People’s first impressions of Acharavi are mixed, some are thrilled with the rural location, and some are horrified at the distance from Corfu Town. Some think it will be too quiet and some find it busy.
A few words from Leandros Mouzakitis of Leandros Travel
a…….It is true that in the 30 years I have been here it has changed a great deal. The fact that I still have clients that have been coming here regularly since then, is proof that physical changes have not spoilt the character of the place or the people.
Those people say that the staggering beauty of the backdrop to the foothills of Mount Pantocrator, and the hypnotic view across the water to the barren mountains of Albania are timeless. Those who loved it as it was then, now appreciate the changes that mean more foreign goods are on offer in the supermarkets, there are more restaurants and tavernas to choose from, a safer paved main road to stroll along, English and German-speaking doctors and swimming pools to use on those windy “Maestro” days.
I am not an advocate of progress, I have been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century but I, too, am prepared to accept that our mayor was not all wrong! Tourism has changed and the village has changed to accommodate it. We have, though, been spared the massive high-rise, faceless complexes that have become a byword for Spain.
Acharavi is a large Greek village now an all-year-round Greek community. In winter Corfiots come from all around to eat and drink in the many bars and restaurants, and to do their shopping. It avoids the long drive to Corfu town, and the battle to find a parking space, once the other smaller villages have gone into winter hibernation.
The genuine hospitality of the local people still creates a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere where the pressures of commercial Europe can take a back seat, if only for a while. The essence of Corfiot's life and culture has not been changed by any foreign invasions past or present!
In fact, what we have here is a perfect location; the beach is ideal for sun worshippers and families who can always retreat to one of the many free pools if the sea breeze gets too strong. “Free” means there is an obligation to use the pool bar; which should not be a hardship! It is one of our saving graces, the same sea breeze that usually starts to make umbrellas flap at about 2 pm. Even in the hottest heatwave, the beach is a cool haven.
The village is sufficiently spread out that the fact that we do have some nightlife is not obvious to those trying to avoid one! We have a couple of good modern music bars with up-to-date music, on the main road. For others we have quiet sea-front tavernas lulled by the sound of the sea, we have comfortable coffee bars for a quiet nightcap and Metaxa brandy.
The restaurants are too numerous to mention here but cover all tastes and pockets, including a Chinese and a couple of excellent fish tavernas. Watching a magnificent sunset, as the sun drops behind the island of Erikoussa from one of the beach-front tavernas is a must, especially in July and August when the huge red orb is at its best.
The local “Kafeneio”, on the back road, is still the focal point of the local older male population. The problems of the world are set to rights here, the latest football teams’ demises are bemoaned, the click of backgammon (“tavli”) pieces echo, and copious amounts of thick black Greek coffee are consumed. It is here that you will witness the normal lives of the locals, who still survive on the profits from their olive crops, they have not changed; their method of transport is often still the donkey, he will be tied up outside “Sainsbury’s”, (Dimitra supermarket) next to the air-conditioned tourist rent a car, while his owner goes to get his picnic ploughman’s lunch.
We are in a location where there is a variety of beautiful scenery waiting to be explored, the mountains and monastery of Pantocrator, the bird paradise of the lake at St. Spiridon, the pebbly coves of the east coast, and the sandy beaches of the north and west.