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PARCHED IN CORFU

19 Jul 2017 By David Fuhrmann-Lim

We went to the Greek island to drink ouzos, wines and craft beers. Because someone had to.

This is our Corfu trip in photos.

Mt Pantokrator2

Starting at the top: The view from Mt Pantokrator is quite brill, it’s the highest point on the island. (Wait, I recognise Albania, is that Albania?). Yes, on a clear day you can see right across the sea to Albania. Also, there are only clear days in Corfu. At the summit you can drink ouzos at the cafe and wait for the sun that never sets.

Corfu Old Fort2

In the background is the Old Fort (Old Venetian Fortress), which was employed successfully to fight off the Turkish Ottoman invaders. The view is from the Sailing Club, a scenic place to drink and have lunch.

Theotoky olives

Olive trees (net to catch ripe olives is in the foreground) in the Theotoky Wine Estate. They produce 2,000 litres of olive oil per season – olives only bloom biannually. The wines, however, are produced all year:

corfu theotoky wine

Theotoky is a small boutique vineyard that only produces 20,000 bottles a year, but all of it is organic and worth a punt. Call ahead to arrange for a tasting (5€ for wines+tour), it’s a small estate that’s lush and scenic. 

Corfu Old Town1

In the old town of Corfu, you’ll find traditional taverns, artisan craftsmen next to designer shops and hipster coffee joints. About the best place to find all the booze you need to stock/gift. Here we managed to get homemade honey raki:

raki

This is what homemade stuff looks like, though it’s usually in a plastic bottle, which we declined. Rakı is an unsweetened, occasionally anise-flavored, alcoholic drink popular in Albania, Turkey, Greece. Ours is infused with honey, and is drank as an apertif; it matches with mezes, snacks and seafood. Like ouzos, you should drink it coooold.

Paleokitritsa2

Speaking of cold…splash! At Paleokitritsa we found one of the coolest beach towns to hang. You have the option of hiring a boat to take you to the hidden caves/coves, or just chill at the mainland. We highly recommend La Grotto, with its bar sited on a cliff with an almighty view of the bay. A cold IPA from the Corfu Microbrewery will do just fine here.

villa quietude corfu

And this is where we stayed – Villa Quietude at Agios Stefanos, up north of the island. We had our own pool, our own private stretch of beach, and an unbeatable view of the sunset. Like, unbeatable. Also we had the company of a few kittens who loved our cooking. Why stay up north? You’re away from the crowded city, and you have easy access to beaches at Logga, Kasioppi and D’amore. From the villa it’s a 15-minute walk to the town centre for supplies and restaurants, and a short ride to most of the surrounding sights. It’s an even shorter ride (3mins) from here to Corfu Microbrewery.

corfu beer kittens

Here they brew real fresh ale for the rest of Greece, selling a few million bottles a year. We’re gonna have to say, it’s the best beer in the country by a mile. Corfu Brewery also organises a beer festival/rock concert every summer which attracts more than 20,000 punters. Next up: Corfu Meets Czech 27 Sept – 1 Oct.

ouzo bottles greece corfu

The range of ouzos can be bewildering, so we’ve narrowed it down to these ones (as recommended by the experts at The Clumsies, #9 Best Bar in the World). Tip: Drink it cold, with one part ouzo, one part water.

Many thanks to Helene of Villa Quietude for her hospitality and handy driving!

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