Walking holiday in KEFALONIA, LEFKADA and ITHACA

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS walking holiday in KEFALONIA, LEFKADA AND ITHACA

This week-long walking holiday in the lush green islands of Lefkada, Ithaca and Kefalonia will offer you the opportunity to explore their overwhelming nature and dramatic coastlines with breathtaking views… their old network of footpaths… steep cliffs and stunning white beaches with turquoise waters… traditional mountainous villages… delicious local food and wine… friendly and experienced local guides…

KEY INFORMATION

Tour Duration: 7, 10 or 14 day(s)
Group Size: Small groups
Season: April – October
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Low season Per Person Price: 7-day package: EUR 717, 10-day package: EUR 1,052 (check our offers for groups)
High season Per Person Price: 7-day package: EUR 797, 10-day package: EUR 1,157 (check our offers for groups)

Day-to-day itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Lefkada and birdwatching at the Gira lagoon
Welcome to Lefkada and transfer to our traditional guesthouse. Briefing and opportunity to explore the island’s stunning beaches or the surrounding small islets. The island of Lefkada is surrounded by a total of 24 islets, including the renowned island of Scorpios, property once of Aristotelis Onassis. The options are endless and we’ll be happy to offer you suggestions.

Early in the evening we will visit the town of Lefkada. One of the most unique features of this beautiful island is the Gira lagoon, a Natura 2000 site that’s located literally in the middle of the town. Despite the proximity to the town, birds adapted well and have made Gira Lagoon a favorite migratory stop. You will walk along the perimeter of the lagoon as you keep an eye out for pelicans, flamingos and ducks. Supper at a traditional tavern where you can try the local “meze”.

Day 2: Hike from charming village to Episkopos waterfall
Starting from the charming fishing village of Ligia we’ll follow one of our favourite hikes along an inland path towards Episkopos waterfall, with brooks and bird song adding to nature’s harmoniousness along the way. High mountains abound in Lefkada and are the sources for various waterfalls and springs. Heading up to the elevated and exquisite village of Katouna, you will have earned a superb tavern dinner with great views and, if we are lucky, great local music too.
Day 3: Circular hike reaching the tip of Mt. Skaros
In the morning the choice is yours; another beautiful day by the beach or a boat trip out to a neighbouring island. Our afternoon hike starts from the east coast village of Nikiana and climbs gently to one of the island’s most remote and tranquil spots: Skaros Mountain, famous for the place that Ulysses took his sheep to pasture and where nowadays the surrounding, ancient oak forest is considered one of the island’s most precious habitats and wild areas. After taking in the wonderful Ionian views, we descend back to Nikiana for our traditional dinner.
Day 4: Ancient trail via a gorge connecting traditional villages
Today we’ll make our way towards the traditional settlement of Kalamitsi, where the elderly women still wear traditional dress and the most common means of transportation is by donkey. We’ll take the ancient trail via a gorge towards another traditional village, Exanthia. Ancient cypresses and olive trees will be our companions. After a short break to admire the panoramic views of the green hills of the island and endless deep blue of the Ionian sea, we’ll have a light lunch under the shade of pine trees.

We’ll then descend a beautiful path to Drimonas and then the remote beach of Mylos, ranked amongst the islands’ nicest beaches. Swimming and snorkeling at the crystal turquoise waters of Milos are the best rewards after our walk! From Milos we’ll either take a 5-min boat trip or walk to the picturesque village of Ag. Nikitas where we will end the day with supper at one of our favourite local taverns.

Day 5: Coastal trail with steep cliffs, impressive rock formations and beaches
Today we’ll explore the west side of the island and its most remote and famous beaches; Porto Katsiki and Egremni, voted the best in the Mediterranean (by Conde Naste Traveler). We’ll start our walk from Lefkatas Cape, the southern point of Lefkada island. The lighthouse there was built on the ruins of the ancient temple of Greek god Apollo, Leucatas. You’ll observe the 200ft white cliffs that give the island its Greek name. In antiquity they served as a trial by ordeal (the “Lefkadian leap”) for accused persons. It is the place where Sappho allegedly leapt to her death by jumping from the high cliffs.

We’ll follow the coastal trail and admire the steep cliffs and rock formations and the turquoise-blue waters of the Ionian Sea. We’ll stop for a swim at the magnificent beach of Porto Katsiki; a long and sandy beach surrounded by impressive hills. We’ll then walk shortly to the mountainous village of Athani, amidst olive groves. We’ll end our day with a delicious supper and fine wine at the village’s tavern!

