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Explore the Greek island of Corfu with a Cicerone guidebook - Introduction

Cover of Walking and Trekking on Corfu
Availability
Published
Published
4 Nov 2015
ISBN
9781852847951
Edition
First
Size
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.1cm
Weight
220g
Pages
192
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Walking and Trekking on Corfu

The Corfu Trail and 22 outstanding day-walks

by Gillian Price
Book published by Cicerone Press

Guidebook to 22 day walks on the Greek island of Corfu and the Corfu Trail, a 150km route described in 10 stages. The day walks are spread across the whole island and visit olive groves, coastal paths, sandy beaches, lush green hillsides and picturesque villages. The Corfu Trail runs the length of the island from Kavos north to Agios Spyridonas.

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Description

This guidebook to the Greek island of Corfu presents a selection of 22 superb day walks along with the 150km long-distance Corfu Trail. The day walks range from 3.5 to 18km in length and begin from a number of popular holiday destinations across the island, including Corfu Town, Kalami, Paleokastritsa, Agios Georgios north and south, Liapades and Benitses. The walks are suitable for all abilities and can be done year round. The Corfu Trail is described in 10 stages, starting near Kavos at the island's southernmost tip and finishing at Agios Spiridonas, its northerly promontory, taking in long sandy beaches, quiet mountain villages, lush valleys and the magnificent rocky coastlines. Each stage ends at a village or beach location where meals and accommodation are available.
Alongside detailed route descriptions and clear maps, the guidebook has notes on Corfu's plants and wildlife, food and drink, and offers practical advice on travel to and around the island. It includes suggestions for where to stay, as well as a glossary of useful expressions.
Corfu is the greenest of the Ionian islands and one of the most accessible, so makes a great destination for a walking holiday. With highlights including beaches of golden sand on the west coast, the spectacular Angelokastro fortress, dramatic cliffs at Cape Drastis and the twin coves of Porto Timoni, these walks avoid the crowded resorts and allow the walker to experience the laidback atmosphere and varied natural landscapes of this beautiful island.

  • Activities
    walking, hiking
  • Seasons
    best time is spring through to autumn; all the walks can be done year round but accommodation is easier to find May to October
  • Centres
    Corfu Town, Agios Georgios north and south, Aharavi, Barbati, Benitses, Kalami, Kavos, Liapades, Paleokastritsa, Paramonas, Pelekas
  • Difficulty
    holiday walks are graded and range from easy to mildly strenuous; plenty of routes for strolling but challenging long traverses too; Corfu Trail suitable for novices and experienced walkers
  • Must See
    the 911m Pandokratoras mountain in the northeast, a vast limestone massif looking to the Albanian coastline, and dominating stunning stretches of coast; gorgeous beaches of golden sand on the island's west coast; Paleokastritsa and its beautiful bays; the Angelokastro fortress; Cape Drastis and Porto Timoni

May 2017

p128 at the end of the beach it's a bit of a tricky clamber up to the concreted lane due to sea erosion.
(Thanks to Liz Kantor, May 2017)

July 2016

Walk 9: the return loop is not currently possible due to a landslide. Return the same way.

p159 Corfu Trail Stage 7: after descending the kalderimi an extensive landslide has caused problems. After going right at the lane and then first right, you must branch left at the next fork for a diversion that leads towards the coast for a clear lane the rest of the way to Agios Georgios north.

(Thanks to Sean Whitaker)

May 2016

p26 The 1:56,000 Avanasi map (available from Stanfords)  is reportedly more up-to-date for the walking trails.

