Welcome to Corfu! What a great month August has been. Sorry for being slightly late
(again) with the newsletter, but it has been so busy here in Agni Bay.
Super weather, hot and busy but not too heaving. August
is known locally as the 'Italian' month. Most of Italy take the month of
August as a holiday - quite sensible as it is the hottest Mediterranean
month. All the factories and businesses close and people head to the beach.
Corfu with its close proximity to Southern Italy is a popular favourite and
many Italians head over on the numerous ferries that depart from Venice, Anconna or Brindisi.
The ferries can clearly be seen traveling down through the channel between
Corfu and the Albanian coastline - towards Corfu town or the Greek mainland.
At night they look particularly magical as they are brightly lit.
As quickly as they arrive, they are gone and now into
September we have quieter Tavernas and beaches.
The end to any meal in a Greek Taverna is
not complete without a Greek Brandy! Occasionally, I am disappointed to hear
a request along the following lines: "It's time for an after dinner
digestive. Do you have any proper brandies - not a Greek one?"
Let me explain why I rate Metaxa so highly:
Metaxa is distinguished as the most famous
Greek spirit worldwide. It is misled as an actual brandy but in actual fact
is something more. Thus, when we are talking about Metaxa we refer to this
unique spirit and not to a brandy product. It was invented by a silk trader
named Spyros Metaxas in 1888. He was from the Attica region - a province of
Athens. The grapes Savatiano, Sultanina and Black Corinth are locally grown
and form the basis of this spirit which is twice distilled and blended with
aged Muscat wine from Samos, then blended with a secret botanical mix and
aged in hand made oak casks. When served in a large brandy glass and warmed
by the palm of your hand, the perfumed aroma is a truly intoxicating
Recently, the product has earned world
recognition for its quality, color and taste. Expressions of
admiration and adjectives like "The Elixir of Life", "The Nectar of the
Gods", "The Blessed Spirit" accompanied Metaxa from its birth, till this
Metaxa is generally available in the
versions: Three Star, Five Star, Seven Star and Twelve Star. Each star
represents a year that it has been aged in oak barrels for. Hence the Metaxa
5 star is at least 5 years old. Occasionally, you will find a Metaxa
'Private Reserve' which is at least 20 years old. There is no difference in
terms of quality and production process between the different Metaxa stars,
as in every family, age is the only uncommon characteristic. It is worth
pointing out that other Metaxa products considered as 'collector items' are
occasionally available, such as the 'Metaxa Grand Olympian Reserve', and 'Metaxa
Next time you visit the taverna, there is no need to be like these clients
who arrived with their own aeroplane on the back!
No, all are welcome and this is testimony to the varied and diverse clientele that Taverna Agni
attracts, all with one common factor - they are food lovers!
While I was busy serving, a local celebrity arrived! Yes our very own Lafki
website correspondent - Bob. He had a little trouble mooring up - so some
The port police were soon called and the situation stabilized.
Aphrodite prepared the life raft!
From then on it went down hill! These two twins are Judge Judy and Hazel -
claiming a bottle of Boutari from last years website competition.
Wasps! Yes, August 03 will be remembered for them. With one of the hottest
summers on record and a resulting bumper of summer crops, the wasps (and
hornets) have been in abundance.
Like the rest of Europe, Corfu has had an
amazing summer, but one evening at the end of August, we had the most
amazing tropical thunder storm. I managed to capture the above picture.
(Move your mouse pointer over the picture to see what the daytime picture
To add a caption to this photo, follow this
September Caption Competition
Quote of the month:
Lord Suffolk called me over saying (jokingly) 'When I booked I asked for the
finest table of the house. How could you have put me next to Lord
Sainsbury - he's a socialist!' I am not so sure he is a practicing socialist
Lord Suffolk, I replied - he also demanded our finest front table!
