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Meganisi in Greece
Meganisi, or Meganissi, lies east of Lefkada in the Ionian Islands. The name means "the big island" in Greek, but any large island is out of the question, Meganisi is only 22 km2, compared to the neighbouring island of Lefkada is 333 km2. The island has about 1,040 inhabitants in three villages: Spartochori, Katomeri and Vathy. The highest mountain is called Megas Birnos and is 297 meters high.
Vathy in Meganisi.
Meganisi is, like all islands around Lefkada, an extremely green and beautiful island. There are not many tourists who travel to Meganisi for holiday. The reason is probably that it is a small island without spectacular beaches or sights. However, many people come here with excursion boats from Nidri on Lefkada. If you travel to Lefkada, I can highly recommend a day trip to Meganisi. It departs several boats each morning from the port of Nidri.
The port in Vathy.
TRAVEL TO MEGANISI
The easiest way is to go by air to Preveza on the mainland, continue by taxi to Nidri in Lefkada, and then by boat to Meganisi. From Nidri in Lefkada you can choose to go with water taxi, excursion boat or car ferry to Meganisi. There are two ports on Meganisi: Spartochori (Porto Spilia) and Vathy. From Nidri the cross over to Spartochori takes about 25 minutes, and to Vathy 40 minutes, by car ferry.
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GETTING AROUND IN MEGANISI
Local bus runs between Spartochori, Katomeri and Vathy about seven times daily. As far as I know, there is neither car nor moped rental services on Meganisi. But it is not far to Nidri on Lefkada, were there are many renters.
VILLAGES IN MEGANISI
There are three villages: Spartochori, Katomeri and Vathy. When I was on Meganisi, I was surprised that the houses looked older and more time-worn than the houses on Lefkada. I wonder if Meganisi survived the earthquake in 1956. The architecture is different from the one on Lefkada, which was hard-striken by the earthquake.
The port in Spartochori.
Anyway, I like all three villages, and I think they are really nice. Katomeri is the largest village and the village which is the most genuine. I think the finest of the villages is Vathy (see photo on top). Perhaps it depends on that the village is situated by the waterfront, and that there are cosy tavernas along the waterfront promenade.
BEACHES IN MEGANISI
No one travel to Meganisi for the beaches. They are few and fairly mediocre. Spilia close to Spartochori, and Limonari beach on the east coast, are two of the most popular beaches.
Spilia beach close to Spartochori.
SIGHTS IN MEGANISI
The only sight on Meganisi is the Cave of Papanikolis located on the southern part of the island. The cave is famous for the Greek submarine Papanikolis that was hiding there during World War II.
Cave of Papanikolis in Meganisi.
The submarine was an old tub built in the mid 1920's. Despite her age, she was extremely successful during the war and sank many enemy ships. A visit to the cave is included in most boat excursions departing from Nidri on Lefkada.
ACCOMMODATION IN MEGANISI
I do not know how easy or difficult it is to find accommodation on your own, and that for the simple reason that I have never stayed overnight. I saw a number of pensions, particularly in Vathy, where I guess that most tourists stay.