A visit to the traditional mountain villages of Karia and Eglouvi
An excellent choice to spend your day is visiting the mountainous Lefkada.The villages of Karya and Egluvi are traditional places that you must visit.
Undoubtedly, Lefkada is synonymous with its crystal clear, wonderful beaches, however what many do not know is that the island also has mountain villages of unique beauty.Just twenty minutes of driving by car from the town of Lefkada is all it takes to reveal another aspect of the island. Towering plane trees, well-preserved stone houses with tiled roofs, lovely cobbled streets and smiling people will welcome you to Karya, the cool village of Lefkada located at the foothills of the Elati mountain.
The heart of the village beats in the cafes of the square. Those who love philosophy, kalabouri and of course good tsipouro have a place at the table. In the summer you will rest under the deeply shaded plane trees while the cicadas will accompany you with their silent song.
The walk in the village after this is considered necessary to relax but also to admire the beauties of this village that preserves the indelible signs of tradition. Every minute of wandering around the village seems straight out of a fairy tale. The houses shine and the well-kept yards smell of basil; after all, the household has its due in this village of Lefkada, which is known to the ends of the earth for its embroideries.
For museum lovers, the knowledge doesn’t stop here. The Folklore museum “Maria Koutsochero”.
It is housed in a traditional rural building from 1890 which was the residence of the Katopodi family. In 1912, it housed the School of Embroidery Art founded with the mediation of Queen Sofia. Maria Stavraka “the Koutsohero” taught at the School (until her death in 1948). The Folklore Museum was established on the initiative of Theodoros Katopodis, dance teacher of the Karyas “O Apollon” Musicological Club, who gave the Museum the name of Maria of Koutsochero, his mother’s teacher. Maria Stavraka was called “Cripple” after the loss of her right hand. Despite her disability she continued to embroider with only her left hand and ended up teaching the art of embroidery establishing a unique technique, that of the “Karsan” stitch. In the Museum, which was founded with the aim of preserving the folk art of Lefkada, the interior of the Lefkada house, the art of the loom, the art of embroidery are represented and many objects and utensils of daily use are exhibited.
In the center of the village is Agios Spyridonas, a church that was built relatively recently and has an elegant bell tower. Two more remarkable churches that are worth visiting are that of Agia Paraskevi with its elaborate wood-carved iconostasis and the Holy Monastery of Agios Ioannis the Forerunner which is located just outside the village, in Livadi tis Karya. The latter was founded at the beginning of the 17th century and was one of the richest monasteries on the island.
Agios Spyridonas church
Agia Paraskevi church
Agios Ioannis Livadi Karyas
After so much walking you will surely have worked up an appetite. So a stop for food at Pardalo Katsiki. In addition to the delicious goat, which is the specialty of the restaurant, do not miss to try our own favorite dish, the minced rooster, cooked as it should be, with thick pasta and a thick fragrant sauce.
In Karya every August there is also the representation of the Village Wedding a two-day celebration that depicts frame by frame all the preparations of the Lefkada wedding from the consulship to the wedding ceremony. Definitely if you happen to be in Lefkada then, it’s worth watching.
Englouvi is not just a mountain village of Lefkada. It is the most mountainous village of the island and of the entire Ionian region. It is built at an altitude of 730 meters and from there you can enjoy a unique and unforgettable view.
It is not a village with many people, but it is particularly welcoming and you will find it when you are on the island and take a walk from there. Specifically, according to the 2001 census, less than 200 inhabitants live in the most mountainous and highest village of Ionia.
Arriving in Eglouvi you will have a panoramic view of a wider area of Lefkada. In the picturesque square of the village there is a large plane tree and drinking your coffee there is delightful in all seasons of the year.
In addition to being the oldest, Egluvi in Lefkada is also one of the oldest villages on the island. It is even famous for the production of lentils as this particular crop is favored by the soil of the area. Οn 6th of August it takes place the <<feast of lentils>> where you can taste the traditional Lentils , traditional Lefkadian music and dance at the plateau of Agios Donatos.The picturesque square of the village with the traditional cafe and the taverns with the excellent food are ideal, they are a trademark of the village.
In general, a walk in the villages of the mountainous Lefkada is an ideal choice to spend your day.
Other known villages:
1) Agios Petros