The Cape of Lefkata – Where lovers leapt to their death from Homeric times

1 October 2020
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Greece has a long and rich maritime tradition, with lighthouses scattered across its lands accompanied by years of stories and narratives. Shrouded in legends and traditions going back centuries, the story of the lighthouse of Doukato in Lefkada is one of the most beautiful and intriguing.

Even if you’ve been to Lefkada on vacation multiple times, the chances are you might have never heard the romantic tale linked to this particular lighthouse before.

The lighthouse Doukato and the legend of lovers
The famous cape is one of the most known rocks of antiquity and is identified with the Homeric Lefka Petri. The lighthouse of Doukato is where the line between legend and real events start to blur. With white rocks 60 metres high above the waves of the Ionian Sea, it is said that in 1,200 BC. sacrifices were made to appease the gods and the Spirit of the Storm.

In the 6th century, the tale (backed by some historic research), goes that at that time heartbroken lovers would jump off the rock to their deaths. Many ancient poets included the practice in their verses, with Sappho being the most prominent of all. The female poetess is said to have plunged to her death from the cliff of Lefkata over a man she loved. The myth still lingers to this day which is why it’s called Point of the Lady. This is the place where the lighthouse was later built to commemorate Sappho and love.

How to get to The Lighthouse Doukato
The lighthouse of Doukato was built in 1890 with a tower height of 14 metres and a focal height of 70 meters. After passing Porto Katsiki in the south-east corner of the island the dirt road reaches the southernmost part of the island, Cape Lefkatas, or Niras, or Cape of Lady or Cape Doukato, or Sappho’s Leap. Whatever you call it, the locals will tell where it is.

It is located 50 km from the city of Lefkada and you will enjoy a unique view of Kefalonia and Ithaca. Lefkada is the perfect destination for visitors as it offers easy access due to its connection to the mainland via a short drawbridge or a short boat trip.

Apart from the summer that attracts a lot of people not only from Greece but also from abroad, you can go both in autumn and spring. Each season you will enjoy different landscapes and a variety of experiences.

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