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Holiday in Corfu, Greece (Anatoli Villa in Kremythas)

We arrived back on Friday afternoon from our wonderful holiday in Corfu, Greece. There’s so much to tell that we wrote a separate page about it all! But here’s a taste…

Corfu is a beautiful mountainous island with many things to explore; and some very cool beaches to bathe on. The hospitality of the people were also first-rate – especially towards our young kids. What a contrast from last year’s holiday in Corsica!

Our “holiday home” was the aptly named Anatoli Villa in Kremythas, or is it Cremythas?, (near Kassiopi) on the north-east side of the island. We had stunning views of over the forest and sea with the mountains of Albania as the backdrop. Toss in a well-lit ferry at dusk and you have the picture.

We did a lot of exploring – one highlight was the tallest mountain. It was nearly a kilometre high and also had spectacular views of the island; and, we were told, views to Italy on a clear day. The landscape around it was also to behold: undulating hills with brush and white rocks. At the top of the mountain is a gaggle of antenna under which is the monestary. Go figure.

Of course we had to visit the legendary waterpark: Aqualand. Tip: visit on a Monday when you practically have the place to yourselves!

Tolii and Tosha still haven’t stopped talking about every single slide they went down. The park is pretty much right in the middle of the island; it was about an hour’s drive from our villa. Far enough that we could get away with only going the once…even though we all had such a blast. A bonus:kids four and under got in free! Tip: bring a lunch – the food on-site is merely passable. The server at the cafe did provide the best quote for the entire trip, and was said with the most wonderful smile: “There are many things on our menu that we don’t have”.

We spent a good deal of time getting wet – and not only at Aqualand. Our villa had a pool that was used just about daily; and we were within easy driving distance of a set of beaches.

One beach in particular was most notable: it had a long pier that stretched out about 200m to sea. For all but the last 10m the sea depth was just about 50cm! That made the water wonderfully warm to swim in with the kids. And, if there weren’t any tourist boats at the end of the pier, then you could jump into the (slightly deeper, 2m) sea!

The north-west of the island is home to an ugly tourist encampment, swarming with the worst of British tourists. Heck, the local shops even advertise “full English breakfast” as if that’s something you came all the way to Corfu for. Looking past that though, was the reason for our visit there: the Canal d’Amour. It’s a beautiful rocky coastline. Legend has it that a couple swimming along the “canal” formed by the rocks would be in love together forever.

On another day, we rented a motorboat and went exploring the north-east coastline. There were many little beaches that were only accessible by boat. A short trip out took us to the lighthouse that we gazed down upon from our villa. Tolii and Tosha each took a turn steering the boat (but don’t tell anyone). We had a picnic lunch on board and then dove into the warm waters for a refreshing swim to one of those little beaches. We also got a peek at the huge “villa” belonging to Lord Rothschild. And it was probably his boat that we gawked at. It had its own garage filled with other boats; and a staff of at least 10 scrubbing the decks.

On our first Wednesday on the island, we decided to keep the kids awake late so we could enjoy some local live music. But first we had to get to the venue: the Panorama Cafe which is located up a neighbouring mountain. We arrived a bit early and so decided to drive the rest of the way up the mountain until the road ran out. At the top was the most curious village: a practical ghost town with more rubbish bins and street lamps than we’ve ever seen – all thanks to excessive EU funding, which obviously ran out before they could fix up the buildings. A bizarre sight.

Anyway, we petted the goats and then headed back down to the Panorama Cafe. The music was just getting underway. How delightful it was. Some real Greek music accompanied by a couple of Greek dancers. We ordered a few drinks, and a dessert while we enjoyed the show. The kids managed to even dance a tiny bit (sitting in our laps).

What else? Many things more, like the voracious ants and mosquitos (the latter only seemed to bite Tolii for some reason); the ghost town (now being bought up by Russians and British); the picturesque monastry on the west coast; and oh yes, the dinner we had one evening on the west coast, just missing the sunset, but catching a beautiful moon-rise.

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