Corfu Capers

August 21, 2012 at 5:46 pm 2 comments

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Bitten by the Greek Bug when visiting Rhodes in 2010 (and I don’t just mean the mosquitos) an intrepid duo booked a last minute week in Corfu with Olympic Airways comprising ungodly hour flights from Gatwick and 3 star appartment accommodation in Paleokastritsa. Our main criteria was to be as far away from Kavos as possible.
Afroditi Appartments did not disappoint. Managed by owner Elisabeth and her husband the 16 room complex was spotless and very well maintained. Elisabeth gave us a warm welcome and even changed the towels and linen every other day and lent us a hairdryer! We were outside and uphill, of Paleokastritsa main strip (it’s port is more of a marina) and the long and winding road to Corfu Town. (Well worth the bus ride for 2.30 Euros in daylight hours for the scenery alone). Our fellow holidaymakers were lovely families and couples and very sociable around the excellent pool. Great to have kettle, fridge and grill/hotplate..we were already armed with Earl Grey tea bags (I never travel without them!) Next door, Elia’s Taverna proved a favourite with Corfiot dishes at very reasonable prices and a warm and friendly welcome from Bulgarian owner. Slightly further along the road, Spiros definitely spit roasted the most tender and succulent lamb, and round the corner and down a few bends, Nereids host a fun Greek Night with fire dancing waiters, Zorba with audience plate throwing mandatory on a Tuesday and Saturday night – again excellent food at a good value price. Favourite watering holes included Tango Bar (the back steps being a shortcut to Nereids missing a hairy hairpin bend as there are no pavements here) and Cactus Bar for cheap cocktails and Mythos Beer. Nautilus boat trip took us for an hour around the coves from Paleokastritsa marina and was well worth the 8 euros (Stephanos told us to stay beautiful and happy ladies and gave us 20% discount), as was the long trek down to main town and up to the monastery on the other side of the headland, just for the views alone. The sea doesn’t get much more scenic than off a Greek Island. Tearing myself away from the pool one day I ventured into Corfu Town and was taken to a Cretan restuarant (the Greek name is O Ouvtenvos) run by a married couple with excellent food including baked cheese pies and a baked fennel pie, with warm green bean and spinach salad dripping with olive oil and lemon juice. Delightful conversations with our charming host – the restuarant is frequented by Corfiots not tourists and is always fully booked at least a week in advance by locals during the winter the winter. There are only 5 tables and the couple also take on outdoor catering. Wonderful to wander the streets of Old Corfu Town and to take coffee on the Liston, overlooking the cricket pitch…Corfu showing the imprint of its varying occupiers in its architecture…Romans, Venetians, French, British…only the Turks they managed to keep out. Shopping proved fun and not just tourist tat.
Highlight of the week was on our last day, taking the advice of returned holidaymakers who suggested we got up early in the morning and crossed the road and followed the long and winding steep narrow road to Lacones on foot. It took about an hour, passing olive groves, fig trees, lemon, damson, pear and lime trees and allotments all in full fruit. An uphill climb well worth it for the panoramic views that unfolded with every hair pin bend. We were prewarned to wear our swimsuits as The Golden Fox (the largest hotel/coffee shop/bar) in the ‘off the beaten track’ village of Lacones allows you to use their infinity pool with 5* views of the sea, islands and coves for the price of a coffee. I have to confess local kumquat cake was also greedily scoffed and swallows dived as we used the luxuriously chilled pool. The downhill slog didn’t seem too bad despite 36 degree heat, and the village has a delightful olive wood craftsman by the name of Alkonis who was keen to show us his workshop and beautiful wooden objects for sale. He doesn’t accept credit cards but did not realise that an ATM has appeared in the village outside the ice cream shop in the last few days. We made him a sign for his noticeboard pointing this out to would be shoppers and with his lack of English left him slightly bemused but hopefully more profitable! Plenty of small and friendly tavernas to explore in that village too – another time.
A wonderfully relaxing holiday with guaranteed sun (I spent most of my pool time under the kindly branches of a shady olive tree)…not too heavy on the pocket, and amongst lovely locals and holidaymakers. Not a lager lout in sight.

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Debi Evans

Debi Evans

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