Things to Do in Meganisi

Things to do in Meganisi

The island of Meganisi is much quieter than its bigger sister Lefkada and ideal for a peaceful holiday. It has serene villages like Katomeri and Spartochori as well as footpaths to explore and gorgeous beaches to enjoy.

Its small size invites you to explore the island on your own – with or without a private boat!


The main town of Meganisi, Vathy, sits at the centre of the island. It’s an important administrative, trade and cultural hub with schools, banks, a theatre, library, shops and sports and health-care facilities – everything you’d expect from an island capital. You’ll also find a number of remarkable houses and churches here, some of which were built by the wealthy noblemen who once owned the island.

Sailing boats touring the Ionian islands moor up here, as do mega yachts and regular day boats. But the biggest attraction is the azure sea, which looks dazzlingly blue from the shore or from one of the gorgeous coves on the east side of the island.

From Vathy you can drive uphill to the inland village of Katomeri. It’s smaller than Vathy but is still crowned as the ‘capital’ of Meganisi. There’s a labyrinth of narrow streets with whitewashed houses covered in bougainvillea, a couple of mini markets and the village bakery that often runs out of bread in the morning.

In the village there are several tavernas and cafe bars where you can sit outside and gaze out to sea and landscape while you enjoy a meal or a drink. You’ll also find a marina where many private yachts moor during the summer and a harbour from which the line ferry boats dock.

A short walk north from the harbour leads to Agios Ioannis beach – blindingly white pebbles lapped by turquoise waters. Behind the beach there’s a grassy area with olive trees that provide natural shade and a peak season cantina serving drinks and snacks. Another fantastic beach is Gidakia, backed by a sheer rock face and accessed via small “water taxi” boats that run regularly from Vathy.

If you’re looking for a more active holiday then there are hiking trails, horse riding, watersports and cycling. You can also hire a car from Vathy and explore the rest of the island. However, it’s worth noting that there is no public bus on Meganisi and all sites, beaches and villages can only be reached by car or boat.


Away from the beach you can stroll around the characterful traditional village of Katomeri which is perched above Vathy. Its stone houses and tavernas add to the island’s amiable feel. Many local women can be seen embroidering and selling their work here too.

The cliffs around the north of the island jut out into the sea in a series of small, emerald bays. Here the water is crystal clear and calm. Swimming and snorkelling are popular activities here. You can also visit the Papanikolis Cave which is an amazing limestone karst formation in the sea cliffs. It’s big enough to have hidden submarines during WWII and provided shelter from storms for countless other craft over the centuries. You can access the cave by boat and a kayak tour is a great way to see its stalactites, swim in its turquoise waters and even land on a secret beach inside!

Across the island you can walk on quiet trails framed by dense green vegetation and dramatic scenery. Some of the beaches on Meganisi are secluded and isolated while others have pebbles with clear turquoise waters that look across to Lefkada. There are some organised (with beach bars and sunloungers & umbrellas) and unorganised (no facilities nearby).

Meganisi is well served by local restaurants in all its villages where you can eat fresh seafood from the boats that moor in the island harbours. A great alternative is to have a private chef come and cook for you at your villa or take a cooking lesson and learn some of the island’s recipes.

The main resort on Lefkada, Nidri, is less than an hour’s ferry ride from Meganisi and offers plenty of water-based activities and restaurants. It’s also worth spending a day on the neighbouring island of Ithaca to enjoy its romantic landscape that was featured in Homer’s Odyssey.

Agios Ioannis Prodromos

The chapel of Agios Ioannis sto Kastri (also known as the Mamma Mia church) is on top of a barren sea rock and offers amazing panoramic views. It’s definitely worth the visit, especially if you like walking and hiking. You can also enjoy a secluded beach with crystal clear water below the church. It is an ideal place to visit during a daily trip from the nearby island of Lefkada.

The small village of Agios Ioannis Prodromos on the western side of Meganisi is another place to discover while you’re there. It is named after a 17th-century church, the interior of which is full of beautiful icons. The houses in the village are built in a traditional Cycladic style and look very picturesque.

There aren’t many places to eat or drink in Meganisi, but the few taverns that exist offer good food at decent prices. You can find one in the main town of Vathi and a few more on the beaches and viallges around the island.

During your stay on the island, you should try the local seafood and olive oil. The fish is particularly fresh and tasty, as are the grilled vegetables. There are also a number of cafes on the island where you can enjoy Greek coffee and desserts.

You can reach Meganisi by ferry from Lefkada, which departs several times a day during the high season. The journey takes about 25 minutes. You can also book a private boat trip to the island if you wish.

During your stay on the island, you’ll be able to explore the magnificent caves and swim in the crystal clear waters of the Ionian Sea. In addition, you can take a sailing tour to the islands and explore their secluded coves, as well as a kayak tour to the Papanikolis Cave. All of these activities can be arranged by Exclusive Meganisi to add an extra dimension to your vacation on the tiny island. These are all perfect ways to relax and unwind on the pristine shores of Meganisi. It’s a place where you can truly get away from it all and embrace a true Greek island experience.

Papanikolis Cave

For a true Ionian holiday, you can’t miss the chance to visit the amazing Papanikolis Cave. It was here that the Greek submarine Papanikolis found shelter during World War II and it’s still an awesome experience to be in this huge sea cave, surrounded by the crystal clear waters of the Ionian Sea.

As the Papanikolis Cave is only accessible by boat, the majority of travellers to Meganisi will get there by getting a ferry or a private excursion boat from the nearby town of Nidri on Lefkada. During the summer months, ferries run several times a day from Lefkada to Nidri, with the trip taking just 25-30 minutes.

The other main thing to do on Meganisi is to hire a boat and explore its many little hidden beaches and coves. Some of the most popular ones include Fanari, Agios Ioannis, Roka, Ambelakia and Limonari. Many of these beaches are perfect for carefree family moments in a totally calm environment, where you can swim and relax.

There are also many scenic spots to see on the island, such as the old windmills in Spartochori and the ancient monastery above Spilia beach. There are also a few hiking routes to choose from on the island, where you will be rewarded with some breathtaking views across the Ionian Sea and to Lefkada.

During your stay on Meganisi, you should definitely try some of the local food and drink too. There are many tavernas and restaurants to choose from, some of them right by the sea. You can also taste the local products of the island, like wine, olive oil, honey and a lot more.

Although it’s a tiny little island, Meganisi is packed with beautiful beaches and spectacular natural scenery that makes it the ideal place to enjoy an unforgettable holiday. Whether you want to relax on the white sand beaches or hike around the picturesque villages, this island will offer you everything that you need for an incredible getaway! If you’d like to add some more activities and excursions to your time on Meganisi, the team at Exclusive Meganisi can help. We can arrange a range of trips, from tours by sea exploring the islands’ secluded coves and hidden caves to a skippered day charter on one of our sailing yachts.