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Review: St Stephano

City/Town/Region/Island

St Stephano, Greece

Simple pleasures in N E Corfu

  • By SilverTraveller nafsicaa

    6 reviews

  • Jun 2010
  • Family including children under 16

40 people found this review helpful

This review is about St Stephano Sinies, located on the north-east coast of Corfu, facing a tantalizing view of Albania, scarcely a mile away across the channel. There is another St Stephano, on the northwest coast – delightful but completely different.
Like so many of Corfu’s coastal villages, it was once nothing more than a port-of-call for seaborne traffic. Long ago, the inhabitants of Corfu had built their villages high in the hills to be as far as possible from the marauding pirates of the Mediterranean, and it was not until the nineteen-sixties that the advent of tourism persuaded them back down. St Stephano grew out of a huddle of fishermen’s and olive-workers cottages, with one cafeneion, to become a pretty and moderately sophisticated little harbour village.
Driving down the approach road that curls down hillsides covered with broom and herbs, the view is breathtaking – a horseshoe shaped harbour, scattered with sailboats at anchor, fringed by smart bars and restaurants. There are no hotels here, just villas and apartments, low-rise, surrounded by gardens and terraces bright with flowers. Shop and restaurant-owners are friendly and obliging, cheerfully competitive, and the various businesses are all locally-owned. The atmosphere is gloriously relaxed, with people-watching from a comfortable café-chair as one of the chief amusements. (Visitors regularly include celebrities and well-known people from the worlds of film, theatre, writing and politics.) There is a beach to one side of the harbour but by far the best beaches are to be found by hiring a motor-boat and chugging off for the day along the coast. Chances are, you will find a quiet spot for an undisturbed swim in sparkling, clean water. Families love St Stephano – adults can meet up for drinks or a meal and keep an eye on the kids while they fish for minnows or feed the ducks. Older members of a family group will find a certain charm about the slightly retro atmosphere of the village – this is what family holidays used to be about. There are several easy walks, made more interesting by the beautiful wild flowers of spring and early summer, and by the many glimpses of village life that have not yet died out. All the facilities of the village are in one place and more or less on one level. Amongst the travel companies featuring St Stephano in their programmes, C V Travel stands out. Long-established (1972) with personal service and attention to individual requirements that is second to none, C V offers accommodation that ranges from modern luxury to simple village style. Its service goes just that little bit further, with experienced local staff for whom nothing seems to be too much trouble.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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