Hot destination pick: Corfu

Corfu is known to be the second biggest island after Kefalonia. Historically, the island was a very important port for food, water and wood as it is positioned between Greece and Italy.

The Corfu Trail Photographer: Neil Thompson/Flickr/Creative Commons
The Corfu Trail
Photographer: Neil Thompson/Flickr/Creative Commons

Start your journey by walking down a path that reveals the greatest hidden gems that Corfu has. It has been discovered by people from all over the world and it is famously known as ‘The Corfu Trail’. The 220 kilometer long trail has been around since 2001, with different, breath taking landscapes that will have you mesmerized. When starting from the south side of the island, you will find yourself ending on the north side, as most of the hidden gems are there. There are many different routes that can lead you to ‘The Corfu Trail’, which is an advantage as you could be in any part of the island and still embark on this adventure. If starting from the south side of Kavos, you will end up in the countryside; where the greenery are different shades of bright green combined along with the contrast of the crystal clear, turquoise sea, as you can spot the scattered coastline in the far distance. As you continue, you’ll come across the ancient ground where the Monastery of Arkoullidas. This fragile building has camouflaged itself with the surrounding trees and bushes, with only half a door left.

Neo Frourio Photographer: Alex Graves/Flickr/Creative Commons
Neo Frourio
Photographer: Alex Graves/Flickr/Creative Commons

Be careful when walking by the Monastery, as the remains can collapse. You will have the opportunity to meet the locals that still remain in the historic villages of Ano Korakiana, Vouniatades and Kato Pavliana in order to continue your trip. Why not live like a local for the day, by embracing the traditional Greek cuisine in the cute, little remaining taverns in these villages. Or why not explore the culture and enjoy folk music, ceramic art and even learn the Greek language? The locals are friendly and always have open arms for travelers. You are bound to leave the villages with a whole new experience, as you’ll taste incredible and aromatic, homemade dishes and will learn new ancient traditions that Corfu has. Once you’ve reached north, you will find yourself at the end of the trail leading to Saint Spiridon Beach.

Cape Drastis Photographer: George Sellas
Cape Drastis
Photographer: George Sellas

Since you are now in the north side of Corfu, why not visit the new port Neo Frourio. In translation, Neo Frourio means New Fortress. Even though it is supposed to be the newest port in Corfu, the construction was completed in 1645. You will see that that from Neo Frourio, you will be able to look over the view of the old port, Palaio Frourio, which in translation means old fortress. The ancient building is on top of a cliff and resembles to a large temple that would be discovered in a jungle, as it is camouflaged in greenery. Below the cliff is the port, where the turquoise, blue, sea lays still, along with small fisherman boats and yachts all parked up together. This port is a beautiful sight to see and is a significant landscape in Corfu Town.

Not only does the north side of Corfu have breath taking landscapes to offer, but they also have incredible beaches to explore. Cape Drastis is one that must be discovered. With the area being covered in pure white sand and flora, there are little islands and beaches clustered together, surrounding the azure, Ionian Sea. You will certainly feel tranquil, as the beaches as Cape Drastis are secret getaways.

Angelokastro Photographer: Richard Tanton/Flickr/Creative Commons
Angelokastro
Photographer: Richard Tanton/Flickr/Creative Commons

If you want a sense of adrenaline, then continue your adventure by climbing up to Angelokastro. In translation, Angelokastro means Castle of the Angel. The glorious byzantine castle stands tall on a 1,000ft at the highest peak of the cliff. Start your exciting journey from the base of the mountain, where there is a village called Palaiokrastitsa. The village is surrounded by the sea and is famously known for the Monastery of Theotokos that is over 200 years old. Not only is it famous for its great history and municipality, but for the great mythology of the rock of Kolovri, which is Odysseus boat that once turned into stone.

You can travel to Angelokastro by car or foot, but be careful if you travel by foot, as it can be quite dangerous and a long journey. Once you have reached the olden castle, you will come across the large, stone, arched gate that will lead you into the great, historic, castle.  Every room inside the castle has a legendary story to tell. From the tiny church that was once used as a dedication to the angels Michael and Gabriel, to a significant precipitous rock that was once used by the emperor in order to overlook potential pirate attacks. The legendary tales aren’t the only things that are to be admired when visiting this imperative castle, but the spectacular views it has of northwest, northeast and south of Corfu.

Boat trip around the Ionian islands Photographer: Michael Button/Flickr/Creative Commons
Boat trip around the Ionian islands
Photographer: Michael Button/Flickr/Creative Commons

Corfu is an island that has plenty to explore. Even though it is known as a party island, as Kavos is a main attraction to younger tourists, it still withholds its beauty with spectacular coastal waters, greenery, olive groves and traditional little villages scattered all over the island. You will certainly feel like a local, among the population of 107,500 people out there.

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