dated from late 16th century until early 17th century (1620). The monastery was not big, however it was wealthy and possessed a lot of land.


The church was rich in frescoes, however only few are still preserved today. In 1922 according to the inhabitants the church became a quarantine for those infected with smallpox. After the epidemic ended, the walls were treated and plastered for disinfection. In Marmara, Pyrgi and Kleismatia the archaeological authorities have discovered the ruins of ancient towers. In the region you will also have the chance to see a small natural lake, the lake of Marantohori, an important habitat for a lot of flora and fauna species.


The road to Vasiliki passes through Kondarena, a village where you can see a lot of traditional houses. In Kondarena you can also visit the church of Panaghia. The present church was built in the mid 19th century. Older parts of the church can be seen on the northeast side of the church. The church has also got important icons, works of the painters Gennimatas and Sideris. Another beautiful church worth visiting in Kondarena is the church of Aghios Spyridon, situated in the village centre. Its templon is simple and is the work of Panos Prosalentis. The icon of Aghios Spyridon was painted by Ioannis Anagnostis (probably from Ithaca) and is dated from 1776.

Sailing along the east coastline, before reaching the bay of Vasiliki we see two magnificent sandy beaches. The first one is Ammousa and the other one is Aghiofili. The crystal clear sea invites us for a swim. On the other side of Vasiliki lies the peninsula of cape Dukato. From there you can see the steep, most impressive west coastline. The landscape is mountainous and wild, with the white cliffs fighting against the waves. The beauty of the place is fascinating. Legend has it, that Sappho, the poetess, ended her life here out of love despair.


Before we reach the lighthouse, the road leads to the monastery of Aghios Nikolaos Iras or Niras, a remarkable historical monastery, probably built in the beginning of the 17th century (about 1637 or earlier). The present church was built later. Its iconostasis was painted in 1799. The three central icons as well as the thirteen icons depicting the twelve canonical feast scenes (the dodekaorton) were painted by Andreas Betzos. They are preserved in a fairly good state. The main icon of Aghios Nikolaos was painted by Dimitrios Foskaris and is now in the monastery of Athani. The monastery has no frescoes.

The last monk that lived there passed away in 1949. The lighhouse of Lefkada lies on the ruins of an ancient temple dedicated to Apollo. The temple of Apollo was known in the antiquity. Every year they would hold panhellenic feasts to honor the god. He was the patron of seamen, and he was considered the healer of all physical as well as mental diseases. This is why people in the antiquity believed that by jumping from the cliffs the soul would be set free from the burden of sins and passsions. Today only a few traces of the temple can be discerned. However the mystic nature of the place still lies in the beauty of the landscape. Over Ponti, the west tip of the bay of Vasiliki, the road goes up to Aghios Petros and Roupakia. From there on and through the village of Komilio, the road turns to the south, towards the villages of Dragano and Athani, leading you to the most famous and beautiful beaches on the island.


Aghios Petros is a beautiful location with an impressive view over the plain of Vasiliki and to the highest mountain of Lefkada, Stavrota. The village was named after the church of Aghios Petros, built in the 14th century. It is the biggest village in the region and its inhabitants are farmers. The church of the village, Aghios Athanasios, is situated in the centre of the village. Its iconostasis is impressive, of neoclassical style, with brown and gold being the dominating colours. The icon of Aghios Athanasios was painted by Ioannis Voloudakis in 1914. Its style is influenced by the postbyzantine cretan tradition. Another beautiful church in the village, is Aghioi Apostoloi, its templon was carved by Ilias Mentschilov in 1890.

Two meters further of the west side of the church lies the small church of Frankoklisia. A church from the time of Frank rule. In the small village of Roupakia, its well preserved traditional stone houses stand on the steep mountain slope, strong and lonely witnesses of the past. The waterfall there is rich in water, mainly during the winter months. It is a region of exceptional beauty, with rare flora, forests, a gorge, and footpaths. In Komilio, lies -almost hidden- the church of Aghios Athanasios built during the Turkish rule. Small, poor and without icons the church bears witness to hard past times. From Komilio the road descends towards the villages Dragano and Athani with their small stone houses and their narrow alleys


In Dragano lies also an old oil press, a remarkable example of early industrial buildings and ideal for the study of the history of architecture. A place worth visiting is also the church of Ypapanti with icons by Gazis and Sideris. There are also a lot of water wells in Dragano, dated back to the time of the Turkish rule. In Athani stands the small monastery of Aghios Kirikos that was founded during the Turkish rule. Near the monastery as well as at the location Sotiro lie the ruins of an ancient building,

The road from Athani leads to three of the most unique, most beautiful and most famous beaches: Gialos, Egremni and Porto Katsiki. The greenblue, crystal clear sea, the white beach, and the steep cliffs appear before you. You will be fascinated by the unique breathtaking view as well as by the amazing landscape

On the east side of the main road leading to Aghios Petros to the north, a smaller road leads to Nikoli and Manasi, two small yet picturesque villages. Almost 3 km east of Nikoli stands the church of the monastery of Aghios Nikolaos. The only entrance to the church is on the south side. The remains around the church confirm the existence of the monastery, probably built in 1651. To the north of Komilio is the village Hortata. Hortata is a big village with magnificent view to the west and south. According to tradition, the inhabitants of the village were refugees from South Italy. Dorpfeld discovered here some ancient finds, which are now in the Archaeological Museum of Lefkada. The whole region of Vasiliki has a lot to offer, such as hiking, mountain biking and horse riding.

Entertainment

There are various traditional tavernas, restaurants, cafes and bistros where you try some traditional meat and fish dishes, on the mountain as well on the coastal side.


The best however is the moment the sun starts to set The beauty of the golden red colours of the sun being reflected in the sea and in the sky is breathtaking. You will find yourselves feeling calmer than ever before while recollecting the moments you will have spent on the island. Afterwards, you will have the chance to enjoy the night, choose among modern clubs, pubs and discos. Feel free to have fun and enjoy yourselves with local wine (Vartzami, Kefaliako, Keropati, Langero), syrtaki and traditional music. Lefkada is the place where the heart of Greek hospitality beats. Nature has generously presented the island with plenty of gifts: beautiful nature, magnificent beaches and emerald sea.

Beaches


The beach of Vasiliki is one of the most ideal beaches for wind surfing in the Mediterranean Sea. While being in Vasiliki, you can also visit the beaches Gialos, Egremni and Porto Katsiki. These beaches are of astonishing beauty and therefore famous around the world. Shades of green and blue, crystal clear water and white sand appear before your eyes. This unique landscape is impressive.



Sailing along the east coastline before reaching Vasiliki, lie two magnificent beaches: Ammousa and Aghiofili. The –most of the time- calm and crystal blue water invites you for a swim.

Transportation
Busses run regularly on a daily basis (KTEL). There are also regular ferries to Ithaca and Kefallonia from Vasiliki.

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