No: 1 - Along the beach to the northernmost point of the island

Total walking time approximately 3 hours.

Leave Acharavi along the beach walking eastwards (to the right) past several beach tavernas and the last remaining sand dunes. After 50 minutes you reach the small harbour for fishing boats at the far end of the beach. Here you leave the island of Corfu by a pedestrian bridge that takes you to Nissos (=island), actually an island of its own, separated from Corfu by the Antinioti Lagoon. Over time, this lagoon is slowly filling up with silt, washed down from the hills behind. To your right you see Mount Pantocrator (908m) the highest peak on Corfu. After crossing the pedestrian bridge go straight on uphill on a narrow marked path. Looking back, the vista is the 5 miles of beach of St.George’s Bay with the coastal villages of Almiros, Acharavi and Roda. After reaching the top, the path leads through an old olive grove. You will soon come to a clearing. Watch out for a blue sign (Laurel/Lorbeer) on an olive tree. Follow the narrow path to the right that, within just a few minutes, will bring you to an age old, fragrant grove of Bay trees. This path stops at a chain. Return to the blue sign and then follow a narrow dirt road flanked by tall eucalyptus trees. To your left are the ruins of St. Catherine's Monastery (private property nowadays, cannot be visited). Following to the right, the eucalyptus road leads on to a wider gravel road that you follow in the same direction towards the high mountains of Albania on the opposite mainland. Another bridge 2 brings you back to Corfu Island proper. You come out on St.Spiridon beach with its chapel dedicated to the island's saint. There is a café bar and taverna.

Start your return journey by crossing back over the same bridge. Follow the gravel road for approx 200m, at the end of a line of pine trees turn right and go down a path to the little cove of Yaliskari. On the beach you turn left and head for the solar powered beacon following the shepherds' trail across the rocky headland. Soon you reach the beacon on the northern most point of Corfu at the Cape of Agia Ekaterini. The coastal trail reaches another beach. To your left - hidden behind eucalyptus trees, is again the ruins of St.Catherine's Monastery. Follow the gravel road along the sea, recross the pedestrian bridge and follow the shoreline to Acharavi.


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No: 2 - Loutses Caves, Vouni and the Krinias valley

Total walking time approximately 4 hrs. Allow an extra hour for visiting the upper cave.

Take a taxi to Anapavtiria (20.- € -ca). Tell the driver to drop you off at the bus terminal (ΤΕΡΜΑ ΚΤΕΛ ΑΝΑΠΑΤΗΡΙΑ/ ΛΟΥΤΣΕΣ). Follow the blue marks (2) along a tarmac road. Soon the path climbs up to your right and leads you to a well-preserved "strati", an old cobbled mule path, flanked by stonewalls on either side, used to drive the sheep through. Fantastic views across the NE corner of Corfu with the Antinioti Lagoon, the resort of Kassiopi, towered over by a castle, and across to the Albanian coast on the mainland.

At the end of the strati, turn right across rough pasture towards the Lower Cave of Loutses. During the colder months this cave is used as a stable. Hundreds of rooks nesting here will rise and flee as you approach. It is not worth descending into the cave. Follow the blue marks on a new dirt track with fine views across the Northern Straits of Corfu, busy with ferryboats and cruise ships on their way to and from Italy. After some 900 m follow the blue signs up a path on your right. In late spring and early summer this gap is so densely covered with white flowering asphodel lilies that you will have to watch out not to miss the blue paint marks on the rocks. In some places here you will find the rare golden asphodel. Carry on uphill through this little valley for about 30 minutes. At the upper end of the valley keep right and walk across two former agricultural plateaus surrounded by bizarre rock formations till you reach a concrete road and some newly constructed stone pavilions to your right.  Through a stone gate on the right you can descend into the cave. This cave is worth visiting.

The concrete road leads downhill with fine views of the Albanian Riviera in the distance and takes you back to the bus terminal at Anapaftiria. This circular walk should take about 1.5 hrs, not allowing for the time in the cave.

