Corfu is among the top three most visited islands in Greece, as it welcomes more than 1 million tourists every year. Partly because of its excellent accommodation options and infrastructure, this Greek island is a favourite among holiday package tourists and those who prefer all-inclusive beach breaks. Yet, there is another side to this popular destination that involves much more than just sun, beaches, and night-life.
For the adventurous traveller, Corfu can reveal itself as a destination full of charming surprises. The island’s Venetian and British influence is still evident in many parts of Corfu, and while the palatial architecture of Corfu town is a major tourist attraction, few tourists know about some of the island’s hidden gems, like its typically British cricket ground. Those who are after a relaxing holiday will be pleased to find out that there are several coastal villages where it is possible to enjoy a low-key and idyllic break away from loud nightclubs and crowded beaches.
Following a local friend’s recommendation, I chose to spend my last holiday in Corfu at the seaside village resort of Nissaki. The village’s name (meaning “little island” in Greek) is representative of the chilled atmosphere that makes this Greek destination very special. Although only 15 miles away from bustling Corfu town, tourism only reached Nissaki relatively recently. Built on a hill overlooking a horseshoe-shaped bay, Nissaki has retained the peaceful character of a traditional fishing village.
This is not to say that tourist facilities are non-existent. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there is a good range of accommodation and leisure options. These include water sports like parasailing, wakeboarding, banana boat rides, fishing trips around the magnificent Agni bay, as well as supermarkets, traditional Greek tavernas, luxury villas, self-catering apartments, and restaurants that serve local and foreign fare.
In my opinion, Nissaki’s highlight is its location on the coastal road, which gives access to some absolutely stunning nature walks, such as the Corfu trail. The stretch between Nissaki and the abandoned village of Paleo Perithia is peppered with fragrant cypresses, olive trees, and the most impressive views over the aquamarine waters of the Mediterranean. Once on the walking trail you will be able to see the imposing Mount Pantokrator. Hiking to the summit from Nissaki is best attempted in the spring or in autumn, and although challenging, this 5-hour trek makes for a fantastic day out around Nissaki (tip: if you attempt this you will also want to reward yourself by enjoying the superb moussaka and ouzo served at the taverna Anthi, which is perched on the hill that embraces Nissaki bay).
Being only 3 hours away from the UK, Nissaki is a highly recommended option if you want to experience the Greek islands to the maximum. All you need to do is speak with your travel agent for your holidays to Corfu and get ready to immerse yourself in the peaceful surroundings of this exceptional Greek resort.