Contents

Contents
Introduction
The Corfu Trail
Plants and flowers
Wildlife
Getting there
Local transport
Information
When to go
Accommodation
Communications
Food and drink
What to take
Maps and place names
Dos and don’ts
Emergencies
Using this Guide
Corfu’s Northeast
Walk 1 Kaminaki to Kerasia coastal path
Walk 2 Kalami to Menegoulas loop
Walk 3 The Old Perithia trail
Walk 4 Around Cape Agia Ekaterinis
Walk 5 The Panorama Trail above Aharavi
Corfu’s Northwest
Walk 6 Cape Drastis
Walk 7 Agios Stefanos to Arillas
Walk 8 Porto Timoni
Walk 9 Fisherman’s Cabin and the kalderimi
Walk 10 Paleokastritsa and Angelokastro loop
Walk 11 Limni beach
Walk 12 Liniodoros beach
Corfu’s Centre
Walk 13 Mirtiotissas and Agios Georgios mountain
Walk 14 Agii Deka
Walk 15 Benitses to Dafnata
Walk 16 Agios Mattheos and Prasoudi
Corfu’s South
Walk 17 Lake Korission circuit
Walk 18 Short Lake Korission route
Walk 19 Chlomos loop
Walk 20 The Lefkimmi Salt Pans
Walk 21 Arkoudilas beach circuit
Walk 22 The Short Arkoudilas loop
The Corfu Trail
Stage 1 Kavos to Potami
Stage 2 Potami to Agios Georgios south
Stage 3 Agios Georgios south to Paramonas
Stage 4 Paramonas to Dafnata
Stage 5 Dafnata to Pelekas
Stage 6 Pelekas to Liapades beach
Stage 7 Liapades beach to Agios Georgios north
Stage 8 Agios Georgios north to Sokraki
Stage 9 Sokraki to Old Perithia
Stage 10 Old Perithia to Agios Spiridonas
 
Appendix A Route summary tables
Appendix B Accommodation
Appendix C English–Greek glossary and expressions
Appendix D Further reading

Introduction

Corcyra [Corfu] is all Venetian blue and gold – and utterly spolit by the sun.

Lawrence Durrell, Prospero's Cell

To this description add brilliant wildflowers, lush countryside, quiet mountain villages, an agreeable climate, golden sand beaches, turquoise sea and breathtaking coastlines – and don’t overlook affordable prices. Nowadays, 600 years after Venetian rule, famed Corfu - once known as Corcyra - is still a most desirable Greek island, as borne out by visitor numbers: all the languages of Europe can be heard in its hotels. Brits in particular have been flocking here since Victorian times: many have stayed on, and over 10,000 now call the island their home.

Off Kavos beach (Corfu Trail, Stage 1)

Set at the bottom of the Adriatic, to the east of the ‘heel spur’ of Italy, Corfu is the northernmost of the beautiful string of Ionian islands. On the map Corfu resembles the stocky rear leg of a horse, kicking away from the mainland a matter of kilometres off the coast of Albania and Greece. The island’s perimeter measures 217km, the surface area is 580sq km, and it stretches 62km from north to south.

Corfu is often associated with coastlines desecrated in the name of low cost package holidaying. Yet despite some construction sprawl – thankfully limited to a handful of resorts on the east and north coast and easily avoided – Corfu has much to offer the nature lover and walker. Many localities, including the island’s interior, have escaped development altogether and retain a laid-back, traditional atmosphere. Moreover Corfu is the greenest of all the Greek islands and, with mile upon mile of paths and lanes, makes a superb destination for a walking holiday. Last, but definitely not least, the Corfiot people are amiable and helpful. In a nutshell, Corfu never fails to enchant.

As is the fate of islands, Corfu has had a chequered history. Famous figures have been visiting the island since antiquity: the ancient Greek hero Hercules (before he set out on his 10 labours), the Argonauts (after they got hold of the Golden Fleece) and Ulysses (who procured a ship to take him back to Ithaca). Rather later on came the Venetians – who stayed for close on four centuries (from 1401 to 1797). Under them Corfu – in view of its position perilously close to the huge Ottoman Empire – became a heavily fortified outpost. Despite a number of touch-and-go battles the island didn’t succumb. Intermediate periods saw mainly French and British control: it wasn’t until 1864 that Corfu was finally unified with modern Greece.

Old Venetian fort at Corfu Town

The list of VIPs associated with the island includes European royalty such as Empress Sissi of Austria. For the majority of English-language readers Corfu is inextricably linked with the Durrell family thanks to the books of the brothers Gerald and Lawrence, relating their sojourns of the 1930s, the best-known of which is Gerald’s My Family and Other Animals. For the record, Roger Moore also came by – as James Bond, during the filming of the 1981 film For Your Eyes Only.

This guidebook presents a selection of 22 day walks, perfect to do from a hotel or rented accommodation. The routes have been chosen to give a taste of the many different landscapes on this marvellous island. It also describes the long-distance Corfu Trail which stretches the length of the island.

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