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Meganisi (Greek: Μεγανήσι, literally "big island") is located very close to Lefkada, and is the largest island in the cluster of Prigkiponisa, hence its name. It is distinguished through lush greenery, with crystal clear waters, simple, ideal for romance, honeymooners or for those who wish to get away from it all. The hospitable people, the peaceful way of living, the interchange of the scenery, makes it an ideal place for holiday out of this world.
The island has three villages: the central village of Katomeri, which has 492 residents and the ports of Vathy, with 145 residents and Spartochori, providing home to 453 people. Traditional architecture, hospitable inhabitants, peaceful way of living, blooming landscapes and the deep blue create an amazing combination that will immerse you in an experience like you haven’t had before.
The port village of Vathy is lined up with nice fish taverns and cafeterias. During the summer season, it gets busy with private yachts and fishing boats. With further exploration of the area, you will encounter a harbor at Atheni Bay used mainly for fishing boats. Several tracks lead over the hills of the island and down through the olive-grove terracing to secluded bays. The most popular of them is Ambelakia which attracts yacht flotillas.
The area is blessed with interesting and beautiful caves, Papanikolis being just one of them. It is a cave on the southwestern part of the island, thirty meters deep, with a sandy beach inside it. Tradition says that this was one of the hideouts of the Papanikolis submarine during World War II. The monastery of St. John the Baptist, built on a pebbly beach, on the western part of the island, is another must-see destination on the island of Meganisi.
Although not architecturally rich, it boasts an important history, as, according to tradition, it was built before 1477, and it was destroyed by pirates who threw the icon of St. John at sea. The icon was later tangled in a fisherman's net. As luck would have it, in 1800, monk Ioannis Patrikis provided financial help to rebuild the monastery and restore some of its former majesty.
The scenic beauty of this island will leave you breathless, not to mention the beaches, which play a big part in the allure of Meganisi. There are many small and magnificent shorelines on this tiny paradise of an island. Agios Ioannis, Spilia, Barbarezou and Fanari are the most frequented, while many other crystal coves around the island can be reached by boat. Agios Ioannis, a long beach located 7 km south of Katomeri, Meganisi’s capital, took its name from the chapel of Agios Ioannis, found close to the beach. Its crystal and sparkling waters, with soft white sand bewitch numerous tourists. The coastline is a bit narrow but long, so the beach rarely gets crowded.
While exploring the area a bit, you will see that Agios Ioannis can be reached through a dirt road from Spartochori or by boat from Vathi. A perfect place, suited for total relaxation among your loved ones.
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