We left Corfu Town with a rough plan to spend 3-4 days sailing to the top of the island, anchoring at some bays along the way.
Our first stop was Agios Agni. As we sailed into the bay we were given the choice of three restaurant piers to tie up to. One of our crew has sailed Corfu many times and been to all three, so suggested we go with the first – Nikola’s Taverna. The restaurant owner met us at the end of the pier and helped us secure our boat. He was very happy to hear there were six on board and that we would be staying overnight. There were sun beds on the beach in front of the restaurant which were free for us to use. Needless to say, after a delicious lunch at Nikola’s Taverna, we spent the afternoon swimming, reading and sleeping before dressing for dinner at … you guessed it … Nikola’s Taverna. If you tie up to a restaurant’s pier or mooring buoy you’re expected to eat there. We didn’t mind. The food was fresh, tasty and inexpensive. Agni Bay is small but busy so we were entertained by yachts and small motor boats coming and going throughout the day and into the evening.
An hour or so north at the top of the island is the very popular town of Kassiopi where we spent our second night. We were able to tie up to the town quay, where we could see across the water to Albania and the city of Sarande. Not long after we arrived a very large, brand new yacht squeezed in beside us as the pier was filling up quickly. Being so close to other boats means that you inevitably start chatting and comparing sailing stories. A very diverse and friendly group of sailors from the US, Germany and Switzerland were on board. They told us they’d met at a scuba diving camp many years before and each year they spend a few weeks together sailing on a chartered yacht somewhere in the world. They had some great stories to tell but were very envious of the time we have each year to sail Izabela.
The next morning we headed south, motoring into a few small bays before settling on the very picturesque Agios Stefanos for our third night. We anchored in the middle of the bay and took the dinghy over to check out the tiny town. The nearest taverna was surrounded by gum trees and appropriately named ‘Eucalyptus’. The town also had a large number of ducks waddling among the restaurant chairs and along the beach and swimming around the bay. There was even a floating nesting house for them. A large number of cats roam about the town which is very common in Greece. As we were leaving the restaurant after dinner I saw a duck and two cats strolling along the beach – a unique experience!
The north of the island is very affluent and on the hills overlooking the water there are many large houses and hotels. We enjoyed checking them out as we motored along the coastline back to Corfu Town for our last two nights on the island.
After anchoring for one night back in the bay under the fort we decided to try our luck for a berth at the beautiful Corfu Sailing Club at Port Mandraki. The club sits immediately below the other side of the old fort and has an amazing view. As it was a Saturday, many of the locals were heading out for their weekly race, reminding us of what we’d be doing if we were home in Melbourne, albeit in much colder weather. At the end of the pier was a small beach. We headed down for a swim, surprised at how quiet it was. It was Saturday and very hot! At home, this beach would have been packed. The Yacht Club was the venue for a wedding that night so we sat onboard with some Kiwis from the next boat, enjoying the festivities, dancing and music. The guys spent most of the night talking boats and cricket. Australia had just beaten NZ, so there was much light-hearted ‘sledging’ and reminiscing about memorable cricket moments between the two teams.
As I write this post, we are sailing from Corfu, back to Paxos. For the first time on this trip we’ve done almost the entire distance under sail which is not common around Greece as there is generally not enough wind, or it is blowing in the wrong direction. Everyone on board is smiling. We are sailing at eight knots and tonight we will berth at Loggos and try the much anticipated seafood lasagne.