Continue along the tarmac road down through the settlement of Anapaftiria. When you reach the main road, turn right into the main village of Loutses. There is a café bar and a taverna on your right. Follow the main road, and shortly after leaving the village, turn left by a water reservoir tank on your right, into a well-marked old path that takes you through an olive grove and down to a dirt track. Turn left and walk along the water pipes towards the mountain village of Vouni and its quarries. Before the first quarry turn right and immediately left again and follow the ancient path through an olive grove. When you reach the first house of Vouni turn right and follow the blue marks along a tar road. At the next junction continue on the tar road to your left. You will soon reach an unnamed hamlet of three houses. At the upper end take the middle path and follow this dirt track through olive groves with fine views of the Antinioti Lagoon and the Albanian Riviera. After taking a well marked turn to the left the path becomes narrow and zig-zags downhill directly past a cottage to reach a tar road in the settlement of Riliatika. Follow the road to the left and after a right turn reach the bridge across the deep gorge of the Parigori River. This river - normally dried up - can quickly turn into a wild mountain torrent after heavy rainfall. Cross the Krinias Bridge (and the yellow-marked Corfu Trail). Shortly after the bridge turn right into a dirt track that will take you back to the North Coast through endless olive groves. At one stage you cross a main tar road. Turn right and after 100m our path marked in blue continues to the left, crosses an old overgrown bridge and then continues to Acharavi.


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No: 3 - Kakóskala - Old Perithia - The Nun's Path - Dandolo Ruin

Total walking time approximately 5 1/2 hours.

This is a rewarding but demanding hike to the abandoned mountain village of Old Perithia where there are interesting ruins of once wealthy manors from Byzantine times. Start as early as possible in the morning.

Leave Acharavi opposite the local postal agency (east end of Acharavi) on the main road towards Agios Martinos and after 150 m turn right to take a steep tarmacked street towards the local school. After 50 m take the first narrow tar road uphill to your left. At the top end of this road turn left and follow a local agricultural road with little traffic. This path is marked with a blue " 3 ". After 1 km you pass a water reservoir on your right. Now on your left you enjoy a view of the coastal settlement of Almyros and the Albanian Riviera in the distance. After just over an hour you reach the mountain village of Agios Martinos. Follow the blue marks along the main road and then take a sharp turn uphill (concrete road) on your right. By the next water reservoir turn left. The path takes you through olive groves and some virgin forest to the village of Krinias. Before reaching Krinias turn right immediately. From here you use a section of the Corfu Trail marked in yellow. The trail leads uphill through the Sakantoni Valley. The dirt road ends by the last olive trees.


From here on you follow the narrow age-old mule-track called Kakóskala (=the difficult passage). Until 45 years ago this was the only way to reach the large mountain settlement of Old Perithia. The track runs high above the Parigori River gorge. Normally dry, this can turn into a violent torrent during the rainy season. Once you cross the riverbed carry on uphill through virgin forest. At the upper edge of this forest there is a clearing with a shrine, a nice picnic-spot. Shortly after the shrine the trail takes a sharp turn to the left and climbs through a drier area called the Red Fields. Until the 1960s these were planted with cereals and chickpeas. Today they provide grazing for goats and cattle. You continue along the old mule-track. This comes to an abrupt end where bulldozers have taken over and cleared the land for a dirt road that takes you directly to the abandoned Byzantine village of Old Perithia, towered over by Mt. Pantocrator (908 m). Here you will find four tavernas for some welcome refreshment.

For a shorter version you can take a taxi from Acharavi to Old Perithia (ca. 25.-€) and then return by foot using the yellow-marked Corfu Trail downhill to Krinias. Just before reaching the Krinias Bridge turn left and follow path number " 3 " marked in blue down to Acharavi, as described under walk no: 2.


