Spring is the most appropriate season for you to wander around the island of Lefkada. The colours and the scents, all over the place, show the rebirth of nature and call for you to experience it from up close.
Spring is the season of major sporting events for the island.
The Green Half Marathon is one of the most popular sporting events that was held for the first time in 2011 and was dedicated to the author Lafcadio Hearn. It is organized by “Filandros” Athletics Club of Lefkada (see here) in collaboration with the Association of Athletics Clubs of Epirus, the Municipality of Lefkada and the Hellenic Association of Mass Popular Sports and Ultra Running Clubs. It takes place every May and includes a series of distances (from 1000m to 21,097m) around and within the city of Lefkada. More than a thousand athletes from all over the world participate along with a great number of volunteers who contribute in the smooth running of the event.
Another very important sporting event is the 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
Cultural and other events
Lefkada is full of cultural events all year long.
During the spring months the guests also have the opportunity to attend various events. Conferences and information meetings about various subjects, presentations of new publications, photography and visual arts exhibitions, concerts, choir nights and music gatherings and many more events organised by cultural clubs and shops wait for you to be there.
Special events are held for the World Poetry Day by the vigorous reading group of the Philologists Association of Lefkada and the Public Library of Lefkada for those who love literature. You can also enjoy a tour around the religious, historical and cultural monuments of the island.
The local cultural clubs of the villages always find some occasion to hold meetings of all kinds and organise environmental events, informative gatherings and festive dance nights.
The Union of the Ionian Islands
The Union of the Seven Islands with Greece on the 21st of May 1864 is celebrated with special honours and many events on all the islands of the Ionian Sea. The celebratory events last almost all through May. They include art exhibitions, concerts, choir nights, folklore dancing nights, the usual performance of the Philharmonic Society of Lefkada, liturgies, speeches and homage ceremonies. Schools and other organisations of the island also take part in or hold public events. There are also events held in the villages, like in Nydri, Vasiliki and Karya, with folklore dancing nights, speeches etc.
The 1st of May is a multidimensional day. It is the Labour Day but also a very good occasion for you to make an excursion into the spring nature that flourishes with beauty, colours and scents. By whatever means you want to celebrate it, Lefkada offers you all the possibilities! If you wish to participate in syndicalist meetings, of course you can, because the island is pioneering in this field, too. Furthermore, you can get information about the events that all the local cultural clubs organise at the best country sites of the island. There are feasts held, with food and Lefkadian wine, with the dance groups of the clubs performing, with locals and visitors coming together into a big party. It is a spring experience surely worth living! There are also innovative events organised on May Day by the Cultural Club of Platystoma at Kokkini Ekklisia (Red Church), the Business Association of Nikiana at the fairylike mountain of Skari, at the Waterfalls in Nydri, at the settlement of Rekatsinata in Karya etc.
Religious and National Holidays
Apart from Easter, that Go Lefkas refers to in a separate page, visitors in spring have the opportunity to participate in several events that take place during the rest of the holidays on the island.
The Independence Day on the 25th of March along with the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary are celebrated all around the island with special events. In the city you can attend the student parade with the participation of the marching band of the ever-present Philharmonic Society of Lefkada, the speeches, the homage ceremonies and other events and then enjoy the spring day along with the parties of locals that rush into the square and the streets of the town. Similar events are held in every village of the island and especially in Nydri, Vasiliki and Karya.
On the 3rd of May the island is celebrating the memory Saint Timothy and Saint Maura. Saint Maura is indissolubly connected with the island because she gave it its name for about four centuries. The small picturesque temple inside the homonymous castle at the entrance of the island is decorated and waits for the believers for the Celebratory Liturgy and then for a beautiful tour within the historical castle.
An equally important religious holiday for Lefkada is the celebration of the transport of Saint Nicholas’ relic through the island in 1087 AD. It is celebrated on the 10th of May, a special day for Lefkada, because the small chapel of Saint Nicholas on the homonymous islet, at the gulf Demata, just before the entrance of the island, opens to the public. The islet is accessible by sea, with the use of traditional small vessels, the “priaria” (*). The islet was the retreat of the national poet Angelos Sikelianos and his first wife, Eva Palmer. It remained famous as “the islet of Sikelianos”. It is a plain and pious religious celebration that you will never forget.
The historical monastery of Saint Nicholas in Nira, just before the lighthouse of cape Lefkatas, celebrates on the same day. There you will also enjoy the unreserved hospitality of the nuns and the amazing view of the location where the monastery is built. Do not forget to visit the stone beehives that are located outside the monastery. It is said that they were constructed back in the Mycenaean Age.
Rivers and Waterfalls
Water in spring is travelling through the riverbeds to get to the sea. On its way it creates imposing canyons, green valleys and impressive unique small and big waterfalls.
Starting with the well known canyons, namely the ones of Melissa and Dimosaris, you can walk on the paved paths and discover old watermills, beautiful rock sculptures made by the water, small bridges and rare flora that flourishes this season.
Besides that, if you want a piece of the “unknown”, you can look for the canyon and the waterfalls of Akoni, the magic springs and waterfalls of Syvros (Kerasia, Drosia, Anteliko Arhontiko) and also the one of the river Roupakias.
Rare wild orchids and a variety of wildflowers, herbs and blooming trees create a living painting and you will just not get enough of it.
(*) The “priari” is a sharp-sterned vessel with a flat bottom that is used until today mainly in three regions, namely the lagoon of Mesolongi, the Amvrakikos Gulf and the lagoons of the city of Lefkada and other parts of the island, where there are extensive areas of shallow waters. Although the use of such boats in the lagoons of the Ionian Sea must be very old, existing information from historical sources are rare. It is mentioned that since the second half of the 17th century until the middle of the 18th century the locals used some kind of dugout canoe to float around the shallow waters. The “priaria” of the Amvrakikos Gulf and the island of Lefkada were equipped with oars instead of a “staliki” (a long pole that people used to move the dugout around with by pushing against the seabed) so that they could also move around deeper waters. The oarlocks were outside the hull of the vessel, on a vertical beam at the stern of the boat.