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Explore the Greek island of Corfu with a Cicerone guidebook - Sample Route

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

Sample Route

WALK 2
Kalami to Menegoulas loop
Start/FinishKalami
Distance15km
Ascent/Descent550m/550m
Grade2–3
Walking time5hr
RefreshmentsPorta, Kaminaki, Nissaki bay, Agni, Kalami
AccessKalami is 1.5km off the main coastal road: if you catch the bus (Kassiopi line), ask the driver where to get off; from the bus stop it’s 20min on foot down to the waterfront where the walk starts

This is an excellent – if long and tiring – circuit above the northeastern coast, for which walking boots are recommended. The walk starts at the lovely bay of Kalami, which boasts a quiet pebble beach, a supermarket and a scatter of smart tavernas. The way climbs through olive groves and small villages to the austere, arid middle reaches of the island’s highest mountain, Oros Pandokratoras (Mount Pandokratoras). Afterwards it plunges back to the glorious coast for an exceptionally pretty jaunt from cove to cove: walkers are spoilt for choice of swimming spots. The route is inadvisable in hot weather due to the ascent involved and the longish stretches where shade is a scarce commodity. Take plenty of water and food; the only café on the inland stretch is located at Porta, although once you’re back on the seafront they are plentiful. Waymarking is fairly good except on the mountain, so follow the directions carefully.

The walk starts at the lovely bay of Kalami, which boasts a quiet pebble beach, a supermarket and a scatter of smart tavernas as well as the White House, the unmistakable cube building at the southern end, once the residence of members of the Durrell family.

Leave the southernmost end of Kalami by passing in front of the White House, then take the road uphill. As it bends right, go left on a concrete lane down through olive groves to where a path continues past vegetable gardens to the lovely secluded cove of Gialiskari beach. Turn immediately right up a white rock-based way, then soon left on a path alongside a wire fence. This leads over to pretty Agni beach. Walk past the inviting cafés and continue straight through the premises of friendly Nikolas Taverna and up past a large white stone house. Not far along you leave the coastal path and fork right on a path with yellow paint markers. This climbs steadily past private villas. You cross a road then proceed on an old stepped and paved way through well-graded terraces of olives and cypress trees. Where houses are reached, keep straight on along an alleyway and up to the square of Kentroma (40min) for views all the way to Corfu Town.

Pretty Agni beach

Turn left along the main road then take the first right, at a jasmine-scented corner, up a small road (with a CT sign). Only minutes up, as the road curves right, you’re pointed left through masses of wild mint on old steps between dry stone walls. This ends at a road which is followed uphill past villas with swimming pools. A clearly marked path breaks off left for a steep climb and a short clamber before veering right on a more level path past stone walls. After fenced olive groves the road is joined once more. Branch left past a farmhouse where the antenna-studded top of Oros Pandokratoras is visible. Soon you turn left again on a rough stony track, but don’t miss the faint path almost immediately right. A bit overgrown in places, it leads through terraces and emerges on arid karst terrain. This is home to birds of prey, and affords vast views across the water to the mainland.

A road is joined up to a well-appointed panoramic bench near houses. Not far along a ridge is gained and a T-junction – go left for the peaceful mountain village of Porta (340m, 40min). Pass the café and stick with the road uphill to the old school. Close by is a prominent church and war memorial, where wayfarers can rest and enjoy the well-shaded benches.

Just after the buildings go right on a path (yellow and blue waymarks) heading mostly N into woodland, rather overgrown in places. Cross a bridge, then it’s up to cross a lane. Follow the blue n.9 markings scrupulously for the remaining distance to Santa (370m). Bear left through the tiny paved square and take the alleys threading their way between the houses. Keep left at the tarmac, up steps and left again at the road past new villas. Not far along you need the road forking uphill to Mengoulas (470m, 1hr). The village’s elegant stone houses are abandoned for the most part, and the village is populated by flocks of noisy jackdaws and laden fig trees.

Elegant stone houses at Mengoulas

At the circular village square, branch sharp left in front of houses and keep your eyes peeled for the waymarks leading up steps to the last buildings. Then, with superb views back over the Albanian coastline, a path makes its way past a low shepherd’s hut and over the arid mountainside that doubles as pasture for sheep. This concludes at a stony lane (at 500m) which you follow to the left (S) for a magnificently panoramic stroll in the company of giant Jerusalem sage plants.

After a water cistern the summit of Pandokratoras towering over karst terrain comes into view as you reach a fork. Here you leave the CT and go left towards farm buildings, soon also parting ways with the blue-marked n.9 (which goes sharp left again). You continue straight ahead, due S. The level way passes over small quarries and becomes a rough stony lane. After a shed is passed Corfu Town comes into view at a wide stony saddle and fork where a pipe runs across the way. Go left here (SE at first) and stay with the lane following it around to veer right to a concrete-stone cistern. Here keep left (SE) in constant descent towards the welcome shade of cypress trees. Not long afterwards, at a derelict house atop a stone wall, yellow markers point you right to scramble down onto an old path through olive groves. Join a quiet road to the peaceful houses of Katavolos positioned dizzily over the coast. Leave the road at the parking area and walk left through to a spreading ilex tree shading stone slab seats – a perfect resting spot. Here it’s right back to the road, which you leave at the next bend for a concreted lane (with CT waymarks) down past a new house. Then branch left on an unmarked path down old olive terraces alongside villas. Yellow paint marks reappear and point you left at the first junction for constant descent. This emerges on tarmac near houses and it’s not far down to the main road (bus stop nearby).

Go left to the corner and take the concrete-based lane but don’t miss the path that branches off it left for a winding descent through olive groves. A lane covers the last leg down to Kaminaki (1hr 40min), the glorious sea and a lovely waterfront lined with tavernas. Go L (NNE) to the end of the beach for a clear path along the rocky coast in the company of huge agave plants and secluded villas. It’s not far to popular Nissaki bay, with its big hotel. Continue past the swimming pool to the bar then go up left along the front of the hotel building to where the lovely path resumes, as does peace and quiet. Shaded by olive trees, it soon climbs steeply albeit briefly on steps to circle private property. The glittering turquoise sea is seen through the trees. Further along you pass the turnoff taken in the outward stage, and soon reach Agni beach and Nikolas Taverna. Now it’s a matter of retracing your steps via Gialiskari beach back to Kalami (1hr).

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