Visit the remains of once wealthy farmhouses and churches and follow the cobblestone “main road” leading uphill to the left till you reach the church of St. Nicholas on the Rock amid old cypress trees. You now follow the dirt road to the right and leave the village by the remains of an old farmhouse with a yard full of beehives on the right hand side. This dirt road skirts the valley of Old Perithia with fine views of this historic settlement. At the top pass a single farmhouse on your left called the Loustra tou Deleka, nowadays used by Albanian shepherds. The dirt road descends past a quarry and reaches the mountain village of Lafki with 2 café bars. Cross the tarmac road, and immediately past the little village church turn right. After a few meters turn left again and follow the dirt road downhill. Soon you meet path no: " 4" which you follow downhill slightly to the right. This new dirt road is quickly being reclaimed by nature. From the point where the bulldozer got stuck at the far end, a narrow path, which locals call The Nun's Path, takes you downhill. You reach a clearing with large rough rocks and turn left. Here, in the hamlet of Vrachleri you come out onto the tarmac road, which you follow to the left. After approximately 100 m take a sharp turn to the right onto another tarmac road leading past the last houses of Vrachleri and downhill through serpentine bends. Watch out for a well-marked turn to the right and follow a dirt road into the next valley. When you reach the tarmac road turn right. Further on you turn left onto a "white" gravel road. High above on your right, is the huge rock called "Monolith" with a fine old stone manor house on top. You reach a small wood, where the chapel of Vlacherena hides. Turn left through the gap, and facing you is the impressive ruin of the Dandolo Mansion, built like a fortress, with the remains of a drawbridge. It was from here that this noble family from Venice administered their holdings in Corfu. Walk alongside the ruin and through the adjoining thick wood. Look out for the blue paint markings. As you come out of the wood, climb down onto a dirt track and turn right. Take the next marked turn left, cross a riverbed and continue to the left until you reach a tarmac road.


Continue to the right on the tarmac road for 100 m and directly behind the two little buildings on the right, turn right, and follow a narrow path along a pipeline. When you reach the first houses in Lithares, a residential area of Acharavi, turn left and walk downhill into Acharavi.




No: 4 - The Panorama Trail

Walking time approximately 4 1/2 hrs.

Leave Acharavi on the main road towards Roda. After ca. 440 m you come to an area fencing in the excavations of a Roman Bath complex on the left hand side of the road. Return towards Acharavi and after the first house on the right past an old whitewashed house with columns on the front veranda, turn right uphill (blue marks).

 Here thrived a large Hellenistic settlement by the name of Ivi (=Hebe, the goddess of youth). In the year 30 BC Octavius raised this town to the ground because the inhabitants had sided with Anthony and Cleopatra, the losers in the battle of Actium. The survivors fled into the mountains, and it is this escape route we will use as the first part of our walk. Follow the blue marks no: " 4 " that will guide you through smallholdings, almond and olive groves.

 Eventually the narrow path reaches an old uninhabited farmhouse with many outbuildings. Here, turn left into a dirt road. After about a hundred yards our path turns off to the left and climbs through more olive groves to take you to the settlement of Priftatika, where you cross a tarmac road. The trail leads on downhill, crosses a riverbed and then climbs into the old village of Aghios Panteleimonas. Walk slowly uphill past the church and churchyard, through this beautiful village. Its old manorial houses tell of the former wealth provided by the endless olive groves. At the top of the village you reach a tarmac road. Turn right and follow this road uphill through serpentine bends for about 1 km. Then - by a little shrine on your left – you will find the well-hidden entrance to the Secret Trail, an uphill climb. This is a remaining part of a man made stone road, built more than 2000 years ago. For many centuries this road connected the new mountain homes of the refugees from Ivi, with their land near their old town by the sea. Forgotten, and completely overgrown, this section has only recently been reopened by the Corfu Trail Trust. In spring you will find various orchids on this path. Further up, the secret trail was unfortunately destroyed when a pipeline was laid. You keep left and follow the dirt track past an isolated farm and reach the mountain village of Trimodi. Here when you meet the tarmac road, go left for only a few yards. Immediately by a little shrine, turn left again, and follow a new dirt track for about 60 yards. Watch out for the blue signs. By some large cypress trees on your right, the path climbs down into a steep and narrow valley that you will cross. On the opposite side you reach a gravel road on top of Messovouno Hill. Turn left, and a few yards on, you will enjoy a breathtaking panorama of the north coast of Corfu. To your left, in the distance, are the Diapontian Isles, which are on the way to Puglia, in southern Italy, to your right is the wild coastline of Albania, and directly in front, the coastal resorts of Roda and Acharavi on the long beach of St.George's Bay.

