Agio Stefanos

Route: Agio Stefanos to Avlaki Beach

Area: North East Corfu

Date of walk: 25th June 2017

Walkers: Andrew 

Distance: 4.2 miles

Weather: Sunny 

I made a pre-dawn start today, in the hope of seeing the sun rise behind the mountains of Albania, and drove from our rented villa to nearby Agio Stefanos Beach. This is where Corfu is closest to Albania. People have swum across the sea from one country to the other – usually in the direction of Corfu, by Albanians in the 1980’s, desperate to escape the old Communist regime. On a previous visit to the beach I’d noticed a signboard indicating a public footpath to Avlaki Beach, which lies further north along the coast, and this is the route I’d follow this morning 

At the end of the beach I joined a footpath which rounded Cape Agio Stefanos and which then descended to a small cove. As I continued along the path the sun gradually rose over the distant mountains, a wonderful sight

The path was well waymarked and hugged the coastline as far as possible, turning briefly inland on occasions to avoid rocky bluffs. All too soon I reached my destination – Avlaki Beach. Instead of retracing my steps, or phoning for a lift back, I decided to walk back along a track which provided a shortcut to our villa. This involved a long but gentle climb and I was soon back at the villa in time for breakfast

A great walk, a great start to the day, and a perfect way to finish this walking holiday

Some notes in conclusion…

Corfu is a superb destination for keen walkers, though it’s best to avoid the tourist hotspots which are to be found on any sunny island. Our base in the north east proved to be a good choice. The area was unspoilt and there were plenty of good walks in the vicinity. Although some of the more spectacular sights are on the north west coast, it only took us an hour or so to drive there

We had two inspirations for our walks: in no order of preference, the ever reliable Cicerone guides, in this case ‘Walking and Trekking Corfu’ by Gillian Price, and the author Hilary Whitton-Paipeti. Many thanks to Hilary for emailing her book about walking in North East Corfu and for her helpful guidance and wise advice, based on many years experience of walking on Corfu

The map which we used was the excellent Corfu Tour and Trail Map by Discovery Walking. At a scale of 1:40,000 it’s the most detailed one of the island, and shows the major walking routes

June is normally a good month for walking here, but our visit coincided with a heatwave. Temperatures  were over 30c and even reached 40c on occasions, so it was impracticable to undertake any of the longer walks on offer and we had to plan accordingly. This was our first visit to Corfu, and I hope it won’t be the last – it’s a beautiful island and we had a wonderful time here

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