Day 6: Boat to Ithaca and exploration of the natural habitats of the island
Today we’ll take the short boat ride to Ithaca and the picturesque fishing port of Frikes. We’ll follow a circular path leading through the mountain towards two beautiful beaches. You’ll enjoy the lush green vegetation, olive groves and terraced slopes as well as the beautiful sea views nearly all the way towards the beach of Marmakas. Marmakas got its name from the white pebbles on the bottom which are shining like marble. Tall eucalyptus trees offer ample shade so we can stop to relax, swim and have a picnic.

We’ll then take the trail that leads to the beach of Aphales, and then continue our pleasant walk towards Frikes. By the time we arrive the sun will be setting and a glorious sky will await us. Transfer to our guesthouse near the main port and town of Vathy which we’ll explore later in the evening.

Day 7: Isolated track through unspoilt landscape to Homeric fountain
Today we’ll start the day with a pleasant and relaxed walk towards the Matathia plateau, following an isolated track through an unspoilt landscape with great sea views to the Homeric Arethousa Fountain, where Odysseus’ swineherd, Eumaeus, brought his pigs to drink. The scenery at the fountain is breathtaking. We’ll then continue to the beautiful Pera Pigadi beach where we’ll plunge into its crystal clear waters. Relax for the rest of the day.
Day 8: Arrival at Kefalonia and circular trail from picturesque Fiscardo
Boat to Kefalonia and the port of Fiscardo. Stroll around Fiscardo, a picturesque and beautiful harbour village, unique in Kefalonia as it retains the architecture and ambience of a long gone era, when the Venetians ruled the island. The picturesque harbour is surrounded by Venetian-style houses painted in pastel colours.

We will follow a circular walk starting from Fiscardo towards the northern part of the island. It connects quaint hamlets, passes through cypress and strawberry tree forests, agricultural fields, beautiful secluded beaches where we’ll stop for a swim and a picnic, as well as various historical sites, such as the ancient tomb of Throni, the old village of Psilithrias, a Venetian footpath and Battaria which was a 1940 German anti-aircraft base.

Supper at our favourite tavern where you can taste the acclaimed cuisine of the island.

Day 9: Ancient path through olive groves and cypress trees to Assos bay
We will start our walk from the rural mountainous village of Kokolata and follow the ancient tracks, through olive groves and Cypress trees that grow in abundance on this part of the island, towards the village of Kortheas and the beautiful village of Assos. You will enjoy magnificent views of the coastline, of mountains dropping straight into the sea as well as breathtaking views of the rustic village of Assos, its peninsula and the fortress.

We will stop at Assos’ delightful fishing port for a refreshing swim at the crystal clear waters of the bay and lunch before continuing our walk on the peninsula to the ruins of the old Venetian fortress. We will end our day with a visit at the most beautiful beach in the Mediterranean, Myrtos beach, with its white pebbles and turquoise waters.

Day 10: Hike through vivid green mountains to hidden beach
We will start the day with a visit at the Melisanni Lake where you will have the opportunity to take a short boat ride in the underground lake. We will then continue to the village of Sami where you can enjoy a drink before our walk at a very solitary area of Kefalonia.

From the mindblowing beach of Antisamos, surrounded by vivid green mountains, we will walk the narrow path through dense plant life reaching the hidden beach of Koutsoupia. Opportunity to swim at its secluded crystal blue waters before continuing to the village of Poros. You will be rewarded at the end of the day with a delicious farewell supper.

 

The walks during our weekly walking holiday in Kefalonia, Lefkada and Ithaca, Greece are graded as moderate. We will walk mainly on paths of moderate gradient with ascents of up to 500m in a day. We will walk up to 5-6 hours in the day including stops to rest and for lunch.

Flexible itineraries (7-, 10- or 14-days) are available based on the needs of our guests. We can organise a more challenging or a more relaxed-pace itinerary offering you more time to relax and enjoy the sea and sun of the Ionian sea.

Solo travellers are welcome. It’s always more fun to walk with a group of like-minded travellers.

BEST TIME TO VISIT

We organise our walking holiday in Kefalonia, Lefkada and Ithaca, or the south Ionian islands, all year round apart from August when it can be quite hot to walk.

Spring and autumn are the best times of the year for walking. In spring nature is at its most abundant. The Judas tree and the broom are flowering and the island is covered with a blanket of wild flowers. During the walks you can also discover rare orchids. The colorful butterflies are a feast for the eyes; you smell herbs like thyme, oregano and sage. In the summer it is a little drier but in the autumn the first rains bring a new shower of flowers and amazing autumn colors.

We have reserved for you a lovely authentic family-run guesthouse. The owners are very hospitable and helpful and are known to provide the most delicious breakfasts.

The combination of natural beauty, culture but also the hospitality of the residents will make this walking holiday in Kefalonia, Lefkada and Ithaca, unforgettable for you.

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