Kassiopi & Kelia holiday guide
Capital of Corfu’s north-east, Kassiopi is a thriving harbour and resort. Within a ring of souvenir and beach shops, it has a heart of gold: a cleanly-paved harbour, well-tended gardens, benches for the weary, and smart shops, restaurants, and cafés. Pleasure craft and cruise boats jostle for mooring space with small trawlers. Canons point out to sea, their threat long faded, against a backdrop of stylish Kassiopi villas and apartments rising in terraces from the harbour. A holiday in the hamlet of Kelia lies on the hillside above, within walking distance of the town.
Spreading over the neck of a rocky peninsula, Kassiopi has a large beach (Kalamionas) on the opposite side of the isthmus from the port, and access elsewhere on the peninsula to oodles of little bays and beaches. You can do this on foot, or hire a boat from the harbour and putter along the coast.
Things to do
A bustling little port with streets to wander, shops selling souvenirs and local embroidery to visit, Kassiopi has lots of places to eat and drink, and a lively nightlife. In the harbour you can sign up for diving expeditions and trips along the coast and out to sea, and the town has a hinterland of woodland, headlands, and bays to explore on foot or horseback.
In addition to the ubiquitous souvenirs and beach-goods, Kassiopi is second only to Corfu Town for the variety of its shops, perhaps because this is the most prosperous part of the island. Look out for leather goods, lace and embroidered linen, ceramics, and jewellery. The town has a good range of cafés and restaurants, some of which offer free WiFi: if your chosen one does not, there are several internet cafés.
Kassiopi was fortified by the Romans—the Emperor Tiberius had a villa here, and the town was visited by both Cicero and Nero. The Roman fort on the headland was further developed by the Byzantines and destroyed by the Venetians—its ruins, floodlit at night, hunker fetchingly above the town. The 16th-century church of Panayia Kassopitra was supposedly built on the remains of an ancient Greek temple dedicated to Zeus