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12 Sep

Chris Coco - Who is he? What does he do?

Chris Coco has been working as a DJ since the acid house explosion of the late 80s. He has edited DJ magazine, worked for BBC Radio 1 on the after hours show The Blue Room. He has made artist albums for Warp and Distinctive Records. He has made compilations for Playboy, Ministry of Sound, EMI Classical and Trojan Records. His music has appeared on many compilations including the big ones, Cafe Del Mar and Hotel Costes. His music has been featured Sex And The City, Nip Tuck, House and many other TV shows.
He currently broadcasts and syndicates a weekly electronic music radio show called Melodica and runs his label, Melodica Recordings, out of his studio/office in London.

His music style has developed from those original house beginnings and draws on those years of experience. His club/festival/party sets are mainly proper house featuring the best of the current releases and a selection of classics with a little slo mo disco and a few eclectic surprises thrown in. His sunset/beach sets are more laid back and eclectic, and are also something special.

Chris Coco Biography

Chris Coco is a tastemaker, DJ, broadcaster, producer, music curator, musician and journalist. He is currently promoting his new artist album Freedom Street on his label MelodicaRecordings.

His radio show, Melodica, is growing from it’s online home on Mixcloud to include broadcasts in cities from Sydney to Istanbul to Chicago. The Guardian called it “the hazy, lazy sound of the summer”. Listen to weekly shows at The radio show is now a record label too. MelodicaRecordings has been operating since mid 2011. Top release so far is probably the Balearic hit Summer Breezin’ by 3 Balearos. MelodicaRecordings website With a monthly residency at the noted East London dinner dance Disappearing Dining Club; plus regular gigs at big festivals Bestival, Glastonbury and Nova; at cool venues like Concrete and Star of Bethnal Green in London, Big Chill Bar in Bristol and international shows from Space in Ibiza to KuDeTa in Bali, Chris is a busy live DJ too. For more info contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Current projects and recent successes:

Melodica: Weekly radio show. Listen to the latest online at MelodicaRecordings: MelodicaRecordings website
Freedom Street: Chris Coco album project on MelodicaRecordings.
Lazy Summer: Annual mix/compilation CD for top Italian label Cool D:Vision, now in it’s third successful year.

Key career moments:

2012 nominated in Chillout category for second year in a row in Ibiza DJ Awards. Released LP Freedom Street. 2011 – started MelodicaRecordings record label. 2009 – started Melodica, new radio show; made Feel Free Live Good album for Big Chill Recordings.
2008 – started band – City Reverb, cult single releases Time Side On, Central Heating and City Of Lights and live appearances at festivals including Glastonbury and Green Man and a special show at Tate Britain preceded an album called Lost City Folk. 2008 - presented Live Work Music for Ministry of Sound Radio.
2005-2008 - presented Bank Holiday Chillout and music documentaries for BBC Radio 2. 2006 – DJ on Robbie Williams world tour at all 64 shows and DJ warm up sets at many dates including San Siro, Milan; Parc Des Princes, Paris and The Bowl, Milton Keynes. 2002-2006 - presented Blue Room on BBC Radio 1 legendary, much loved late night weekend show with Rob Da Bank.
1999 – the present – Freelance DJ and producer, DJing on every continent except Antarctica. Djing at all the major clubs in Ibiza; at many major festivals including Glastonbury, Roskilde, Big Chill, Bestival; on tours of Australia, Far East, USA and many other places. Over the years, making compilations including Real Ibiza series, Solar Spectrums series, Blue Balearic, Dub Club, Chillin’ at the Playboy Mansion, Ministry of Sound Sessions, The Big Freeze and Acoustic Chill.
1990s – Editor of DJ Magazine pioneering dance music bible covering the club scene in its heyday. 1980s – DJ in Brighton, England pioneering early acid house scene, resident at Coco Club at Zap Club.

Selected discography Chris Coco

Key releases:
2012 – Chris Coco – Freedom Street LP on Melodica Recordings.
2010 – Chris Coco – Feel Free Live Good LP on Big Chill Recordings.
2009 - City Reverb – Lost City Folk LP with band and several singles including successful Central Heating (Drumsound & Simon Bassline Smith Remix).
2008 – Normalites – EP Including Pink Skyscraper, featuring on next Hotel Costes compilation.
2005 – Chris Coco – Heavy Mellow LP including Drifting featured in Toyota Prius European campaign.
2002 – Chris Coco – Next Wave LP including favourite Falling, featured on many TV shows including Nip Tuck, a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Albatross feat Peter Green and a cover of Velvet Underground’s’ Sunday Morning feat Nick Cave.
2001 – CocoDaSilva – Saudade – One of a series of 12” singles on Kismet records, an ongoing collaboration with dance producer Rui DaSilva.
2000 – Coco & Stonebridge – The Beach Big room club tune collaboration with dance producer Stonebridge. 1999 – Coco, Steel & Lovebomb – Yachts lounge favourite, featured on many TV shows and ads incl Sex & The City and Frexinet, Spain.
1994 – Coco, Steel & Lovebomb – It LP for Warp Records including club classic Feel It.


