30 August 2013

Rediscovering the Delights of Corfu

The arrival of visitors, apart from encouraging us to finish all those little jobs around the house - patching up chipped paintwork, hemming the pinned-up curtains, etc. - also persuades us out of our working routine and onto the beach.

Two separate arrivals of various family members and partners has thrown our household into a wonderful state of holiday making. At the same time we need to continue with the watering, cleaning, cooking (for 7 every day, and 11 at the weekends!) and better not forget my more than full-time job at Corfuhomefinders, where things are really busy.

One of our visitors has not been to Corfu since childhood, so we are trying to fit in as many different activities as possible, visiting the sandy beaches of the west coast as well as the fishing villages of the east, Corfu town at night, hillside walks, villages, caves, an endless list of things to do. In between all this we have celebrated a very important birthday, eaten our way through numerous splendid feasts, and imbibed vast quantities of retsina, good wine, ouzo and tsipouro.

Corfu comes into its own as the setting for this sort of family get-together, and those of us who are lucky enough to live here all the year round are able to look at our familiar surroundings with the delighted eyes of a newcomer, re-discovering forgotten coves, tavernas and fiestas. 

Our own preferred haunts are not necessarily the ones chosen by our visitors, and I would always choose a beach without sunbeds and umbrellas in preference to Kontogialo - pictured here, though this west coast beach is the favourite of many of our friends. I wish it could be like when we first came to Corfu - sunbeds were stacked at the back of the beach waiting for a customer who would pay and take, or have the sunbed taken, to their chosen spot.

6 August 2013

Manor house in the hidden interior of Corfu

Taking replacement photographs recently made me look with new eyes at a lovely old manor house to the south of the village of Skripero. We have had the house - once the summer home of one of the old families of Corfu - on our books for quite some time and it has not been lived in for more than the odd week here and there for many years. With a huge amount of land, and the house itself covering three storeys, this property is crying out to be a boutique hotel, eco or agro-tourism centre, riding or cookery school - or maybe just a huge family home. Whatever its future, it certainly deserves to be restored, loved and lived in! The climate in this part of the island is excellent - dry and healthy, and if the house were in Tuscany or Umbria it would have been snapped up long ago. There is something, however, about being on an island that makes everyone want to buy ON the sea. The hidden interior of Corfu is well worth exploring - away from the noise and bustle of tourism and yet only a few minutes drive to beaches in more than one direction, sand to the right and shingle to the left. The village is within walking distance, with local shops, cafes and tavernas as well as schools and a chemist.