Charming bathing bays and postcard idyll: in the north of Corfu
It all started in 2019 when my feet first stepped on Greek soil. To be more precise, I followed up at that time Crete, the largest island in the country. After a Holidays full of hospitality and warmth it soon became clear that this would not be the last trip to the sun-drenched country with over 3.000 islands would have been.
Of course, it is completely utopian to visit all the islands in the country, especially since most of them are uninhabited. But the interest to explore the other Greek islands was definitely aroused. And in fact, after a full vaccination and a lot of anticipation in my luggage, things should finally start again this year. The longed-for destination: Corfu - the seventh largest island in Greece and the second largest of the Ionian islands. It is located southeast of Italy and in the north of the island you can see the Albanian coast on the horizon.
Corfu is very well developed for tourism
Like Crete, Corfu is very well developed for tourism, which has many advantages, but also disadvantages. Those who, like us, do not feel like large crowds, can still be happy: because the island still offers quiet and original places that have still been spared from mass tourism. And we found these mainly in the north of Corfu. Here the roads are sometimes still very "rough" and at times very narrow, but meander through the beautiful mountainous landscape, where there are always great views over the entire island and the wide blue sea.
In the numerous mountain villages in particular, things are still a bit more leisurely. For example in the village of Sokraki. On the small village square with its café, you can quickly get into conversation with the locals and other individual travelers. Incidentally, this is also where the "Sokraki Villas", which with their holiday flats and apartments offer an ideal starting point for a quiet, romantic and relaxing holiday in Corfu.
Overcrowded places are all to yourself in the off-season in the north of Corfu
If you visit the island during the off-season, then the probability is high that even popular tourist destinations in the north of Corfu are not overcrowded. The island's off-season is spring and autumn, shortly after the flight schedules begin or just before they end. If you don't want to fly, you can also get to the island by ferry - for example via Venice and Igoumenitsa - reach. This is particularly recommended for everyone who has a little more time in their luggage and who would like to turn the journey into a little adventure.
Spring and autumn are the ideal travel time for all hiking lovers: inside
In spring and autumn it is not as unbearably hot anymore and at the same time it is still pleasantly warm. So it is ideal for everyone who wants to actively explore the beautiful island nature during a hike and then to cool off on one of the beaches afterwards.
One of the most popular hikes in the north of the island is certainly the hike to Porto Timoni beach. On the stony descent, where sturdy shoes are recommended, there are always great views of the picturesque twin bay that you can't get enough of. Thanks to the crystal clear water, the bay is ideal for snorkeling.
So that you can enjoy the time down on the beach to the full, you should definitely strengthen yourself before the hike. For example "The Grill“At the entrance to the village. Here, the courteous staff serve delicious vegetarian-vegan options, among other things. In addition, the Corfiot ginger beer tastes good that you shouldn't miss out on during a Corfu vacation.
Less known hiking routes
Less known, but at least as recommendable, is the hike to Limni Beach. Here it goes through an old gnarled olive grove to an idyllic pebble beach, where you can listen to the gentle waves and look into the distance for hours. Pure relaxation!
From Kanoni Beach to Sidari - pretty swimming spots in the north of Corfu
Of course, not all bathing spots on the island can only be reached by hiking. We especially liked the Kanoni beach. There are not only parking spaces here, but several pretty stretches of beach, between which you can choose and switch as you please.
Even the popular tourist village of Sidari is now quieter in the off-season. There are white sandy beaches and photogenic clay and sandstone cliffs to discover, for which you should at times have a head for heights.
Enjoy a breathtaking 360-degree view from Angelokastro
Speaking of a head for heights: you should bring a portion of it with you when you climb the steps of Angelokastro. The castle, which is located in the northwest of Corfu, was one of the most important defenses of the island in history and offers a truly breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view. Recommendable!
Finally, a few tips for Corfu town
A visit to the main town of the island, Corfu Town, should not be missing on the to-do list, although admittedly it is not really in the north, but rather in the center of the island. However, since there is a high probability that you will pass here anyway due to the airport and shipping port, a detour to the city is definitely worthwhile.
While walking through the historic old town, which is also a UNESCO cultural heritage site, you can marvel at the various influences from earlier times. Venetian, French and British influences can be found in the city. You almost feel transported to a small Italian town if it weren't for the Greek characters that remind you that you are in the Corfiot capital of the island.
Visit the historic old town and a hundred year old soap factory
You should definitely visit the market, which offers a very special flair here almost every day. With fresh fruit and vegetables, delicious olives and freshly caught fish, you can stock up on your own food supplies and immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of the market.
If you are after the bustling old town (yes, it is a bit crowded here even in the off-season), we recommend a trip to the Old Fortress and the adjoining Museum of Asian Art, where things are a bit quieter again. Also a visit to the Soap manufacture by Pantounis Should not be missed. Not far from the old town, the soap factory produces various organic soaps based on a centuries-old family recipe and using the same tools as from back then. During a tour you can examine the manufacturing process and immerse yourself in a completely different time. Afterwards you can stock up on the fragrant soaps in the shop. A great souvenir for loved ones and yourself.
My conclusion: Corfu left a lasting impression!
After a good two weeks it was time to say goodbye to the postcard idyll of Corfu, which you really don't have to look for long here. And who knows if this will really be my last visit to the island. Because how Crete Corfu has also managed to leave a lasting impression on me and finally there is still the entire south to explore.