Lourdas (Greek; Λουρδά)
The village of Lourdas usually includes the village of to Vlachata, to most visitors Lourdas starts on the main Argostoli to Poros road and winding down through a rural landscape. Lourdas village has a modern feel as there are no pre-earthquake buildings. Basically you could describe Lourdas as a village with three sections. The top part, this is where the road splinters off the main coastal road and snakes down the winding sloping track passing accommodation, local residential homes and tavernas. The middle is where the village square resides and then lower part is the beach area.
Slightly inland, the original village is an attractive little place and boasts a very traditional square with its spring and huge plane tree which gives shade to a small Kafenion (café) allows you to sample a little taste of authentic Greek village life. Here you will be able to enjoy the relaxed, laid back atmosphere while having a coffee.
Surrounded by the fertile countryside with pretty palm trees, cypress trees, olive trees and pine trees, Lourdas looks like a slice of paradise. Vegetable gardens lie between the tavernas and the chefs can be seen from time to time picking fruit and vegetables for their menus.
There is a large amount of accommodation in Lourdas, ranging from hotels, villas apartments and studios. There are quite a few new builds being developed in the surrounding area, however they are spaced out. The accommodation stretches from the beach and continues into the village which lies steeply uphill. While it may not be a hardship walking down to the beach coming back up later in the day may be, but it’s obviously a personal choice. If you are less able bodied you may like to check out your accommodation location before booking as it may be quite a distance from the beachfront. There is no bus service through the village. However it is a favourite and a fabulous location for hikers, with the majestic Ainos backdrop it makes for a lovely walk to the beach.
The entertainment and nightlife is quite low-key. There is not only a choice of beachside tavernas serving local specialties, but many throughout the village.
If you would like to experience a little culture and history you can visit the nearby monasteries of Sissia, both new and old. Please see Sissia Monastery in the places of interest section for more details.
The church of Aghia Paraskevi is located a short drive/walk uphill from the square on opposite side of road in Lourdas. It dates back to the 14th century and is famous on the island for its hagiography (icons and study of saints). It has been reconditioned with a brand new bell. The church is used for Greek Orthodox weddings as well as symbolic ceremonies which can take place in the grounds of the church.
Lourdas beach is a long white-sand beach (with some shingle outcrops) which stretches for the best part of a kilometre an length and shelves gently into the bluest of seas. The bay is one of the largest on the island. Sunbeds can be rented, and some half-dozen tavernas and a mini-market are all in walking distance from the sands, these can be found along the beach front. Motor boat hire and limited watersports are on offer on the beach.
At the end of the beach to the right there is a small harbour where small boats are moored.