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Location

Districts : Vathi, Katomeri, Spartohori.

Meganissi is a small island covered in green colours, east of Lefkada. It is about 20qm² big and has 1200 inhabitants. It lies 4 miles from Nydri and there is a daily ferry connection from and to Nydri.

It consists of three small villages: Vathi, Spartohori and Katomeri and has got three picturesque harbours: Spilia in Spartohori, Atherinos in Katomeri and Vathi. Main village of the island is Katomeri.

Sightseeing

In the antiquity, Meganisi was probably the island of Tafioi. The name Tafioi is mentioned for the first time in Homer/s epics. According to myth, Tafios was the son of Poseidon and the king of the region. According to Homer, Odysseus entrusted his ships to King Mentor. Others believe that Meganisi is the island Asteris also mentioned by Homer. Several bays in Meganisi are offered for mooring: Ambelaki, Balos, Platigiali, Svourna, Kolopoulou, Dihali, Limonari, Elia, Limni. There are also a lot of caves in the southeast side of the island. The most known is the Cave of Papanikolis. It lies is on the southeast tip of the island about 30m deep, with a small sandy beach inside. According to tradition, it was a hiding place for the Papanikolis submarine during the war. According to tradition, in the same cave a priest and his pupils found shelter during the Turkish rule, as they were trying to escape from pirates.



Other caves worth visiting are the cave of Demonas and Giovani cave. You can reach them only by boat. You will find small boats cruising around the area and the surrounding sandy beaches with the steep cliffs offering you a unique view of Meganisi. In the villages, you will see stone houses and picturesque alleys taking you back to past times. Spartohori is built above the port of Spilia and has a marvelous view over the sea. The region is very green.

Pine trees offering shade, make the place ideal for visitors who wish to go for a walk. The path from the port to Spartohori is easy to walk. Somewhere in the middle of the path there is a small opening where you will find the unexplored Cyclop/s cave. Many inhabitants believe that the cave is big. Most probably the region was named after the cave. 3km further lies Katomeri. Small, simple clean houses depict the rural life of their residents. Farmers and fishermen those who stayed and excellent captains those who left the island. The main cultivation are olives and vines. Large olive groves with huge trees such as the olive grove Mesoi, on plateaus and slopes with dry stone wall systems that keep the soil together are everywhere to see. This is why this area had a lot of olive oil presses, private as well as cooperative. Very few exist today. One of them is the oil press of Zavitsanos, still operating regularly, in Spartohori. There are plans to restore the old oil press of Panoutsos in order to turn it into a small museum.



There are also a lot of deserted windmills which had reached their peak in 19th and 20th century. Most of them lie on the hills surrounding the harbour of Atherinos. The mills had the nicknames of their owners, such as Bakolas, Patsis, Himos. There are almost 40 thressing floors on the plateaus, remnants of a rural life as well. One of them is the thressing floor of Konidaris. The island used to be supplied with water from water wells in different parts on the island. Only a few of them are still in use today. However their style is unique. Most of them are made of stone. Known wells are the well Ferentinos in Spilia as well as Remedani.

The Christian monuments on Meganisi are plenty and remarkable. The small monastery Aghios Ioannis tou Prodromou is built of the pebbly seashore on the west side of the island. It might not have any great frescoes or style to show, however it has a long history. It has not yet been totally verified, however according to tradition, the monastery was founded in 1477. It is said to have been destroyed by pirates who threw the icon of the saint into the sea, when a fisherman caught it in his nets. In 1800, the monk Ioannis Patrikis, from a wealthy family, very dear in Ithaca but also in Meganisi, which he often visited, sent a nun on a mission to rebuild the monastery. The nun and an inhabitant of Meganisi named Vasilis Politis managed to raise money. Finally the monastery was rebuilt and the nun lived there until she passed away. Her grave lies in the foundation of the church.


The church Aghioi Konstantinou ke Elenis is believed to have been built in 1620. The style of the frescoes matches the date. It is a singlenaved woodencarved church. Parts of the frescoes have appeared again. They show the saint Aghios Georghios on his horse.

According to testimonies, monks used to live there before the church was built. In 1790 the shipowner Malamas had the church restored and donated the land for the graveyard. The windows, opened during a restoration, destroyed part of the Aghios Georghios fresco. Aghios Nikolaos is also a church that was recently restored. It is located in the region of Kampos, a little further outside Misoi. It is dated from the beginning of the 19th century. Meganisi is a serene, peaceful island full of untouched natural beauty and very hospitable. It is ideal for walking and for those who seek simplicity and originality. The people of Meganisi love their island, respect the environment and try to maintain its features untouched.

Entertainment
There are traditional tavernas, restaurants, cafes and bars. We recommend the traditional mezedes (kokoretsi, splenadero). Rich tradition and customs invite you to become part of it and have a great time.

Beaches

There are a lot of beaches awaiting to be discovered: Ai Yannis, Spilia, Ambelakia, Atherinos, Limonari etc.


Transportation
Meganisi lies 4miles from Nydri. Ferries depart daily from Nydri. There are also small boats cruising to Meganisi as well as the surrounding sandy beaches.

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