What a super May it has been in Corfu. The
weather has been perfect. Blue sunny days and warm evenings with hardly a
cloud to be seen! Firstly, apologies for sending the newsletter out late
this month, but it has be so hectic!
May was all about meeting
celebrities. The deputy minister of Greece came for lunch after a recent EU
meeting in Corfu town. Then a UK pop star who is a fan of this website - but
has asked to remain anonymous - arrived on one of the largest yachts we have
ever seen, promptly blocking the whole of Kalami bay!
Later that evening, the MCC
who are currently on a world tour - took over the taverna!
Finally our very own website
- with a few of his fans!
The end of May is school
half-term. There is a noticeable increase in children.
As I am sure many of you know, a hobby of mine
is photography. I saw a small fishing boat go by and thought I would 'frame'
the shot with a few olive leaves - not until after I had taken the shot did
I notice the person bending over!
To add a caption to this photo, follow this
June Caption Competition
Our new boat taxi has
Theo is now collecting evening
diners from the surrounding bays. The new speed boat is now the most stylish
way to arrive (and depart) the taverna - and is great fun!
We collect each evening from
Kalami at 7pm and 8.30pm; St Stephanos and Kerrasia at 7.30pm and Nissaki
Village at 8pm.
Theo has even been using the
boat for a spot of fishing!
Well House - Agii Deka
This very substantial village property for renovation is set in the upper
part of the village and has stunning views towards Corfu Town, the Achillion
Palace and the sea from the top floor. The house, which dates from 1837 and
has belonged to five generations of the same family, fronts a wide alleyway
and is entered through a traditional arched doorway. The lower floor is
divided with plasterboard walls and currently comprises a kitchen with
fireplace, two large storerooms and a toilet. There is a well (water for
washing use only) in the hall. An internal wood staircase leads to the upper
storey, which has a very spacious and light living room with two windows
looking out at the view, two double bedrooms (the larger one is at the
front), and a toilet and washstand. A door at the rear opens into an old
kitchen and a small walled yard at first floor level. The kitchen building
is in ruins and should be demolished to increase the size of the outside
space. Most of the materials could be reused to floor the yard and to build
The total floorspace is 149.63 square metres, and the yard is 31.05 square
The main building is in excellent condition, and the upper floor is
habitable with some decorative work and a new bathroom. The lower storey
requires an internal refit and new kitchen. Since little actual building
work is necessary, this house would make an ideal project for a DIY expert.
Price: 80,000 euro
Contact Luvcorfu Property Consultants on 26610 52833 or 6937 662575
An introduction to
the natural history of Corfu.
( Kerkyra ) is a long
irregular shaped island in the Ionian sea, it is about 53km. long, 24km.
wide in the north and 4km. near its southern end. It has a total area of 592
square kilometres and a coastline of 217 kilometres. There is a permanent
population of approx. 110,000, which swells dramatically during the summer
months due to tourism. The Island is blessed with a Maritime / Subtropical
climate i.e. mild winters and relatively cool summers compared to mainland
Greece. The annual rainfall varies between 700mm and 1400mm, the majority of
this in the winter months. Snow and frost are rarities on the island even
though the Albanian and Greek mountains a few miles away have a covering of
snow for most of the winter. As a result of this, humidity is high which
gives rise to lush vegetation, which in turn harbours a great variety of
wildlife. The terrain is greatly varied with at least six peaks over
500meters the highest being Mount Pandokrator at 906 meters. On the northern
slopes there is maquis, the typical Mediterranean terrain i.e. rocky with
low scrub and grass etc. There is rich pasture/tillable land like the Ropa
Valley which includes a golf course, coastal plains with salt water lagoons
and large disused salt pans and the remainder of the Island comprising
undulating hills carpeted in endless olive groves.
of Corfu was covered with natural oak forests but these were exploited for
ship building by the Venetians whose ship yards can still be seen at Gouvia,
and later the British and French took advantage of these resources. However
it was the Venetians who convinced the Corfiots to plant olive trees,
rewarding them with payment of 36 drachmas for every ten trees planted and
also allowing them to pay their taxes in oil. Obviously a very successful
venture as today the island is home to over 3 Million olive trees.
