Because the village of Old Perithia is a 'Protected Heritage Site', swimming pools are not allowed. But the good news is that there are some beautiful beaches within easy reach of the village, from long sandy beaches with gentle slopes to the sea, to stony beaches, and those that are slightly more remote, or off the beaten track. Here we focus on those nearest to Old Perithia.
The closest beach is just 15-20 minutes drive away.
Many more beautiful beaches are within 25-30 minutes reach and, of course, there are many more than are mentioned here. Everyone has a favourite spot. Most beaches have ‘Blue Flag’ status for cleanliness and safety, and some beaches have extra facilities including showers and toilets.
We recommend you take swimming shoes with you, as many beaches are quite pebbly and although there aren’t many spiky sea creatures, you may also find it easier to swim and walk on shore with them on.
Here’s a selection, numbers 1 to 6 are within 30 minutes drive from Old Perithia and, 7 to 11 within 45 minutes drive:
1. AGIOS SPYRIDON
Agios Spyridon is the closest, just 15-20 minutes away. This was Gerald Durrell's favourite beach, referred to in 'My Family and Other Animals' as 'the beach of white lilies'. To get there, drive down from Old Perithia and when you reach the main coastal road, turn left and very soon after, you see the sign to 'Agios Spyridon Beach' on the right. Follow the road, stay straight and you'll find this attractive sandy ‘Blue Flag’ beach, set in a charming bay with a church, a small row of tavernas, and gentle slopes to the sea making it ideal for children too.
In the same area there’s a lagoon (Antinioti) and a nature reserve: cross the small bridge over the lagoon to find more secluded beaches as you walk towards Acharavi along the attractive coastal path. Don't walk the path at sundown as the mosquitoes spring into action around that time.
2. KALAMAKI & APRAOS
Kalamaki & Apraos beach is 15-20 minutes away and located on the coastal road towards Kassiopi. It’s another good beach for children as it’s sandy and very long, with gentle slopes into the water. The beach has ‘Blue Flag’ status. Tavernas and bars are at hand and a rickety old wooden jetty juts out into the sea for fishermen, and people dipping their toes in the clear water. Stay at our partner luxury suites 'Chrismos' in combination with your stay at The Merchant's House.
Avlaki is 20 minutes away along the coastal road towards Corfu town. Turn left soon after Kassiopi, follow signs to Agios Stefanos. It is an 800metre long stretch of mostly pebbly beach with various watersports and sailing at either end (it gets quite windy there some days). There is a taverna there too. The beach also has ‘Blue Flag’ status and is one of the ‘quieter’ beaches.
Kassiopi is 20-25 minutes away and is clearly signposted. This popular harbour village has limited parking in the harbour area, where there are some excellent places to eat, but from the harbour, walk along the coastal path to the left (past Limani bar) and after 5 minutes you'll come across Bataria beach, as well as narrow paths to secluded rocks. It's an attractive walk along this stretch, and if you keep walking around the path (past some stunning villas) you arrive back in the top of the village.
5. AGIOS STEFANOS
Agios Stefanos is 25 minutes away along the same coastal road towards Corfu town. Turn left soon after Kassiopi. There is a small pebbly beach just beyond Eucalyptus taverna, but the bay is used mainly for mooring boats, and the very good tavernas along the waterfront. There are 2 good supermarkets, a couple of gift shops, 2 boat hire companies and a few bars.
Kerasia, one of our favourites, is 30 minutes away. Carry on through Agios Stefanos along the winding road to reach this relatively exclusive 280 metre long pebbly beach, enclosed at both sides and with a small jetty. This is one of the prettiest beaches and lies close to the Rothschild’s holiday residence. It is well protected and has ‘Blue Flag’ status, with just 1 taverna and a bar. Sun loungers are available for hire and there’s a small beach shop too.
More Beaches 30-45 minutes (by car)
If you wish to venture further afield, the following beaches and bays are all within 40 minutes drive from Old Perithia, continuing along the coastal road towards Corfu Town:
7. KALAMI Kalami bay, nestling beneath the hills, is famous for both its beautiful beach and the house where Lawrence Durrell lived with his family, 'The White House'. The beach has ‘Blue Flag’ status, and there are a number of tavernas to hand.
8. AGNI Agni beach, located down a steep single track road, is more bay than a beach, but it’s clean, very attractive and worth visiting for lunch and a stroll along the jetty.
9. KAMINAKI Kaminaki is a tiny village, tucked away amongst the olive groves. The bay has white pebbles and patches of sand leading down to the turquoise waters edge. There are tavernas there too and you can also take coastal walks to the other small bays nearby.
10. NISSAKI Nissaki is a small pretty bay with a horseshoe-shaped beach with crystal clear water. There are several tavernas, a couple of shops, and a small harbour shelters the many little fishing boats that are moored there, and there’s a jetty too. The beach has ‘Blue Flag’ status. There's a good Diving Centre (P.A.D.I) and other watersports including paragliding with a powerboat - great fun!
11. BARBATI Barbati has an attractive bar and taverna by the beach (left side, so enter down the road by the church). You can relax on the beach and there's a bar service, beautiful clear water and wonderful views back up to the mountains behind you. It's stoney so maybe take swimming shoes and also it gets very bust at peak times (as do most of the beaches) so ring ahead to book a sunbed.
There are some other great beaches on the north west coast and around the island, if you want any help with ideas please ask.