Places you will visit:
- Agios Stephanos
*As you leave Kalami village, continue up the road until the road forks. Go down to:
This is a picturesque little fishing harbour with just one small taverna. Kouloura is one of the most photographed corners of Corfu. Author Gerald Durrell lived here whilst writing his famous book, “My family and other animals”.
*Come back up the road from Kouloura and turn right at the junction and you will make your way up to the main road. Turn right at the top and follow the road along to:
Agios Stephanos (or San Stefanos) NE
This is a peaceful little fishing village on a tiny stretch of beach, which is frequented by small yachts in the summer, why not stop and have a coffee or refreshing swim?
*Back on the main road, drive for approx. 10 minutes and you take the slip road to the right, sign posted:
Once a significant port, the little village was a much-coveted lookout post, attracting marauding attentions of the Venetians and Turks amongst others.
Visit the Kassiopitissa church, Byzantine fortress and the harbour.
The church is located behind the 3 brothers restaurant. This church dates from 1590 and was built on the site of a temple of Zeus.
Walk up the path opposite the church’s bell tower to the ruined Byzantine fortress, walk along the path and enter the fortress gateway, walk left around the walls and see the stunning views.
The harbour is still a working fishing harbour, where you can watch the world go by with a refreshing drink in the numerous taverna’s, or why not shop in the traditional Greek craft shops. Kassiopi is famous for its unique silver jewellery and handmade lace.
*Back onto the main road you will continue to drive North West and pass by the tiny villages of Imerolia, Apraos, Magharika, Pelekito, Almyros and Aghios Ilias.
When you see the sign for Loutses, turn off here onto the secondary road and make your way to the abandoned listed village of:
This village used to be the capital of Kassiopi Province and was abandoned because the villagers moved to find work on the coast. There is a footpath you can follow which leads to the top of Mount Pantokrator (approx 1 hour walk).
A short distance from Ano Perithia is an important ecological wetland – Antiniotis Lagoon.
*Driving back on the main road, you will pass through Acharavi with its long sandy beach, up the Northern coast to Roda.
Outside Roda, one road will take you to pretty inland villages of Sfakera, Platonas, Nymphes and Episkopi. The other road deviates slightly from the coast and passes through Karousades, which is a small town with pretty houses. We continue westwards to the tourist resort of:
This is the most developed part of the North of the island. In the middle of this tourist resort the old little village square still survives, the quaint little church is worth a visit.
Sidari’s main feature is its striking rock formations, which rise out of the sea at the west end of the resort. The sandstone is continuously being carved out by the wind and sea, producing sandy coves with mystical caves and a natural canal, known as “Canal d’amour”.
*Travel back through Sidari, Roda, Acharavi, Kassiopi and you will arrive back home to Kalami.
Route 2 - West
Places you will visit:
- Agios Markos
*Leaving Kalami behind we take the road leading down through Nissaki and Barbati, and you will pass the conjuction to Spartilas. Shortly after you will turn right for:
This tranquil old village has lovely views of the coastline and 2 ancient churches.
At the top of the village you’ll see the 16th century church of Christ Pantokrator with fresco covered walls.
Lower down is the 11th century church Agios Merkourios, also with ancient frescoes and is Corfu’s oldest Byzantine church. Both churches are locked but ask in the bar on the main road and they will try and find the key holder for you.
*Continue along through Aghios Markos and you will come to Ano Korakiana, a picturesque village with many churches and a long tradition in choral music.
Continuing to the west, you will encounter the attractive village of Skripero, with its marvelous views. You will find a road branches towards Doukades, Gardelades and ends up at Liapades, a quiet village off the tourist track.
This is a typical traditional village with Corfiot stone laid square and a church. It is picturesque and one of the most beautiful villages in that area. It is nice to stop for lunch or for a refreshing ginger beer in the market - cafι of the village. Open Parking area is available in 80m.
After Doukades the road forks into 2. Road 1 will take you to Lakones, Makrades and Krini. Road 2 will take you to Paleokastritsa.
Take road 1 to:
This is a characteristic Corfiot village, set on an olive tree covered slope. Just outside the village you will arrive at Bella Vista plateau. Take a coffee break at the Golden Fox Taverna and whilst enjoying the homemade walnut cake, you’ll be speechless of the view over Paleokastritsa that is laid out beneath you.
*3km away is Krini, which is where you can make your way up to:
A 13th century medieval fortress perched on the edge of the hill. In 1403, Genoese pirates besieged the castle, but were unable to take it, thanks to the excellence of its fortifications. From its ramparts the view takes your eyes all the way to Corfu Town.
*Drive back through Lakones, back to the fork in the road and take road 2, which will take you to:
This is the most celebrated beauty spot on the island. With its 6 small coves all with incredibly clear blue waters, which are nestled into a coastline of olive, lemon and cypress trees.
If you look out to see, you will notice a large ship-shaped rock, called Kolovri. From Greek legends it is said that it is the petrified Phaeacian ship of Ulysses.
A definite place to visit whilst you are in Paleokastritsa is the 13th century Byzantine monastery.
*Drive to the very bottom of Paleokastritsa, and you will see traffic lights, go through these traffic lights, up the wooded promontory and park at the top.
Walk up the slight incline and perched at the top is the bright little monastery of the Holy Virgin. It is still a working monastery, so please dress respectfully.
The stunning church in the monastery, contains icons of the Virgin Mary to which miracles have been attributed. On the delightful patio, there is a creamy-yellow, typical Ionian bell tower, which is covered in pink bougainvillea, the 3 bells represent the Holy Trinity.
A tiny museum displays ancient icons, vestments and various oddities, including an old olive press, a giant clam and some enormous bones, Greek myth say they are part of the skeleton of a huge sea monster which was killed by the crew of a French ship in 1860.
*Leaving Paleokastritsa behind, drive out along the main road and keep driving until you get to a roundabout and see signs for Kokkini, Glyfada and Pelekas.
Take the Kokkini Road and you will travel along the road until you come to cross-roads and see signs for Pelekas. Drive through Pelekas to the top and you will see a places of interest sign on which is written:
Set atop a slender pinnacle, this is a panoramic viewpoint where German Emperor, Kaizer Wilhelm, built a small telescope point to watch the spectacular sunsets. At certain times of the year, the sun appears to slide diagonally down the hillside and into the sea. The views from here are excellent.
*Approx 5km from Pelekas, is Sinarades village. Travel back the way you came through Pelekas and when you arrive at the cross-roads, turn right and follow signs for:
Drive through Sinarades village (roads are very narrow), past the central square with the band stand, and opposite the Venetian style church tower you will see signs to the “History and Folklore Museum of Corfu”.
This museum is set in a traditional Corfiot house. It’s a reconstruction of a village home from the period 1850-1950 and has 2 floors of furniture, costumes and interesting bygones, such as a birthing chair!!!
*Drive back from Sinarades to the cross-roads, go straight over, back along the country road, at the end of this road turn right, go through Kokkini until you get back to the roundabout. At the roundabout turn right. Follow this road until you see Aqualand. Immediately after Aqualand on the left side there is a turning and is sign posted Afra. These are windy roads, keep going until you reach a T-junction and you can go right to Afra and left to Gouvia/Temploni. Turn left and follow all the way until you get to Gouvia and you will be back on the main road. Follow signs for Dassia and when you get to the traffic lights at Tzavros, turn right and follow signs for Dassia again. Keep on this road and do not turn off. You’ll pass through Dassia, Ipsos, Barbati, Nissaki. You will then see the turn off right and that will bring you back home to Kalami.