Holiday to Santorini
Friends of ours Alan and Bre Wild, in between building
their holiday villa above St Stephanos, managed a quick trip to the Greek
island of Santorini. Here is their report:
few glasses of wine with our good friends Trevor and Linda in their
conservatory on a warm evening in June last year, we spoke of holidays and
what our intentions were for this year. We knew then, that we would
definitely be returning to Agni in May, but hadn’t made any arrangements for
the rest of the year, so when Trevor suggested a couple of weeks holiday
with them in Santorini, a destination which had been recommended to them, we
were delighted and agreed to go in July. Although we must confess, we knew
nothing about the island, or its location, which we now know is in the
Aegean, North of Crete.
visits Santorini for the first time with some experience of other Greek
islands is certainly going to be somewhat taken aback as it is very
dramatic in its appearance. By that, we mean that it does not bear any
resemblance to Corfu, which is lush and green. On the contrary, it is wild
and threatening as the whole island is one huge pile of volcanic lava. Red,
black and brown are its colours and beaches are swathed in grey volcanic
dust and cinders. However, against the contrast of the deepest dark blue
sea, where ships find it too deep to drop anchor and with its white and blue
painted houses of a distinctive style (see photo below), it is truly
magnificent and breathtaking.
you stand on is not part of the earth’s crust; it has been created by the
hardening of a viscous liquid expelled from the bowels of the earth. The
history of Santorini is punctuated by the upheavals of creation and by
catastrophes of epic magnitude, as a result of volcanic eruptions.
second eruption in 1450 BC, half the island broke away and was sucked down
into the depths, so that the Santorini that you see today is no more than a
relic of the other Santorini, the complete one. This eruption wiped out all
life on the island and the tidal wave created by the movement of the earth,
reached Crete and drowned the whole of Minoan civilization. There have been
14 eruptions between 198 BC and 1950.
of history is quite amazing and fascinating and far too lengthy to write
about on this occasion, but for those of you who are interested, a book
entitled ‘Santorini today and yesterday’ is available from Waterstones.
is small and can be seen by car in a day, the area being 75 square
kilometres. The largest distance by road from Oia (North) sweeping round to
Akrotiri (South) is 30 kilometres.
The land is
fertile but the island is very windy and has little rainfall. The most
important crop is the grape. The home-produced white wines are of good
quality, with a unique flavour (very strong!) and the red wines are
extremely sweet, made from sun-dried grapes called Visanto. The vines are
laid on the ground and coiled around to form baskets so that the grapes are
supported and protected from the high winds.
are the second most important crop on the island. Santorini tomatoes are
small cherry like tomatoes but knobbly and have a very intense flavour. A
delicacy we found served in Tavernas as a starter are Tomato balls (pseftokeftedes),
which are a combination of chopped tomatoes, onions, mint and flour and
anything else, you might care to add, deep fried and very tasty. Chick peas
are also grown in abundance, although being no larger than a lentil and
completely irregular in shape they resemble a large grain of sand.
Santorini Fava is another favourite, similar to humous but much thicker and
Fira is the
capital of Santorini and stands high on the tip of the Caldera, which is the
area around the volcano. From here you can browse the many shops,
especially jewellers, walk through the narrow cobbled streets (not suitable
for unsteady walkers as some are very steep – donkey rides are available),
admire the design of the houses or stop for a drink in one of the bars
overlooking the ‘still active’ volcano (which can be visited by boat) and
other rock formations visible from Fira. Be prepared though, that the view
comes at a price and therefore drink prices are ‘loaded’ in these bars, i.e.
7 Euros for a large beer. Also, in Fira especially and most other resorts
you will be beckoned into Taverna’s, which to us is rather off-putting and
we stayed in was called Perissa and it wasn’t to our taste. In contrast to
Fira and another picturesque village in the north called Oia, which is
situated high on the island, Perissa and Kamari are situated on the flat
part of the island and are typical Tourist resorts, noisy and un-interesting
with not an authentic Greek Taverna to be found anywhere. Nevertheless,
food prices were reasonable but alas, lacking quality but in most cases
drink prices were comparable with Corfu.
our holiday and especially the weather, as it was consistently very hot and
sunny, without a cloud in the sky until the day we returned to England. We,
personally, didn’t rate our accommodation or Perissa and were not keen on
the baron countryside of the east but loved the dramatic scenery in the west
and the beautiful sunsets.
