Friday, 29 June 2007

Permanent Tourists: A lifelong trend

In recent years, many tourists who visit Kerkyra island end up in buying some kind of property on the area. Some of them become permanent residents, while others use their new home as a basis for their family holidays, once or twice a year. But why choose this kind of tourism?

Nick, an Englishman, was one of the first to build a small cottage in Korakiana Village, on Kerkyra island. He first visited Kerkyra many years ago with his family, but it was much later when he found out that he could actually get a permanent place on the island he loved.

“At first I thought that I would need a fortune to buy a decent house in a village,” he says. “But a friend of mine, who had already bought a ready cottage in Korakiana village, kept me informed bout the properties sold over there, and soon he spotted a bargain.”

Nick has got a family of five, and they were all delighted at the prospect of a holiday house on Kerkyra. Nick was able to get a small stone house with a yard in front at a very low cost, and he built a two floored cottage in a year.

“When I first saw it,” he admits, “it was a kind of ruined store room with nothing much to attract the buyer, but the scenery all around was fantastic, and that was the basic point. We would live in the nature, breathe fresh mountain air and see a wonderful view every day.”

Nick filled the small yard with numerous flower pots with mountain herbs and flowers, and he made big windows to let the sun come into the cottage. “This will be our permanent house when we retire,” he adds. “Meanwhile, we visit Kerkyra 2-3 times a year and our kids come over in between their holidays too. We also let some close relatives to use it and some friends.”

Nick is just one of the four other residents of the village neighborhood. A few meters further on, a couple from Holland have rebuilt their own house and visit it every summer. The neighbors keep an eye on it when they are away, and they even take care of their small vegetable garden.

Some of the benefits of this kind of tourism, can be listed below:
Save on rents of hotels, apartments etc.
Save on meals of restaurants
Carry no baggage
Make new friends
Ideal for retired people
Ideal for relaxing in a natural environment
Learn new lifestyle
Try new food
Permanent tourism is nevertheless a new trend that will stay!

If you are interested in buying property on the island, visit
and look for the ads for houses on sale. There is an old house on sale at the moment, at Ano Korakiana (see picture).

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

The Old Town

The old town of Corfu has got its own magic that links the new part of the town to the old tradition. Narrow alley ways, pebbled streets and stone walls are a live reminder of that era that is still prevalent on the island. Old buildings are almost everywhere, not only in the town but all over the island. There are still today the traditional small shops that used to be part of everyday life in the past. Not many of them nowadays, but the few that still exist, help to keep the colour of the old era intact, such as the greengrocer’s (see top picture) in the centre of the town. There used to be another one but a tourist shop took its place a few years ago.

The narrow side streets signpost the pre-war era, when all the buildings were close together and there were no cars in the streets. See the picture above to notice how narrow some of the streets are. An extract from a Corfiot writer’s book clearly indicates that. She describes her house which was in the old part of the town. That house was bombed and destroyed during the war, but there is another building now in its place. The author says:

“The building was situated in such a narrow alley that we used to exchange various foods, such as olive oil and flour, through the windows. I remember that my grandma used to exchange foods with the mother of Niso.” (The book, which is about a Jewish family living in Corfu before the war, is now being translated from Greek into English and will be released next year).

Saturday, 23 June 2007

KERKYRA, the green paradise.

We’re back to Kerkyra, which is the greenest of the Ionian islands.

If you come for a visit, don’t omit the following:

The old town:

Wander along the narrow alley ways and old houses, the market and the squares.

The old castle:

A rocky peninsula with a castle which offers a spectacular view.

The church of Saint Spyridon:

Visit the protector Saint of the island. You can see His relics in a silver coffin.

The museums:

The archaeological museum with statues and findings of excavations on the island.

The Asiatic museum : a collection of rare antiquities unique in Greece.

Achilleion palace:

The palace of Sissy of Austria.

Palaiokastritsa village :

Explore the rocks and caves and visit the old Monastery.


The castle was built in the 6th century to protect the city from the Barbarian attacks. It was during the end of the Byzantine period that Kerkyra suffered from the constant invasions so that the entire population was transferred to the rocky peninsula in order to be safe.

Nowadays the castle houses an old church, archaeological exhibits and cafes, and is a place of cultural events. From the top of the castle the visitors can have an overall view of the city, especially of the bay and the old part of the town which look fantastic.

(See the castle on top of the page).

Friday, 22 June 2007

Welcome to my place!

Hello everyone, and welcome to my blog!

I live on the beautiful island of Kerkyra (Corfu for the non Greek) which is next to Italy. Here's some information about the island, just to make sure you learn a bit about my place before we start our trip.

What is Kerkyra like?

Vast olive groves, tall palm trees along the sandy beaches, orange and lemon orchards amidst the groves, and mount Pantokrator on the north with scattered white-washed villages and tall church towers among the green, and the lingering in the air smell of wild herbs.

There you can admire ancient ruins and findings, numerous chapels and temples, museums and art displays for every taste; you can join local feasts and religious ceremonies, listen to band concerts, and watch international ballets and operas almost all year round.

Kerkyra is an exotic island with a European flavor, combining a taste of local and European culture. Several civilizations brought together, that is Kerkyra. You can see their mark everywhere, yet, you can feel that the island keeps its own unique flavor of local tradition.

The myth, the old and the new

The myth says that the people of Pheakes lived on the island during the years of Ulysses’travels. Their latest king Alkinoos with his queen, Ariti, had several sons and an only daughter called Nafsika. She was the one who found Ulysses on the shore one day and then the king helped him go back to his own kingdom, Ithaca. But god Poseidon , the god of the sea, was very angry with Ulysses and he turned his boat into stone, in order to punish him-that is what the local people say to justify the huge boat-like rock in Paleokastritsa bay.

Recent excavations in the town have revealed ancient sites that date back to the 5th century while there are ancient churches and other buildings all over the island.

Referring to modern history, the domination of the Venetians which lasted 410 years, of the French and of the British, left a definite mark on the aspect of contemporary Corfu. The island economy is based mainly on Tourism, as there are still unspoilt, beautiful landscapes and natural scenery all over the island.

Nowadays, the visitors can explore the whole Kerkyra and enjoy not only its natural beauty but also the numerous and unique sights the long tradition of the island has to offer.