 Acharavi is the successor of Ivi. Follow the dirt road around Messovouno Hill towards the mountain village of Lafki. Before you reach Lafki the walk turns left into another dirt track leading downhill. (Should you feel like a rest, walk up into Lafki where there are 3 café bars).

 This dirt road is quickly being taken over again by nature. Follow the marks downhill as described in walk no: 3 via The Nun's Path and the Dandolo Ruin back to Acharavi.

  

No: 4A - Mountain Villages

Walking time approximately 3 hrs; easy.

Follow the same route as walk no: 4. the second village you come to is Aghios Panteleimonas. Follow the blue marks past the churchyard and uphill through the village. When you reach the tar road instead of continuing to the right, turn left and follow the tar road and after ca. 300 m take the second tar road downhill on the left. It is marked in blue (no:4) and takes you past the Dandolo Ruin back to Acharavi.

 

No: 4B - The Panorama Trail - Upper Section Only

Walking time approximately 4 hrs.

Take a taxi to the old well known as “FUNDANA” (taxi fare 10.- € ca.) between the hamlet of Lazaratika and the village of Aghios Panteleimon. Here is the well hidden entrance to the Secret Trail, well marked in blue. Follow trail no: 4.


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No: 5 - Agia Triada Monastery - Nymfes - The Hermitage

Total walking time approximately 4 1/2 hours.

Take a taxi to the mountain village of Omali (ca. € 14.-) and get out at the last house on the right hand side of Omali. This is where our walk no: " 5 ", marked in blue, starts, going downhill on a dirt road. Soon you will see the first target, the monastery of Aghia Triada, high on the mountaintop ahead. Going uphill enjoy beautiful views of the centre and southern part of Corfu Island, as well as towards the northwest. Where the olive groves end, wild growth and virgin forest of tree-heather, stone-oaks, broom, gorse and cypresses take over. Underneath the mountaintop you meet another dirt road, which you follow to the right. In parts we use the old path and not the 5

concrete covered road. All is well way marked in blue. The Monastery of Agia Triada, with its friendly monks, awaits you on the top of the hill, some 450 m (1.300 ft) above sea level. When in, the monks will gladly show you the chapel with frescoes dating back to 1672. You can walk around the monastery walls to enjoy the breathtaking 360-degree panorama. On leaving the monastery go to the wooden cross, erected 100 yards away, opposite the entrance to the chapel. From here you enjoy an even better view of the north coast of Corfu, the Albanian coast and the Diapontian Islands on the way to Italy.

Leave the summit on the road you used for the ascent, following the blue way-markings. Further down, at the fork go straight on. Later turn right, and follow the marked path through olive groves and the "tunnels" made by olive-nets. Eventually you will see an aerial next to a building site (watch your step!). This is where the inhabitants of the settlement of Nymfes had a lookout to warn them of pirate attacks. The trail now follows a narrow mule track into Pano Horio (= upper village), a part of the large old village of Nymfes. Its name is derived from the nymphs that lived in the crystal-clear spring. Turn right when you reach the tarmac road and walk past the newly piped spring on your left, into the village square of Nymfes. There are two café bars. In front of the second one turn right, walk past a large olive press on your right, and immediately turn left again, following a steep tarmac road uphill. On the top of this road a wooden sign saying "Askitario" leads the way to the right along a dirt road, after about 15 minutes walk you will come to the Askitario (Hermitage). Together with the medieval Pantocrator Monastery nearby, this is one of the oldest historical monuments in the north of the island. Unused since the 1930’s, locals have recently started to stop the decay and to renovate. Should the doors of the main building be open you can visit the old main building. Take a look into the basement built into the rock, which houses the old olive press dating back to Byzantine times. A narrow path now leads downhill and after 2 minutes walk you will reach the Askitario where the original hermit lived in a cave. The path snakes down into the Kanalaki-Valley below. This area has a remarkably mild microclimate. At the bottom you cross the creek by an improvised "bridge". Follow the blue markings on the opposite side uphill till you reach a dirt road. Here turn right. After approximately 10 minutes turn left, uphill. In this area there are some red way-marks as well. You follow the blue ones. They will take you through another "tunnel" of olive netting, onto another dirt road running along the ridge. Follow the blue marks downwards through olive groves, toward the north coast, to the village of Sfakera, which you bypass on the right. By the village school/kindergarten turn right, and follow the tarmac road back to Acharavi (ca. 3 km).



