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Corfu, Greece

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Sailors Tosha and Tolii in Corfu

Sailors Tosha and Tolii in Corfu

About The Place…

We had a family holiday at Anatoli Villa in Kremythas (also written as “Cremithas” on some maps), Corfu, Greece during June 2008. Its a small village in the north-east.

Our review in a nutshell: we had a glorious holiday in this mountainous island with spectacular beaches, views, culture and legendary Greek hospitality.

We collected a bunch of GPS points of interests (POI) on our travels around the northern-half of this beautiful island….

We booked our trip to Crete online through the Simply Travel website – yes, Crete. Andrew mucked it up and booked only 7 days. Months passed. Andrew phoned up Simply Travel to upgrade the car for the two weeks, only to be told to read the confirmation documents they had mailed.  Yep, 7 days in Crete. Luckily, a villa was available for two weeks: but in Corfu. We booked! And upgraded the car at the same time.

We stayed at Anatoli Villa in Kremythas. It was about a mile from the “main” road, up the mountainside and along a dirt track – talk about secluded! There was one other villa nearby: Bouritsa Farm, also managed by Simply Travel. Our local representative said it had a bit more quirky/charming layout. Both have pools.

The Simply Travel info about the villa doesn’t do it justice. It’s a large place, with spectacular views across the sea channel. We loved watching the ferries silently passing by each morning and night against the backdrop of Albania’s mountains.

We were very lucky to visit at a time between heat waves. The temperature was a pleasing 23C most days; and unusual for June, there were a couple days of rain. The thunderstorms were amazing to watch. By mid-June the temperature started rising, to about 33C. We finally succumbed to turning on the air conditioning (just added in May 2008 – and not noted on the Simply Travel website!). If you possibly can, then go to Corfu in early June to (hopefully) miss the searing heat: its so much more pleasurable to explore the mountains and villages (and play on the beaches) when you aren’t being fried alive. Why go on holiday just to sit in an air conditioned room?

Large, Noisy Crickets Abound

Large, Noisy Crickets Abound

The Simply Travel representative, Carl, was first-class. He was on hand at the airport for our arrival; and visited us at the Villa the day after our arrival and each Thursday. It would have been no problem if we hadn’t been in; the villa visits are just courtesy calls.

Carl was quite knowledgeable about the island and has learned the Greek language in all its forms. He gave us his mobile number so that we could ask for help on any topic on any day. He would also be the first point of contact in any emergency – as figuring out how to tell an ambulance driver how to find us would be next to impossible. Thankfully, we never had to test that aspect!

He also had numerous tips to share, including this good one: visit Aqualand on Mondays (when most other holiday people are flying out / in of Corfu).

Practicalities

Kremythas, Corfu, Greece

Kremythas, Corfu, Greece

Petrol Station Kitty

Petrol Station Kitty

Contrary to what Simply Travel web page says about Cremythas, there is NO tavern or even a coffee shop there, in fact it is just about a dozen (run-down looking) houses and two terraces with spectacular views. It is about 500m from the villa along an unpaved forest road (flat but not pushchair friendly unless you have an all terrain three-wheeler).

Your nearest shop (and petrol station) is down the hill, about a 10 min drive (not every women would like driving up and down that road) and unless you are a keen and very fit hiker it is not walking distance, especially on the way back loaded down with groceries!

Nothing is within walking distance from Anatoli Villa except Cremythas.

Map of Kremythas and Surroundings
Anatolii Villa
Anatoli Villa
Bouritsa Farm
Bouritsa Farm
Kremythas (Cremythas), Corfu, Greece
Kremythas (Cremythas), Corfu, Greece
Turning off main road for Kremythas
Turning off main road for Kremythas
Agios Stephanos Beach
Agios Stephanos Beach
Shell Petrol Station
Shell Petrol Station
Supermarket
Supermarket
Kassopei Harbour
Kassopei Harbour
Dimitris Horse Riding Farm
Dimitris Horse Riding Farm

There are a few (level) footpaths around the villa, through the olive groves, some leading to the other side of the hill with a spectacular view. There is a footpath starting at the far end of Cremythas, and it leads up the hill, through the olive tree grove (in fact, the inner parts of this island seem to have nothing but olive tree groves!).

Beaches

The Agni travel web page is packed with fabulous information, including this phenomenal interactive beach guide: http://www.agni.gr/guides/resort_guide/resort_guide.asp

Throwing Stones off the Pier at Agios Stephanos

Throwing Stones off the Pier at Agios Stephanos

Your nearest beaches are pebbly, one in Agios Stephanos (to the east, a 10 min drive) is not at all suitable for kids – the stones are too big to get into the water safely – but the village itself is lots of fun with two waterfront restaurants, two grocery shops, lots of boats for the kids to watch, lots of ducks sleeping under the cars, a little playground, and almost complete peace (except for the departing motor boats). The kids will enjoy throwing stones from the pier while you relax on a restaurant’s terrace.

