One Hour From: Corfu Town

Meet the locals? Not a ghost of a chance
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The Independent Travel

Beyond Corfu Town expect pretty beaches, perfect sunset views and a remarkable village with no inhabitants.

Beyond Corfu Town expect pretty beaches, perfect sunset views and a remarkable village with no inhabitants.

Old Perithia

Old Perithia sits in a hollow in Corfu's mountain massif, its stone-built houses and terraced gardens surrounded by bare hillsides. But no eyes look out from any windows, and the only feet pacing the cobbled streets are those of visitors who have made the trip to one of the island's finest monuments. Ripe for a makeover, this abandoned village is packed with stunning houses, fine churches and stray cats and chickens. Many houses retain their original bread oven and even the odd scrap of furniture. Stop off at Foros, one of the two working tavernas in the village square, and tuck into a delicious onion pie.

By car: head north and follow the east coast road to Acharavi and look for signs; journey time approx 1 hour.

Mirtiotissa

Get back to nature on one of the island's prettiest beaches, which is the only one on Corfu where nudity is officially permitted. Tucked beneath a steep cliff, leave your vehicle in the leafy car park and follow the winding track down to the sand. Small waterfalls tumble down and pour off the cliff face backing on to the beach, so after taking a dip in the crystal-clear Ionian Sea, enjoy a freshwater shower. Other facilities include two small snack shacks. Savour the delicious fresh fruit salad with honey and yoghurt.

By car: take the north-east road towards Paleokastritsa, then turn off towards Pelekas and look for signs; journey time approx 55 mins.

Acharavi

One of the island's most popular spots for holidaying Brits, Acharavi is also the commercial centre of northern Corfu, so expect a big selection of shops, restaurants and bars, along with a bank boasting an ATM. (They are few and far between on the island.) The long shingle beach here shelves gently making it safe for families with small children. Nearby is Hydropolis, one of the island's two water parks.

By car: take the north east road towards Paleokastritsa, then follow signs for Acharavi; journey time approx 45 mins.

Paleokastritsa

Regarded as the most stunning sun spot on Corfu, this resort is packed to the gunnels with small hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops. Expect beaches, coves, woodlands, spectacular sunsets, steep winding streets, watersports facilities and glass-bottom boat trips. Climb the steep winding track to the Theotokos Monastery (closed 1pm-3pm) and be rewarded with heavenly gardens and a divine view.

By car: north-east road to Paleokastritsa; journey time approx 30 mins.

Pelekas

This quintessential Corfiot village clings to a hilltop and is famous for its superb sunset views over the bay below. Watch the blazing ball of the sun dip into the milky Ionian from the verandas of the many bars along the main street. Pelekas was a favourite haunt of Kaiser Wilhelm at the turn of the century, when he spent his days at the Achillion Palace (now a casino). Stay after sunset for dinner because the village is home to many fine restaurants.

By car: take the road east to Pelekas; journey time approx 20 mins.

Ipsos

Corfu's equivalent of Ayia Napa consists of a small strip of sand backed by a long main drag, along which disco bars stack up. Packed with under-25s in an alcohol-induced frenzy, this is the place for you if you want laser karaoke, free tequila shots and full English breakfasts.

By car: head north and follow the east coast road towards Acharavi; journey time approx 20 mins.

The Best of Greece (020-7406 1747; www.bestofgreecetravel.co.uk) offers a seven-night break at the five-star Corfu Palace Hotel for £725 per person, including flights, transfers and b&b. Europcar (0870 607 5000; www.europcar.com) offers one week's car hire from £112.

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