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One of western Greece’s little-known diamonds, this coastal town at the mouth of the Ambracian Gulf is both pleasant and peaceful.


Its atmospheric old bazaar area has a tight-knit set of alleys with a number of fine buildings that have survived from the Ottoman period, including a selection of excellent ouzeris (taverns). Although there are several small museums in town, the main attraction for history buffs is outside: just 8km north is Nikopolis (or ‘Victory City’, as the name translates), which was created under the order of Roman Emperor Octavian (later Emperor Augustus) to commemorate his win over Anthony and Cleopatra’s fleet at nearby Actium in 31BC.

Best of all, less than 20km south lies the region’s undisputed gem, the beautiful Ionian island of Lefkada, which is actually connected to the mainland by a causeway and pontoon bridge. Not overtly touristic except for the resorts of Nydri and Vassiliki, Lefkada is a laid back capital with several important churches, a rugged mountainous interior and a spectacular west coast. Its beaches, sandwiched between dramatic cliffs and the sea, a dazzling palette of milky turquoise blending into deep azure, rival any in Greece.

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April 2017
If you are looking for an authentic souvenir, Karsana (tel: 26450 41280), in the delightful mountain village of Karya, is one of several places that sell intricately embroidered traditional clothes and fabrics.

April 2017
A lovely way to spend a warm spring evening from May onwards is by catching a film at Lefkada Town's outdoor cinema, Eleni (51 Faneromenis, tel: 26450 24550). It shows mostly English-language films, always in the original with Greek subtitles.

July 2017
The pedestrianised street of Ioannou Mela, which runs through the centre of Lefkada Town, is full of shops that are mostly superior to those in the resorts, as well as several cafés and the town's oldest churches are just a step away.

July 2017
The region's most important ancient historical site is Nikopolis, where Octavian defeated the forces of Anthony and Cleopatra. The site includes remains of basilicas, baths, a theatre, stadium, plus a good museum.

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