30 Aug

The famous DJ Phil Mison (Cantoma) from London, on the decks of atmospheric 7th Heaven, Logas Beach Peroulades, on Sunday 2nd of September, with Balearic beats in the sunset

Phil Mison is a London-based DJ, composer, and music producer who has released solo work under the names of Cantoma and Reverso 68. Mison is best known for his compositions in the Balearic, ambient and electronica musical genres, which has been described as "sophisticated, exotic, and close-to-the-bone, mutable yet cohesive" by reviewer Christina Roden.

Mison is especially famous in the Balearic music scene, where he has been described as a "pioneer" and a "goliath" of that genre.

Mison began DJing at London's Milk Bar in 1991 where he played warm-up sets for other artists. He lists as his influences popular DJs such as José Padilla, who helped him get his start after a chance meeting, whereupon Mison began a two-year stint at Ibiza's Café Del Mar.

Mison, as Cantoma, currently releases albums under the auspices of Leng Records.

29 Aug

With Corfu Private Tours  BOOK NOW


First stop will be Acharavi village. Acharavi is a village 37km away from Corfu town on the northwest part of Corfu, built on a flat area with an extensive sandy beach, which is one of the largest in Corfu. Along the coastal area there are many restaurants and caffes where you can taste the local food and drink some of the local wine. At Acharavi you will be able to visit the Folklore Museum of Acharavi. Historical mementos, photographs, drawings and historical texts are exhibited with much love and care in the museum linking the past to the present time of Corfu history. These objects reflect the famous Corfiot tradition and the local civilization that has been shaped over the last three centuries.From Acharavi it is very easy to visit many picturesque villages and other abandoned ones . In this tour we have chosen for you the village Old Perithia.

On the green slopes of Pantokrator, the tallest mountain of Corfu island, it is situated the abandoned village of Old Peritheia. Most scholars agree that the name of the village comes, because of its many churches, from the phrase “About the Divine ” ( Peri=About and Theia=Divine ). Into the village you will be able to admire the numerous venetian style buildings and churches and of course enjoy a wonderful meal in one of the recent created taverns into the old buildings of the village. Old Peritheia has been known the last years apart from its historical value, and for its great food.

On the green slopes of Pantokrator, the tallest mountain of Corfu island, it is situated the abandoned village of Old Peritheia. Most scholars agree that the name of the village comes, because of its many churches, from the phrase “About the Divine ” ( Peri=About and Theia=Divine ). Into the village you will be able to admire the numerous venetian style buildings and churches and of course enjoy a wonderful meal in one of the recent created taverns into the old buildings of the village. Old Peritheia has been known the last years apart from its historical value, and for its great food.


The Venetian village of Old Perithia

The island of Corfu, often described as the ‘Emerald island’, is well known for its Venetian architecture, beautiful beaches, turquoise seas, abundance of flora and fauna, Greek tavernas and a wonderful sense of hospitality wherever you go. But to many, the ancient village of Old Peritheia remains something of an enigma.

This historic 'Heritage Protected' village is in 'A Designated Area of Natural Beauty', situated on the attractive north east corner of the island, and just below Mount Pantokrator (The Almighty). It is the oldest example of the original mountain villages of Corfu. Records date back to the mid 14th century, although it is considered to have been inhabited many centuries before. Around 130 houses were built, entirely by hand, some of which have now fallen into ruins, many of which are now under restoration.

The village, once inhabited by approximately 1200 people, was one of the wealthiest on the island, surrounded by vines, oak trees and thousands of sheep that roamed across the mountainside. To this day, with its cobbled streets and ancient houses, the atmosphere retains its warmth and friendliness. Encircled by eight churches and nestling beneath the island's highest mountains, Old Peritheia is set amidst beautiful countryside with views to the sea, it was once a hideaway from Pirate attacks.

‘Suspended in time’ the village remains an enchanting discovery for visitors from all over the world. So whether you want to enjoy a great day out, step back in time, walk in the mountains, or just relax in one of the four tavernas and sample some locally sourced and home cooked food, then visit Old Peritheia and discover why it continues to hold a special place in the hearts of visitors and Corfiots alike, summer and winter, year after year.

The village is best visited by car as there is limited parking, or on foot - but it's quite a walk. You can do a self-guided tour of the village, and there are maps to guide you at the top of the village and by the B&B. You can explore by yourself, or buy the Official Guide Book and Walking Tour of Old Peritheia from the B&B at the top of the village (the author also lives there too) or at the 4 village tavernas.



Acharavi is situated in the middle of the northern coast of Corfu. Took its name from ancient word “achari” meaning graceless and “ivi” meaning puberty, due to the malaria plague all young people had a pale yellow aspect. It’s a small town where gathered all public services and a lot of tourist shops. It’s the center and the capital of the former municipality of Thinali representing a notable tourist center of Northern Corfu.

The tourist resort is situated 37 km from Corfu town and represents a special attraction for visitors. The settlement of Acharavi is built on highlands with rich vegetation. Its most impressive sandy beach, among the largest on the island, reaches more than 8 km, while its shallow waters are perfect for children. Here you can find set up for sea sports and sea games. Along the beach there are a lot of taverns and coffee shops.

Also you can find hotels and rental rooms where you can stay. In Acharavi area there are a lot of clubs, associations covering wide-ranging cultural and sports activities. If you love sightseeing, you can visit a lot of picturesque villages and other deserted as Palia (Old) Peritheia and Sinies, the Episkepsi village and the ruins of Roman baths. You can admire also natural landmark as Antinioti lagoon and the Nymphes (Nymphs) valley where the famous koum-kouat is cultivated. In Acharavi you can visit also the Folkloric Museum of Northern Corfu.

