Nothing better than a few days of bathing in the sun, when in your home country autumn is kicking in.
It’s been a long time when I visited a place only for a week. Just a week. A little too short in my opinion. Before you get into relax modus, you fly back! But anyhow, Corfu is a great typical Mediterranean pearl island. We stayed in Liapades, a small town next to the Corfu-famous Paleokastritsa.
This small village did suit me perfectly. You find here everything you need in a small amount (about 10 restaurants and bars scattered around the place). The best of all is the lack of mass tourism. You make contact with the very nice Greek locals and can explore the unspoiled nature and beaches around town. Furthermore I really liked the typical Greek restaurants with Greek prices (3-6 euro main course) and the stunning views from the city. We were in hotel Adriolos, which is about 15 mins from the beach up the hill (not too steep). Take a look at Liapades’ old town and travel back in time. Very pretty.
What to do around Liapades (and Paleokastritsa)?
Rovinia beach (by foot)
There are more beautiful beaches than the main beach of Liapades (called Gyfera). Especially Rovinia is stunning with real white sand and this crystal blue waters. Also the views from the hills around the beach are very impressive. There’s a track that leads you in about 30 mins to Rovinia beach from restaurant “The Village” (nice place btw). On the beach there are no facilities. So bring water and a umbrella if you want to spend the whole day here! Anyway, I was too restless to stay here for more than 3 hours.
Other beaches (by peddle boat)
A very fun and super easy and cheap (low season, 5€/hr, high season 10€/hr) way to discover nearby bays, is by peddle boat. Being on the water brings an extra bonus in taking a shortcut instead of walking overland ánd bringing cool breezes. Okay, the peddling can be a little tough :p, but it’s worth it! We peddled to Limni beach and further on to Liniodorus (20 mins). On both beaches there where only a few other people. You can walk up the hills for more stunning views and snapping cool pictures (see below).
Another Unesco protected village. Beautiful, but for European standards, not outstanding. It was a nice daytrip: waiting in Liapades for the green local bus (only filled with tourist), enjoying views of inner Corfu and being dropped of next to the centre of Corfu Town (Kerkyra) for only €2,10. Corfu town itself has several highlights, like the fortress, churches, endless small streets for wandering and seals (!). The shops are concentrated in a few streets, who where overly crowded during our visit. The further away we got from the main streets, the better it became. Try out restaurant Tsibeato, the nicest budget place I’ve ever been.
One of the best discoveries staying in Corfu, was the Donkey Rescue Centre. Ahhhhww so cute! Definitely worth a visit. There are always at least 30 donkeys and your heart melts the moment you see them already from a distance. Peacefully enjoying their deserved retirement. You will also find plenty of (abandoned) cats, dogs and even some chickens. The friendly volunteers help every animal they can.
Close to Liapades next to the highway 24. more information
You can rent a motorbike to drive here, or hike. What sounds like a very tough and adventurous walkway, was just a laugh. From Liapades beach (Gyfera), you walk up the stairs of the last beach hotel and pass the swimming pool on the left. Cross the patio and there you will find small yellow arrows (Corfu trail signs). Just follow the path (including a stable ladder – thanks for putting it there) , and in 10 mins you arrive on the other side of the hill next to Acapulco bar. Follow the dirt way for about 2 mins straight and here’s the best part: you find an ATM booth right in front of you. (no ATM in Liapades so comes in handy). And a supermarket with double as much choice in cigarettes and souvenirs.
- La Grotta
Walking or driving further towards the bays of Paleokastritsa, your attention will get drawn to a very scenic bay below you. Turquoise water and surprisingly nice beats flow up from somewhere near the rocks. This is when you decide to take the staircase down and see for yourself if this place is as idyllic as it looks. IT IS! Fancy using a springboard for diving into the sea? This is your spot. Unless the lack of any sand, with the sun, sea and music, it feels like an Ibiza summerparty but without too many people and bling. Loved it. From Acapulco bar, 15 mins walk.
- Agios Spyridon Bay
In what I think is the 4th bay in Paleokastritsa (coming from the south), you will find the most scenic beach. It felt a bit like the bay of PhiPhi island, but than with more beautiful water and less annoying folks. The beach itself isn’t that impressive but the views over the water and hidden caves in the hills are amazing. Take the road up to the monastery and make the best pictures of your stay. From Acapulco bar, 30 mins walk.
You will find lots of (beach)bars, restaurants, shops and other tourist stuff in Paleokastritsa. Everything the same like in Liapades times 50. I was happy we could enjoy some of the facilities in Paleokastritsa, but even more happy to stay in her more quite and cheap neighbour Liapades. Anyhow, Corfu is a beautiful island with much to discover! I was suprised by the Greek friendliness and the amount of things to do here.