An Introduction to Corfu

Corfu Woodland
This is an amature site about Corfu (who'd of though it). From the emails I have had using such phrases as 'Thank God somebody has cut the **** ' (one of our ex colonial friends) or 'I take it you don't work for a tour operator' (England), I think I am striking a fair balance between what the mosquitoes can do to you and 7 of George's Sunset coctails. I'll take the mossies anytime.

Greek Music (10 Kb) - Get in the mood

Peroulades -- Sidari -- Melitsa & The Canal De Amour -- Aghios Stefanos (1) -- Aghios Stefanos (2) -- Aghios Georgios -- Roda -- Kassiopi -- Ipsos -- Paleokastritsa -- Arillas -- Acharavi -- Kavos

Peroulades
Technically the centre of the area. This is where my Greek friends live. The village needs a little help, a bit of TLC. Quite a few of the houses are empty and need repair. Many of the people work around Sidari. In 2001 an old friend Yannis decided to keep his taverna open all day and not work elswhere. This gave us the chance to enjoy a real Greek village taverna. Also to meet so many of the locals, who we have seen around Sidari and Melitsa, relaxing for a change.

Later on you will find 'The Long Walk'. It is not that bad really (Yes it is). Little taverna's and shops to stop and rest in. Peroulades is about 1.5 miles from Melitsa. 2 from Sidari. There is always a taxi of course or even the bus. The bus (a very nice coach) will be a much, much cheaper.

Now the touristy bit.

Peroulades (revisited)
Greek, unspoilt and very traditional. Peroulades is the oldest of the villages. It seems as if it has been there since the beginning of time. Narrow streets and few tourists. This is the old Greece. At one time Sidari and Melitsa did not exist and the whole area was know as Peroulades. There are 3 pretty churches and many little footpaths winding through the village. There are no Free Parking, Free Pool, Free Sunbeds or anything else 'free'. Two little shops and two taverna's. This is where a few words of Greek really count. Don't forget to ask about the monk that used to live there. Some say he was a Robin Hood character others more of a Rasputin. There is a cannon near the center, there was two. The villagers from Avliotes stole one and nearly killed themselves when it exploded after overloading it. There was almost certainly a Greek temple near Peroulades but the Christians destroyed it a thousand years ago.

Please drive slowly and very carefully through Peroulades as there are always children and dogs running about and the roads are very narrow.

(Sunset) Beach and our favourite haunt Panorama . One of the most beautiful views on Corfu. There is a small bar 'Seventh Heaven' that serves snacks in the middle of the car park and of course many Greek dishes are served at tables by the cliffs. The view from the cliffs is staggering and at sunset really is something worth seeing. One drink not to miss is a 'Sunset Cocktail' and the new 'Green Goddess' but it is not for the faint hearted. Please see' Worth Visiting' and the 'Photographs'.

Sidari
Sidari is one of the most varied family holiday resorts on Corfu. It is ideally suited for young children and teenagers. There is a small fairground, water slide , pony riding, go karts, water sports, lively bars, quiet tavernas, disco's, clubs, an ice cream parlour, etc. Many mature tourists and young families go there around June and September. The high street has now been paved and very artistic railings added in places - just at the right height to fall over.

Sidari is the main place for night life and although only about 400 meters long it is packed with entertainment. The beaches are sandy and the sea shelves gently. Sidari late at night is mainly for the lager brigade and very noisy until the early hours. There are a few tavernas with traditional music and dance. There are many souvenir shops and jewellery shops open until all hours. There is a lovely little 'bandstand' hidden away near the church.

Sidari is very young. In the 1960's it consisted of two or three cottages and three men, nothing else - except goats of course. No comment.

The number of new apartments, etc. being built between Sidari and Melitsa recently is staggering. So many lovely old olive trees cut down. A very heavy price to pay for tourism.