Acharavi is the place you must see in Corfu. With a large number of sights to discover and enjoy the town won’t stop to thrill you. As an undeniably popular tourist destination, Acharavi will offer you an unforgettable escape by its famous sights and its excellent food.

You can reach the beach by a lot of alleys started from the main road. The around area is plane with short vegetation on its background raises the Pantokratoras Mountain. Acharavi is perfect for those who desire comforts at the same time with quiet and relaxed time on the beach.

The Acharavi town was not built for tourist purposes but forms the larger centre of Northern area where available services as post office, bank, hair saloon, florist shop etc.

Acharavi is connected with Corfu town, Roda and Sidari by buses with daily timetable.



Kalami is a small, picturesque, seaside village built around a bay and above the homonymous, enchanting beach. This region has few houses but, it has many touristy lodgings, mainly rentable rooms, villas and apartments. Kalami is mostly known for the house of the English writer Lawrence Durrell, who lived there during the decade of the 30s. The house is located near the sea and today it has been converted to a guest house. It is the so-called white house. The location on which Kalami is, is truly idyllic.

The vegetation is vast and it reaches until the sea. Kalami is suitable for those who desire calm, relaxing vacations in nature, away from crowds and intense, nocturnal entertainment. In the village you will find mini markets with souvenirs and other touristy items. On the beach there are taverns and bars where, you can enjoy your coffee or your drink with a view of the sea.

From Kalami you can also rent a boat in order to explore the nearby, beautiful beaches Agni and Kouloura.


The Corfu Private Tours

Our company has been operating in the tourism sector for more than 20 years with our main objective being tailored made private tours as well as the transport of our visitors to wherever they want to go.

Our first concern all these years is to remain a local company that is distinguished for our hosting, our interest to communicate with visitors, to laugh together, to show you “non-commercial” parts of the island and to make you feel as many emotions as possible when in Corfu.

Corfu Private Tours offers private package tours that offer the Corfu visitor a different view than the “standard” all-in-one tours, with a different tour for every kind of visitor available at very reasonable prices.

Through our tours we want to give our guests the experience of being Corfiot by introducing them to our spectacular green mountains and forests, the crystal blue waters of the Ionian Sea, the local traditions and villages, as well as the homemade Corfiot cuisine.

You will be picked up at the entrance of your hotel or the main port of Corfu if you are a cruise ship traveler. Throughout your tour you will be offered VIP service in an air-conditioned, non-smoking environment, with a fridge, TV and free drinking bottled water to keep you hydrated throughout your private mini bus tour.

Our mini bus accommodates private and small group tours, but we can easily organize a bus tour if your group exceeds 16 passengers. All Corfu tours can be changed according to your preferences and we can even arrange for a professional guide to accompany your tour so that you get the most accurate historical information for each place you visit.

Our mini bus Corfu tours are flexible to suit your preferences, unique in the places they visit, affordable with their prices and always on time following your time schedule.

Our mini bus private tours company has been created to satisfy even the strangest demands for a Corfu tour. We make sure that you will experience the Corfiot lifestyle, making you feel like a local and not just as a visitor or a tourist.

Our mini bus private tours are 100% custom made. We offer you the best of Corfu but ultimately it comes down to you and what you really want to see and do. Our prices are highly competitive too so why not ask us for a quote today?

General Tourist Office
Emporiko Kentro Alepou 49100, Corfu

Tsirigotis Spiros
Mobile No +30 6973 3302 23


24 Aug

For the first time in Corfu, the powerful twin from New York, Nickodemus and Nappy G on the decks of 7th Heaven, Logas Beach Peroulades, on Sunday 26th of August.

This special dj set shall present at the atmospheric 7th Heaven: Nickodemus, among other, will present songs of his new album, "A Long Engagement", and Nappy G putting to beats behind it with live percussion.

Support Jorge and Lucien Dubazz.


Nickodemus creates & DJ's music from all parts of the World, rooted in Club Music from his upbringings in NYC. He has 3 albums entitles "Endangered Species" (2005), "Sun People" (2009) & "Moon People" (2012).

His highlights include the songs "Cleopatra in New York" & "Mariposa" featuring Carol C (Si Se), "Mi Swing es Tropical" by Nickodemus & Quantic feat. Tempo, "Sun Children" feat. The Real Live Show as well as remixes for Bob Marley, Nina Simone, Billy Holiday, Mr Scruff feat. Alice Russell, Thievery Corporation, Miguel Migs, The Balkan Beat Box, Quantic & many more.
He's currently working on his 4th album aimed straight at the club dance floors Worldwide in 2015. His long running Turntables on the Hudson NYC party has travelled river to river city to city including the Nile (Cairo), the Thames (London), the Agean (Kalymnos), las Ramblas (Barcelona), the Danube (Budapest & more...