No: 6 - Cape Drastis

Walking time approximately 3 hours, 4 hours if you descend to the cape.


Take the local, north-shore Green Bus to Sidari terminal or take a taxi (ca. € 13. - each way). This walk starts opposite the Mimosa Hotel, marked with a blue " 6 " and blue paint marks and takes you to the north-westernmost tip of the island, the point closest to Italy.

At first you follow the main road, take the next turn to the right and enter the community of Peroulades, which starts here. You cross a bridge and carry on the tarmac road to the left into the community of Melitsa. Follow this road through Melitsa for about 1 km.

Just before you reach Alexis’ Taverna, (painted in a strong dark apricot colour) take the narrow path on your right between two fences.

Follow the blue markings into the next path left and a dirt track going uphill through the olive groves. Here you will enjoy some hours in peaceful and almost undisturbed nature, far from the madding crowd in the coastal resorts. At a road fork, follow the dirt road to the right, uphill, until you meet another dirt road right on top of the ridge, 300 feet above the Ionian Sea. Take this road to the left and enjoy views of the rugged coastline made of pancake strata of sand, clay and lime. Walk past a hut on the left hand side. Further on take a sharp turn to the right following the blue marks downhill. After approximately 20 minutes you reach a crossroads of 4 dirt tracks. If you have time and energy carry on downhill towards Cape Drastis, where small beaches and coves invite you for a swim or picnic. On windy days there may be strong undercurrents in the sea!

The circular walk continues from the crossroads on the middle dirt track, leading slowly uphill. You will be rewarded by picture postcard panoramas of the cape from two bends in the upper section of the path. Eventually you will meet the ridge road again which you continue to the left, aiming for the two telephone aerials on the horizon that connect mobile telephony between Greece and Italy.

At the next crossroads take a dirt road that takes you uphill for approximately 250 yards to Panorama Point (120m or 360 ft. above sea level and slightly to the right at the upper end of this road). A low concrete pillar, erected by the Greek Topographic Services, marks it. This spot offers you one of the best panoramas of the northwest of Corfu: to the northeast, the zigzags of the road through the new Logara National Park mark the dark coastline of Albania. Further left, the Diapontian Islands of Erikoussa, Othoni, Manthraki and Diaplo are on the way to Italy, which lies about 50 miles beyond the horizon. Further left are the mountain village of Avliotes, high above the sea, and the mountain ranges of Korakas and Pantokrator in the centre of the island of Corfu.

Return to the ridge road and follow it to the right towards the two aerials. When you reach these, enjoy your last view of the Ionian Sea far below, (100m/300 ft.); but beware, the fragile cliff is overhanging! Continue downhill on the dirt road. Being mainly unused, this can get overgrown by bracken in some places. Eventually you meet another dirt road that you follow to the left, back to the tarmac road and the Mimosa Hotel in Sidari.


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Walk 7: The highlands

(Walking time 3 hours from and to Strinillas)

By taxi or hired car via Lafki or Sgourades to the picturesque mountain village of Strinillas  (630 m), tavernas. From the village square follow blue signs no: 7 through narrow alleys uphill. After some minutes you reach an old shepherds’ path leading towards the Pantocrator massif through typical evergreen Mediterranean maquis with myrtle, gorse and kermes oaks being the dominant species. To your right there is a nice view of the high valley with the red-tiled roofs of the monastery Panagia ton Dromon.

