Corfu and its islands are a treat for all kinds of travellers. To really discover what these islands have to offer, I went on a 4-day roadtrip through Corfu, Paxos and Anti Paxos.
Mpenitses. Lovely people, delicious food, crystal clear water. It is a perfect place to come to peace and meet the local people. It’s not so far from the airport – since our flight arrived at night, we took a cab, but the bus connection is pretty good by day so that’s also an option – and on the way, the taxi-driver stopped by a coffee shop to grab a frappé (an ice coffee). Now, you need to understand something very important: frappé is life, frappé is a gods gift in Greece. Whether it’s six in the morning or midnight, it’s always frappé-o’ clock.
Mpenitses is a small village with lots of local restaurants, bars, and shops. The beach is lovely, it’s a sand beach with clear water. There are bars that serve you while you’re laying on the beach and if you buy a drink, you don’t have to pay for a seat – a fair deal, since you have to drink while laying in the sun all day.
At night, Mpenitses is everything but boring – if you want to party hard all night long, this is NOT the place to be- I am talking about local bars and restaurants who have live concerts of greek singers (what else?!).
I strongly recommend – you can choose what suits you best, but this was my experience – to stay in a local hostel or guesthouse. It’s not luxurious at all, but it is authentic and it makes you feel like you are one of the inhabitants. There are also luxury hotels there, so there’s something for everyone’s taste.
The habitants have been super creative and Greek with the name of the capital of Corfu: “Corfu Town”. However, what I find so special about this capital, are the restaurants: they come together with a private swimming area. You can eat outside and when you’re feeling hot or the ocean is calling you, you can just take off you clothes (everybody wears swimwear beneath their clothes in Corfu because you never know when you’re going to swim) and jump into the water. Or, if you’ve eaten a bit too much, you can also take the stairs.
Corfu Town is all about climbing. No worries, I’m far from sportive and even I survived it, but the views are certainly worth it. This is me, feeling like a Greek princess – yes, we bought those authentic Greek dresses, yes, I wore a braid and yes, I walked with pride through the whole city like dis.
Next stop was the Achilleion Palace. It was built by Empress Elizabeth of Austria who is also known as the queen Sissy. The palace is decorated with statues of ancient philosophers, heroes and mythical ancient gods. A visit to this divine palace is one everybody should check off while visiting Corfu.
What you can also do is take a ferry from Corfu to Paxos island. If you’re lucky, the owners of the boats let you sit all the way in the front, like Jack and Rose in Titanic – but with a smaller version of the Titanic, and in the Ionean Sea – fresh air and a beautiful sight guaranteed. Paxos island is undoubtedly the place where the word “relax” was invented -right here, on this very island of 30km².
What do you do on a small island that consists of 80% coastlines and 20% village centre? Right. You lay down at the beach every day, you wander around the coastlines, hike through the island. I did see lots of people renting a boat (or owning one) and sailing around the island. That’s also an option when you’re visiting an island, of course. Or maybe you can summon some turtles and ask them to escort you to the nearest island, Captain Jack Sparrow-style.
This is the third and last island we visited. Antipaxos is smaller than Paxos, it is only 4km². Again, there is just one thing to do- swim!
On Paxos and Antipaxos, you can find great restaurants, tavernas, bars, ice cream shops,… they are all local of course, and they have that Greek authentic touch you can’t find anywhere else than the country itself. One thing that people in Corfu, Paxos and Antipaxos love are pancakes: crepes. You can find them literally everywhere. Why would someone want to eat hot and heavy (but delicious) pancakes on a tropical island where you are hot every single second of the day, you may ask? Well, the answer is always frappé.
Kavos is a famous town in south Corfu and is known for its nightlife. The atmosphere, people and clubs are full of life, and the prices are great, too. There are bowling alleys, dance clubs, karaoke bars, etc. If you want to go on a party vacation with your friends, this is the place to be.