With a wide range of music, from international dub & downtempo to house & electronic, Nickodemus has been DJ'ing for clubs & festivals for over 15 years & has been part of the following & many more:

WORLDWIDE Festival Sete, Mi Casa es su Casa Festival Mexico, Central Park Summer Stage NYC, WOMAD Festival Australia & New Zealand, Adelaide Festival, Days Like This Festival, Centro Festival Colombia, Brooklyn Bridge Park Festival, Cielo Club NYC, Space After Dark IBIZA, Le Bain, Output NYC, Brooklyn Bowl, Nacelle Cairo, Louie and Chan NYC, Earthdance USA and Shambala Canada


Nappy G (a.k.a. G-Don) is a Brooklyn-based producer,dj & long-time percussionist in NYC’s dance club scene. A veteran frontman in his own right,Nappy G has shifted his energies & used his musical expertise to become a respected beatmaker & digital music composer, as well as video editor/director.

As a DJ, NAPPY G is known for his unique take on Latin rhythms & Afro-based sounds, flavored & accented by his deep history of Soul, Hiphop & Funk.

In 2011, he has created a new style of music that fuses these sounds & it’s called the “FUNKY PASSPORT” sound! This style brings together uptempo music (Tropicales,Latin House,Electro,Kuduro,Afro House,Bailefunk,Samba),mixes it with midtempo sounds (Moombahton,Funky Breaks,Bhangra,NuSoul), spices it up with rare traditional classic sounds from all over the globe (Reggae,Salsa,Cumbia,Souk,Rumba,Tropicalia,etc.) & turns up the heat with Global Hiphop from countries all over the world!

The FUNKY PASSPORT sound is feeding peoples’ souls & lighting up dancefloors everywhere NAPPY G plays.




17 Aug

Just released the special issue of the best 50 summer cocktail recipes, by Kostas Kaperonis & GL Publications “Summer cocktail recipes”. Among the 50 suggested cocktail recipes the cocktail with Corfiot flavor by the award-winner bartender Andreas Kontostanos (Barden Cocktail and Food Bar). Buy the book here

For the book

50 Summer Cocktail Recipes
Summer cocktail nights, By Kostas Kaperonis

An all time cosmopolitan, a mojito mint flavour and colourful cocktails that relax their forever fans, get more value when they are served in the most idyllic places in Greece. In places with award-winning bartenders and outstanding view that make you fell like being on an island and inspire you for the most enjoyable holidays during July and August.

The best companion for the information above is the deluxe issue of the top 40 bars. Their maitres share with us recipes and suggestions both for the classic or not cocktails that are worth tasting. Besides, summer is the ideal season for cocktails, and this year the bars in Greece is the best destination.
Drink responsibly!

The Cocktail ESPANIOLA

30 ml Barden Rum Blend
25 ml Plantation Pineapple Stiggins Fancy
10 ml Giffard caribbean pineapple liqueur
25 ml Crema Di Limoncello
10 ml Giffard salted caramel syrup
Grounded Tonka bean

Shake / double strain Ice ball/ Garnished with caramelized fresh pineapple

Bartender: Andreas Kontostanos
Contact info: Acharavi Kerkira, Tel. 2663064280 / 6947384121, 

14 Aug

The day before the great Greek feast of August 15th we recommend 3 separate events for all tastes in North Corfu. Choose and pick:

We drink rum and we hear Reggae at Barden, on the beach road Acharavi-Roda. On the decks Rankin Jonny.

Greek Music
We celebrate in Greek style at Fuego, on Acharavi beach. On the decks Vasilis Balos. We do not forget the big annual party (15 August )

Atmospheric music
We enjoy atmospheric music in 7th heaven (Logas-Peroulades). On the decks Jorde & Olufemi & special guest Nikolas Dales.

06 Aug

When visiting Corfu, it can often feel as if you are being transported to another time and place. All the island has long been a haven of today’s rich and famous, there are moments when you feel as if you must take a step back and really view the island for what it is – a place where the island’s ancient history and modern sensibilities seem to coexist. On top of that, there are places that truly feel ancient, such as Perithia , the oldest village on Corfu. Here is an overview of Old Perithia and what you can do when you visit:

History of Perithia
Perithia, or Old Perithia, is an old village located in the northern mountains of the island. It is also listed as a UNESCO world heritage site because it is a gorgeous example of the history of the island. The village is dated back from the 14th Century A.D., but it is possible that there were inhabitants there from well before that. There were about 130 homes that were built here and all of them were made by hand. At its peak, there were as many as 1200 inhabitants according to the records. It was also considered to be one of the wealthiest villages on the island and the abundance of natural beauty around it was also a revenue generator, as is evidenced by the leftover grapevines that are still in existence in the area.

Escape from the Tourist Crowds
Corfu is a popular island for visitors and it can often get busy, especially during peak tourist season. Although this is something that attracts people to the island in the first place, it can be nice to find a place to escape and get away from it all. This is one of the reasons why many people visit Old Perithia. Since it is tucked away in the northern mountains on Corfu, it isn’t exactly easy to get to, which means that this historical site doesn’t get the as many visitors as some of the popular resorts and beaches on the island do. You can visit here to truly unwind and take in the island’s beautiful scenery.

What to Do in Perithia
Although the village was abandoned at one time, there are still some inhabitants in the area. However, many of the homes are abandoned. For visitors, this is simply a great escape from the hustle and bustle of the regular tourist crowds. Spend some time looking around some of the older homes. You can also hike in the surrounding mountains and take plenty of pictures of the beautiful sceneries. There are also some tavernas in the area, which offer the visitor a chance to eat a traditional Greek meal in a natural setting. If you are interested in learning more about the village and its history, you can also either take an official tour or do a self guided tour.