Soon you cross a little open space amidst the maquis and leave it exactly on the opposite side (blue marks on some rocks). The path meets an age- old trade trail that you follow to the right. Eventually you reach a wide dirt road and follow it to the right for about ½ hour. Fantastic views across the north of Corfu with the Diapontian islands in the background. Where this dirt road passes between the hills at the top (power line across the road) look out for the blue marks on your right. But before you start your descent carry on on the dirt road for another 100 m to enjoy another great panoramic view towards the Balkan mainland, the border area (Albania/Greece), the mountains of Epirus and Kerkyra the island capital with its harbours in the centre. Return to the blue marks and follow them down on your left for some 40 metres. At the bottom follow the blue marks to the right that will slowly lead you downhill into the high valley that you have already seen from the opposite end. This is a kind of old cattle trail with many branches, but always leading downhill. Do not lose the blue marks (mainly on the rocks).When in doubt return to the last blue mark. The walk runs parallel to a strong underground river with three dilapidated and uncovered (!) old wells along its run. At the bottom of the valley cross some low retaining walls and turn left (sign on a tree). When you see a half-finished stone house and an old bath tub (cattle watering) carry on straight through low trees and across abandoned small terraced fields. There are two groups of abandoned stone houses on your right. Your path continues directly next to the second group through low virgin forest. You cross a low supporting wall on your right and walk across some open pasture. Watch out for the blue marks at the gaps in the low supporting stone walls. You reach a dirt road and turn left. After 300 m, on your left, is the entrance to the abandoned monastery of the Panagia ton Dromon; (The Virgin of the roads, so called because two pilgrims’ trails cross here). The bas-relief depicting a dragon above the door to the main building reminds us that this place is on the Apollo line (or St. Michael’s line), a ley line mentioned since antiquity and connecting Irish sanctuaries, the two St. Michael’s mounts, across Europe with the Greek sanctuaries of Delphi and Delos and finally Jerusalem. Walk back to the dirt road and follow this for 50 m to the left. Then turn right into a narrow path that will lead you across an old stone-built dam. At the far end of this, carry on uphill. You reach a dirt road. Turn left and then right. After some minutes you will be back in the village square of Strinillas, your starting point.

Do not forget to take drinking water, a sun hat and a walking stick with you.  


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Walk 8 : -  Around Acharavi and the Constantí Hill    

(8A – Short version 1¼ hrs., easy)

(8 – Complete walk 2½ hrs., easy)


From the  roundabout with the pump in the centre of Acharavi walk for ca. 40 m towards Roda till you come to a large gate (always open) leading to a car park and the town hall behind (flags on top on the rooftop). Walk on the right hand side past the town hall and follow the blue marks through gardens, partly along a tar road and then turn left and immediately right. At the end of this lane you reach a narrow pedestrian bridge crossing a brook. Cross the bridge and take the old mule track upwards to the Constantí Hill. At the top of the mule track you have a good view back of Acharavi. Carry on to the left on a dirt road. Now you overlook the endless olive groves through which today’s walk will take you. This road eventually goes downhill and meets a tar road. If you prefer the short version turn right now and the tar road will take you back to the centre of Acharavi.

For the complete walk, turn left when you come down the hill and follow the tar road. After ca. 200 m turn right and cross a concrete bridge. Take the dirt road to the left taking you through partly well maintained and partly overgrown olive groves interspersed with Mediterranean virgin forest. Continue on the third turn to the right (blue marks on the ground) and walk uphill through forest. At the top you reach more olive trees. Follow the blue marks to the left till you reach a new rough dirt road which you follow to the left. Disregard a branch off to the right and take a path shortly after that uphill to the right. You reach a terrace of low houses, part of the hamlet of Priftatika. Turn left and walk along the main tar road. Cross the road and take the narrow lane in front of the first house on the right. This leads you through some inner courtyards. At the upper end of this lane you come to two big old olive trees and turn right. Our walk leads on through olive groves. Eventually you have a fine view of the mountain village of Episkepsis in the distance on the left hand side of the path. Eventually you meet another dirt road and continue to the right. When you reach 2 new villas on the left you enjoy a fine view of the bay of bay of Roda. On your right, opposite these 2 new houses, you see a rambling old uninhabited farmhouse. Walk past this on the left. Our path takes you slowly downhill on a section for the more than 2000 year old Secret Trail. At the end of this trail take a sharp turn to the left, cross a dry river bed and follow the blue marks back to the main road. Turn right for the centre of Acharavi.


