Friday 29 July 2022

Corfu, 2022 - Summer Nights

I knew Paleokastritsa would be the place for us when I read the complaints posted by Brits on the Corfu travel forum claiming that although Paleo was the most beautiful spot on the island by day, by night it was "boring" - no clubs, no karaoke, no televised sport or tribute acts, no British bars or all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets. Their boring is what we'd call perfection! Our nights in Paleo were spent in traditional tavernas, eating late and chatting over a jug of the local chilled red wine. One of the taverna owners remarked that she loved us because we were so unusual, saying that most couples who visit ignore each other and play on their phones all night rather than enjoying one another's company, like we obviously did.

Paleo Disco shut down almost twenty years ago.

In Paleo, like most seaside resorts in Greece, people don't tend to dress up at night and, with the night time temperature rarely dropping below 30°C, it's all about keeping cool and, with such a rocky terrain, comfy footwear is a must. We packed light and wore everything we took at least twice. For the beach I alternated between two pairs of shorts and a couple of white broderie anglaise tops (all charity shopped) whilst Jon stuck to the same shorts and shirt combo. We'd wash our daytime clothing in the shower every evening, hang it on the rack on the balcony and it'd be dry by bedtime.

Jon packed three pairs of shorts and five shirts, these pink linen shorts and printed cotton shirt were both chazza shop buys.

As well for nights out, I also wore this embroidered Indian cotton maxi dress to travel in. I'd been eyeing it up for weeks but the day before we left for Cornbury it was reduced to half price so I clicked "Buy" and it was waiting for me when we got back. The Moroccan woolwork & leather clutch - labelled sample was a charity shop find five years ago and the unworn Ancient Greek "Chrysso" leather sandals, supplied in their box with the dustbags, were an eBay buy - they retail at £190, I paid £18!

Talking of footwear, I'd packed my trusty leather Indian chappals I'd bought in Mumbai but after walking an average of 8 km a day they were falling apart so I treated myself to a spanking new pair of handmade Greek leather sandals in Corfu Town.

The Jaeger cotton shirt was another charity shop find. It was rather snug until Jon started swimming a mile a week!

This vintage 1970s Lizzie of Australia halterneck cotton maxi was a gift from Sarah, an Aussie blogger pal, back in 2010. 

Another charity shop shirt with some navy linen shorts - a recent sale purchase.

Believe it or not, this truck (belonging to Spiro & Maria's neighbour) is still in daily use!

Jon spotted this tiger shirt in a charity shop a couple of days before we went to Rhodes last year, its now been to three Greek islands! Here it is with his pink shorts and with some linen shorts printed with monstera leaves.

My crochet maxi dress was another retail sale buy. Naughty me!

And here's the shirred cotton sundress I wore to Corfu Town. It was £4 from a charity shop back in May and still had the original store tags attached.

River Studios was behind the village campsite, which looks absolutely lovely and is reasonably priced, too (see HERE).

 The Naked Generation maxi dress I bought from eBay and wore in Crete a couple of months ago.

Paleokastritsa consists of a single road, 4 km in length, dotted with tavernas, studio apartments, a couple of posh hotels, mini markets, a couple of boutiques, two car hire places and a handful of boat hire joints. As we'd walked a lot during the day, at night we were lazy, opting for the tavernas and bars within a 15 minute walk from River Studios.

Elia was a favourite, owned by the same Greek family as Acapulco. In the background you can see the apartment where we stayed in 2017.

For a posh night out, you can't get better than Nereids, set in lush gardens in the centre of the village. Booking is usually required but we timed it just right, turned up on spec and managed to get a table. 

Jon couldn't resist some lamb in Nausika, the taverna's resident cats waited for scraps.

We hung out in Petrino most nights back when we visited in 2019 when we stayed at the Paleo Inn next door.  

Flavor consistently wins Trip Advisor's Best Restaurant award, which is well deserved, the food is incredible.

Although we'd walked past Cactus many times in the past, this year was the first time we'd visited. 

Not only was it a spectacular sunset spot but the beer was good and vegetarian gyros (€4) were sensational.

The loos were gorgeous and Jon was in heaven - George, the owner, had the most stupendous collection of Northern Soul, Rare Groove and 1960s Motown on vinyl. 

La Grotta is the coolest hang-out on the planet. Carved from the rocks, its been captivating visitors and Corfiots alike since the 1960s. The music is ambient, the view sublime and its probably the only bar I've ever visited with a diving board....maybe next year I'll be brave enough to use it. Several of the clientele leapt off the rock with the tree on top - talk about extreme sports!

It's just as stunning after dark.

Our flight home wasn't until 1am on Saturday so, after checking out of our room we spent Friday basking in the sunshine and swimming in the sea before a final beer in Acapulco...

We collected our bags from River Studios and hopped on the bus to Corfu Town where, after depositing our belongings in the left luggage lockers at the bus station, headed off to the Liston for drinks and dinner at Aegli.

I had a roast beetroot with pomegranate seed salad with a blue cheese dressing.

Jon had a baked chicken breast in a lemon and herb sauce.

Then we wandered the streets for a final time.

I've no idea if this traditional Greek folk dance happens every Friday night or whether we were lucky to catch a performance but it was wonderful...aren't the costumes gorgeous?

After collecting our luggage we hopped on the bus to the airport and had a couple of beers in a bustling open air bar outside departures. We arrived in Birmingham at 3.30am and, despite three other flights arriving at the same time, the queue for immigration moved quickly and our bag was the first off the carousel. Tony pulled up the minute we exited arrivals and we were back at home by 4.30am, crashing into bed to the sound of the dawn chorus.

It's goodbye to Corfu but not the end of this year's travels, we're trading at two more festivals and then more adventures await. Watch this space.

This weekend it's all about our Lionesses...C'mon, England....Football's Coming Home!