Corfu: The perfect stay in Kalami Bay


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On an island notorious for its party resorts, is it possible to enjoy peace, quiet and a gorgeous setting? If you stay in Kalami, the answer is a resounding “Ne” (that’s yes in Greek).

Kalami has one of the most picturesque settings I’ve come across, as you can see from the top photo. While Kefalonia had Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and Skopelos had Mamma Mia, the Roger Moore-era Bond film For Your Eyes Only was filmed in Corfu’s Kalami, and it’s not difficult to see why location scouts chose the bay.

If it wasn’t for the deafening chirruping of the thousands of almost invisible cicadas hidden amongst the olive groves and cypress trees, it could be the most peaceful spot on Earth.

The Albanian coastline in the distance

The Albanian coastline in the distance

A sign by the road outside Kalami says it’s 29km to Corfu Town, but the transfer takes at least an hour. Not only does the coach drop-off at numerous resorts on the way, it rarely gets above 30mph (and often labours at under 10mph) as it negotiates switchbacks on the coastal road to the mountainous north east of the island.

As we arrived in Kalami, my phone beeped and I received a text from my network operator: “Welcome to Albania”. The Albanian coastline is only a couple of miles across the Ionian Sea, and we were looking forward to a daytrip there, although I wasn’t expecting to be on the Vodafone AL network quite so soon.

One of the jetties on Kalami's beach in the daytime...

One of the jetties on Kalami’s beach in the daytime…

Three wooden jetties protrude from the village’s pebbly beach – they are ideal for diving off into the crystal-clear turquoise waters, although their intended purpose is to secure boats to. I’ve swam in some pretty special places, but a dip here is in my top-5 swims and is so refreshing when the beach temperature hits 35°C.

...and at dusk

…and at dusk

I don’t make a habit of getting up early when on holiday, but the photo below, taken from the balcony of our sixth floor apartment at the Adonis & Asonitis apartments when a daytrip meant a 6.30am wake-up call, was just about worth it.

Balcony view at dawn...

Balcony view at dawn…

After a hard day on the beach, a pre-dinner drink on the balcony became our ritual. We could just about make out Corfu Town and the huge cruise-ships docking there in the distance.

...and balcony view at dusk

…and balcony view at dusk

The best view is from the terrace of Dimitri’s taverna alongside the main road above Kalami. It’s too far (and dark) to walk there and back, but if you call ahead (6977 389481), the friendly driver George will pick you up and drop you off in his minibus.

The view from Dimitri's taverna

The view from Dimitri’s taverna

Watch the colour of the clouds change from white to orange to pink while you feast on tzatziki, steak and the best homemade puddings we tried in our week in Corfu.

...and the same view 30 minutes later.

…and the same view 30 minutes later.

There are only four tavernas in Kalami itself, all on the seafront. The White House may not be able to compete with Dimitri’s for views, but for food, service and the x-factor, it cannot be beaten.

The White House at the end of the pebbly beach

The White House at the end of the pebbly beach

This was the home of Lawrence Durrell, the English author (“Prospero’s Cell”) and brother of Gerald Durrell (“My Family and Other Animals”). It has now been converted into a taverna downstairs with accommodation upstairs.

Ducks at the White House

Ducks at the White House

While cats prowl the other restaurants in Kalami hoping for scraps of souvlaki, the White House has its own resident duck, pecking away. The grounds feature statues of ducks, foxes and rabbits in homage to My Family and Other Animals.

By the end of the week, we were so relaxed and used to the noise of the pesky cicadas, we didn’t notice it anymore.

Mythos at a beachfront restaurant - Yamas!

Mythos at a beachfront restaurant – Yamas!

Inspired?

Go packaged: There are very few package tour options to Kalami from the UK. The only one we could find was to the Adonis & Asonitis apartments with Thomson – basic rooms in a hillside complex with great views and two pools.

Go independent: Ryanair fly to Corfu, so bag yourself a cheap flight with them (or with one of the charter airlines) and stay at the White House apartments – its accommodation rentals can be found here.

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Categories: Greece and CyprusTags: , , ,

30 comments

  1. Very inviting and lovely photos.

  2. So glad that you enjoyed it, I’ll be there in a couple of weeks time. Did you make it to Albania?

  3. The photos look amazing Richard. Sounds like you had a relaxing holiday. I will look forward to reading about Albania- when I was there we could see Corfu. A short ferry ride away.

  4. Somewhere I have never been and never really wanted to visit, but after seeing your photos I might just change my mind! We found a place on the Amalfi coast that we christened the “bar at the end of the universe” because it had such beautiful views across the sea. Your views from Dimitri’s tavern took me right back there.

  5. Thank you for the review! Love it – I feel like traveling there when reading your post. The used-to-be home of Lawrence Durrell must have remarkable view! I can imagine the house must have brought lots of inspiration!

  6. Looks lovely – we stopped off at Corfu Town (on one of those annoying cruise ships!) but only got a taste of the place, I’ve got the taste for Greek islands though so I’ll be back for more!

  7. Put Kefalonia and Naxos on your research list for next year, Rich 🙂
    We stayed up the coast at Kassiopi, which I liked except for the pebble beach. They can look pretty but I’m not much for pebbles. We did Paxos and Anti-P but not Albania. The natives were a bit restless (ha!) at the time and you could hear rifle fire occasionally. Bit off-putting.
    We passed your cove and it does look lovely. A love affair with Greece begins? Did you like the food?

  8. Nice to see this post. I hope to go to Corfu sometime next year.

  9. Great pics. Did you take them on iPhone or DLR?

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