Beautiful Greece: Lefkada Island on a budget

It’s possible to experience the beauty of Lefkada Island on a budget – if you are willing to use public transportation on the Greek island, eat some really good pizza, and keep an open mind.

Before the ways we saved a little money, just look at this beautiful beach below! The scenery stayed with me long after we left.

Can you really put a price on that?
incredible blue water at Kathisma Beach, a place to see on lefkada island on a budget
The beautiful blues at Kathisma Beach on Lefkada Island, Greece, as seen in late September when there are fewer tourists around.

Kathisma Beach

This beauty was my personal favorite.

Kathisma Beach is on the west side of Lefkada Island. Its sand is course with tons of rocks and large boulders. The beach is backed by cliffs, and it faces open sea. The water rivals the blues of the Caribbean Sea.

Paragliders jump from the cliffs, sailboats skirt the horizon, and the blues at this beach simply hypnotized me. I stared and stared, and stared and stared. And stared.

a wave swirls around a boulder on Kathisma Beach on lefkada island on a budget
Waves surround a boulder on Kathisma Beach on the Ionian coast in Greece.
man raises arms in front of the sea; he's happy to be on lefkada island on a budget
Tedly enjoys the view at Kathisma Beach on Lefkada Island in Greece during a late-September visit in 2018.
Here’s an example of getting to this beach at Lefkada Island on a budget.

We took the public bus from the city of Lefkada to Kathisma Beach. (We stayed in the city.) This bus trip cost 2 euros per person, each way. That’s it!

But note, in late September when we went, there are fewer buses that leave from Lefkada because it’s no longer the high season. The upside, of course, is that there were fewer tourists on this gorgeous beach.

Check the schedule at the main bus stop.

It’s located in the center of Lefkada where the old town meets the newer area, at the end of the pedestrian street. (Or, use the bus station, which is outside the old town area.)

Our bus was not full at this time of year, but I can imagine the crowds during high season.

Oh – and the bus station at Kathisma Beach is not a traditional station… take a look:

Kathisma Beach bus station is a spot in a parking lot and marked by a plastic stand for those who travel lefkada island on a budget
The bus station at Kathisma Beach, Lefkada Island, Greece. Watch paragliders land as you wait for the bus.

Nidri

We took another day trip on the island to Nidri. And again, we got there by the public bus for just a couple of euros each.

Nidri has a tame beach as it’s on the east side of the island, shielded by land from open sea. The town is cute.

Nidri is a magnet for sailboats and vacationers who rent places throughout the small town. Popular nearby island tours are organized from here.

We had a cloudy day in Nidri, so we skipped the boat tour of islands. Instead, we chilled out along the shore. It was a gorgeous day even with drizzle, wind, and clouds because the bay is serene.

Nidri beach has a calm bay for travelers visiting lefkada island on a budget
The water on the east side of Lefkada Island at the seaside village of Nidri, as pictured on a cloudy late-September day. The water was still about 75 degrees.
the cute town along the waterfront in nidri offers benches to rest for travelers who visit lefkada island on a budget
The waterfront walkway in Nidri, a seaside village on Lefkada Island in Greece. The island draws sailors from all over, but especially from the United Kingdom.

Lefkada

Lefkada Island shares the name of the its largest town and gateway to the mainland. The island connects to the mainland with a causeway. The city of Lefkada is a seaside gem with sailboats lined up all around one part of its waterfront, and calm harbor and long waterfront walkway.

The “old town” section of Lefkada is just off the water. It comes alive in the evenings when shopkeepers reopen after a break. (Yes, Greeks take something like a Mexican siesta, and I love that!) Restaurants and cafes are also found in the old town section, but if you are only in Lefkada a short time, I recommend sunset waterfront dining.

stunning walkway surrounded by water in the city of lefkada is a good place to see the the sunset while on lefkada island on a budget
Lefkada, Greece, is the gateway to the island of the same name from mainland causeway. This photo shows part of the town’s long walkway in the calm bay on a late-September evening.
Lefkada city's old section has many restaurants and shops on lefkada island.
A pedestrian street runs through the heart of the old section in Lefkada, Greece. The shops and restaurants come alive after dark.
Sailboats at sunset are colored a pink color at the harbor in the city of lefkada on lefkada island in greece.
Sailboats line the harbor in Lefkada, Greece, at sunset in late September 2018.

Lefkada Island on a budget

Accommodations

Airbnb rentals on this island are not cheap, but they’re not as expensive as some European cities like Barcelona.

We paid about $40 a night, and it was a studio in a great location. However, the mattresses sucked — in fact – these were the worst mattresses we have ever had! And we live continuously in Airnb units, hotels, guest houses, etc.

We could have said screw it, lost our payment (there was a strict cancellation policy), and moved into a hotel for three days. But, I made the decision for us to stay and power through. In hindsight, we should have bailed after one or two nights.

Side note: our review of this Airbnb unit was totally honest – as always. We posted it, but we don’t see it yet attached to her account. And this can be a problematic flaw with Airbnb: if the host does not also post something about us, our post about her place will never be seen. This might be why there are no ‘bad’ reviews of her horrendous lumpy mattresses.

Dining on Lefkada Island on a budget

This can be another potential budget buster. We decided to eat out each day because we didn’t feel like cooking after running around all day to different parts of the island. Throughout our entire European tour in 2018, we never ate out every day, until here.

A typical meal at a restaurant for two people will be anywhere from $25 to $30 — with just one beer (I don’t drink). If you like wine, up that total. And if you want appetizers and/or dessert, increase that total even more.

Tip: for cheap eats, go to Zimis.

This place had great reviews on Trip Advisor. A large pizza, beer, large water came out to $13 before the tip. Not bad for two people.

And guess what? Tedly and I agreed it was the best pizza since we started our travels in 2015. Zimi’s website is here.

Zimi's Pizza close up with tomatoes and green peppers and lots of cheese was the best value for a meal for travelers visiting lefkada island on a budget
Zimis in Lefkada, Greece, served the best pizza we have had on our travels so far – that’s three years for me, and almost three for Tedly! The ‘Village’ pizza is pictured here.
Getting to Lefkada Island

You got this. It’s not really a budget ‘buster’, but it did cost us a bit to get onto the island and then get off the island to our next location.

We went to Lefkada from Corfu Island in late September. We took the ferry from Corfu to Igoumenitsa. That was about $26 for two people. From Igoumenitsa, we took a bus to Lefkada. That cost about $31 for two people.

It was approximately another $50 to get to our next city from Lefkada. So for our travel plan, it cost us about $100 to get to, and get off of, Lefkada Island.

We thought that was a reasonable price to see an Ionian Sea Island in Greece.

The good news is: the kinks in our backs have worked out from those awful mattresses, and we moved on to enjoy other areas of Greece.

Meanwhile, I’ll always remember those beautiful Ionian Sea blues. Lefkada Island is such a beautiful place on our planet.

Another beautiful shot of the blue waters at Kathisma Beach, Lefkada, Greece
Kathisma Beach, Lefkada Island, Greece, as seen from atop a small hill, in late September 2018.
woman smiles on kathisma beach while traveling on lefkada island on a budget
The sand at Kathisma Beach on Greece’s Lefkada Island is course, with millions of smooth rocks. Some boulders are found at the end of the beach, under cliffs that face the Ionian Sea.

πŸ™‚

2 Comments

Add Yours →

Leave a Reply