North Corfu – Where Natural Beauty meets Culture
Corfu means culture and natural landscapes and North Corfu is the part of the island that has them both in a really high level! Those who have been to Corfu or who have heard of Corfu’s history and events that take place there, can certify that Corfu, Culture and Natural Beauty are three meanings, connected to each other and fulfilling each other… After all the number of people who visit Corfu every year isn’t at all left to chance.
Corfu fascinates its visitors no matter where they come from . They fall in love with the island at the first sight . Who hasn’t been impressed by the old traditional and monumental buildings of the old Corfu Town? Or by the Old Fortress when they see it on their way to the island while on a ferry? Who hasn’t admired the natural beauty of the island while landing at the airport? With their first sight of Corfu being one of its most famous landmarks , Pontikonisi or else the Mouse Island and right in front of if the little Church of Virgin Mary. Who hasn’t admired Liston and the palko (meaning an old stage , located on the top of Spianada Square) on magazines and photographs if not live? And when talking about natural beauty and cultural events that give Corfu a special scent how could someone begin describing all these things? The musical tradition in Corfu? The hospitality? The Venetian architecture? The picturesque villages? the arches in Corfu town? Or the indescribable natural wealth? Which is one the many reasons it attracts so many visitors each year . As you understand the list is endless so today I will focus on the natural landscape and the cultural tradition and beauty of North Corfu.
Commencing a summer day , we can start let’s say from Palaiokastritsa. The best thing to do when you get there is to take a dip in the deep cold blue/green waters of the two little gulfs of Palaiokastritsa. Afterwards, visiting the picturesque, rich in flora monastery and then going on a boat ride to the magnificent caves and the secret little beaches that can only be approached by boat.
For those who love a good view from a high mountain going to the village of Lakones or Agelokastro which is one of the most important byzantine castles in Greece ! Going further up the North part of the island in a location called “Chelidoni” (Chelidoni is a swallow, the bird, in Greek), going by Chelidoni no one can resist the view it provides to the people passing by it. Others take photos of the place, others get their photo taken with that marvellous place from where all you see is an infinite view of the horizon, of the sky and the sea.. the ultimate blue view!
The sea that is viewed from Chelidoni is called Agios Georgios Pagon and deeper in the horizon you can see three little islands that belong to Corfu, Mathraki, Erikousa and Othoni. Headed now to Afionas you can see may famous beaches side by side, separated by little lines of land, each one of them having a different water temperature!
A bit higher from there (a place not many people know , and those who know it are hopeless romantics) there is a little hill , getting to which you’d have to cross many little streets and the yards of many houses. From that little hill you have a mesmerizing view of the sea! At night, you can watch the sky, filled with stars, seating on a bench with your other half , glaring at the sea and the lights of the tourist attractions and in that view you can’t help but fall in love!!
Continuing our trip on North Corfu and going towards Arillas now, you can visit the nice family-friendly beach and enjoy the sunset. In addition, you can also visit the Corfiot brewery and have a taste of the local beer. If you want to enjoy the most talked about and the most romantic place to be in that area, you must go to Loggas at the village of Peroulades, that undoubtedly consists one of the most relaxing places, not only in North Corfu but in the whole island – and maybe even on Earth – that anyone can visit.
Right underneath is the beach of Loggas which is characterised by the natural grey clay covering the landscape around it. Close to Loggas is “To akrotiri tou drasti”, hidden in a beautiful forest-like scenery. Beyond that, there are numerous little, isolated beaches and islets. Access is guaranteed only on a boat which helps maintaining the place natural and virgin. Right there, between Sidari and Peroulades, a place that scares (in a very good way) its visitors minds is the famous «Canal D’Amour», that is consisted of little rocky places of land that stretch into the sea, creating little gulfs and there are little roads and steps that can get you to these little gulfs.
Now, as we keep going we will reach the village of Roda, where you can see an ancient temple the findings of which you can see at the Archeological Museum of Corfu. Next is Acharavi, for those who love folklore history, in Acharavi you can find an organised folklore museum. Only a few kilometers away you will find a picturesque village with many churches, Palaia Perithia, with houses built from stone, with Venetian architecture that makes the village a historical monument of North Corfu. Another picturesque village is Nimfes, a village rich in flora, waters and legends! The breathtaking view of the waterfalls and an old historical monastery with steal your hearts. As an addition to these, in Nimfes you will find the factory of Corfu’s traditional fruit, Kumquat.
And then, there is Kassiopi! In my personal opinion it is one of the prettiest tourist-attracting and by-the-sea resorts of the North because in Kassiopi you can find everything you need. It is a small village for aspiring fishermen and at the same time it makes a tourist attraction of all ages. With Albania within reach. The Castle of Kassiopi and Aggelokastro are two of the places you should visit in Kassiopi.
In between Kassiopi and the village Sinies is where one of the most significant ecosystems of the island is located and it is called Erimitis and what you ‘ ll find there are isolated beaches and lakes. Leaving Kassiopi you will encounter the beach Kouloura. This graphic gulf, with luxurious yachts laying anchor there, that will attract your sight even when your are high above it. Ending our little tour I will mention the annex of the local art gallery that has some standard and periodical art shows in Korakiana.
And all these from just one upward sample of the natural beauty and the cultural and historical monuments of Southern Corfu… and in the end I haven’t even mentioned the cultural events that these special traditional villages hold for many religious and non- religious celebrations, which was in my mind when I started writing that are totally worth mentioning for each one separately! But that’s how it is sometimes… our thoughts get dragged and we lose the trail of our thoughts … after all, we only have one brain, haven’t we?
Source: Corfu Diary