definitely return for a week’s holiday in Oia, which has quite a poignant
feel about it. Below Oia is a small harbour with 4 fish tavernas and is
well worth a visit either by car or via the 300+ steps from the village, if
you feel fit enough to attempt it. Perhaps next time, we’ll incorporate
Santorini with a trip to another nearby island for a week, maybe Paros,
Naxos or Syros, easily accessible by ferry, but for now, we very much look
forward to spending another couple of weeks in Agni in October and to the
warm welcome which always awaits us.
Bre and Al
Hilltop House, Karousades
In the best possible location at the highest point of a thriving village,
this old single-storey house enjoys stunning views of the sea to one side
and the whole of the Pantokrator mountain range on the other.
In need of complete renovation, the
property, which is approximately 120 sq.m., currently has a wide hallway
with four rooms leading off it. One leads through to a very large room
stretching the whole width of the house, with separate access from the front
balcony. While the external walls are sound, the house requires a new roof,
a concrete slab floor and a complete internal refit. Since the internal
walls are made of lathe and plaster, the new owner would easily be able to
change the room layout to suit his own accommodation requirements.
A separate kitchen and outhouse both need demolition to create an extensive
patio with sea view. Water and electricity are connected and there is access
for a small car to park. The house has a sloping garden of 600 sq.m. in
front, and 100 sq.m. to the rear. It is a few minutes drive to the wonderful
beach of Astrakeri, and not much further to Roda and Sidari. The village
itself has many shops and amenities.
Price: 49,000 euro
Available through Luvcorfu Properties
Sidari Office: Commercial Centre, Sidari High Street. Tel. 26630 95502 /
Main Office: Tel. 26610 52833 / 6948 889174
The September 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 September Pulse
Prepare yourselves for a romantic adventure! Take a large glass of wine and
immerse yourselves in the Durrel like stories of our friends, Jani and
Jeremy who spend long lazy summers on their much loved catamaran 'Sarava'.
30th May 2001
After spending the day at Anti-Paxos, snorkeling in the clear turquoise
water, we had our first sail of the year without engine power. The wind, for
once, was in the right direction, a gentle westerly blowing us towards Cavos
and the Southernmost tip of Corfu. We hoisted the 'yankee' and switched off
the engines. Sarava glided effortlessly over the waves and the only sound
was the soft swishing of the inky blue/black sea against her sides and the
slight movement of the sail.
Catamarans do not, thank heaven, roll from side to side like monohulls, but
seem to surf the swell very akin to riding a swimming horse coming into
shore on the incoming breakers. Occasionally the twin bows would break into
the water and splash up onto the sunbathers on deck, the sudden shock on the
hot bodies, making the water feel icy, causing shrieks from the victims!
Suddenly the dolphins appeared, as if out of nowhere, like shiny grey
torpedoes zoomng through the water just fractions of an inch from our bows.
They criss-crossed in front of the boat then leapt out of the sea in a
dripping, glittering arc over the starboard bow, plunged into the water and
out again to dive over the port bow then disappear under the bat. One small
show-off practised his circus act alongside shooting up out of the sea like
a rocket, turning in mid-air and diving straight down again with hardly a
splash. having amused themselves and us for a full ten minutes they left, as
a group. as quckly and silently as they had arrived and headed off to
As we rounded the cape, our speed of eight knots suddenly fell away with the
loss of wind and we had to revert to motor-power again until we reached our
destination for the night, a great favourite, the tny bay of Agni. Exactly
as we had dropped anchor, close to the shore, the sun dipped belw the hills
above the bay, casting a deep, cool shadow over the water. The land rises
steeply behind the bach and is thickly wooded with a huge variety of trees.
