Leaving the castle (a mixture of Frankish, Turkish and Venetian construction) on our right, we approach the canal that separates the northeast tip of the island from the coast of Aitoloakarnania, which can be crossed either by chain ferry or pontoon bridge.

Proceeding south for a tour of the island, we take the road down the east coast, which passes some traces of early - all that remains of ancient Leukas - and the fishing villages - resorts of Lygia and Nikiana before arriving at Nydri, Lefkada's best known holiday spot. Taverns and cafes line the waterfront, which has one of the most idyllic views in Greece: nearby, cypresses rise out of a tangle of lush vegetation framing the lagoon like harbour, while offshore the sea is dotted with verdant islets like Sparti, Skorpios, once Onassis's favourite haunt; Madouri, where the famous poet Valaoritis lived; and Meganisi, the biggest, accessible, accessible by launch. The German archaeologist Wilhelm Dorpfeld, whose grave lies opposite at Agia Kyriaki, believed Lefkada to be Homer's Ithaca, and there are ruins of a prehistoric city nearby.

Continuing southward, we pass Vlychos, a picturesque village at the back of pretty bay; Poros, whose houses rise above its white pebbly beach; the closed bay of Syvota; and Vassiliki, with its long beach, considered a windsurfer's dream. From Vassiliki, you can take boats to Meganisi and its splendid sea cave and to "Sapphos's Leap" and the temple of Apollo atop the white limestone cliffs at cape Doukato on the western tip of the island.

You can head back to the capital via the island route  taking time out to look over the embroideries in  Keryes and have a drink under the place trees in its main square. And it beaches are what you crave ,don't fail to drive down the west side of the island. From the Yiro near the Capital down to the picturesque villages of Agia Nikita and Kathisma, the coast is a virtually unbroken broad band of white sand washed by rollers. So don't rush; take the time to savour Lefkada.