North Corfu - Mountains and remote valleys
North-east Corfu is a holiday paradise with beautiful villas, fine tavernas and views over the mainland. The north coast is a series of sandy beaches. Between them is Kassiopi, a historic harbour. The northern cape is home to Gerald Durrell’s adventures. The north-west has fine bays. But the interior is a jewel of the island. Mount Pantokrator reigns supreme and its Karst plateau is for the lovers of flowers and seekers of butterflies. The interior shown in the photo between Agros and Spartilas and north is the place to go for explorers.
Edward Lear wrote: “Hokus Pokus, as all the English call it, is the centre of the villages in the north of the island. It is on a double rocky hill in the midst of a valley entirely full of splendid oranges and cypresses.” “One sees a wonderfully lovely valley, an undulation of olives all the way up to San Salvador,” which is Mount Pantokrator. His painting is from the north across the valley from Drosato.
Oligarchs go to Spartilas
Thucydides wrote in the History of the Peloponnesian War: “The Corcyraeans then massacred the oligarchs and those who would betray them, plus others to settle scores. 600 oligarchs occupied Corcyraean territory on the mainland and later went up to Mount Istone, Pantokrator today, and built fortifications and continued to ravage the countryside. Two years later, the revolution ended with the democrats defeating the oligarchs.”
The Durrells and my brother Peter
“A large lake with the pleasant jingling name of Antionotissa was one of our favourite haunts. It was a mile long, an elongated sheet of shallow water surrounded by a thick mane of cane and reed.” Gerald Durrell, My Family and Other Animals 1930s.
Gerald remembers his birthday party at the Daffodil-Yellow Villa:“Theodore was dancing the Kalamatiano with Leslie and several other of the more exhilarated guests, their feet crashing and shuddering on the floor as they leapt and stamped.” My brother Peter and Gerald Durrell, great friends in the 1960s, later dance.
In 1970 with the Manessis family, Agios Gordios had a wide beach.
In October 2021, Corfu was hit by heavy rain and flooding. The river through our resort burst its banks. In November 2021 the sea storm swept in and undermined Taverna Theodoros, now Green Stone, which has been restored back to its 1970 beauty.
We visited Southern Spain, where there had been no rain for two years. The olive harvest had failed. The Mediterranean countries are drying up. How will Climate Change affect Corfu?
In Corfu we rake the olives from the trees into nets.
A happy ending
It is up to us to make the world safe so we can dance at the Romantic Palace, eat at Fotis and Tassos in Taverna Theodoros, look for orchids and check their names in my book Walking the Corfu Trail and live safely without fires in the ancient olive groves above Agios Gordios.