Silvery green olives, short, round and bushy, extremely tall, slim cypresses
, now black in their stiff silhouettes against the evening sky. Almost lime
green Mediterranean pines, their umbrella shaped branches in contrast to the
cypress, scenting the air drifting towards us from the hot land. Tufts of
Spanish broom dotted the hillsides and cliffs, bright yellow flowers with
their heady scent of coconut and honey, the sea around us was dusted with
their pollen. Christmas tree shaped conifers with perfect marble round
cones, large bushy bay trees and the occasional stately and immensly elegant
eucalyptus with its fish-like shimmering leaves and peeling papery bark.
Of the three small tavernas on the white pebble beach the one on the right,
as viewed from the sea, is our favourite, Taverna Agni, a stry in itself.
It was obvious from our first glimpse that some sort of party was in
progress. The customers were dressed in their best, lightweight clothes to
suit the balmy evening, but definitely much smarter than the usual
clientele. Anther clue was the pontoon belonging to the restaurant. Normally
just a simple wooden jetty, a few of its planks having seen better days, old
car tyres, painted white, dangling at the sides to fend off approaching
craft. (Typres in which enterprising sparrows buid their nests, safe from
marauding cats, just above the water line, tucked neatly into the cleft
where the metal wheel rim would fit.) Tonight it was transformed with a
strip of bright green carpet and two dainty arches constructed with tufty
pine branches festooned with delicate pink ribbons. Small boats were
arriving at intervals and depositing guests. One charming group consisted of
some angelic-looking small girls in pastel party frocks, white ankle socks
and bar shooes, who skipped along the pontoon to join some even smaller boys
in very clean white Bermuda shorts, on the beach. It was a scene straight
from the pages of Euid Blyton. The children were far more entertaining to
watch than the adults and seemed to belong to no-one as they were left to
their own devices, while grown-ups talked and drank on the taverna's
terrace. They say merrily on the beach in a line with total disregard to the
odd globule of tar, legs outstretched, and began the time-honoured game of
lobbing the smooth white pebbles into the sea. Quite suddenly, after about
five minutes of peaceful stone throwing, one little girl in a sugar pink
ensemble, decided to liven up proceedings by lying on her back and bringing
her legs up over her head to touch the beach behind her with her toes,
displaying to all and sundry her matching pink knickers. We waited for the
cries of horror from a mother along with the expected admonishment but none
came, perhaps this was her usual party-trick and had all been seen before!
The salmon pink sunset faded and, as the sky turned a deeper purpley-blue
the myriad stars appeared, the taverna lights were reflected in the calm
water and the guests were seated at long tables under the canopy. The
enticing smells of delicious cooking wafted over the water. Charcoal grilled
prawns, fried kalamari, oven-baked dished such as stifado with its red wine
sauce flavoured with cinnamon, the baby onions snuggling up to the
melt-in-the-mouth pieces of beef. The small traditional Corfiot fishing boat
which acts as a ferry to the taverna and operated by Eleni's father,
fetching customers from nearby villas and hotels, puttered out into the bay
past Sarava and the one other yacht at anchor. Just as it neared our
starboard side we heard a female voice tremulously but loudly warbling a
song from a well know opera, followed by scales and vocal exercises. "Greta
the goldfish has gut in her gills" stood out as one I remember being
embarrassed by at school choir practice. It was so incongruous in such a
tranquil setting that we spent about fifteen minutes trying to work out what
or who it was. We thought it must be a CD aboard the ferry - but then, with
the aid of binoculars Miranda spotted a lady in a soft peach trowser suit,
standng in the prow, her arms waving dramatically, singing into the night
air for all she was worth! Could this be one of the harpies? The local siren
troupe, we asked each other. Was she perhaps the pemptress of sailors,
luring them with her sweet songs to flounder to their doom on the jagged
rocks. After a couple of turns around the bay the bat and singing cargo
returned to the wedding party. The diva started her repertoire which
included, "Oh my beloved father" and ended with, "Ave Maria" and was met
with rapturous applause and standing ovation. We added our approval by
giving a short blast on the ship's foghorn, quickly imitated by the other
Jeremy's suggestion (he hates opera) t put in a request for, "Yellow
Submarine" was quoshed. We were merely bystanders, eavesdropping on their
special day, nevertheless we charged our glasses and toasted the happy
couple wishing them health and happiness in their future life together.
