In Alykes Potamos you can make the most of the gorgeous beach and beautiful countryside while being right on the doorstep of bustling Corfu Town. This is the ideal holiday for families and couples, with plenty to do and see in a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere. The resort’s Blue Flag beach has exceptionally clear waters (as well as beautiful views) and is perfectly safe for small children. You can use Alykes Potamos as a base to explore the delightful surrounding countryside, with a myriad of walking and cycling trails, but your exploration should also include Corfu Town, a blend of the best of traditional Greece in the Old Town with the chic restaurants, bars, and nightclubs of the New Town.
Cruises from Corfu Town give you the chance to visit intriguing Albania, and the lovely islands of Paxos and Anti Paxos, while a trip on a glass-bottomed boats allows you the opportunity to observe the fascinating underwater life of the Ionian Sea. If you are sports-mined, as well as a good selection of water sports, you can take a break from the beach with tennis, horse-riding or a round of golf. Your warm holiday evenings could well be spent in the traditional tavernas, restaurants and bars of Alykes Potamos, but for a heady night out head for Corfu’s Old Town and mix with the locals in the atmospheric Greek restaurants and nightclubs. If it’s a night’s clubbing looking for you don’t even have to go into Corfu Town, because there is a vibrant night scene with no shortage of bars, cafes and clubs only a fifteen minute walk from Alykes Potamos.
As some other resorts on Corfu became bigger and brasher, delightful Benitses, in the eighties one of the most popular resorts for young people looking for a beach holiday, shrugged off its more hectic past, and slowly settled into a relaxed holiday version of its former fishing village self. Local fisherman still continue their ancient labour from the pedestrianised harbour, and its whitewashed houses dressed in vividly coloured flowers, retain more of the traditional architecture than most Corfu resorts. A Roman villa and baths show how important the village once was. The exceptionally clear and clean warm waters of the resort’s Blue Flag beach are ideal for families with small children, and anyone looking for a place to relax will find this the perfect alternative to the party resort beaches. Jetties and platforms have been built for more experienced swimmers, and there is a selection of water sports on offer.
If you feel like a trip to Corfu Town, (and you really should go at least once), ferries from the new harbour at Benitses will take you on the calming eight-mile cruise along the coast. Or you can even hire a motor boat yourself, and drift leisurely along the Corfu coastline, stopping off for a swim at the many secluded coves. If you are a golf enthusiast, there is an excellent 18-hole championship golf course in the Ropa Valley, less than 30 thirty minutes drive from Benitses. And to really wind down you can end your day in a low-key way at one of the resort’s traditional local tavernas and restaurants.
You wouldn’t choose Corfu Town if you are looking for a lounging-on-the-beach style holiday, (although there are plenty of beautiful beaches close by), but you most certainly would choose it if you are looking for excellent food, glorious architecture, picturesque squares and tiny alleyways to discover, museums, galleries and archaeological sites to while away your days in. Corfu Town is said to be reminiscent of Naples and Venice, with a touch of Paris to add joie de vivre. Its greatest pleasures are simple strolling the narrow streets of the Old Town, built between two fortresses, with its splendid Venetian architecture, or enjoying the French ambience of the Liston with its elegant arcades and cafes modelled on Paris – all the while being entertained by the colourful street life. But Corfu Town is far more than just static museum of Greek life, it is a city of thirty thousand inhabitants, with tavernas, restaurants, shops, bars and clubs catering to the pleasures of all levels, from the local to the international.
Corfu Town is the transport hub for the entire island of Corfu, with an excellent bus service that will help you discover tiny traditional villages and pine covered mountains. As well as being a busy fishing port, the harbour is also where you will begin most of the cruises around the coastline, stopping off at such intriguing spots as the famous Blue Lagoon and the mysterious Caves of Poseidon. You can take in some of Corfu’s nearby islands, such as Paxos, Antipaxos and Ericusa, or a day trip to the once closed country of Albania. Your stay won’t be complete without a visit to the Old Fortress and the Church of Agios Spyridon, or taking a coffee in the impressive Esplanade, the largest town square in Europe.
