24 Oct 2017

Down To The Beach | Corfu Part One

Greece has always been somewhere I've been wanting to visit, if only for the crystal-clear waters, white-washed island living and my new-found love for Greek food (if you're based in London, try out Suvlaki and you'll see what I mean). Every island seems to have it's individual charm and own qualities, making choosing which one to visit first quite the conundrum. Corfu has been on my radar for a while as being one of the beautiful, yet affordable, regions of the country, and it was the idyllic choice for some Autumn sunshine. Travelling out of season had it's challenges, like the difficulty in ordering things that were actually available on menus (it's actually easier to find Moussaka in East London than in Corfu right now it seems), and the towns had that slightly lifeless feel, but one of the undeniable advantages was the more or less deserted beaches at our doorstep. Heading down to the beach post-breakfast quickly became routine and one of the highlights of the trip. For someone that's renowned for opting for the hotel pool over swimming in the sea, for once I actually did a lot of the latter and none of the former. Cold, yes, but refreshing, liberating and mind-clearing; the water is so clear and blue it borders on surreal. The temperatures were around twenty to twenty five, which proved to be pretty perfect; cool enough to walk around in the mid-day sun without being overwhelmed by the heat, but warm enough to feel like you're soaking up the vitamin-D and holding onto summer that little bit longer. A lot of hours were spent here in front of the glittering horizon, book in hand, feeling more chilled out than I have done in months. 

The closest beach was a five-minute walk from our hotel (we stayed at the Hotel Pantokrator in Barbati) down a series of white-washed, picturesque but, don't be fooled, very steep and aerobically-challenging steps. Describing the region as 'hilly' would be an understatement; with mountains surrounding you from all angles, it's no wonder that even getting up to our room was a strenuous version of 'leg-day' each time and not a trek for the faint-hearted. The steep inclined climbs are worth it for the views, though. Small but perfectly formed, Barbati has a mile-long pebbled beach, complete with crystal-clear waters, that cast-away style rustic look and hidden coves to explore. I imagine that the small size of the region would mean it's quite busy during peak season, so coming after the crowds have disappeared definitely pays off. We were recommended to visit Paleokastritsa by our taxi driver, but without a car and time being of the essence, it's one saved for next time. If you're staying in or near Northern Corfu, it's one to note, a secluded wonder that is reminiscent of a beach in Thailand. 

All photos taken by myself on iPhone 6S. 


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