The golden moon rose over Albania and still the party went on until the
early hours. Opera was replaced by Abba and people danced under the stars.
As we drifted to sleep, lulled by the warm airs wafting into the cabin
windows, we were rocked gently by the rise and fall of the water, the
breathing of the sea.
Jani Tully Chaplin.
Jani has promised another adventure for next months newsletter.
Corfu Holiday FAQs
Take a new look at our FAQ page.
Corfu getting Around
Hire a car, take a bus or use a local taxi, but renting a motor boat can be the experience of your Corfu holiday.
What to See and Visit
The 'must' visits on Corfu.
How Much Money?
How much will you need for eating out while on Corfu?
Properties with pools, traditional local houses and quiet apartments. Agni Travel can help you find your perfect holiday.
Have you ever thought, while on
holiday in Greece, what the name of your accommodation or the name of your
waiter at the restaurant means? Most Greek names have a special meaning if
you translate them into English or refer to an important person in Greek
mythology, history or religion. So, here is a list of names of some of our
Taverna Agni and Agni Travel family and friends for you to enjoy!!!
Aphrodite: was the goddess
of love and beauty in ancient Greek mythology. Our little Aphrodite is our
own goddess of beauty and love as she has brought so much happiness into
Eleni was a queen of Byzantium who with the help of her son
Constantine the Great, famed for allegedly discovering
the Holy Cross. They both became saints of the Greek Orthodox
Theodoros (Theo) means a
gift of god and indeed he is for all of us in the family, especially
Alexandros (Alexis or Alex) is named after Alexander the Great, the king of Macedonia who was the
greatest conqueror of all times.
Thomas (Tom) was one of the twelve apostles,
the one who always wanted proof to believe (doubting Thomas).
Athena was the goddess of
wisdom in ancient Greek mythology.
Maria was the mother of
Sofronios means the wise
one, the one who has the ability to take the right decision.
Spiridon (Spiros) the
patron saint of our island.
Nikolaos (Nikolas or
Nikos) another Greek saint, protector of the sailors.
Kiriaki means Sunday and
it is a female name.
Yiorgos another Greek
So next time you are on holiday
and you call your Greek friends remember that their name has a special
meaning and they are always proud of it!!!!
Lynn Goes Shopping!
As the roads and beaches are starting to get quieter now, the month of
August has finished !! But the hot temperatures are still soaring higher
than expected. During the last couple of evenings there has been a slight
cool breeze which has been most welcome.
About a week ago Theo and I took his new boat 'Theotheros Lynn' over to
Corfu town for a day trip.
We had passengers onboard who wanted to 'shop'
for a couple of hours and didn't want the hassle of going by car and trying
to find a car parking space. So we dropped them off at the New Port and then
proceeded to the Boat Petrol Station. What an experience!! We had to wait in
line, and then anchor to the nearest available jetty/sidings whilst the
attendant handed Theo the petrol pump and lead.
After paying the bill, we set off for "Vidos Island" - Vidos Island lies
just off from Corfu Town and was strategically important to both attack on
the town and when fortified, to its defense.
There are various ruins on the island and a mausoleum commemorating
Serbian soldiers who dies of the plague during World War I. It is a wooded
island, with part of it now a privately run bird sanctuary.
A shuttle 'kaike' boat runs back and forth between the
far end of the quay and Vido hourly during the summer months for a small
charge. Neither of us had been there before so we thought as we had a couple
of hours we would explore some of the beaches. After sailing and searching
for a quiet beach, Theo dropped the anchor and we dived and swam in the
lovely warm Ionian waters. It was pure heaven !!
Just before the junior school children break up for their summer holidays,
they have a short vacation here on Vidos and 'camp out' with their friends
and teachers. We could see some excavation work taking place on one of the
new beaches. There is also a restaurant and small shop on the island based
Some time later, tired and exhausted after all the swimming,
we felt the need for a little light refreshment and headed back over towards
Once the boat was moored up we just sat and relaxed by the quay
side in the Cafe bar sipping our drinks and thinking we were on our holidays
watching all the other boats go by. All too soon it was time to collect
passengers from the New Port quay side and the pleasant journey back to the
very busy Taverna Agni, where some guests had made their lunch time table
reservations and so just hopped off the boat and straight to their table
under the shade of the trees.
