Lefkada’s landscape and ecological variety will enchant nature-lovers and hikers. Forests, mountains, canyons, gorges and a lagoon offer visitors the chance to explore the more isolated parts of this beautiful island.
Melissas Gorge (Kavalos village)
If you’re looking for fairy-tale beauty, explore this enchanting gorge. Just follow the river as it winds through ancient oak, plane and elm trees skirted by wild rosebushes. An important part of Lefkada’s ecosystem, Melissas Gorge offers birdwatchers the opportunity to admire swooping falcons and hawks as you trek alongside the river. You’ll also be able to admire vestiges of the island’s commercial history, as watermills that used to process sulfur and grain dot the banks of the river. Let the moss-draped trees cast a spell on you as you explore the forest - which is rumored to be inhabited by fairies, elves and demons. There’s also an easier trail which nonetheless takes you through breathtaking forests and quaint watermills.
Dimosari Canyon (2 km from Nydri village)
Another breathtaking area that’s a must-see for nature-lovers is Dimosari Canyon. Gushing waterfalls pool into exotic lagoons shaded by moss-draped oaks. This is a perfect swimming spot if you’re hiking in the summer, although the waterfalls and thick forest keep the temperatures comfortable. Take a break and drink some spring water – the locals swear it’s the best drinking water in the region. Once you’ve relaxed, continue your trek by climbing the stone steps carved into the mountain. Dimosari Canyon is one of Lefkada’s vital ecosystems, and played an important role throughout Antiquity by powering the island’s waterworks by harnessing the surge of riverwater from Mount Vafkeri. If you enjoy caving, there are a few small caves throughout the canyon for you to enjoy.
Located up in the river-crossed mountains of Lefkada, this forest is made up of centuries’ old moss-draped trees, along with a very rare type of oak which can only be found in Lefkada and in a handful of other forests in Europe. Skaron Forest is exceptionally beautiful and plays a vital role in the island’s eco-system. This fact was only highlighted during the Venetian and Ottoman occupation, when guards were posted throughout the forest to protect it. There are wild goats roaming the forest, so look out for herds as you explore.
Gyra Lagoon, Lefkada Town
One of the most unique features of this beautiful island is the lagoon that’s located literally in the middle of town. Despite the noise from nearby traffic, birds adapted well and have made Gira Lagoon a favorite migratory stop, which makes for interesting birdwatching. You can either cycle along the perimeter of the lagoon or walk as you keep an eye out for pelicans, flamingos and ducks. Visit the windmill that stands nearby.