Although Corfu is a busy island, it is nice to get away from the tourist crowds and enjoy the beautiful environment.

05 Aug

In northern Corfu the rich natural variety forms a surprising landscape alternating from vast green areas to rivers, waterfalls and caves. Areas defined as parks or protected Natura locations, are waiting for you to explore them. Includes several admirable monuments and historical sites, even for the most demanding visitors, thus the higher value of tourist product. 


1. Trekking on Mountain Pantokratoras (Almighty)
Pantokratoras is the highest mountain in Corfu with an altitude up to 917m. There you’ll discover the traditional small villages Palia (Old) Perithia and Nea (New) Perithia. Prepare yourself to walk on paths  among cypresses and buildings in a mix of Greek and Italian style. If you approach the start and ending point of the mountain on foot, you can notic e the Italian influence in the architecture of this quiet mountain village. This wonderful ride takes you on a circuit of the high ridge of the Cross. All the way you can enjoy the fantastic view from the altitude of Pantokrator. Following the road to the Cross, you’ll pass the house in Dafnata and than, walking on the main road, you’ll see the Stroggyli valley, the Korission lake and the mountain villages Agios (St.) Mathaios and Vounatiades. On our way up we’ll find a magnificent cave, used as shelter years ago. Once again, the geographical landscape looks amazing. A little further, after a short detour, there is a magical chapel, built upon rocks overhanging the hill. At this point, we leave the path behind us, and continue on the local road, always having as companion the fantastic view from Pantokratoras. Here you’ll find yourself in front of a dilemma; you can either to continue the road, or to walk through the picturesque village so you can admire the old traditional Greek buildings. Either way, at the end of the road, a refreshing soda and a good tavern with traditional food will be waiting for you.Required equipment: climbing boots or any other shoes suitable for walking.

2. Discover the Caves (Loutses & Klimatia)
The Cave of Loutses (Grava for the locals) is situated near the village Loutses on Pantokratoras, at an altitude of about 300 meters. The entrance of the Cave of Loutses is located in a deep hollow with imposing, vertical walls. A path that requires special attention during winter due to slipperiness, takes you inside the cave where, the soil is completely flat and above you, the roof is full of geological formations. If you are inside the cave and look upwards at the opening of the cave, from which comes the sunlight, you will be impressed by the sense of isolation and serenity that this dark cave offers. The Cave of Anthropograva is located near the village Klimatia, at an altitude of 270 meters, just a few meters from the road which leads to the monastery of Agia Triada, in the northern part of the island. The Cave of Anthropograva is the most interesting among the recently known and accessible caves of the island. The road which reaches very close to it, is covered with asphalt, while access to it is through a cobble-paved path. The entrance to the Cave of Anthropograva has an opening reaching 4 meters and a height reaching approximately 2,50 meters

3. Discover the Waterfalls (Nymfes & Kyprianades)
The Waterfalls of Nymfes are the most impressive of the whole island and they are located just outside Nymfes, this lovely village which, is built on the mountain Pantokratoras , in a verdant area with oak and holly trees. In order to reach the Waterfalls of Nymfes you must cross through the village, pass outside the local football pitch and follow a rural dirt road for about a half kilometer. The scenery in the Waterfall of Nymfes is enchanting. Rapid waters fall from a height greater than 10 meters into the verdant ravine. Two other, smaller waterfalls are also nearby. The waterfalls are best visited in the spring after the winter rains.The second largest waterfall on the island of Corfu, right after the waterfall in Nymfes, is the Waterfall in Kyprianades, of about 8 meters high. It is formed by a tributary of the Tyflos River, the creek of Klimatia which on its course towards the north Ionian Sea also passes outside the village of Kyprianades. Access to the Waterfall of Kyprianades is relatively easy. It is possible through a small path of about 500 meters which starts from the fountain in the southwest of the village. For those who love nature and hiking, an excursion to the Waterfall in Kyprianades, will be unforgettable.

4. Met the Antinioti Lagoon
Antinioti Lagoon or Limnothalassa Antinioti is situated on the North of the island off the main road towards the coast in the region of Thinali. At the far end of the main beach at Agios (Saint) Spyridon on the North of the island is an inlet for the Lake, there is a small bridge here that will take you to the area known as Nissos Island. This is a protected area in Corfu and is abundant with flora and wildlife including the threatened Otter species Lutra-lutra, and many rare orchids and offer great environmental interest. The lagoon area is about 1,000,000 square metres in size, comprising of around 400,000 for the lake with the remaining area accounting for the marshes and reed beds. The lagoon area is listed on the European Environment agencies website and is a protected area categorised on the European Nature Information System (EUNIS) under Natura 2000. In 1992 legislation was introduced to protect the most seriously threatened habitats across Europe and Natura 2000 was the result of this legislation bringing together special areas of protection and conservation. This wetland situated on the northern coast of the island of Kerkyra (Corfu) is important for the threatened species Lutra lutra as well as for the ecological balance in the area. In addition, the site is characterized by a variety of habitats, and human activities have not yet exerted much influence upon it. This is of great importance for an island like Kerkyra which shows great tourist development and great pressure due to building construction. The wetland and the nearby habitats are kept in rather good condition.

