A picturesque mountain village of Lefkada: Karya is a great place where traditions and local folklore are held in high esteem. The village show the beauty of the mountanious areas of Greece, where not just the beaches are exceptional, but the old villages in the mountains also. A visit in Karya (Καρυά in Greek language) is recommended in Lefkada if you would like to discover something different far from the tourist resorts. This area is famous for its lace making and embriodery in the country, which is introduced in the local folklore museum.
Where to find
The location of Karya is in the heart of the Lefkada, where the village is surrounded by mountains, 15 kilometers away from the capital of the island. The route from Lefkada town is scenic, but don’t be afraid: the road is wide, just quite winding. The free parking lots of Karya are situated in the north side of the village, but also there are paid parkings near to the center of the village, next to the main square and the church.
Informations about Karya, Lefkada
The village is not so popular as Nidri or other coastal resorts of Lefkada, but there are several reasons to visit Karya. First of all, it has mountainous atmospheres: when you look around, there can be seen only the beautiful hills and valleys of the area. Karya is surrounded by extremely lush vegetation, on the hills of Pyrgos thousands of pines and junipers grow. On the streets old plane trees of the village provide natural shade, which is very pleasant in the summer heat.
Even if you just drive through, you will meet the large main square of Karya, where the oldest plane trees of the village grow. The central square is surrounded by restaurants and coffee bars, during summer months all of these are open and wait for guests. The best restaurants in Karya which are recommended by guests are The Crazy Goat (known as Pardalo Katsiki or Παρδαλό Κατσίκι in Greek) and Taverna Eleni: find these great places on the corners of the square.
The main street is dedicated for a lot of souvenir shops, near the the central square. These shops sell handmade laces and wood carved objects, some of these were made locally. Nowadays embroidery is not as popular as it was a few decades ago, but some locals are still made beautiful laces and carpets, which can be find in markets.
What to see
When you discover the streets of the village, you will see a lot of traditional houses made by stone and wood. An important sight in Karya is Agios Spyridonas church, which is situated on the southern side, just a minute walk away from the square.
A famous museum of Lefkada opened it gates in the village, dedicated to Karya traditions and folklore: it is known as Maria Koutsohero Museum, or simply as Karya Folklore Museum. One of the best attractions can be find about 7 kilometers away from the village, where Ekklisia Profitis Ilias offer exceptional panoramic views to the island.
The folklore museum of Karya is known as Maria Koutsohero Museum, which is a small private museum located on the north side of the village. It is dedicated to show the local traditions, especially the famous embroidery: visitors can meet several artworks from the past centuries. By visiting Maria Koutsohero Museum tourists can understand easier how the inhabitants of Lefkada were living in the past.
The museum got its name from Maria Koutsohero (Maria Stavraka), who lived in Karya. She brought back the embroidery technique of old times, and combined it with a completely novel technique. This is called as a unique Karsaniki stitch, a one hand embroidery. The figures and designs of Karsaniki stitch were primarily inspired from the nature, for example from shape of trees and its leafs.
Karya Folklore Museum opening hours: 09:00 – 21:00, entry fee / ticket: approx. 3 Euro / person
- 15 km south from Lefkada town
- Population: 590
- Facilities: supermarket, restaurants, ATM, apartments, coffe bars, souvenir stores, pharmacy, bakery, free and paid parking lots
- Nearest beaches: Nikiana beach (13 km)
+ Reasons to visit Karya in Lefkada
- mountain atmospheres
- old traditions and local folklore
- lace making
- nice town square with large plane trees
- folklore museum
- far from the Ionian Sea