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standard-title Small Islands of Lefkada

Small Islands of Lefkada

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The larger and smaller islands that are between the eastern coast of Lefkada and the western coast of Aetoloacarnania belong to the Televoides or Taphian Island Complex and were named after the ancient people of Teleboans who lived on the island of Meganisi that was called Taphos (or Taphias).

The islands that administratively belong to Lefkada are Meganisi, Kalamos, Kastos, Kythros, Thilia and a group of smaller islands named Prigkiponisia (Prince Islands) that includes Madouri, Skorpios, Skorpidi, Sparti, Heloni and Tsokari, The scenery is completed by a series of small rocky islets.

Small islands of great interest are also found in other locations along the coastline of Lefkada.

Madouri: It is located along the cosmopolitan Nydri. It was a dry island during the years of the Ottoman Rule. Later it was given by the Venetians to a noble man from Zakynthos and then it passed into the hands of the Valaoritis family, in the beginning of the 19th century. The poet planted grapevines and olive trees and built the mansion that still stands today and the small church of Agios Ioannis Prodromos, while his son Ioannis afforested the island. Nowadays, the island belongs to the poet’s great grandchildren, namely Nanos Valaoritis and Eleni Karapanagioti.

Το αρχοντικό της Μαδουρής στο οποίο γυρίστηκαν σκηνές από την ταινία του 1978 "Fedora", σε σκηνοθεσία Μπίλλυ Γουάιλντερ.

The mansion of Madouri, where some scenes of the movie “Fedora” were filmed in 1978, under the direction of Billy Wilder.

Skorpios: It is the small island that became famous all over the world when Aristotle Onassis purchased it in 1963. He bought it from the Filippas family for 300000 drachmas. Historically, it passed from the Turks to the Venetians and then to the Venetian family of the Settini. Since the second half of the 19th century it belonged to the family of Mavroidis, who were rich merchants and who planted grapevines, olive trees and almonds.

In the hands of Onassis the island enjoyed glory days and hosted tycoons, politicians, members of royal families and artists from all over the world. This was the place where Aristotle Onassis married Jackie Kennedy in 1968. Onassis transformed the island into a small paradise by planting thousands of trees, building the famous houses and creating a peripheral road that connected all the places of the island. After Onassis and his children died, Skorpios became the property of his granddaughter Athina who sold it to the Russian tycoon Dmitry Rybolovlev.

Skorpidi: It is a small islet north of Skorpios, owned by the Livanos family.

Sparti: It is located across the village of Perigiali. It belonged to a French family since the years of the Ottoman Rule. It was sold by its descendants to the families of Stavros and Soundias in 1859 and then the Stavros family acquired the whole of the island. Onassis bought the island from the descendants of Stavros family in 1963 together with Skorpios. It is a green clad island with arable land and pastures.

Heloni: It is a small, uninhabited, green island between Madouri and Sparti, across the village of Perigiali.

Tsokari: It is a small uninhabited islet, west of Skorpios.

Kythros – Petalou: Kythros is a small uninhabited island south of Meganisi, near the cape of Kefali. Very close and to the west, there is the rocky islet Petalou or Petalidi which is a great fishing spot.

Thilia: It is a small uninhabited island west of Meganisi, within the channel between Meganisi and Lefkada. It is an ideal fishing spot. On the island there is the private small church of Zoodohos Pigi.

Sesoula: It is the only small island west of Lefkada, within the endless blue of the Ionian Sea. It is a rocky island with tall, steep rocks on the eastern side while the western side is more easily accessible and was used as a pasture in the old days. In the villages of south-western Lefkada it is also known as Trypiti because of the hole (“trypa”) that is formed by its rocks and through which a small boat can sail. It is an excellent choice for fishing.

Sidira: It is a rocky islet at the southernmost edge of the island, near the cape Doukato or Lefkatas. Local traditions claim that the islet was a pirate ship or the ship of a captain from the village of Athani that was turned into stone by Saint Nicholas of the homonymous monastery in the region, because the captain forgot to fulfil his promise to the saint.

Volios: It is a rocky islet at the southern entrance of the channel of Lefkada, near the village of Lygia. On the islet there is a lighthouse since 1913 that facilitates sailing through the narrow sea passage between the coasts of Lefkada and Aetoloacarnania.

Forti: It is now an islet that used to be the edge of the peninsula of the New Saltpans in Karyotes. There are the ruins of a small defensive fortress named Alexandros (it was named by the Russians in 1807 to honour their Tsar) or Touri or Torreta. The fortress already stood during the Venetian Rule. It is located at the entrance of the strait of Lefkada, very close to the coast of Xiromero of Aetoloacarnania and its position was of great strategic value for the defence of the island under the threat of Ali Pasha of Ioannina in 1807. Wilhelm Dörpfeld named that spot “the ladder of Odysseus” claiming that Odysseus passed through there on foot to reach Lefkada, which, according to his theory, was the Homeric Ithaca.

Fortino: It is a small islet in the channel of Lefkada a little further to the north from Forti. There is a small fort named Konstantinos that actually covers the whole extent of the small island.

Agios Nikolaos: It is a small islet 3 kilometres before the entrance of Lefkada. On the islet there is a small chapel of Saint Nicholas, built upon the ancient shrine of Aeneid Aphrodite. The islet was the retreat of the Lefkadian poet Angelos Sikelianos and his first wife Eva Palmer and the place where his son Glafkos was born. During the Venetian Rule it served as a place of quarantine.

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