Kerkyra, the North

To the north from Agios Stefanos, the hill come to the coast, steeply break at the sea, baring its rock - "green mud". In fact, the color of rock is not green; it is more like pale-turquoise. In dry condition, it is the usual sufficiently brittle stone (we have taken home one of them), with interaction with water it is softened, acquiring properties of clay or mud.

In the lowest place of precipitous shore, near Perouládes village, the stairs gets down and leads to Longá beach (Logas) - a narrow strip of sand before the overhanging wall from "green mud". The place is gripping, but because of this mud, the sea at the coast is a little turbid.

Click the images to enlarge them.

All-round panorama of Longa beach, Peroulades

A similar landscape of coast continues further to the northeast, at Drástis Cape the turquoise rocks juts out in the sea as rocky islets. Further, the precipitous shore becomes lower and indented, forming the bays of whimsical form, islets and caves. The clay turns here into the lower narrow strip of coastal cliffs, whereas the yellow layers of sandstone compose their major part. Somewhere here one of the bays forms the famous "Channel of love" ("Canal of d'Amour").

Here are located the large tourist settlement Sidári, one of the basic centers of northern Kerkyra. Commonly the routes of our trips ran just through this place, although frequently this was not the shortest way. There are several beaches here, including in the bays between cliffs. Many restaurants, shops, on the main square there are two large discount supermarkets. There is also nightlife.

The road, which runs from the capital to Sidari and to other resorts of the north, is branched from the road to Paleokastritsa at the well-equipped interchange, and then it begins to rise on the mountain. In the Skriperó village the traffic is regulated by a light signal, which alternately lets pass the flows of motor transport first into one, then to the other side with the interval in 3 minutes.

We go further from Sidari to the east along the coast. To the right at the elevation appears Karousádes village with the old stone houses. There is a church in the center with the typical for these places high belfry, crowned by small brown dome. As it is written, the village was found by the Karousses, who were the refugees from the Pontian region of Black sea.

We return to the road, almost immediately there is a turn to the right towards Astrakerí beach. Gray sand with pebbles, gray heaps of the dried algae, ejected to the coast.

Further the road brings us to the crossroad with a light signal, to the left at the sea there is Róda - a tourist center with another gray beach. Somewhere here had to be the ruins of the ancient temple of Apollo, but we did not find it, did not see any road signs.

Then we go inland to the Nímfes village. Along the way to the left of the road is located the old church Estavroménos. The village is located among the steep ravines, in which streams flow and waterfalls are formed in springtime, it is a pity, but we did not see this. Here is the place of the koumquat growth, and we could see that: the small trees with bright green leaves and orange fruits grew in the gardens of local residents. Furthermore, in search of the neglected Askitarió monastery (that we did not find), we have driven into the rural cemetery.

In the adjacent Xanthátes village a guide sign leads to the spring with remarkable drinking water. Passing by, we turned there several times in order to fill all unused vessels with this water.

We return to the crossroad in Roda and make a turn to the right eastwards. There is Acharávi - one more large settlement with the long sand-pebble beach. Here is located by the small waterpark "Hydropolis".

Then we turn to the sea and pass along the coast, where the long sandy Almirós beach extends, one of few almost empty of people in the island. It is the remarkable place, however, a road problem happened here with us. Leaving for the road from the wide sandy roadside near the beach, where our car was parked, we stuck in the sand by front wheels. After losing the pair of hours of precious time, with outside assistance, finally we succeeded in getting out, after digging up, raising by screw jack the gotten stuck wheel and placing stones under it.

The road along the sea ends with the channel, which joins the sea with Antinióti Lake, only pedestrian bridge leads to another bank. Many species of animals, including otter, dwell in the lake area.

The settlement Ágios Spirídonas with a populous sandy beach is located at the opposite side of the lake.

Further the plain give place to the mountain landscape, the road approaches the sea and begins to twist on the foot of mountain.

In one of the spaces of rocky shore is located the long and wide, sandy and uncrowded Kalamáki beach. However, it has extremely gently sloping entrance to the sea, it is necessary to go for a long time through the shoal in order to reach a kind of depth.

Further, on the shore of picturesque bay there is the large settlement Kassiópi. There are a spacious parking lot and many shops and restaurants in the center before the harbour. The embankment is filled with the moored boats and yachts. Here also a marble stele is located - the monument to the Unknown Soldier, next to it there are two cannons from the sunken Venetian ships. I had to say that old bronze cannons could be met frequently in the different places of Kerkyra, in monastery, for example. On the hilltop there are visible the walls and towers of the tumbledown Venetian fortress that was built on the spot of more ancient Roman one.


Kerkyra, the Northeast

The mountainous area rises above the northeastern shore of the island; it is the place we go firstly.

Between Agios Spiridonas and Kalamaki, we turn inland and rise to the mountain. The road leads us to the neglected village Paliá Períthia. However, the pair of restaurants and the constant, although small, flow of tourists makes the place not so neglected. There are the old Church of Saint Athanasios, the ruins of rock houses; at the apex of hill there is visible a tower mounted on Pantokrator - the highest point of the island.

