Meganisi is one of the largest and most populated island around Lefkada, with about 1.000 locals.
The island is located between Lefkada and Kalamos island, just 1,5 km off the east coast of Lefkada. The shape of Meganisi looks interesting: in the north it is stout, but the southern part is long and very narrow. The geographical conditions of Meganisi are various, primarily the island are filled with fertile hills and valleys. Like other nearby islands, Meganisi is also a pretty green island with millions of mediterranean trees, bushes and vivid flowers.
About the beaches and villages of Meganisi
Meganisi has three small villages, all of them are located in the north. The names of the villages are from west to east Spartochori, Vathy and Katomeri. Two out of these three villages have small port, which are home of the local’s small fishing boats and larger ferries, but also there are some other smaller ports. The island’s main attractions are the emerald bays with calm waters, a small but picturesque harbours, and of course a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere everywhere in Meganisi. The main beaches of the island are located in the north, because the narrow southern part of Meganisi is characterized by vertical cliffs.
Meganisi beaches are filled with pebbles and rocks, and only a few of them are organized with parasols and sunbeds. The sea is crystal clear around the island and there are some shallow areas for children. The island has some great hiking trails for nature lovers, so Meganisi is an ideal destination for hiking.
Archeologists found several coins, sculptures and artwork from Neolithic era. The island has many conquerors over the centuries, and Meganisi was under Roman, Venetian, Turkish, French and British rule. Meganisi finally became a part of the united Greece in the year of 1864.
One of most interesting stories of Meganisi is related to a submarine, called Papanikolis.
The codename of the submarine was Y-2, and it was built between 1925-1927. The submarine was one of the most successful naval unit in Hellenic Navy during World War II. Under the World War II the Papanikolis submarine has sunk several enemy ships on her patrols in the Ionian Sea and Aegean Sea. In the southern side of Meganisi island there is a large sea cave, which was discovered by Papanikolis in the World War II. The cave became a hiding place many times when Papanikolis was on patrol, and the enemy did not discover the secret cave for months.
This is the main reason why the cave was named after a submarine, and it is still called today.
Papanikolis cave is a very popular destination for tourists, many excursion boats arrive here from Nidri during the summer months. The cave is one of the largest sea caves not only in Greece, but in Europe also!
Meganisi island on map