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standard-title Sports Tourism in Lefkada

Sports Tourism in Lefkada

Lefkada is an active island in many sports (martial arts, track and field, football, basketball etc) with clubs that participate in many regional and national leagues while many of their athletes have distinguished themselves in major sport events.

There are many local clubs, both in the villages and in the town, that promote the sporting ideal and where many children and young people are active due to the fact that there is a great interest on behalf of the local society for sporting activities.

These clubs are:

  • Tilikratis (football club) | Details
  • Panlefkadios (football club) | Website
  • Niki of Lefkada (women’s basketball club) | Website
  • Doxa of Lefkada (men’s basketball club) | Website
  • “Filandros” Athletic Club of Lefkada (track and field) | Website
  • Gymnastic Club of Lefkada (track and field) | Website
  • Motorcycle Club of Lefkada (motorcycling) | Website
  • Efkleas of Lefkada (martial arts)
  • Elpides (volleyball)

Sport Events and Games in Lefkada

Both the organisation and the observation of sporting events lie within the broader context of sports tourism. All year long, the local clubs of the island organise major sporting events that have developed into institutions which attract both professional and amateur athletes from all over the world.

Green Half Marathon of Lefkada

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A snapshot of the starting line of the 5th Green Half Marathon of Lefkada

It is a very important sport event that is organised every year since 2011 by the “Filandros” Athletic Club of Lefkada with the collaboration of the Western Greece Union of Sport Clubs of the Hellenic Athletics Federation, the Municipality of Lefkada and the Hellenic Association of Mass Popular Sports and Ultra Running Clubs.

It takes place in the beginning or the end of May and includes a series of distances, from 1,000 metres to 21,097 metres, around and within the town of Lefkada. More than 1,000 athletes from all over the world participate along with a great number of volunteers that take care of the smooth running of the event.

You can find information about the games on its official website [here].

Lefkas Τrail Run

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It was organised for the first time in October 2014 by the Association of Professionals and Environmental Protection of Nikiana and the “Filandros” Athletic Club of Lefkada, with the participation of 184 athletes from all around Greece. The athletes can run various distances with the port of Nikiana being both the starting and the finishing point. The mane route includes running up and down the mountain of Skari, on a pathways of unique beauty. There is also a special race for children.

It is a very important event that is not only about a sporting activity but also aims to promote the significance of the rare oak forest of Mount Skari, protect it against various illegal uses and actions and provoke the environmental awareness of the authorities.

You can find information about the race on its official website [here].

Ionian Games of Lefkada

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Snapshot of the 5th Ionian Games

It is a track and field event that takes place every year, since 2011, organised by the Gymnastic Club of Lefkada, in collaboration with the Association of Athletic Clubs of Epirus and the Municipality of Lefkada. The games are dedicated to the union of the Ionian Islands with Greece and thus took their name. They take place during the weekend prior to or following the union’s anniversary, which is on the 21st of May. The programme of the games includes more than 50 athletic contests of all categories. Athletes from all over Greece take part in these games.

You can find information about the games on the website of the Gymnastic Club of Lefkada: www.gslefkadas.gr

Verginia

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The Verginia are track and field games that are organised in the village of Tsoukalades since 2011 by the Educational and Cultural Club of Tsoukalades, with the collaboration of other sport clubs of the island, in honour of the Balkan and Greek champion of shot put Ilias Verginis who was from this village.

You can find information about the games on the club’s blog [here]

Lefkada Mountain Bike Open Race

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The Lefkada MTB Open Race took place for the first time in 2012, with great success and with the participation of athletes from all over Greece. The race was organised in the villages of Sfakiotes on the mountainous Lefkada by the site procycling.gr and the “Foteinos” Cultural Club of Sfakiotes. The length of the race was 17 kilometres and it run through rural and forest roads, pathways and small streets within the villages.

Sport Activities in Lefkada

The guests of the island and the sport lovers have a large variety of sporting activities to choose from during their stay in Lefkada.

Horse Riding

Ιππασία στην Λευκάδα - Φωτογραφία: Aramis Farm

Horse riding in Lefkada – Photograph: Aramis Farm

In Vasiliki, the famous tourist resort of southern Lefkada, and in the Venetian olive grove of the town of Lefkada there are organised equestrian clubs. Apart from the lessons, the clubs provide you with the possibility of horse riding along the paths of the plain and the beach of Vasiliki, in the paths of the olive grove and the beach of Ai Giannis west of the town and also outside the town, in the canyon of Melissa and the paths of the nearby villages of Fryni and Tsoukalades.

Paragliding

Παραπέντε πάνω από το Κάθισμα

Paragliding above Kathisma beach

An extreme sport for the bold ones that gives you the opportunity to feel free as a bird, flying with the help of the wind streams using the necessary equipment and with the help of experienced instructors. In Lefkada you can paraglide at the famous beach of Kathisma and in the villages of Exanthia and Kalamitsi. From specially arranged high places above the beach and in the two aforementioned villages you can start your air tour and then land on the beaches of Kathisma and Gaidaros (or Theotokos) of Kalamitsi. It is an adventure sport that gains more and more fanatic friends and has become very popular in the island.

Bicycling / Mountain Bike

Ποδηλασία την ορεινή Λευκάδα

Bicycling on the mountains of Lefkada

Bicycle is a popular means of transport for the residents of the island, especially within the town of Lefkada but also in the villages. It is an ideal choice for you to meet the beauty of the island and, at the same time, a very good way of physical exercise.