The road from the village leads further, but the roadwork were occurred there during our trip, and we had to make a detour along the coast and to reach the apex from the another, south, side of the mountain, after turning there in the Pirgí village.

At the apex of Kerkyra, at the height of 906 metres there is located the Pantokrátor Monastery with the stone Transfiguration church, built in 1689; its present facade was made in XIX century. The first monastery at this place was built in 1347 during Angevin governing and was destroyed about 1537.

From all sides there are opened views of lying below territories, there is visible practically entire the island and adjacent Albanian shore of mainland. On the territory of monastery there is located a high metallic TV tower, while at a little distance from it there is located a telecommunication station with many different towers a bit smaller. The parking is not provided; therefore all the cars are parked on the roadside. There is a cafe next to the monastery.

All-round panorama from Pantokrator Mountain

Let us go down to the coast. Here one day we have rented a motorboat and floated along the northeastern shore.

This occurred in the village Kalami. We have chosen the "Tassos Boats" office, after finding about it in the tourist forum, because of the Russian girl Daria, the owner's wife. We did no rented a boat before; therefore, it was desirable for us to listen all information in the native language. The office is located directly opposite the famous "White House" where lived the English writer Darrell.

Daria was on-site; we have come to an agreement about a boat for 60 Euros, although it officially costs 70 Euros per day. Since we arrived sufficiently late, we did not get a cheaper boat, all of them were taken earlier. Also we have taken the insurance - 10 Euros, and after returning to the coast, we have paid 40 Euros for gasoline (22 litres at 1,80 Euros for a litre). After adding 3 Euros for parking in Kalami (it is hard to find a free of charge parking), we will altogether obtain 113 Euros.

After taking with us an icebox, we went down to the moorage and climbed on the boat, where the local fellow showed me the methods of its control. It was not too difficult. In order to start motion, it is necessary to sink the motor into the water, to raise the anchor, to start the motor, pulling for the cord, and further to use control instruments: the steering wheel and the gas lever. The steering wheel is usual as in automobile; the lever is also maximally simple: horizontal position - neutral, lever upward - go ahead, vertically upward - full speed ahead, lever downward - go back. In order to stop and to be parked it is necessary to set the lever to horizontal position, to stop the motor, pressing the red button near the steering wheel, to throw the anchor, to wind the unused anchor rope around the special lugs, to lift the motor.

Thus, sometimes coursing with the different speed along the coast (the boat gained speed quite well), sometimes stopping in order to dive from the boat or to snorkle, we spent approximately from 1 to 6 p.m.

The northern bound of our trips was Agios Stefanos (not ours, another one, eastern). Further to the north the sea began to be stormy, apparently, this is a usual phenomenon - Daria notified us about it. However, if we took a boat earlier, then until mid-day we could sail further, up to Kassiopi bay. The southern bound was Nissaki beach; here also the large waves began to rise. The uninhabited Albanian shore was located to the east sufficiently close, but of course, it was not permitted to sail there. Twice the mobile phone operator sent messages, where it greeted me in Albania.

So we continue our trip around the island. After Kassiopi, the road turns to the south and moves away from the sea. Here one can turn towards above-mentioned Ágios Stéfanos Eastern, and further to Kerasiá beach. We did not pass there by car, only sailed along these places on the boat.

Further the road passes above the sea, there are located two observation points here, which open remarkable views of the coast, of the sea strait and of Albania. The first one is above Kouloúra, the small picturesque bay with a moorage; the second one is above Kalámi, the village on the shore of another bay. There is a turn to these places between the points. Twice we stopped in Kalami, one time for the usual acquaintance, another time in order to rent a boat. In the village there is a small pebble beach. Close to the sea it stands the "White House", the place of the writer Lawrence Darrell's residence in 1935-1939. His brother, another writer Gerald Darrell was the author of book "My family and other animals", in which he told about his life in the island in childhood.

To the south from Kalami there are located two adjacent bays, Gialiskari and Agni. There are small pebble beaches in both.

Gialiskári bay is limited from the north by a rock massif, we spent near it sufficiently much time of our sea walk, jumping from the boat and swimming in the mask, observing fish shoals of different sizes and black and white colourings, here also one can see lying on the bottom black sponges and omnipresent sea urchins.

In the picturesque Agní bay at the sea there are three taverns, which, besides their basic charge, cater for the beach beds with umbrellas on the local beach. In order to get there, one can turn from the basic road and leave a car in the parking not far from the coast. Furthermore, in the bay there are several piers for the mooring of boats. One of the local taverns runs the large and helpful Internet site.

Further to the southwest the coast acquires flatter outlines, the mountain closely approaches the sea, forming a high picturesque slope. The two large hotels "Nissaki Beach " and " Magic Life " with their own beaches were situated on the lower part of the slope in Nissáki settlement.

Still further, Barbáti settlement is located along the coast with the pebble beach and a sequence of small hotels near it.


Attribution-No Derivative Works (CC-BY-ND) by Andrey K.