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Central And Southern Corfu Villa Holidays

Any villa holiday would not be complete without a bit of sight seeing. The beauty of choosing a villa holiday in Corfu is that there really is so much to see. Corfu isn't just the green and friendly island: it's an island an undeniable beauty which an incredible variety of destinations that all merit a visit. Yet for some reason central and southern Corfu is neglected by tourists and sightseers. It's a great shame, but in many ways that can be a benefit for those who choose to visit the area, as they'll be left in peace and be free to explore at leisure. So, why not hire a car for a few days during your villa holiday and head out to the unspoilt region of central and southern Corfu? One thing can be guaranteed and that is you won't regret the effort.

There are two natural features that divide the central plains of Corfu from the popular south coast: the Plain of Ropa and the Korrission lagoon. The bleak landscape around the Plain of Ropa harbours an inaccessible coast. There are few settlements and developments south of Paleokastritsa, and they only resume around Ermones and Pelekas, both of which are accessible directly across the island from Corfu Town. The sandy plains and dunes that skirt the natural feature of the Korrission lagoon are great places to visit if you're a keen botanist or ornithologist. There are few roads here, and you'd be forgiven for forgetting that the busy resorts on both coats are only a few miles away. If you're looking for peace and tranquillity, then this is the place to come to. The landscape is flat, with salt pans forming an undistinguished backdrop for a series of relatively undefiled beaches.

Ermones has a unique feature, unseen in the rest of the Greek Islands: a lift down to the beach from the adjacent Corfu Golf Club and hotel complex. The beach sits below heavily wooded cliffs and is small, sheltered and beautiful with pebbly sand. Just inland is the small and unspoilt village of Vatos. You won't find much to do here other than visit the small church or one of the two tavernas. However, what you can do is access Mirtiotissa beach, which has to be one of the best on the island. It has a nudist section at one end of the beach and a monastery at the other, and despite the apparent contradiction the two sit quite comfortably beside each other. If you're thinking of heading to this beach, you'd be well advised to take food and water as there are no other facilities available once you head off down the footpath.

Pelekas is much busier, which to some extent is understandable as it stands at the main crossroads in the west-centre of the island. If you're thinking about visiting the beach, it's worth mentioning that it can get very crowded. South of Pelekas is the small resort of Ayios Gordhis, arguably the nicest on the island. Vines spread down from the pine-clad cliffs to a mile-long sandy coastal strip, with Plitiri point behind, and jagged rocks thrusting skywards below the one big hotel of the resort.

Mount Ayii Dhika, Corfu's second peak, casts its shadow over this central part of the island. It should be noted that the roads on its western fringes are bit ˜erratic'. Edging through a landscape of cypresses, citrus and olive groves, you'll eventually reach a long swathe of beaches beside a calm sea leading down to the Korrission lagoon. On its north side is Paramonas with its small sand and pebble beach: on its south side is Prasouda, an amphitheatre-shaped beach with nothing save a single taverna. The road south of this point becomes a track, leading eventually to the remnants of the thirteenth-century Gardiki castle, an octagonal structure on a low knoll.

By: Jason H Walker