I first visited Corfu almost twenty years ago as a high school student on summer vacation. Two friends and I packed my father's 1974 bright orange Opel Cadett with our sleeping bags , and we headed for the green island of Kerkyra in the Northern Ionian sea. We drove around and had a blast doing what you would expect high school students would do on summer vacation, and when fatigue set in we unrolled our sleeping bags wherever we happened to be and slept. We roamed Corfu until we completely ran out of money, then we boarded the ferry for Igoumenitsa before our long return drive to Athens.
I always remembered Corfu as a beautiful island full of green hills and azure seashores, with water so cool it made the hottest sun rays bearable in midsummer. So in the summer of 2002 my family joined my sister and her family for a week on the island of Kerkyra once again. We almost did not make it there, since we had waited a long time to make reservations and finding accommodations for Greece in the month of August is an impossible task.
We were looking
for an inexpensive apartment around the Roda and Aharavi area
in Northern Corfu, but my brother-in-law George found an apartment
with three bedrooms in Canal D' Amour in Sidari for 120 Euro per
night. From my previous visit I remembered Sidari as a beautiful
beach town with lively night life. I had slept right on one of
the fjord-like canals back in my high school days, and so I was
looking forward to returning.
Although I knew Kerkyra was a beautiful town with traditional narrow streets and large open squares full of restaurants and life, we decided to head for Sidari immediately with the idea of returning to town at a later date. It turned out that we never really made it back to town, but that's another story.
Amazingly enough, the roads seemed to have remained
the same as I remembered them from twenty ears ago! They are still
narrow, and they tend to serpentine needlessly around small and
large hills, making the trip even to nearby places a challenge
for those not used to driving on narrow roads up the mountains.
We stopped and ate lunch at the taverna "Anatoli" in
Karousades and marveled at the amazing view of the valley and
the ocean below. The food was good too, so we were off to a great
We stayed in Corfu for a week and the island lived up to our expectations in every respect. It is the antithesis of the stereotypical Greek island with its lush green hills which tend to hang right over the rocky shores, and with its colorful architecture more reminiscent of an Italian influence. Corfu is a large island by Greek standards, and we barely had time to skim over the lush surface of the treats it had to offer. In fact, even with a vigorous daily driving regiment, it became evident very soon that we would not be able to see the entire island in our short visit.
It seemed like we spent our week doing absolutely nothing! We drove to a different beach every day, executing our plan for relaxation to a"tee", and we loved every minute. When we did not sunbathe at some beach, we relaxed at our apartment, or at the nearby swimming pool where we could have lunch while the children splashed in the swimming pool within a few meters. Family travel does not allow for extensive evening jaunts(as anyone with young children knows), so our nightly activities were confined to trips to the town's playgrounds or to a nice restaurant. Judging by the number of bars, cafeterias and pubs though, nightlife in Corfu does not lack anything in comparison with other Greek islands.
Our visit was short, but we had such an enjoyable time that we plan another visit next summer. We just cannot wait to experience the rest of the island and to return to some of our favorite spots.