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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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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.
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)
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)
p26 The 1:56,000 Avanasi map (available from Stanfords) is reportedly more up-to-date for the walking trails.
|The Corfu Trail|
|Plants and flowers|
|When to go|
|Food and drink|
|What to take|
|Maps and place names|
|Dos and don’ts|
|Using this Guide|
|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|
|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|
|Walk 13 Mirtiotissas and Agios Georgios mountain|
|Walk 14 Agii Deka|
|Walk 15 Benitses to Dafnata|
|Walk 16 Agios Mattheos and Prasoudi|
|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|
Sketch maps are provided with each walk in this Guide. Key landmarks and as much useful detail as possible have been crammed in, dictated by limits of space and graphics. In most cases these maps, along with the route description, are sufficient for the walks. However, it is always a good idea to get hold of a larger commercial map for many reasons: they are helpful when planning your trip, put places in a wider context, help you identify points of interest, and are essential in orientation if you lose your way. The Freytag & Berndt 1:50,000 map is the best map for walking. While nowhere near perfect or up to date, it is widely available on the island, as well as online or at bookstores. For a glossary of commonly used geographical terms on maps and signs see Appendix C.
As can be expected, place names on Corfu are in Greek script, although many have been transcribed to English characters and often translated on signs to help visitors. However, there are huge variations in spelling. The versions in this Guide are based on those on the Freytag & Berndt map. Note that Corfu Town is also referred to as Kerkyra.
Another thing to watch out for is the recurrence of identical or very similar names. A common example is Pantokrator or Pandokratoras – Christ depicted as all-embracing, ruler of the universe, The Almighty. Numerous chapels bear his name, and have often given the name to the mountain they stand on. The only true Oros Pandokratoras (Mount Pandokratoras) is the highest point on Corfu in the northeast. Others often referred to as Pantokrator for their eponymous monasteries are the Agii Deka massif between the villages of Agios Deka and Stavros, and Agios Mattheos further south.
Agios or Ayios – pronounced ‘eye-eos’ – means ‘saint’ (the term gave rise to ‘hagiography’, the lives of the saints, in English). An immensely popular place name is Agios Georgios (Saint George). There are two beach locations with this name – one in the north and the other in the south. For the purposes of this Guide, one is referred to as Agios Georgios south and its counterpart Agios Georgios north. To confuse things more, there’s a Mount Agios Georgios on the west coast, not to mention the village of similarly spelled Agios Gordios to its south. Agios Georgios south is sometimes referred to as Agios Georgios Argyrades, and Agios Georgios north as Agios Georgios Pagi.
Spiridion is the island’s highly revered patron saint: however, curiously few places have been named after him – apart from the place where the Corfu Trail concludes.
Spiridion was a 4th-century Cretan shepherd who took his vows on the death of his wife and went on to become a bishop. He was credited with some miracles during his lifetime. When Crete was taken over by the Arabs his body – still intact – was moved to Constantinople. In 1453 a Corfiot monk took the embalmed remains to Corfu, where they are still held in great awe today and attributed with miraculous influence. Spiridion is known as the Keeper of the City for his help in expelling both the plague and the Turks – on that occasion he appeared in a vision to the invaders, threatening them with a cross and a flaming torch.