At the Corfu Town end there is a cross roads. If you take the turning towards the sea there is small road to the right that takes you along the sea shore past a few tavernas, pools and supermarkets until after about a kilometre you come to a foot bridge. There is about another kilometre to go before you reach the end of the beach. Taking the same small beach road and turning left takes you along the sea shore, heading away from Corfu town, past the rear of the tavernas that line that side of the road through Sidari village.
A walk of about a kilometre will bring you to the famous Sidari cliffs that are really The Canal De Amour in Peroulades. Just before the cliffs the road turns left. This is Melitsa village, also in Peroulades.

Melitsa and The Canal De Amour
Is at the far end of Sidari, just near the Canal De Amour, and although smaller than Sidari it has bars and pools intermingled with it's tavernas and shops. This is where the photographs of the cliffs are taken for the tourist brochures about Sidari. Confused? You will be. As you cross the bridge the sign says Welcome to Peroulades.
Melitsa is a little quieter than Sidari, pace is a little slower. The Greek people there have more time to talk and become friends. There are more places to stroll around and the view from the cliffs is worth seeing. These can be got to by either walking along the beach and climbing a rather steep slope or by turning left into the village main road and then right beside a supermarket called Babis (very nice chap - fresh fruit, etc) signposted The Rock.
Unfortunately now that much of the Canal De Amour headland has been covered with apartments and tavernas the area is not as picturesque as it was. The famous tunnel of love fell down many years ago but the tour operators have yet to notice it's missing because a new one suddenly appeared.

In September 2003 the front wheel bearing of our little scooter decided to became rubble. We called in on an old friend who has always helped us out when transport was a problem. It cost a fraction of the price it would have done in the UK. I just have to recommend 'Rent a Bike' at the Koronakis Club. Next to the Co-op.

Walking on through the village only takes a few minutes and after about 600 metres the years seem to recede and you are in the old Greek countryside. The real Greece. On the left you will find an old Greek cottage. This is the road to Peroulades village.

Aghios Stefanos - San Stefanos - (1)
A small quiet village not so commercialised as Sidari. A lovely wide beach that is very safe. Plenty of tavernas and bars. Visit the little harbour next door and see the fishing boats come home in the afternoon. Buy a really fresh fish and ask a local taverna to cook it for you. Walk up into the hills and look at the beatiful views of the bay. Have a drink at one of the taverna's on or near the beach.
Am I allowed to mention someone else who helps with this site? Noula - San Stefano Travel. Noula is a lovely person and a great friend. She is very enthusiastic about tourism and works very hard to help everybody. The above web site is a little thank you.

Aghios Stefanos - San Stefanos - (2)
A quiet little port, few tavernas and bars, one small mini market and a couple of shops, no tourist busses and the road that only leads to Karasia with its Blue Flag long beach, and one taverna. No loud music to spoil the atmosphere, just peace with a few small boats and yachts coming and going to give a little interest. Many apartments overlook the little harbour and the view over the three miles of the Ionian Sea and the Albanian mountains could not be more restful. The tavernas all sell good Greek food and wine with their tables going down to the water side, which is usually like a mill pond . After dark the reflections of the lights in the water is a delight to see.

Aghios Georgios - St George
A lovely curving bay surrounded by olive trees. A long beach protected by the horns of the bay that slopes gently into the sea. Always plenty of room to laze in the sun. Quieter than many of the resorts Aghios Georgios offers a more Greek experience. Well known for it's nightime beach parties that the locals enjoy so much. Many taverna's and little bars and one of the islands major windsurfing centres. An ideal place to spend a quiet holiday or have a day trip to.

Roda
There are two distinct parts to Roda. One half straddles the main road going East towards Kassiopi and the other is down a small lane that leads to the sea. Along the sea front there are tavernas, souvenir shops and bars. A nice little village that deserves a few hours to walk around. It reminds me of a tiny Cornish fishing village at the height of the summer season. Visit one of the oldest taverna's - Akra, well known by the local Greeks. Many tourists seem to think that Roda may be too quiet for them. From the number of email saying how much tourists have enjoyed their holiday there I think not.

