North East Corfu resorts
Two sides of the same coin. On the one hand you have the original old village of Aghios Stefanos, once home to fisherman and farmers, grouped around the church, the old harbour and a couple of older tavernas; on the other hand, the new Greek-style resort and port provides shops, bars, and a selection of tavernas and entertainment. But both share a magnificent setting on the cape of Kefali, on the north-west tip of Corfu, with splendid views of the Ionian Sea and the Diapontian islands.
Winding country roads lead down to Aghios Stefanos bay and its golden beach; over a mile long with shallow blue water, perfectly safe for children, and a broad stretch of soft sand set in a large sheltered bay. This safe, spacious and relatively undeveloped beach is popular with families and anyone looking for a peaceful spot to lay their towel, although there are a few water sports are available if you feel the need for a some aquatic action. It has a Blue Flag, and there are sun beds and parasols for visitors, and a couple of good tavernas right on the beach.
The rural landscape that enfolds Aghios Stefanos is perfect walking and hiking terrain, with paths and trails through the lush countryside offering a refreshing change of scene from the beach. You really should make the most of the harbour, where you can take boat trips and longer cruises to nearby islands such as Kefalonia and Paxos.
Nissaki is set on the steep pine and olive grove-covered foothills of Corfu’s highest peak, Mount Pantokrator. The resort is an established favourite with couples and families looking for an attractive, traditional, quiet, resort in a beautiful setting where they can relax; a place where not everything is given over to tourism. Nissaki has a few tavernas and local shops, and the nightlife is very modest in comparison with its some of its neighbours. One of the joys of the resort is that you have the option of visiting other much livelier spots nearby if charming Nissaki gets too sedate, or you are with teenagers in the mood to party.
Nissaki beaches are small coves of sparkling white shingle, excellent for scuba-diving, with clean, clear water ideal for swimmers. The beaches are away from the road and have both sloping and shallow waters, making them ideal for children to splash about in. Be adventurous and hire a boat to take a trip to the beautiful Bay of Agni, (and perhaps dine in the famous Taverna Agni, built in 1851). Despite its reputation for beauty and its popularity as a day trip destination for boats and yachts, Nissaki still has a delightful, unspoilt romantic feel about it, but if you can tear yourself away for the day you could have a complete contrast by exploring some of the charming traditional Corfu villages in the surrounding hills. Or you might even be tempted by big city life, and take a bus to the island’s fascinating capital, Corfu Town.
The nightlife in Ipsos is second only to Kavos for those who love the party lifestyle, as the resort has an abundance of late night restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. The is not the place to be if you are looking for tranquil evenings, but it hits the spot if you are looking for endless nightlife fun and the full-on atmosphere of a clubbing holiday. The beachfront bars are massively popular with the younger crowd, while the atmospheric garden tavernas provide a romantic setting for couples.
The Blue Flag Ipsos beach is a 1.5km stretch of golden sand that shelves gently into the sea. There is no shortage of facilities on the beach including beach front bars and plenty of exciting water sports. Water skiing, parasailing, banana boat rides and sailing are all popular daytime activities here, and if you feel like a spin you can hire a motor boat. Ipsos beach is the perfect place to relax after a hard night’s partying. If you feel like a break from the party life, Corfu Town offers the best restaurants and shopping on the island and is worth a visit – but as it also offers the best nightlife you might just want to have a change of club scene.
Dassia offers everything for young couples, groups and water sports enthusiasts. For daytime the long shingle beach is the centre of everything. If you aren’t a strong swimmer but want to splash in the beautiful blue Ionian Sea, the water here is exceptionally calm and flat. The beach slopes gently, and diving platforms have been built out to sea, so it’s a superb place to swim. Dassia has become a popular Corfu resort with a reputation for quality water sports including water skiing, windsurfing and parascending, and it is definitely worth hiring a boat to explore the nearby coves.
By night, there is plenty of varied and inexpensive nightlife, but is less intense than its famous neighbours, Ipsos and Gouvia, both only a short bus or taxi ride away, where the clubbing scene never seems to end. Dassia is a great place for exploring, as the resort is on a flat coastal plain and is surrounded by low verdant hills. Small inland roads meandering through olive groves help you discover more traditional, pretty Corfu villages.
There is also an excellent golf course and a pony trekking centre close to Dassia. For a day on the water instead of in it, a holiday must is a boat trip to the Bay of Piscine, where you can swim in the famous Blue Lagoon, or visit the islands of Paxo and Antipaxos. A day trip to mysterious Albania is an interesting option that should be on any holiday schedule.
Perama is one of those fortunate places that has plenty to keep visitors entertained but is close enough to so many other excellent spots that you will want for nothing for a perfect holiday. The resort is relatively quiet and relaxed, with a modest selection of bars and tavernas and basic necessities, all within striking distance of livelier resorts such as Benitses and Ipsos, where you will find plenty of nightlife and a livelier scene. It is also only five miles from Corfu Town and its traditional and international restaurants, designer shopping, museums, stunning Venetian buildings and the best nightlife options on Corfu. Corfu Town is also the starting point for plenty of boat trips, including day trips to Albania and beautiful islands such as Paxos and Antipaxos.
Perama is just the place for a family or independent traveller looking for quiet relaxation; small secluded coves lapped by the tranquil Ionian Sea are dotted along the coastline, and the clear warm waters are perfect for snorkelling and diving, as well as being ideal for families with small children. For amusements that aren’t beach or clubbing focused, this is the perfect base for horse riding, hiking and mountain biking in the beautiful Ropa Valley, with its mountain ranges, crystal clear rivers and pine forests. Other local attractions are the Achillion Palace, the shell museum in Benitses, Vlacherna monastery and boat trips to Mouse Island.
Mount Pantokrator drops steeply to the strikingly blue sea at Barbati, creating a dramatic white cliff setting, below which is a mile-long, Blue Star, white pebble and shingle beach, ranking Barbati beach as one of the most scenic spots on Corfu. The shallow warm waters are safe and clean, making it very popular with families with children. The resort is split into two parts; the upper part with village centre retains some traditional charm and offers a modest collection of bars, tavernas and restaurants; the lower is the beach, which is accessible by quite a steep path, so it can be a little difficult for small children and elderly people.
Your days will probably be spent enjoying the relaxed, haven of tranquillity that is Barbati beach, (there are numerous water sports available if feel energetic), although a trip into Corfu Town is a definite holiday must, as is a cruise to the famous Blue Lagoon. By night you can enjoy the numerous lively bars and tavernas and first class Greek and international restaurants, with the lights of Corfu Town twinkling across the bay. For a wider choice of nightlife options, simply take the short boat trip from Barbati to either Corfu Town or Ipsos.