The present day olive tree is thought to have been cultivated from the
Oleaster bush about 3500BC in Crete and Syria simultaneously. In Corfu the
trees are not pruned and are therefore much larger than elsewhere. Many of
the trees are hundreds of years old and are virtually hollow due to their
knarled and distorted trunks.
Today olive groves cover
more than 40% of the island. Here the fruit is left to mature on the tree
until it falls naturally as this is said to increase the value of the oil.
Other Mediterranean areas use mechanical tree shakers or beat the fruit from
the trees. The fruit is harvested with large black nets spread beneath each
tree from November to April.
Once gathered the olives
are brought to the olive press where they are crushed and then the oil is
extracted from the paste by mechanical means followed by filtration to
remove any remaining particles. Olive oil is the only oil that can be
consumed without any further processing once extracted from the fruit. Olive
oil is extremely beneficial for the cardio vascular system, which is evident
in the longevity of many Corfiot residents. The olive fruit fly, which is by
far the greatest threat to the olive crop, has been the subject of much
debate especially regarding its eradication as on Corfu and most other
countries this has been done to date using helicopters to aerial spray
This has led to uneasiness
regarding the long-term effects of these insecticides on both the human
population and the beneficial insects on the island and ultimately the food
chain. In view of this a comprehensive study of the olive fruit fly was
carried out by Scientists Fletcher and Kapatos in unsprayed olive groves on
Corfu, which has led to a better understanding of the population ecology of
the olive fruit fly. This study in turn has helped worldwide development of
alternative methods of control most notably Pheromone traps which are now
the only allowable method of control in some areas of Corfu
No picture of Corfu would be complete without a number of tall elegant
Cypress trees scattered around the landscape.
known by the Greeks as "Dachtila tou Theo" which literally means the finger
of god. Every village in Corfu has its own story or superstition concerning
this beautiful tree. Due to the straight growing nature of the Cypress, it
was regularly used to provide the upper floors in the traditional Corfiot
Often seen where it grows in the wild. It is easily recognisable by its long
leaves and peeling pastel coloured rust and cream bark. Eucalyptus are
amongst the largest trees to be found on Corfu.
Judas Tree: -This
is so named because Judas is said to have hanged himself from one of these
after he betrayed Jesus, therefore it is said to blush with shame ever
since, hence the pink flowers ( magenta ) on the trunk and stems before the
leaves appear in spring, it flowers from march to April, the flowers have 2
larger lower petals and 3 erect upper petals and it has bright green
circular leaves. This plant is from the same family as peas or legumes.
Locust Tree: - This tree has bean like
seedpods, which have been used as a substitute for chocolate and also to
make carob flour, which has been used historically during times of distress.
By the way the word carat as in the measure of diamonds comes from carob
because the seeds are all exactly the same weight, the carob seed was used
by the ancients as a standard weight.
Holm Oak: -
Distinguishable from the normal oak by its elongated oval shaped leaves.
Holm Oak is a compact tree not unlike the olive and is one of the trees
still remaining from the primeval forests of Corfu.
Other trees which are a common feature of the landscape are Holly
again a remnant of the primeval forests. Fig Trees, usually
found near habitation, they have large indented leaves somewhat like a large
hand and fruit in the summer months .Oak its leaves easily
distinguishable from any other tree.
Tree: - has dark green leaves and beige
coloured bottle like flowers, its fruit resembles strawberries and
Pomegranate favoured for its fruit and praised in many a Greek
legend. Found also throughout the island are Myrtle’s, Prickly Pear and
sometimes quite large Bamboo thickets.
article has been provided by site admin member - Damian Doyle. He can be
contacted on: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please feel free to send interesting photos of Corfu that you feel may be of
use for the site. Thanks Damian, and we look forward to your report on
'Corfu's Flowers' in next months newsletter.
Boat For Sale
Do you visit Corfu often -
then why not buy your own boat? We are selling our traditional wooden boat
taxi as we have replaced it with a larger one.
The boat was completely
refurbished two years ago with a new mahogany deck and stainless steel
railings. No license is required for private use. Offers in the region of:
50hp Ford diesel engine (only
2 years old)
Speed: 8 knots
Number of passengers: 11
The June issue of 'Pulse' which is the Anglican Church
monthly newsletter has been added to the site and can be found by following this link:
The June Pulse
Nameday at Loustri
Lynn's Travel Corner
After a busy start to the
season, we are now basking in a heat wave and enjoying every moment of it.
