... Paleokastritsa beach, Corfu - Out of a Novel

Small bays, deep green water, bare rocks thrusting out of the sea (can you see Ulysses' vessel, turned to stone?), verdant slopes reflected in the waters, gorgeous grottoes just waiting to be explored. The setting at Paleokastritsa, with the monastery of the Virgin standing dominating the tree-clad hill­side, is quite unique for Greece. But as you snake down the asphalt road that takes you to the central bay of its six little bays, you have to wonder why the developers couldn't have shown more respect for this glorious land­scape. Mini markets, hotels and rooms to let on pop up on either side at every turn, making the driving extremely difficult. The stands sell­ing souvenirs and beach gear are yet another eyesore within this image of natural beauty.
But from the moment you set off by boat for one of the grottoes, you forget it all, engrossed in the marvellous blue-green seascape. Boats and water taxis are available from the main harbour, and at Alipa, a small pebble beach to the left of the main bay. One of the best spots for swimming are the rocks underneath the La Grotta beach-bar - those who love diving will enjoy it the most Apart from the grottoes, also ask the boatman to take you to one of the virgin beaches out towards Liapades and below Angelokastro. Paleokastritsa is always crowded: apart from the guests (mainly English) in the nearby hotels, coach loads of people are constantly arriving - the place has been on the must list for visitors to Corfu since the 70s. Of the many water­front restaurants our favourite is The Rock, at the edge of the cliffside. There are also 3 diving schools and a mini market. At Agia Triada, a lush green pebbled bay to the left of Alipa, you'll find a beach bar, tennis court, small pool, boats, water taxis and various water sports (parasailing, water skiing, banana / rings, pedal).
(25 km from Corfu town)

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