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Walk 9:   High above the East Coast   - almost in Albania

(Walking time just under 2 1/4 hrs from and to Porta (easy)  )

The mountain village of Porta can be reached by hired car or taxi (29 euro from Acharavi). This circular walk starts at the upper end of the village at the church of St. Barbara. There is an old schoolhouse next door that functions as a taverna in summer. Next to a large well the walk turns right and leads through olive trees and then onward through one of the few deciduous forests of the island. This part is a section of the long distance Corfu Trail. After 45 minutes you reach the mountain village of Santa. Cross the little flagstone-paved village square and continue on old steps through the village. At the upper end you reach a tar-road. Turn left and follow this little used road. At the well signposted junction turn right towards the abandoned mountain hamlet of Mengoulas. In front of a restored mansion take a sharp turn to the left and follow the blue marks through the remains of old stone cottages and then on a narrow trail uphill heading for an empty old stable. Above the stable you reach a dirt road which you take to the left. From here you enjoy great views of the Northern Straits of Corfu and into Albania with the coastal resort of Examilia (behind a group of small islands) and - further left – the Albanian port of Sarande. When you pass a water reservoir on your right the view includes the island capital of Kerkyra and on clear days you can see as far as the southernmost end of the island. When you reach a large barn take a sharp turn to the left and descend another dirt road that takes you back to the starting point at St. Barbara church in Porta.


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The Corfu Trail


The 220 kilometre Trail runs from Arkoudillas at Corfu’s southernmost tip to Cape Agia Ekaterinis at its northernmost point and, meandering through all the island’s rural regions and, avoiding heavily developed areas, takes in beauty spots, biotopes, beaches, picturesque villages, monuments, monasteries and diverse landscapes, rewarding the walker with a new outlook at every turn. The Trail was conceived both as a walk in its own right and also as an ‘artery route’ designed to link up regional footpath networks as they are created. The Acharavi Blue Route project constitutes only the second such initiative; last year, The Corfiot reported on a small regional network that was set up by the Esperion Council around the north-central village of Valanio. The Trail passes through this network, and therefore, as foreseen in the original plan, links it with the Acharavi Blue Routes. In the Acharavi area, the Corfu Trail descends from Old Perithia, taking the Kakóskala path down a gully directly for Cape Agia Ekaterinis. The path was once the locals’ main communication with the north coast; well within living memory, the Acharavi baker would use it to make a regular barefoot bread delivery. This spectacular route then plunges into thick forest, where you might easily meet Pan. Crossing the bed of the Parigori River - the most powerful of all Corfu’s watercourses after heavy rain - it continues through forest and olive groves to Krinias, where the Corfu Trail and Blue Route 3 diverge. The Stavros Network. The road up through Stavros, high above the Benitses coastline, gives out at the last habitation, a settlement called Komianata, full of old houses and almost empty of people. Narrowing so that traffic cannot proceed further, the alleyway reaches a little square from where the only way forward is on foot, southwards on the Corfu Trail. Just a few minutes on, a meadow of short-cropped grass dotted with stately pine trees resembles an Alpine scene. Cobbled and bordered by low walls, the path sidles around a gully and drops to olive tree level, continuing to Strongili. But high above this path, two more ways encircle the mountain, one a ‘top-of-the-world’ track which leads to a tiny chapel perched on a rock, and the other a mountain-goat path, winding through a natural rock garden of flowers and wild shrubs. This small region, and the whole area around Stavros, has been the object of study by a local German resident, Antony Eribert, who mapped the routes and made recommendations to the Achillion Council for the creation a mini-network. Unfortunately, his proposition, which would have cost the Council no more than a few signs and an information board or two, but has so far been disregarded.