This month we would like to show you three very different and exciting
Peacefully tucked away at the
back of the quiet hamlet of Temploni, Marble House stands on top of a hill
in extensive grounds, which have the added bonus of breathtaking views
across the top North East coast of Corfu, and out to the Albanian mountains
beyond. The house sleeps 8 people with two double and two twin bedrooms each
with their own en-suite bathrooms.
On entering the house, you
see the real extent of the local marble - with polished white steps leading
up to the first floor and marble floors in the light and roomy lounge area.
The lounge offers three
picture windows/ patio doors, a bar area, open fireplace and ample
The kitchen is well equipped
and fully-fitted to include a dishwasher, hob, oven, fridge, freezer and a
washing machine in the guest cloakroom/W.C.
A separate dinning room
leads of from the kitchen, overlooking the rose garden to the side of the
house and the tennis court behind.
Leading up the marble stairs
to the first floor are the four en-suite bedrooms. All boast their own
All the balconies at Marble house are staged,
so that it does not matter where you sit, you have a view. From the flat
roof-top terrace you can admire a 360 view whilst sunbathing in total
Choosing one of the many alfresco dinning
areas maybe one of the most difficult decisions of your holiday!
For More details, follow this
- Agni Bay
Tucked away behind Agni bay
is this delightful little cottage.
Korina is Olga's daughter and their family
cottage has been completely renovated. The cottage is over 300 years old and is full
of character. As many features as possible have been incorporated into the
renovation - including the old stone floor - but modern fittings have been
used where appropriate such as the air-conditioning, a modern bathroom and
The front door opens into the main room.
It is has a high wooden beamed ceiling. A kitchen and breakfast bar is
to the left, comprising of a mini oven with extractor fan and fridge. The sleeping area is opposite and has large
fitted wardrobes and air-condition unit above.
In front of the
cottage is a large patio area which has a private parking area, a BBQ and a
shaded stone bench and dining table.
Part of the cottage to the right, has been
converted in a similar style and is owned by Korina's cousin. It has
separate access and parking area.
For More details, follow this link:
Korina - Agni Travel
Upper Sleeps - 4 - 6
Lower Sleeps 4 - 6
Geronimos House 'Upper
and 'Lower' in Loustri. This quiet and peaceful
village is home to Geronimos House with its impressive views from both
levels. Both levels offer front and rear balconies.
Be it upper or lower, once inside the large
open cool lounge and kitchen area, your eyes are drawn to the view beyond
the village and focus on Kalami and the Albanian mountains.
Each level of the house is spacious
and well equipped, making it ideal for a small family or friends who like to
spread out. Upper and lower both have three bedrooms (one double and two twins), one bathroom
and a separate WC washroom. We feel that the rear
balconies and lounge will be the most used rooms by all as they open up the
whole house, giving it a feeling of friendly yet relaxed holidays and
Just opposite the house is the
Geronimos Apartments and swimming pool, where you can take a dip any time of
the day and admire the view overlooking in the opposite direction down to
Agni Bay. The village has its own Bakery which is also the local corner shop
selling anything from cheese to alcohol, to chocolate, potatoes and
cigarettes. This is the general meeting place for all the local men & women
to catch up on any news and gossips in the area. Across the road from the
bakery is Loustri Church, this is wonderful inside and the papas is very
friendly although he does not speak much English, that does not stop he
chatting away to you! If you walk down the village in the other direction
you will pass the old primary school and play ground – still with an odd
swing and slide there. The school closed once the big area school opened in
Kassiopi, and then it was the local Town Hall until last year when the
government built a new one above Kouloura.
There is a pathway from the village leading you down to Agni Bay, taking
about 10 mins to amble down, but a little longer to climb back up, beware;
sensible shoes are needed on this track – no high heels!
