Wednesday 13 March
Day two of our motor excursion of Corfu took us to the northern part of the island. We drove anti-clockwise around the Pantokrator. The mountain is the highest in Corfu, at 906 metres. We chose to go around it rather than up it. The roads were narrow and windy, so a little more challenging, but the views were amazing.
Our first stop was a lookout in the little village of Loustri, where we could see the coastline and mountains of Albania. Once again I was amazed at how close Albania is to Greece. We could easily identify the ancient city of Butrint which we had explored just a few days earlier.
I wonder how many Albanians made the sea crossing during those dark years of Enver Hoxha.
Of course, there is also a land border to Greece, but that would have been heavily fortified.
The scenery was stunning and it was tempting to stop at every curve in the road and capture the beautiful Ionian Sea with the ice capped mountains behind. The next village was Kalami, again with outstanding views.
We reached the northern coast of Corfu and found lunch and an excellent coffee. It was warm and we started to feel a little of summer heading our way. We found a long sandy beach, very much nicer than the beach we found in the south. There was even a small surf.
The beach was in an area of massive development – new house blocks were laid out and rather modern houses under construction.
We meandered along the northern coast, finding it difficult to stop and take photos, until we reached Sidari at the western end of the north coast. Another holiday resort in waiting for summer. The greatest claim to fame here is the Canal d’Amour (The Channel of Love), promising to be the most beautiful and well-known beaches on the island – for true lovers who want to stay together forever.
Turning back towards Corfu, we took the ridge road between the villages of Troumpetas and Agia Anna (Saint Anna) and stopped to admire the pretty villages set amongst forests of cyprus.
We detoured toward Palaiokastritsa on the west coast. En route we found Angelokastra (Castle of the Angels), a massive fortification built on the highest peak of the island’s shoreline. It was a strategic vantage point and formed part of the defensive triangle of Corfu. Probably built in the 13th century, it was the official capital of Corfu between the 14th to 16th centuries.
We explored Palaiokastritsa, from the Bella Vista view point to the sandy beach and the village.
Now we understood why Corfu is a popular destination in European summer. It is beautiful with a wonderful mix of history.
Tomorrow we will return the car to the airport and fly to Cyprus via Athens.