Kassiopi
A typical Greek fishing village surrounded by hills that has grown into a tourist resort almost gracefully. There are little side streets to walk along with small tavernas and shops. The small harbour and jetty are very picturesque. There are daily boat trips and many pleasant walks. Kassiopi is about 20 Km due South of Sidari along good winding roads. Visit the Byzantine fort or take a boat trip. The busy little harbour always has a few fishing boats in and often you will find people fishing. Easy to find and well worth a day out.

Ipsos
Thank you Liz.
Beaches - Ipsos has a pebble beach, but once over those the sea is shallow, clean and warm. The pebbles do wonders for the feet!!!! Sun loungers have to be paid for but are reasonably priced. With some snack bars at the North End they have sun loungers free for customers.
Transport - Regular bus service into Corfu Town very reasonable.
Nightlife - Can be very lively in high season. Some bars not fully open until June.
'There are some nice restaurants in Ipsos catering for all tastes from traditional Greek, Chinese, Kebab and burger bars. We found a wonderful restaurant in Pyrgi that had the most wonderful lamb cutlets and moussaka I have tasted.'
'We also did a lot of walking, which is something we don't normally do at home. First we walked around the main road down towards Dassia which took us a few hours including the odd stop off for a beer. The other was inland from our apartment up into the hills. This was quite tiring climbing up hill in the heat but worth it for the views. We did not see a soul for hours.'

Paleokastritsa
This village has to be a photogaphers dream come true. Lovely small sandy beaches surrounded by olive groves and the deepest clean blue see imaginable. Visit the ancient monastry way up in the hills. Enjoy one of the many tavernas and restaurants overlooking the bay. Because of the clear water Paleokastritsa has a diving centre for beginners as well as providing over 20 sites for advanced divers, including night diving.
Odysseus was washed ashore here and was found by Nausica. If other Greek villages are to be believed on their shores as well. He obviously fancied this lady a lot but it must have been rather expensive on boats. About 4 miles to the North are the remains of Angelokastro castle, one of the finest ruins on the island.
If you would like a larger version of the Paleokastritsa photo jist click this :- Paleokastritsa 166Kb If you would like the full version. Thanks to Lynda for the photo.

Arillas
Arillas is a very lovely little Greek village that has a long beach and many little taverna's. Surrounded by hills the bay offers many water sports and is ideal for diving. There are plenty of places to stroll to and the views from the hills are worth the effort. This is another of those little Greek villages that reminds one of an English seaside resort from years gone by - except for the weather of course.

Acharavi
Acharavi is situated next door to Roda and is a secluded little resort. A long narrow sand and pebble beach with a scattering of tavernas, bars and apartments. There is the usual mixture of Greek bars and old tavernas but also one or two run by English owners. Acharavi is quiet and mostly used by English familes but there are some from Germany and Sweden. Mount Pandokrator is an hours walk away through lovely olive groves with winding footpaths or just take any path and you will begin to go back in time.

Kavos

Quotes :- Corfu & the Ionian Islands - The Rough Guide ISBN 1-85828-226-8 A very useful and honest book.

'The very name Kavos can make most regular island visitors - and not a few islanders - cross them selves with dread' - 'usually self policed but still prone to the off-their-face antics of Britons unused to Greek licensing hours' - 'It is no coincidence that in season there is an English - speaking doctor on duty around the clock'

The quote below is from David from Ireland about Kavos - Please see 'A Sailors Story'.

As we walked back to the boat my friend pulled at my arm as he moved to the opposite side of the road, there was two thugs with broken bottles sitting on a wall, just waiting to hit on some guy silly enough to be alone. A fight with about twenty guys broke out on the street and the police arrived in four jeeps, we didn't wait around to see what happened. We got back to the boat in one piece but around four a.m. we were awakened by people climbing on the roof of the boat and diving into the water. Having taken a look outside we realised that because of the numbers we decided that it may be safer to pass no comment other than to sit in the aft cockpit in the hope that they might go away. They did after about an hour and as soon as there was adequate daylight we were out of there fast and never to return.

End of the touristy bit.
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