Thanks to its popularity. There is plenty of great land, air and sea transportation between the Ionian Islands and Greece’s mainland. So here is some travel information to help you on your way.
Travel By Air
The Ionian’s are well served by airports, with numerous scheduled and chartered flights to and between the largest islands. Corfu, for example, has scheduled and charter flights every day from many European destinations, including Berlin and Gatwick. The island also has many internal flights, such as to Athens, Aktion and Zakynthos. This is not uncommon for many of the Ionian’s, with all major islands having a wide variety of domestic and international flights available.
Travel By Sea
Ferries to the west coast of Greece run from many Italian towns, such as Trieste, Venice, Ancona, Bari and Brindisi. The two places most people aim for are Ancona and Brindisi. Brindisi has traditionally been the main ferry terminal for Western Greece and, thanks to the demand, has between four and eight companies operating services at any one time.
Prices are low with all the competition and there will always be several services on any one day. Depending on the company the ferries usually stop at several ports in the Ionian, among them Corfu, Igoumenitsa, Varthi (Ithaca), Sami (Cephalonia) and Patras. Prices for any of the crossings are seasonal with peak prices in July, August and part of September. In the winter and spring the number of crossings is reduced and in some cases ferries may be switched to another service altogether. Out of season it is probably best to make for Ancona or Brindisi.
Travel By Land
The drive through France and Italy to catch a ferry from one of the Italian ports to the Ionian can be done in two days, although three is more relaxed. With the introduction of the Euro in 2002 the drive through EU countries is simpler than ever, with little border control between the neighbouring countries; although there is greater security on borders leaving the EU. Once in Greece a private car can stay on an unlimited basis, provided it is registered in an EU country.
Only 50 meters off the west coast of mainland Greece, is the Greek Ionian Island, Lefkada. Known locally as Lefkas, the island is 385 km from Athens, 420 km from Thessaloniki, 180 km from Patras, and 100 km from Igoumenitsa. Lefkada is connected to the mainland by a floating swing bridge. Long overdue, this new bridge was built in the 1980s to replace the very old, chain-operated ferry. In fact, Lefkada was not an island at all until the 5th century BC when the inhabitants dug a channel to separate themselves from the mainland. You can now drive over the bridge, on to the island for free as there is no toll. The bridge swings open every hour on the hour to allow yachts to quickly pass to and from the canal, then swings closed again.
There is no airport in Lefkada, the closest airport is the small Aktion National Airport, which is near Preveza. The airport actually stands on and takes its name from the sandy peninsula of Aktios. This is where the Roman Emperor, Octavian defeated Antony and Cleopatra in the Battle of Actium, which was fought in 31 BC. The international airport code is PVK. It is a small military airport only 20 minutes’ drive from Lefkada. This airport operates in the summer only, and does not receive flights from Athens or Thessaloniki. It receives charter and low-cost flights from various European airports, and from other small Greek airports, such as Corfu and Cephalonia, operated by Sky Express.
Many of the car rental agencies have their base at the airport of Aktion to serve tourists.
Contact Aktion Airport: 48 100 Preveza, Greece. Tel: +30(0)26820-26113 Fax: +30 (0)26820-28824
Please note we are not responsible for changing timetables.
Approximate times from the Preveza airport by taxi or hire car.
North to Preveza Town – 10 minutes, or Parga – 90 minutes. South to Lefkas Town – 20 minutes, Nidri – 40 minutes, or Vassiliki – 90 minutes.
There are regular flights to Preveza in the summer, the seasonal charters start from, (approximately May to the middle of October) and are provided by following airlines:
Adria Airways: Ljubljana
Air Berlin: Düsseldorf, Munich, Stuttgart
Arkefly and Transavia, fly from Amsterdam
Austrian Airlines and Niki, fly from Innsbruck and Vienna
Blu–express: Bologna (BLO), Rome – Fiumicino (FCO)
British Airways: London, Heathrow
Condo: Frankfurt, Stuttgart
Monarch Airlines, Small Planet Airlines, Thomson Airways and Thomas Cook Airlines, fly from London Gatwick and Manchester.
Norwegian Air Shuttle, Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia and Novair, fly from Oslo Gardermoen (OSL)
Scandinavian Airlines: Stavanger
Sky Express: Corfu, Kefalinia, Sitia, Zakynthos, Kythira, Heraklion
Vueling: Rome, Fiumicino
Easy-jet: London- Gatwick
Flying via Athens
Easy-jet, Ryan-air, British airways, Aegean Airlines and Olympic Airlines fly to Athens as do many other airlines.
To get from Athens to Lefkada, you can take the intercity bus which is a 5 hour journey and costs approximately 33 euros. You will need just over an hour to travel between the Athens airport and the intercity bus station in the city centre. Take the X93 bus from the airport, to Kifisou Avenue. You can check following, bus timetables.
Ticket Office Lefkada: 26450 22364 -26450 26086.
Ticket Office Athens: 210 5150108.
Another option is to hire a car from Athens airport. Then leave it in the marina whilst you sail. You can then drive it back again. This has the added advantages of flexibility and gives you the opportunity to see some of the historic sights of Greece; a particularly nice thing for first time visitors.
Flying via Corfu
When you fly into Corfu it is a short 10 minute (10 euro) taxi ride to the ferry port, where you can catch one of the frequent ferries to Igoumenitsa on the Greek mainland. Alternatively you can hire a car and take it on the ferry. However check with the hire companies as to whether they will let you take the hire car between islands. If not you can hire a car in Igoumenitsa. You can also get the bus from Igoumenitsa to Lefkada. The ferries run throughout the year, roughly every hour. Also, there are flights from Corfu to Preveza with Sky Express, this shuttle flight takes approximately 15 minutes!
Flying via Southern Kefalonia
When you fly into southern Kefalonia, you have to take a taxi to Fiscardho on the northern tip of the island. From here daily ferries run to Vassiliki and Nidri on Lefkada Island. This is a very scenic trip and gives you a good overview of the island. Some of the main airlines that fly from London to Kefalonia are: Easy-jet, Ryan-air, Aegean and Norwegian. Try Sky Scanner for all flights. For ferry information.
Access by Ferry
There are several companies you can use to get to Lefkada by sea:
Trieste – Igoumenitsa, Trieste – Patras, Bari – Igoumenitsa, and Ancona –Patras.
Brindisi – Igoumenitsa, and Brindisi – Patras.
Venice – Igoumenitsa, and Venice – Patras.
Bari – Igoumenitsa, and Brindisi – Patras.
Those traveling to the island from Italy have a particularly easy journey via the ports of Patras and Igoumenitsa (140 km of Sivota). You can make a reservation here, which gathers all companies.
There are also local ferries connecting some of the Ionian Islands. So you can visit the other islands around Lefkada such Meganisi, Ithaka or Kefalonia. The boats for Kefalonia and Ithaka leave from port of Vsiliki located in the south of Lefkada. You can buy the ticket at the port or also directly on the boat.
To go to Meganisi Island you have to take a boat from Lefkada or Nidri.
You can check the timetables on following website Ferries also on Lefkas Ferries.
Please note we are not responsible for any changes to the timetables of the ferry companies, as they do change occasionally, it is always best to phone them to check on the ferry times.
I travel all around Greece and I travel to and from Europe on a regular basis. Furthermore I have traveled every which way. So I will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.
>> Contact Captain Cliff Site Map>>
© Clifford Blaylock, Deep Blue Yachting, 2017