Aerial View of Agios Stephanos Beach

Mussel Farm on the Drive to Kalamaki Beach (Kassopei in Background)

Mussel Farm on the Drive to Kalamaki Beach (Kassopei in Background)

The best sandy beach (in fact two) are about a 15 min drive past Kassopei . The best of them (if you are with young kids) is missing from the web guide above: Kalamaki. It is very long, quite wide, and very shallow (first 50m are about 30cm deep, then it is gently sloping). There is lots of shade from the olive trees nearby the two restaurants. A small car park is next to the beach. In June, half of the beach was simply empty, we are not sure what may happen in August. In the afternoon, the water was almost hot because it is so shallow.

Picturesque Pier at Kalamaki Beach

Picturesque Pier at Kalamaki Beach

There is a very long rickety pier, and you can dive off it at the end into about 2m deep water. And the pier is fantastic for photos!

Jumping from Kalamaki Pier

Jumping from Kalamaki Pier

You cannot see the beach from the road; After Kassopei you will pass something like a mussels farm in the sea, then the road will bend around and climb up – then you will see a couple of drives down towards restaurants. That is the way to the beach.
Aerial View of Kalamaki Beach

Agios Spiridon Beach

Agios Spiridon Beach

The second sandy beach is slightly further: Agios Spiridon. It is deeper than the first but still with gentle sloping. It is pretty small and will be packed in July-August, however it is next to a nature reserve with nice footpaths. You can read about it on Agni Travel’s website here: http://www.agni.gr/guides/resort_guide/st_spiridon.asp
Aerial View of Agios Spiridon

Town and Sea

Kassopei Harbour at Night

Kassopei Harbour at Night

Kassopei , a 10 minute drive away from Anatoli Villa, is a very active and busy small resort with all possible and impossible shops, and amenities. If you are an “off the beaten track” sort of person, then it is probably not your piece of cake, but if you have to entertain the kids, then there is a free fun train going around it, and a small harbour with boats and hungry fish.

Fancy Meeting You Here!  Want to Make a Donation?

Fancy Meeting You Here! Want to Make a Donation?

For 30-40 Euros (in 2008) you can rent a small motorboat almost on every beach (Agios Stephanos have them) for a day to explore the fantastic coast with lots of small coves. Our kids loved it!  Sail south and you might even see the Rothschild’s humongous yacht that many a politician has been embarassed to be seen on.

Panorama Café

Panorama Café

If you go from the villa to the main road and turn right there is an advert for restaurant Panorama with live music. It is well worth going there.

An EU Funded Town

An EU Funded Town

Dimitris Horse Riding Farm

Dimitris Horse Riding Farm

Past the restaurant there is a deserted village in a (suspended?) process of restoration – its worth walking through it and up the hill. You’ll see modern light posts and litter bins (lots of empty litter bins) beside derelict houses. An interesting contrast; and a good example of how a local politician was able to secure some EU funding for his little corner of the world. Our kids loved seeing the chickens in the deserted houses and a shed with the sheep above the village. At 9pm shepherds were bringing the sheep back from the mountains and they let our kids play with the little lambs.

Another outing to consider: Dimitris horse riding. Leave the villa and head towards Agios Stephanos except turn left at the junction instead of right to the beach. The left road will take you towards Avlaki Beach where you will find Dimitris horse farm. They give lessons and do little trips on horse back through the forest and to the beaches – including for very young kids. You need to book it a few days in advance – so do not leave it (like us) till the last day!

Aerial View of Dimitris Horse Riding Farm

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References

Here are some links relating to Corfu:

Location

Here’s a map of Corfu (Kassopei is in the top-right or north-east corner):
Aerial View of Corfu

5 comments to Corfu, Greece

  • Adam Comben

    Aha! My Dad immigrated to Greece when I was a young boy (4/5 – I’m 22 now!) and I went to visit him on holiday last year – It is a beautiful island, and is commonly struck off people’s holiday list for it’s 18-30s holiday-style culture.

    Thing is, that’s only ‘Kavos’ – Which is a small area of the island. The rest of it is full of stunning views, brilliant little beaches and lush getaways! I booked a 14-day break with my girlfriend last month for £405 with flights & accomodation included. What more could you ask for! 🙂 Looks like you guys had fun!

  • Both are very good villas. Either is a good choice for a peaceful holiday.

    Anatoli is one floor, whereas Bouritsa is two. We’ve not been inside of Bouritsa, but its outside is stunning – and completely not overlooked; there’s many trees around it too making it shaded (good for hot summers). The local Simply Travel representative, Carl, said he preferred the quirky layout of Bouitsa – but we don’t think he has kids!

    As for Anatoli: There’s a huge open plan area in Anatoli that a couple of boys could have a good football match in (without much worry of breaking anything!). The back bedroom is
    isolated from the rest of the house, too. The patio is over (under?) looked by one window in Bouritsa albeit about 100m away. There is newly installed air conditioning in Anatoli (the Simply Travel website still showed it as fan-only when we booked in February’08).

    Drop us a line to let us know which you chose!

  • peter hurley

    I was interested to read your description of Anatoli Villa as we,re thinking of booking it ourselves. Is it as peaceful as it appears and how far away is the neighbouring villa (Bouritsa Farm). Glad you enjoyed your holiday. Regards, Pete Hurley

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