5. Discover thw Erimitis park (As much as you can)
A verdant paradise with deep blue waters, a labyrinthine coastline where, beaches, coves, capes and three lakes are formed that make it a significant wetland, called Erimitis which is located between Agios Stefanos in Sinies and the beach of Avlaki, in the north-eastern part of the island. The position of Erimitis, right across the Albanian shores, exactly in the northern strait of the island, prevented any development or activity in the region which was used by the Venetians for defensive reasons. In order to eliminate hazards to ships passing through the strait, during the English occupation, in the islet Kapareli a lighthouse of a height of 9 meters was built, the second oldest of Corfu. The oldest lighthouse is the one of the Old Fortress.Erimitis includes a continuation of six beaches, a complex of three lakes (Vromolimni, Akoli , Savoura) and is a shelter for a number of rare birds and animals, such as otter. Along with the Lagoon of Antiniotis in the west and the wetland of Vouthrotos (Butrint) in the opposite Albanian shores, they constitute a single wetland system of great ecological value.Erimitis has remained intact from tourism as it is only accessible on foot through paths or by boat from the sea. A resort will soon be built in the area. Soon to prevent...

6. Cycling in traditional mountain village Perithia
Mountain routes, on road routes, trails of differential altitudes, a huge network of unpaved roads, places that can only be reached by bike, cliffs and mountains are abundant in Northern Corfu welcoming all kinds of bikers. Spring and autumn are the seasons than can make you enjoy this experience to the full as nature is at its best decorated with a colourful wildflower patchwork and mesmerizing scents that soothe even the wildest of souls. Whether an on road route or off road route lover, all your five senses will be fine-tuned as your bike will become your means to a trip to paradise. Cycling through traditional mountain villages, like Old Perithia, is a trip through time. Old stone houses, friendly hospitable people and a breathtaking view is an experience not to be missed. As you ride your bike on the narrow cobbled streets, your mind travels back in time as if in a time machine. Old people will put a spell on you with their wide smiles and warm your heart and like the Sirens from Odyssey will make you  not want to go back. The luscious olive oil, the fruity local wines, the sweet kumquat liqueur and the overpowering scents of local herbs, are these people’s magic potions. As your trip continues, tamed creatures that roam the mountains will accompany you along the way.

7. Discover the natural of Nymphs’ Hermitage
Abandoned for a long time, the monastic Hermitage complex stands Northern to the village Nymphes (Nymphs). It’s considered one of the oldest Christian monuments on the island. Recently, there was a study on its buildings aiming their restoration presented as “Interpreting the breath of history edifices”. Beyond its historic value, the beautiful environment, the dense forest and the bordering valley constitute an interesting destination for all nature lovers and trekkers. According to the famous legend, in this corner of the world there was a hermit monk from Epirus in the 5th century. An older reference to the Hermitage is from a document in 1371, period when Corfu was ruled by Andecavi, sovereigns from Naples.

8. Diving in Kerasia beach
The Kerasia beach is a particularly lovely area to visit, so be sure to do a couple dives here. The sea is a wonderful place to discover, full of rare fish species and impressive sea plants. In one of the most beautiful locations of the island, Kerasia is hidden away, an impressive beach with white pebbles, luxuriant vegetation and clean, crystal clear waters. It is not random that in this region many luxurious villas have been built, including the mansion of the family of bankers Rothchild who host personalities from the international jet set. Bathers of this beach are mostly foreign tourists who stay in the rental villas in the region. Kerasia is a peaceful beach where there is only one tavern and a mini market on its outskirts. There are also parasols and deck-chairs for hire. You can also rent a pedalos and a canoe in order to enjoy a small ride on its lovely waters. Across, in the distance you can see the coasts of Albania. In order to get to Kerasia beach you must follow the road which passes through the picturesque fishing village of Agios Stefanos Sinion and continue by the coastline for about 1,5 kilometer.

9. Meet the organic oil in the monastery Kamarelas
The Monastery of Pantokratoras Kamarelas is located in the region of Agioi Douloi in northern Corfu. It was establish as a convent in 1800 and continuously operates since then. The Sanctuary of the Monastery of Pantokratoras Kamarelas was established in 1890 and is dedicated to the Metamorphosis of Sotiros and still operates. The dense vegetation of the verdant Corfu surrounds the Monastery of Pantokratoras Kamarelas which was named after the homonymous spring with the name Kamarela that is nearby. Three chapels, among them the old Sanctuary, decorate the monastery, while the Monastery of Pantokratoras Kamarelas is celebrated on the 6th of August. Inside an estate, far from the eyes of passers-by, the women of the monastery are engaged in the production of excellent quality organic oil, soap and wine, which are supplied by many locals and foreigners (oil awarded in 2006 as Europe's best oil during organic products exhibition in Switzerland - and 23rd in the world). In the area of Pantokratoras Monastery, there is also a small museum where you can see how it was a traditional olive press.ality organic oil, soap and wine, which are supplied by many locals and foreigners (oil awarded in 2006 as Europe's best oil during organic products exhibition in Switzerland - and 23rd in the world). In the area of Pantokratoras Monastery, there is also a small museum where you can see how it was a traditional olive press.

