The name of Lefkada actually comes from the word lefkos which means white in Greek, due to the white cliffs on the western side of the island. According to mythology, the famous Greek poet Sappho jumped from these white cliffs at Cape Lefkata and got drowned, desperate of love. In the 7th century BC, the Corinthians settled Lefkada and established many towns. In the 2nd century BC, the Romans conquered the island, which afterwards became part of the Byzantine Empire.
A very important point in the history of Lefkada was the 13th century AD, when it was conquered by the Venetians. The Venetian dukes constructed elegant mansions and castles on the island, such as the Castle of Saint Maura that survives until today. In 1797, Lefkada island became part of the French State and then of the British Empire. Finally, in 1864 the British donated Lefkada and all the other Ionian islands to the Greek State.