Archaeology in Lefkada

Lefkada played a vital role in Ancient Greece through the late 19thC, as a strategic post off the west coast of mainland Greece. In Antiquity, Lefkada’s archaeological history can be traced back to 2000 BC, where the island’s biggest town, Nirikos, constituted an important economic center for the region.

The famous German archaeologist Wilhelm Dörpfeld led major excavations on the island, and is one of the strongest proponents of Lefkada’s significance as the actual location of Odysseus’ Ithaca in Homer’s Odyssey.


Nirikos was Lefkada’s capital, it was founded in 2000 BC and experienced significant economic prosperity due to its strategic location off the western coast of mainland Greece.
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Believed to be the white cliffs mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey and the location of the Gates to the Underworld, it is also the place where the poetess Sappho took her own life.
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Built in 1293 by John Orsini, a Frankish ruler, this architectural gem is one of the best examples of Medieval fortification in Greece. It’s surrounded by water and within its walls you can see the remains of Venetian buildings as well as visit the 15thC Church of St. Maura.
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This stunning museum houses all important archaeological artifacts found on the island, including those resulting from Dörpfeld’s digs in Nirikos, Hirospilia and Nydri. Artifacts date from the Paleolithic Era to the Roman Era. Make sure you admire the beautiful clay figurine of a woman dating back to the 3rd C BC.
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Other Activities for Lefkada
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