10. Discover the natural whith Horse riding
Horse riding in northern Corfu is an unique experience due to its natural beauty, pathways and beautiful beaches. There are a lot of places worth enjoying where you can reach only by foot or horse riding. There are a lot of horse riding centers, in Sidari, Acharavi, Peritheia, Kassiopi and Agios Stefanos, where you can enjoy mountain and sea rides. Further information about the centers is available on our business catalogue. You can enjoy single or group rides, always with a trainer by your side, mostly the centers’ owners. The routs last from 20min up to 3h for the most challenging and experienced. All organized centers offer all necessary equipment, while the horses are friendly and well trained for tours.

02 Aug

By: Richard Betts

Richard Betts' Corfu experience puts a new spin on the idea of a conducted tour.

A young woman has just thrown a bunch of roses at my feet. I'm almost certain they're not for me. Almost. We're about to hear Christoph Willibald Gluck's opera Orfeo ed Euridice, so I'm forced to assume the flowers will be for the conductor or one of the singers.

For a moment it's possible to dream, though. The setting, the neoclassical Church of St George on the Greek island of Corfu, is after all the sort of place you might expect a floral miracle.

The building was constructed by the British in the 1840s but looks like an ancient temple, and we are surrounded by Greek Orthodox icons; gilded Christs stare at us from every angle, who knows what could happen?

What happens mostly is music. Corfu is overflowing with it. The music never stops here.

The air is full of jazz (as I write, Charles Mingus' Goodbye Pork Pie Hat is wafting through the open window), as well as chirruping swallows and swifts, and speakers blasting Greek cover versions of pop hits — rarely the originals, oddly.

Despite a population of only 100,000, the island boasts three orchestras and nearly 20 "philharmonic bands".

So in the church, as elsewhere on the island, there is music. But there is magic, too. The opera is performed by students of the Ionian University, and you get the fizzing excitement of young musicians testing themselves, cracking their knuckles in preparation for an assault on the professional music world.

Not all of them will make it. The historically informed orchestral playing isn't as polished as it could be, but they are stylish and committed, and the phrasing is excellent even if the intonation isn't.

Much of what is good is thanks to the conductor, Kyriaki Kountouri. When I catch her after the concert she's clasping a bunch of congratulatory roses. My roses. She says she's from Cyprus and in just her third year of five at the music school. Aged 21 at the most, Kountouri understandably doesn't have a clear idea of what the future holds, but she has the stage presence of an old hand, with a rock solid down beat and charisma to burn — remember her name.

Kountouri's mentor is Miltos Logiadis, the university's professor of conducting. His aim for these students is to get them to Athens: "They are very talented and deserve to be heard."

Some of them are very talented indeed.

As well as Kountouri there's the mezzo-soprano Nikoletta Ierides who's singing the lead, Orfeo. It's a tough gig. One of only three soloists, Orfeo's on stage for almost the whole opera. Ierides's concentration never flags, though, and her molten chocolate voice is a thing of wonder. Giouli Lygda's Euridice — for whom Orfeo braves the underworld — is, if anything, even better. The soprano has a lovely sound and superb characterisation. She is riveting, and makes the most of a limited role. The pair's Act 3 duet is, for me, the concert's highlight.

Both Lygda and Ierides are in their final year, and Kountouri says it was the serendipity of having two equally gifted singers that prompted the choice of Orfeo ed Euridice, rather than the opera's basis in Greek mythology.

Greece's classical past has less of a grip here than on the mainland. Corfu has been variously Venetian, French, Russian, British, and an independent state, before unification with Greece in 1864.

History is folded over on itself. As an example I'm in a 19th century copy of a 5th century BC building, watching an opera written in the 18th century. While we're contemplating dates, St George's lies within the island's Old Fortress, built mostly in the 15th century but with foundations believed to date from the 6th century. (The Old Fortress should in no way be confused with the New Fortress, which is new-build muck dating from the 1570s.) None of this is old by Greek standards, but still.

Other than the setting, though, the concert is music-making as we know it in New Zealand. The audience is perhaps younger than we're used to (the fact this is a student performance accounts for that), but there's a similar sense of pre-concert anticipation that's recognisable from home.

There's a similar sense of making do with a tight budget, too. The staging is by Panagiotis Adam, an experienced director and guest professor at the university, whose philosophy is that everyone on stage should be moving. The chorus is present for the whole of the first two acts and is in constant motion, contributing a dynamism to the pared-back set.

The applause at the end is deafening, and the delight of the musicians as they take their bows palpable. As the cast and crew drift away into the night I catch a glimpse of a singer leaving. One of her hands is entwined in someone's fingers; in the other she's clutching flowers.

Photo: Stamatis Katopodis


02 Aug

By Noreen Kompanik*

It’s no wonder legendary writers like Homer and Shakespeare used the Greek Island of Corfu as a backdrop for their epic tales. Just as it served the crafty shipwrecked Odysseus as a refuge and respite from his journeys, the island today welcomes travelers with open arms and a warm heart.

The second largest of the seven Ionian Islands, this magnificent sun-kissed archipelago is known as the “Emerald Island” because of its lush greenery and breathtaking beauty.

The island encompasses 230 square miles and 60% of its hilly, mountainous surface is covered with olives, cypress trees, citrus trees, and vineyards. The olive oil produced on Corfu is widely considered to be Greece’s best.

As a port stop on our 7-night Mediterranean cruise, we were determined to experience what we’d missed on our first visit to the island many years ago. And that entailed thoroughly exploring Corfu’s historically evocative Corfu Town.