What a glorious and relaxing day we had, if only there was more like
The last Saturday in August was my birthday and Theo told me he was going to
finish a little earlier at the Taverna that evening and take me out for a
meal - just the two of us !! I must say I was a bit surprised as in the past
couple of years he has not managed to do this, but who was I to argue ! So,
all glammed up we headed off for one of our favourite Chinese restaurants,
and after locating a nice quiet table at the rear of the restaurant, I
noticed Theo behaving a little strange. I just put it down to hunger and him
feeling a bit guilty at leaving the busy Taverna. After taking the food and
wine order, I watched as he began carefully unwrapping a small parcel that
he had pulled from his pocket and on wondering what he was doing - asked if
he was ok. "I have something to ask you Lynn" he said, "we have been
together now for a couple of years and I think it is time we were married,
so, will you marry me?" and produced this beautiful diamond engagement ring
from the box.
For a couple of seconds I was speechless (not Lynn I hear you
saying !!!) and then he began putting the ring on my finger, and of course,
like in all the fairytales, it fitted my finger perfectly. By this stage I
had gathered my composure, and answered," Yes Theo, of course I will marry
you". I didn't have to think twice on my answer. Luckily for us at this
stage the food started to arrive and we clinked our glasses to celebrate the
start of a wonderful long life together here on Corfu.
Lynn's Travel Corner
Now, back down to earth and on with the Agni Travel Corner.
As I am getting lots and lots of requests and emails regarding reservations
for next year 2004, we are now taking temporary reservations for then and
'holding' dates you request, but I must add that the new revised price list
will be out and on the website late September/beginning of October. Once we
have the prices, we will hold you the property until December 2003 only,
then we will require a deposit of 20% to confirm the booking. Before any
payment has been made, this temporary reservation has not been confirmed and
if flights have been booked by yourselves and then need to be changed for
what ever reason, Agni Travel is not responsible.
For this month I have three properties to share with you:-
Firstly, The Bakers House in Loustri.
The Bakers House Lower: A large apartment with three bedrooms, two bathrooms
and sleeps six. It is ideally located in the quiet village of Loustri.
bakery is just opposite and is run by Chandos and his wife and doubles up as
the local Kafenion. You will never be short of a nearby afternoon drink!
The Bakers House Upper: A large apartment with two bedrooms, sleeping four.
It is ideally located in the quiet village of Loustri. The bakery is just
opposite and is run by Chandos and his wife and doubles up as the local
Kafenion. You will never be short of a nearby afternoon drink! It has great
balconies and views.
These two properties are still showing some availability for September and
October of this year, as well as lets during the winter months.
Secondly, Geronimos House in Loustri.
Geronimos house, which is located in the small village of Loustri - just
above Agni bay. The views are just breathtaking. Ideal for spending a
evening with friends and a bottle of wine or two!
Both levels sleep 6 people with one double bedroom and two twin bedrooms.
They have a separate bathroom and then another WC. The open plan
kitchen/dinning room/lounge area is very spacious with sliding glass doors
opening onto a spectacular view of Kalami Bay below. From this balcony you
could while away the hours chatting to friends or getting caught up on a
There is also use of the shared swimming pool just across the small narrow
Availability in October only.
Lastly, Marble House, Temploni
Marble House which is peacefully tucked away at the back of the quiet hamlet
of Temploni, 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.
This house is a joy, I have known the wonderful owners now for four years
and they are still as charming as ever, always wanting to please you and
make sure that you enjoy their pride and joy. They are a well known family
here on Corfu and we are so pleased to have this house on our site for the
Next month I will be talking about 'Winter Lets' on Corfu, so if you fancy
Corfu during the cooler months don't miss it !
Until then, bye for now
Lynn - Agni Travel
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