Its area is 302.3 square kilometers, is the fourth largest of the Ionian Islands and has a population of 23,000 inhabitants. The island of Lefkada with its surrounding islets Meganissi, Kalamos, Kasto, Skorpios, Skorpidi, Madoyri, Sparti, Thilia and Kythro constitute the prefecture of Lefkada. It is divided into 6 municipalities and 2 Communities. The capital is the city of Lefkada. The climate is Mediterranean. It has plenty of sunshine and is characterized by mild winters with increased precipitation and warm summer with cool winds. The island is 70% mountainous. It has big mountains with the highest peak to be Stavrota (1182 m). The western side of Lefkada is steep with many long sandy beaches and colorful pebbles and crystal clear waters. It has fertile valleys and canyons with rich vegetation. The remarkable flora of the island includes open forests and a rare variety of oak.
Lefkada has enough sources of water like streams which forming waterfalls (Dimosari). The Lefkada lagoon, north of the island, is an important wetland habitat for many bird species.
Lefkada, “white stone” in Homer, in ancient times was known as Nirikos. According to one view, it took its current name from the white, wild cliffs at the southern cape of the island, Lefkatas. Human footprints in Lefkada begin in the Paleolithic era. The German archaeologist Dairepfeld, assistant of Heinrich Schliemann claimed the theory that Lefkada was Homer’s Ithaca. During the excavations in Nidri brought to light important finds from the Bronze Age (2000 BC).
The ancient Nirikos 7th BC century discovered in Kalligoni in Koulmos was the first capital of the island and surrounded by a large wall. Small section maybe found there today.
Lefkada fought against the Persians, took part in the Peloponnesian war, the campaign of Alexander the Great and resisted the Romans in the 3rd AD century. In the Byzantine period incorporated into the dominion of Epirus. The Ionian islands belonged to Enetous in 1293. Shortly afterwards, in 1300, the castle of Santa Maura was built which became the new capital for many years. Followed by a period in which Venetians and Turks succeeded one another, until 1503 when the island that is finally delivered to the Turks.
In 1684 again occupied by the Venetian Francesco Morosini. The French came after the Venetians in 1797, then the Russians and the Turks and later the English (1815). The compound of Lefkada with the rest of Greece was deposed in 1864.