Corfu’s stunning natural landscape, crystal clear tourmaline seas, and lapping rocky coves greeted us as our ship entered port. Catching a local transport, we headed directly to the beautifully preserved Corfu Town. We quickly discovered why the town’s designation as a UNESCO world heritage site is so richly deserved.

Imbued with a myriad of grace and elegance the town is situated at the half-way point on the island’s east coast. Built on a promontory, the town’s diverse architecture is a fascinating historic blend of its Sicilian, Venetian, French, and English influences.

It’s the melding of all these cultures that seems to bring a unique charm and character to Corfu Town. Coupled with the fact that it’s located right on the sparkling azure Ionian Sea, you have the recipe for the perfect Greek Island experience. With so much to see and do, it can feel a bit overwhelming without a plan. Here are some of Corfu Town’s not-to-be-missed highlights.

Exploring Historic Sights & Landmarks

Known as The Old Castle by locals, the 16th century Old Fortress is a medieval Venetian fortification perched on a rocky peninsula surrounded by a boat-lined moat. Its strategic location has harbored a fortified redoubt since the Byzantine period.

The fortress, built to withstand Ottoman sieges contains the historical records of more than six centuries of history, the Byzantine collection of sculptures, images of the Byzantine era, and the public library.

But it’s the massive central gate and arched entranceway with the Greek flag flying overhead that’s the showstopper of the fortress.

Nearby, the New Fortress is a massive well-maintained citadel hailing from the same century. It defended Corfu Town port entrances and is connected to the town and the Old Fortress by a series of underground tunnels. Its most notable feature is its impressive gate guarded by classic Venetian lion sculptures.

The Palace of St. Michael & George in the heart of town once served as the official residence of the Governor. Known as the Royal or City Palace, it was built with Maltese limestone. Constructed in the Georgian style in the early 1800s, the palace features gardens and fountains fronting the palace courtyard.

The maze of narrow streets in Corfu Town contain numerous historic mansions, secret garden squares, and churches that pay homage to its multi-cultural heritage. And somehow it all melds together in one incredibly magical architectural feast for the eyes.

It’s quite impossible to miss the Venetian-style Church of Saint Spyridon towering over the center of town. Its massive bell tower is Corfu Town’s highest tallest structure. Inside the church rests the mummified remains of the saint. According to legend, he saved the island four times from Ottoman invasions and performed numerous miracles.

Dining in Old Town

There’s no shortage of restaurants here and given Corfu’s temperate climate, outdoor dining is immensely popular.

Traditionally, Corfiats as the locals call themselves, eat their main meal midday, enjoying lighter foods in the evening. After perusing a few menus, our group agreed on the highly recommended Restaurant Rex. It was an excellent choice.

Family owned and operated, the charming eatery has been serving tourists and locals alike since 1952. Rex occupies the ground floor of a historic building in the heart of Old Town.

Yes, they offer traditional foods like Tzatziki, Greek Salad and Moussaka. But, they’re prepared with a creative twist. Our shared green salad was a superb explosion of flavors from locally grown figs, hazelnuts and Corfiela cheese, tossed in a Tsipouro (Greek brandy) vinaigrette.

Fresh seafood is immensely popular here, especially the octopus. Our deliciously slightly warmed delight was accompanied by a Greek salad “stew” of tomatoes, cucumber, capers, olive oil, vinegar and oregano.

Stopping for a drink or cocktail at the Bristol Cafe was a real treat. For us, it was like discovering a secret treasure. With its eclectic turquoise walls, colorful prints, and stylish décor, it’s a favorite with locals and we could see why. It’s one really cool place.

Browsing and Shopping in Old Town

Old Town is a tightly-packed warren of meandering lanes and timeless back alleys where clothes hang from above stretching from balcony to balcony.

Even for those who are not really into shopping will find themselves, like us, first browsing, then looking, and then, yes, buying at the classy unique boutiques of Corfu Town.

Maybe it’s the quaint alleyways; each one more alluring than the last, or the scent of fresh leather or aromatic spices wafting through the air that enchanted us. Or perhaps it was the glimmer of the fine pieces of jewelry, the colorful scarves and bags, or the eye-catching and soft-to-the-touch cotton and linen clothing that was seducing our eyes and yes, our wallets.

In celebration of Corfu’s amazing olive production, the aromatic and savory oils are sold everywhere, along with every other olive-related item imaginable.

But unlike other towns we’ve been to highly frequented by tourists, Corfu Town’s merchants are there with friendly help with no pressure on shoppers to buy. This made our browsing even more enjoyable.

As we stood on the deck of our cruise ship departing the Isle of Corfu’s harbor, our friend mentioned that to his surprise, Corfu was an unexpected delight.

How fitting. For it was ancient Heraclitus of who once said that “If you do not expect the unexpected, you will not recognize it when it arrives.”

photo by Ani Skevi

* Noreen L Kompanik is a Registered Nurse and published freelance travel writer and photographer based in San Diego, California. She has written about green topics, healthy living, family travel, history, wine and food along with inspirational prose. She is a member of the International Travel Writers and Photographer’s Association and International Food and Wine Travel Writers Association. Noreen is a columnist for, Traveling Mom,, and a regular contributor to several San Diego publications. She is married with two grown children and two grandchildren. She maintains a Facebook page  where readers can find her published articles.

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