the corfu trail in 10 days
Day 1. Arrival on Corfu. Meet & Greet by the local representative. Transfer to the South of the island. Depending on your arrival time you might want to visit the largest village from south Corfu, Lefkimmi and its famous riverside tavernas or spend the day on the beach. B&B in Santa Barbara.
Day 2. Santa Barbara - Paramonas.(5-6 hours walking) "Warming-up-day". A day of almost level walking during which you follow the beach, passing Agios Gordis and the Bond film "For Your Eyes Only" beach. The route leads on through sand dunes covered with a forest of juniper and cedar trees. After crossing the footbridge, you reach Lake Korission, where you can spot a large variety of wild birds. From here the Trail continues to Paramonas, with its two seaside tavernas, a perfect spot to watch the sunset. B & B in Paramonas.
Day 3: Paramonas to Stavros. (6 hours walking). Today you will cross the island from west to east! A sharp climb early in the walk will bring you to the other side of the ridge and the inland villages Ano and Kato Pavliana. Along footpaths and tracks the route continues down through Vouniatades, crossing the Messongi River Valley and meandering through olive groves. After passing through Strongili, continue uphill along an old cobbled way to reach Komatiana and further to the east coast of the island, the small village of Benitses. B&B in Benitses.
Day 4. Benitses to Pelekas (6 hours walking). Transfer to Stavros. From here you continue the Trail along a delightful footpath skirts Agii Deka Mountain, leading to Ano Garouna, from where the route makes a very sharp ascent to the summit of Agii Deka, Corfu' second highest peak (576m.) After some 20 minutes of climbing, the abandoned monastery in a walled garden makes an ideal rest stop. The Trail than continues down a cobbled mule path to the village of Agii Deka (Ten Saints), and further along tracks and minor roads to Sinarades. In this almost "open-air-museum-village" you can visit the Folk Museum (limited opening hours!) From Sinarades village it goes to Aerostato, one of the islands' most famous viewpoints. Along several undulating tracks with great views over the west coast and inland today' route ends in Pelekas. In Pelekas one should not miss a visit to Kaisers Throne, where in the footsteps of the last German Emperor Wilhlem II you can watch a beautiful sunset. B&B in Pelekas.
Day 5. Pelekas to Liapades.(6 - 6,5 hours walking). First a downhill road takes you to Mirtiotissa, Lawrence Durrell once called it 'the loveliest beach in the world' and it' known as Corfu' un-official nudist beach. Storms washed away much of the sand and it' size is now reduced. The route continues past Mirtiotissa Monastery to the village of Vatos. Along Ropa river bank, bordered by pasture and willow trees, towards Giannades and the "Olive Way" will bring you to the ancient village of Liapades. B&B in Liapades.
Day 6: Liapades to Agios Georgios. (5 hours walking) The route starts with a difficult footpath leading to Paleokastritsa. Crossing the (unavoidable) main resort road going back into the hills again along a network of lovely cobbled footpaths. A climb (about 1 hour) takes you to Lakones and Bella Vista with its unique breathtaking views. A sign on the wall shows you that famous guests like " the kings of Greece, Tito, Nasser, the Kaiser and Madame Sartzetakis have eaten here ! The 1km long, sometimes busy road continued by some paths through olive groves bring you to Krini from where you walk along the Valley of the Lilies to the village of Makrades. (Lots of local products like honey and herbs are sold here as well as an awful lot of "real tourist souvenirs".) From here the Trail than follows one of Greece' most remarkable footpaths which cuts along a cliff, and another olive grove track descents to Agios Georgios-Pagi, a resort with a beautiful sandy beach. B& B in Agios Georgios.
Day 7. Spartillas to Ag. Spiridon. (7 hrs walking ) You start with a transfer to Spartillas, where the Trail continues on a steep mountain footpath. A 45 minute climb brings you to Taxiarchis Chapel; a ruin with fresco-covered walls and splendid viewpoint. Continuing along the footpath, the Trail passes through a "tunnel" of oak trees, ascends to cross the "Karst Plateau", Corfu's wildest scenery, under the summit of Mount Pantokrator, the islands highest peak (917m). Descending now on a mountain track with fine views, you reach the high col of the mountain ridge, where both the northern and southern sections of Corfu are visible. You then descend to the semi-ruined Byzantine village Paleo Perithia, located in a high valley. Onwards, the Trail descends a narrow valley on a rough mule track and continues further down on paths and tracks to the coastal plain. You reach the sea at Almiros and follow the beach to the wild bare headland which is Corfu's northernmost point. From here a rough path along a low cliff takes you to the beach of Agios Spiridon. Here you can enjoy a swim and/or a meal or refreshments. From here you can take a taxi (not included) to Kalami. In Kalami your accommodation will be a studio with kitchenette. Kalami has some nice waterfront tavernas (like Durrells' White House Taverna) where all kinds of meals, including "Full English Breakfast" are on the menu. Local mini markets provide a large range of products for those who prefer to prepare their own meals.
Day 8. Rest day in Kalami.
Day 9. The north east coast and mountain flanks. This is an almost circular walk which starts and finishes at Kalami, exploring the North west of the island. You quickly climb into the hills and then onto the high mountain flanks, through Porta and on to part-ruined Mengoulas. Then your descent begins, with wonderful sea views, through Katavolos and down to the sea at Kaminaki. You return to Kalami along the coastal footpath.
Day 10. Transfer to Corfu town (air)port.