Guest Post: Dassia: A destination for Sun-Seekers, Thrill-Seekers, and Food Lovers

As you take the main road into Dassia, the beautiful, mountainous backdrop comes into sight. The village is quiet now, with the summer season and flocking tourists arriving in June.

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Dassia is a traditional Corfiot village during spring – as are the many other villages of Corfu, with fishing and farming taking up large percentages of the job sector. Small amenity shops, cafes and restaurants line the winding road, selling local products and gifts for holidaymakers during the summer season.

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As you venture north, you pass some nightclubs and a Greek music Bar Yellow Lemon, famous for its live music and real ʻGreek experience’ – the perfect way to experience the Greek night culture!

If you do not feel like going to a club, restaurants are open till late – it is quite normal to leave your apartment at 10pm to go out for food, and stay until 2am listening to the relaxing vibes of the Greek Bouzouki.

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You will see a lot of locals in Dassia – it is a small village and all amenity stores are locally run – you will not find a Tesco here, but you will find family run grocery stores, bakeries and patisseries. The local people are extremely friendly and most of them know at least basic English, so communication is not a problem. I noticed it made a very good impression when I was trying to talk in Greek – I would definitely recommend learning a few basic phrases before you visit – you will make some lovely new friends!

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A local man that I got chatting to suggested I take a walk further north in Dassia – until I got as far as the Elea Beach Hotel which lies at the very north end of Dassia. It is the last hotel in the bay that is still situated on the beach. Because of its position, it is one of the quieter hotels in Dassia, despite being one of the largest – so when sunbathing people do not pass by unless they are staying at the hotel itself. The beach itself is small shingle; and the water clear as glass.

To find the hotel, just follow this sign from the main road, then a lovely walk through pine and olive trees will lead you to the hotel, and the beach.

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Once I reached the end of the bay I understood why he suggested the walk, as the sea views were unforgettable, and add this to the mountainous background and you really do have your own slice of paradise. The hotel is so close to the beach, I could not get a full photograph of it – it is quite literally on the beach. Surrounded by olive and pine trees, this is where the hotel takes its name – ʻEleaʼ in greek, means olive tree.

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If you take a walk along the shore, this time walking south back towards the center of Dassia, but along the beach, you will find Dassiaʼs beach restaurants and beach bars – most of them constructed by hand during the winter time with bamboo and palm roofs.

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During my visit, almost everywhere on the beach was closed, only opening in the Summer season, but you can only imagine how relaxing sitting yourself down at this bar to enjoy an ice cold watermelon juice on a scorching 35c day would be. Dassia also serves a range of ʻFrappeʼsʼ, perfect for a cold kick to wake you up in the morning!

Just a couple of minutes from this cosy bar you will find Dassiaʼs Jetty. There is a huge array of water sports on offer in Dassia, and the largest provider is ʻ2001 Watersports Ski and Fun Clubʼ situated right in the middle of the beach. They offer Water skiing, Banana Boats, pedal boat hire and paragliding. The company itself does not actually have a website, so in order to book an hours waterskiing or a Banana boat, you need to go to the booking office, or just talk with the Greek people working on the jetty and they will arrange it for you. This small kiosk on the waterfront is for sun bed hire – 5 euros per day for non-residents.

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If you fancy a longer trip, and one that will actually take you out of Dassia, just visit the NSK booking office on the main road, about a 5 minute walk from the beach. From here you can book a place on one (or more) of the fantastic day cruises available.

For an extra special day, request a cruise from the ʻAtlantisʼ boat with Spiros and Alex; two young brothers and very experienced captains who offer a variety of cruises as well as their entertaining personalities! Both speak excellent English, and their father is a fisherman – they are from one of the biggest Greek family’s in Corfu, and live truly ‘Greek’ lives during the winter. They have many good stories, and plenty of jokes to go around. With homemade food prepared by their mum served onboard, you will experience the true Greek cuisine as well as a fulfilling day.  You can also book online or over the phone (2663 063859).

Atlantis cruise boat, with captains Spiros and Alex Varelis

Atlantis cruise boat, with captains Spiros and Alex Varelis

If you fancy something a bit drier, why not rent a mountain bike from the rental store (again, situated on the main road) and take on the surrounding terrain – but be sure to take plenty of water! Shops are few and far between on the mountain roads, and with the temperature reaching more than 40c in the height of Summer, water is an essential.

You can also rent a car or a scooter from the rental store if you wish to travel further afield. Although Dassia has some shops, you cannot miss the chance to take a day trip into Corfu town. It is about 10 minutes by car or bus, and with bus services being very regular, you are sure not to miss out. There is also a cash machine right next to the bus stop. You don’t need to worry about paying the exact fare like you sometimes do in the UK as change is always given. Look out for the ʻBlue Busʼ service – about every 10 minutes which takes you right into the center of Corfu Town.

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All in all, if visiting Corfu, or ʻKerkyraʼ as the Greeks call it, a trip to Dassia is a must. Sun seekers have the beach, thrill seekers have the ocean, and food lovers have the wonderful style of Greek cuisine that is unique to Corfu.

Katie runs delightso.me where she blogs about her travels and cooking adventures. You can follow her tales on twitter.

 

 

 

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