For More details, follow this link:
If you would like to reserve any of the above
properties or require further information, please do not hesitate to contact
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Advice - Posted By:
Brian and Gilly
Hi to all you awaiting to be bitten to death by mozzies and snakes. One very
useful way to avoid being bitten is to take Vitamin B1 (100mg) daily. This
is available from pharmacies under various guises but being a pharmacist
myself I would only use the branded Benerva. The Vitamin B1 comes out in
your sweat (you don't notice it) and the mozzies hate it. This is for adults
AS regards DEET (Diethyltoluamide), I will be using 60% DEET in a roll-on
formulation (Mijex Roll on). 100% DEET should not be used directly on the
skin, and if you decide to use it, I suggest you take a wrist band and
impregnate the band with the DEET by putting a few drops and leaving for a
few hours in a sealed freezer bag. It really is a bit of a nuisance and 60%
should be fine. The roll-on is much better than the spray and is the product
of choice by the MOD - (perhaps thats not such a good recomendation!!). Make
sure you take an appropriate antishistamine for you and your children. They
are NOT all the same and really if you want advice please check as regards
your own personal medical history - some can clash with some common
medicines and the newer third generation antihistamines are really
effective. Hydrocortisone cream 1%, Eurax HC, or Eumovate are all very
effective at treating bites for adults. Do not use the age old Anthisan as
topical antihistamines can make matters much worse and should not be used
despite everyone buying them.
Naturally any advice I have given is my personal opinion and if you have any
reason to doubt me, please check with an appropriate person or source.
BEYOND OUR VISION - VILLA MICHAEL The Plans
you are planning to own a house on Corfu, then the continuing saga by
friends of ours 'Alan and Bre' is definitely worth a read.
BEYOND OUR VISION - VILLA MICHAEL
27 May 2003
of you who are eagerly awaiting our next progress report on Villa Michael,
here it is.
returned from having two fantastic weeks holiday with our friends John and
Davina, who were the first to stay at Korina’s Cottage at Agni Bay. A
delightful little place for two and like Olga’s cottage (where we again
stayed), has been beautifully renovated by the owners.
stay, there were four matters relating to Villa Michael that we had to do to
drive it forward. These were, to obtain confirmation from Yiannis that the
Planning Permission had been granted, pick up a more detailed estimate of
costs, treat Yiannis and Spiros to a meal at Taverna Agni and pay some
additional funds into our newly opened Greek bank account.
News! No problems at all with the Planning Permission, what a relief, so
for those of you, who have kindly been saving bottles for our olive oil,
take them to the nearest bottle bank. One small point, we have had to
arrange for a declaration to be signed confirming that the garage will not
be used for anything other than car/storage. Please note: Nathan, if you
want to store your excess wine stock in our garage, that’s okay by us, but
remember we do like our wine!
So far all
good news, but would the figures on the more detailed Estimate send us to
the nearest Taverna pleading for two very large Metaxas? NO, we were
pleasantly surprised. The major hiccup of course, is the current exchange
rate, which has added approximately 15% to the cost, as we speak. Let’s
hope Tony and Gordon get us out the poo poo soon!!
We are now
looking at circa £156,000 (220,000 Euros). The figure includes full
excavation and build cost for the Villa and pool, Greek Social Insurance,
(stipulated by Law for this project at £9,700 (13,680 Euros). This is the
minimum amount payable for personnel employed on the project and Yiannis
stage is an archaeological dig, which is due to commence the second week in
June. Now, should this uncover some Greek treasures, we will be building
sons and daughters of Villa Michael, so keep your fingers crossed. From
archaeological dig to completion, we expect all to be finished by October
without saying that both we and our guests had a fabulous evening. As usual
Nathan, Eleni and the crew provided excellent food, service and hospitality.
We would highly recommend some new additions to the menu, i.e. stuffed baby
sardines, deep-fried mussels and seafood stuffed tomatoes, all of which are
Anticipating the need to add further funds to our bank account in Greece, we
arranged to take with us a Foreign Bank Draft, which we found was a cheaper
alternative to using money transfer. The standard fee for this is £10.00,
as opposed to £25.00/£35.00, dependant upon the amount you transfer.
paid the cheque into our account at Alpha Bank we enquired whether it would
be advantageous to open a higher interest account, as we knew that we would
need to maintain funds in our account over the next year or so. Would you
believe it, interest rates in Greece are even worse than in the UK? 2.0% was
the best rate, for a one-year minimum investment period, which would be no
use to us, as we will be constantly using the money to fund the project.
We’ve opted to leave our present account (at 0.5%) well alone and keep the
bulk of our money in the UK, transferring or taking amounts with us when
visiting as and when required.
is everything to date, we’ve now told Yiannis that we will arrange to send
the first stage payment to him so that he can get started, so we’re now off
to the Halifax to get things organised, so it’s bye for now. We’ll keep you
Bre & Al