It was a little after eight A M when we set off on our adventure to explore the island of Corfu. It was already well into the late twenties, and I knew that it would be a scorcher of a day, miles away from our non-existent summer in grey London.
I’ve always had a warm place in my heart for the Greek islands, blessed with the purest beauty and with welcoming locals they are such a lovely setting for a summer holiday in the Mediterranean and although I had my reservations about Corfu being spoilt by copious amounts of tourists, lads holidays and girls get togethers, I know that there is beauty in every place. You just sometimes have to look for it.
When I had been planning our Greek escape, a word that had been thrown around casually was Paleokastritsa. It was mentioned so casually that it didn’t ignite any particular curiosity in me and I didn’t research what exactly it was. Either way it was on our agenda for a visit and I was so very surprised by our discovery. In many ways I am glad that I didn’t research Paleokastritsa as I got to experience that raw, organic emotion that can only be felt when faced with something so breathtakingly unexpectedly beautiful and whilst photographs really don’t do the place justice, the incredible surprise from my own naivety was simply wonderful.
As we climbed down the mountain, twisting and turning along the narrowest of roads, passing gorgeous bays basked in brilliant sunshine with a sea so turquoise that you questioned if you had even really seen the colour turqouise before, we were met with a crystal clear sea, a beautiful beach and the perfect place to explore.
Sure it was busy, but there was still plenty of space for us and I couldn’t believe that this was my life and this place was real. This incredible experience of visiting such a magnificent place and being able to just simply enjoy it was divine. I was instantly in love.
It was around lunch time when we arrived and we were both starving. We had been recommended a beach front restaurant called Vrachos and decided to stroll right on over for some delicious Greek food surrounded by stunning scenery. We had a massive meat feast and some courgette cakes that were truly scrumptious and I would highly recommend Vrachos as a place to eat if you are in the area.
Soon after it was time to explore and we went for a paddle in the sea. I was sad that we hadn’t brought swimwear with us, but was determined not to miss out on the pure waters, so waded in as deep as my short shorts would allow. Luckily this was enough for us to explore a cave and climb some rocks.
I loved looking at all of the fish dancing around my feet and watching crabs scurry past. I can’t express how clear the water is, it’s like a sheet of the clearest ice and simply incredible (Did I mention I was in love?!).
There are two bays in Paleokastritsa that are perfect for swimming, going on a boat ride or simply sunning yourself as well as cute restaurants and shops. It’s got such a quaint, organic feel to it. I felt super relaxed there and loved the laid back atmosphere. It doesn’t need anything fancy, it simply speaks for itself, demanding you to embrace the harshness of the jagged coastline and become mesmerised by the lush waters. Forcing you to enjoy this special place on our magical planet.
Soon it was time for us to head on back to our hotel, but I knew that this first time wouldn’t be the last time I would step here.
So two days later we hired a perhaps slightly dodgy quad bike, filled a backpack with everything you need for a swim at the beach and drove for almost an hour, weaving up and down mountains, having close calls with coaches that are probably a little oversized for this island and having a massive petrol panic after almost running out and there not being a station in sight, before we were once again united with the ultimate gem on the Emerald Isle of Corfu.
I was so thrilled to be able to swim in the beautiful waters and be back at such an awesome place. I loved cooling off and living in a summer holiday dream. I’m so glad that we managed to go back.
In case you couldn’t tell, I would highly recommend visiting this magnificent spot that stole a piece of my heart the moment I set eyes on it. It takes a lot for me to really love a place, I lust after many places around the globe, but love is hard to come by and I’m so glad we visited Paleokastritsa.
Also, shout out to my husband for his patience and taking lots of photos for this little space on the Internet. Here’s a shot of him wading through the water before stepping on a sea urchin so I could have cave and rock photos – it’s not all glamour!
Have you visited Paleokastritsa? Has anywhere stolen your heart?