Gouvia has a strong seafaring history going back to its days as a Venetian naval base, so it comes as no surprise to know that it is home to Corfu’s main marina. There are some impressive homes in the resort and costly yachts in the harbour, and while Gouvia is a favourite of the rich and famous, giving it a cosmopolitan air and lively nightlife, it is still largely family-orientated, and there are some renowned restaurants, thanks to its popularity with Corfu Town locals who come to enjoy the resort and dine well. The resort sits in a tightly curving natural bay, a setting which gives it a feeling of being self-contained and a little secluded, even though it is only five miles from the island’s capital. There is a choice of beaches, mostly of sand, shingle and pebbles, and some quieter, more secluded spots for bathing. Swimming is safe for children, and beach activities include paragliding, diving and most water sports.
As a getaway from the beach you can take to horseback and explore the lush hills, olive groves and citrus plantations that surround the resort. To see how the other half lives, take a coffee at one of the cafes in the marina and watch the rich and famous arrive in their sleek yachts, then go on to enjoy one of the wide variety of taverna, bars and restaurants the resort offers. For a bigger nightlife buzz, the bright lights and all-night clubs of Ipsos and Dassia are just a short cab ride away. For a complete contrast, take a boat ride to Agni Bay, where can include an overnight stay as well as dinner at the legendary Taverna Agni – although you will have to book well in advance during high season.
One of the main attractions of Messonghi is its long sandy beach on a sweeping bay with a headland at the southern end, backed by olive grove-covered hills. The beach is away from traffic on the main road and is well organized, with shallow areas safe for children and plenty of water sports on offer. There are some lovely tavernas and restaurants right on the beachfront itself. This relatively unspoilt, small and uncomplicated former fishing village appeals to a cosmopolitan mix of young families and couples looking for a relaxing base with a friendly atmosphere.
Apart from a visit to Corfu Town – a holiday must, which can have the added pleasure of a boat trip from Messonghi to get there – a short trip to the traditional village of Chlomos gives spectacular views over the Ionian Sea to the islands of Paxos and Antipaxos. You could include a stop at the Byzantian fortress on your trip, and if you are a lover of wildlife, Lake Korision will be of special interest to you. For a water-based day out, and a change from the beach, Aqualand is one of the largest water parks in Europe and is very popular with children. Golf lovers can take the short trip to Ropa Valley and play a round at one of Europe’s most beautiful golf courses. Nightlife in Messonghi consists of a modest selection of bars and tavernas, but you can slip across the river its sister resort of Moraitika for a livelier alternative.
Other than the small original village of Ano Moraitika, that still exists on the hill above Moraitika, the resort is purpose-built, and appeals to a broad mix of families, younger couples and anyone wanting plenty of lively entertainment, plentiful budget to mid-range accommodation and a sandy beach close to Corfu Town. The resort’s beach is a mixture of sand and shingle, with warm, shallow water, ideal safe swimming for children. Adults can make use of a diving centre that provides lessons, equipment rental and dive excursions for beginners and seasoned divers, and there are plenty of water sport facilities.
If you prefer dry land, mountain biking, horse riding, tennis, go-karting and fishing are all available, and the 18-hole championship course in the Ropa Valley is a must for golf enthusiasts. Make time for a day-trip to Corfu Town to experience the best sightseeing, restaurants, shopping and nightlife options on Corfu. You can make the most of your day out by taking a boat trip to the famous Blue Lagoon or the islands of Paxos and AntiPaxos. Moraitika will fulfil most of your needs for good restaurants and a lively night out, but if you feel like a more sedate evening, Messonghi is just across the river, with its traditional tavernas and local bars. At the opposite extreme, nearby Kavos is Corfu’s clubbing capital and offers the ultimate party atmosphere.