There are many places to rent a bicycle in the town of Lefkada, in Nydri and in Vasiliki and there are many routes, with various degrees of difficulty, which you can follow.

We suggest (within the town and around it):

  • the amazing ride from the entrance of the island and the castle of Santa Maura to the west, around the western lagoon and along the endless beach of Gyra until the beaches of Myli and Ai Giannis,
  • the cool ride in the paths of the olive grove at the plain of Lefkada until the settlements of Apolpena and Fryni,
  • the route to the monastery of Faneromeni and the village of Tsoukalades in the west, an uphill ride that will compensate you with an amazing view of the town and its beaches,
  • the also uphill but beautiful ride from Apolpena to the canyon of Melissa that will bring you in contact with the secrets of the island’s virgin nature,
  • the route to the village of Karyotes, the archaeological site of Nirikos on the hill of Koulmos and the saltpans of Alexandros in the east, that combines physical exercise with trips back in time and in history,

(on the rest of the island)

  • the route from Nydri to the waterfalls of Dimosaris,
  • the ride from Nydri to the small church of Agia Kyriaki, through the village of Vlyho and along the closed homonymous cove and the settlement of Geni,
  • the mountain routes in the villages of Sfakiotes, the prairie of Karya and the western edges of Mount Skari,
  • the mountain routes on the plateau of Agios Donatos,
  • the routes in southern Lefkada, towards the small beautiful beaches of Ammouso, Afteli etc, to the plain of Vasiliki, to the village of Syvota etc,
  • the rides in the west of the island, from the beautiful villages with the view of the endless blue of the Ionian Sea until the cape of Lefkatas.

Lefkas Randonneurs 

The Bicycle and Tourism Club “Lefkas Randonneurs” was founded in August 2016 by Apostolos Gerasimos Gazis at Nydri of Lefkada. It has the purpose of promoting the island through bicycling rides, keeping and following specific distance or time premises and, generally, through the familiarisation with the bicycle as a means of transport, leisure and physical exercise.

Lefkas Randonneurs has organised in March 2017 the Brevet 200 km with a circular route of the island that included some courses on the nearby coasts of the mainland in Aetoloacarnania. Brevet is a long distance cycling ride of non competitive type during which the course has to be completed within specified time limits.

For more information use the email address lefkasrandonneurs@gmail.com or check the facebook page

Motorcycling

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The members of the Motorcycle Club of Lefkada getting ready for an excursion with their motorbikes

The motorcycle lovers will find valuable friends during their visit in Lefkada because the members of the Motorcycle Club of Lefkada (SY.MO.L) are always available to provide you with information about amazing routes on the island. The Club organises events all year long that promote safe motorcycle riding and excursions both within and outside the island.

Mountain Climbing / Hiking / Paths

Πεζοπορία στην ορεινή Λευκάδα

Hiking on the mountains of Lefkada

The island does not have a mountain climbing club, but the nearby Alpine Club of Preveza, with many active members from Lefkada, organises excursions and includes hikes in Lefkada on its yearly schedule.

The island’s terrain creates amazing changes of landscape and includes both large and smaller beaches, many gulfs and coves, prairies and plains, plateaus, canyons and various mountains. Among all these there is a large network of pathways. Some of them are old paths that have been serving the needs of the locals and some of them are new paths that were opened recently and are being maintained by local cultural clubs with the purpose to promote the contact with the amazing beauty of the Lefkadian nature.

From the town of Lefkada and from each village there are many hiking routes on the island, with various grades of difficulty, that can please the experienced as well as the amateur hikers.

These are only a few suggestions that we can mention here because we think that the whole of the island is suitable for hiking:

  • the path from the Venetian olive grove of the town to the monastery of Faneromeni, above the settlement of Fryni,
  • the path in the Canyon of Melissa,
  • the path from Nikiana to the mountain of Skari,
  • the route from Nydri to the waterfalls of Dimosaris,
  • the route from the village of Vlyho to the small church of Agia Kyriaki, after the settlement of Geni,
  • the route from the village of Syvros to the springs of Kerasia and Anteliko, the forest of Daphni and the cave of Karouhas,
  • the route and the path from the village of Marantohori to the lake of Marantohori,
  • the path from the village of Kontarena to the older settlement above the village and to the beach of Agiofyli,
  • the path from Vasiliki to the beach of Agiofyli,
  • the path from the village of Agios Petros to the old village of Roupakias and to the villages of Nikoli, Manasi and Agios Vasilios,
  • the route from the village of Kalamitsi to the small church of Panagia ton Kipon (Holy Mary of the Gardens) and to the beaches of the village,
  • the path from the village of Egklouvi to the plateau of Agios Donatos and the small church of Profitis Ilias,
  • the route from Karya to the old settlement of Rekatsinata,
  • the path from the village of Agios Nikitas to the beach of Mylos.

You can find the detailed routes [here]

Shooting Sports

In Lefkada there is the “Toxotis” Shooting Club. It was founded in 2000. It has participated in and organised many events like the two European Championships of Practical Shooting that took place in Lefkada. On the 20th and 21st of April 2002 it was the Championship Open Level III, IPSC and on the 1st and 2nd of September 2007 it was the Ionian Cup Open Level III, IPSC. Its facilities are located in the broader region of the village Vournikas. For directions see the facebook page).

There you can exercise in different types of shooting:

  • Shooting at static targets
  • Practical shooting
  • Shooting at dynamic clay targets
  • Traditional archery.

For information you can check the facebook page or call +306940984728 and +30693 225 6523

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