Meganisi is a stunning green little island located between Lefkada and the western coast of the Greek mainland. Untouched by mass tourism it is boasting an unspoiled beauty, perfect for relaxing in tranquillity. Vathy is the main port and the quaintest village of Meganisi. Spend a day strolling around the beach promenade, taste local specialties at one of the fish taverns – and relax!
What is Meganisi like?
Meganisi is conveniently located opposite the port of Nydri in Lefkada, and since Lefkada is linked to the mainland by a bridge it is rather easy to reach Meganisi. The small island has a beautiful natural setting covered in lush green and surrounded by crystal-clear emerald waters. Meganisi is a perfect travel destination for you who love seclusion. The island has no buses and therefore the only way to explore the landscape is on foot or private means of transportation. It will also be possible to book a shuttle bus for some of the beaches from your hotel.
In terms of sightseeing Meganisi does not offer a lot except a few pretty chapels scattered around the island. That being said, Meganisi has some beautiful hiking routes in the most stunning nature!
Where is Meganisi Greece?
Meganisi lies 4 nautical miles from Nydri (Lefkada) and 1,5 nautical miles from the island of Skorpios. There is a regular ferry-boat connection from Nydri to Meganisi (Cave & Vathy).Read more
Meganisi (literally “big island”) is an island and municipality situated remarkably close (east-southeast) to the island of Lefkada. It includes the offshore islands of Skorpios and Sparti. Its total population is around 2000.
Map of the Ionian islands
Meganisi – How to get there?
There is only one ferry boat connection to Meganisi, which is the vehicle ferry running between the island of Lefkada and Meganisi. From Nidri port to Vathy in Meganisi the distance is 5 nautical miles, and the trip lasts about 30 minutes. You simply buy your ticket once aboard the ferry. If your arrival time in Nidri does not happen at a convenient ferry departure time, a speed water taxi can be arranged to collect you and bring you to Meganisi.
Airport for Meganisi?
There is no airport in Meganisi island. The nearest one is Aktion National Airport situated on the mainland in Preveza Epirus. It receives flights from Corfu and Zakynthos all year, and during the summer months there are flights from various destinations around Europe. Beware that there are no flights from Athens International Airport to Aktion National Airport. From Preveza you can reach Nidri in Lefkada by bus or taxi since the island is connected to the mainland by a bridge. From Nidri port you can reach Meganisi by ferry.
Meganisi – Where to stay?
Meganisi has decent roads and frequent local means of transport. The island, receiving many local as well as foreign visitors every year, provides excellent sea and accommodation services such as hotels, apartments, and rooms to let. Most hotels are in Vathy and Spartochori. In the picturesque port of Vathy many yachts and boats are mooring every summer, giving a rather cosmopolitan feel to the atmosphere.Read more
Meganisi has three villages, the central village of Katomeri and the ports of Vathy and Spartochori are the main settlements on the island. There is also a harbour at Atheni Bay used mainly by fishing boats. Meganisi is linked to Lefkada by a car ferry service from Vathy and Spartochori. The island has a school, banks, churches, and a few squares. The island has no secondary school, so pupils attend the nearby school in Nydri, in Lefkada. Vathy is one of the world’s largest natural harbours.
Meganisi – What to do?
You will find surfing activities at the beach of Agios Ioannis, and you may reach the Caves by sea bicycle while the area around the island is perfect for sailing. You can also enjoy a kayak tour to the Cave of Papanikolis as well as an “all-round-the-island” tour. The northern part of the island is perfect of walking/hiking.
Overall, Meganisi is a quiet island, perfect for relaxation in a stunning natural environment. For those of you needing a bit more of sightseeing and activities, Lefkada is just there, next to the island of Meganisi with frequent ferry connections.
Meganisi Beach Guide
All Meganisi beaches are characterized by crystal clear water and lush greenery surrounding them. Some of them can be reached on foot while others are accessible only by boat. The Meganisi beaches are all but one non-organized. The most popular beaches of Meganisi are Agios Ioannis, Spilia and Barbarezou.
- Agios Ioannis beach – Pebbled, family friendly, located 7 km southwest of Katomeri
- Barbarezou beach – Pebbled, secluded, located 5 km from Katomeri
- Spilia beach – Pebbled, family friendly, partly organized, located 5 km west of Katomeri
- Fanari beach – Pebbled, secluded, located 3 km north of Katomeri. Boat trips for Fanari beach are organized daily from Vathi port.
- Herniades beach – Pebbled, secluded, located 4 km west of Katomeri
- Megalo Limonari beach – Pebbled / sandy, secluded, located 2 km south of Meganisi
- Mikro Limonari beach – Pebbled, secluded, located 2 km south of Katomeri
- Pasoumaki beach – Pebbled, secluded, located 3 km north of Katomeri
Things to see in Meganisi
Papanikolis Sea Cave
You will find Papanikolis Sea Cave at the west coast of the narrow strip of land constituting the southern part of Meganisi. It is an exceptionally beautiful cave which took its name from a Greek submarine which used this cave as a shelter during the Second World War. As a first-time visitor you will feel astonished by the sheer magnitude of the cave. It is the second largest cave in Greece. The cave has been used as a shelter for even larger shipping vessels during storms. The best way to visit the cave is on a boat cruise from Nidri. It takes about 45 minutes to reach the cave from Nidri port.
Church of Agios Ioannis
The small church of Agios Ioannis Prodromos (St John the Baptist) is one of the most important churches in Meganisi. It is located on the western side of the island on a beach. According to historians the church is probably built before 1477 AD. The story will that pirates once devastated the church and threw the holy icon of Saint John into the sea. Luckily, it was caught by some fishermen. In 1800 the church was rebuilt.
Weather and climate in Meganisi
Typical Mediterranean the weather in Meganisi is characterized by long, warm summers and mild winters. During the summer months the temperatures can get rather high, some days temperatures reach 40°C. Evenings are cooler with a light breeze blowing. June and September have pleasant temperatures with an average of around 30°C. Winters get cold during December and January but temperatures rarely go below 5°C. Snow is a seldom sight in Meganisi and most rainfalls happen in late autumn or early spring.
Island hopping to / from Meganisi
There are daily ferry-boat connections to Ithaca and Kefalonia from Nidri port in Lefkada. While taking the ferry-boat trip to Meganisi (lasting 25 minutes), the visitor can enjoy the spectacular view to the surrounding islets scattered around Meganisi such as Madouri with the old family house of the Greek poet Valaoritis and the islet of Skorpios, once owned by the famous Onassis family. You can choose to stay at any of the surrounding islands like Lefkada, Ithaca, or Kefalonia and go to Meganisi on a daytrip by boat.