LEFKAS, LEFKADA or LEFKHADA is one of the Ionian chain of islands that lie just off the west coast of mainland Greece. The Corinthians cut a canal through sandbanks in 600 BC and Lefkas is still so close to the mainland it only just qualifies as an island. Once neglected by UK package tour firms, it all changed with the opening of Preveza airport nearby on the Greek mainland. The east coast of Lefkas has suffered a rash of hotel building, especially around the holiday resort of Nidri, now far from the tranquil hideaway it once was. Large, sheltered bays make both Nidri and Sivota a favourite of yacht charter firms as do offshore islets such as Meganissi.
On the less populated west coast of Lefkas rugged cliffs, rocky shores and exposed beaches are a magnet for the more adventurous. Vassiliki, in the south, is a world class windsurfing centre. Tourism has brought changes to Lefkas but none are yet too profound. For those seeking modern facilities in a traditional Greek setting Lefkas could prove a very attractive holiday destination. Parts of Lefkas are astonishingly beautiful, notably inland where hill villages nestle in lush, pine forests.