The green, or eco-tourism, is a current strongly evolved over the past 5 years in Europe and other selected destinations around the world. And so, this current couldn’t go around Corfu, a place so endowed by nature, with such surprising alternations of landscape between vast green areas, rivers, waterfalls (yes, you heard me), and caves. 7 eco destinations in northern Corfu for hip travelers : Areas labeled as parks, and/or protected natura places are waiting to be explored. In northern Corfu the excursion program for demanding travelers fills easily.
7 benchmarks of green tourism in northern Corfu:
Antinioti Lagoon or Limnothalassa Antinioti is situated on the North of the island off the main road towards the coast in the region of Thinali. At the far end of the main beach at Agios (Saint) Spyridon on the North of the island is an inlet for the Lake, there is a small bridge here that will take you to the area known as Nissos Island. This is a protected area in Corfu and is abundant with flora and wildlife including the threatened Otter species Lutra-lutra, and many rare orchids and offer great environmental interest. The lagoon area is about 1,000,000 square metres in size, comprising of around 400,000 for the lake with the remaining area accounting for the marshes and reed beds. The lagoon area is listed on the European Environment agencies website and is a protected area categorised on the European Nature Information System (EUNIS) under Natura 2000. In 1992 legislation was introduced to protect the most seriously threatened habitats across Europe and Natura 2000 was the result of this legislation bringing together special areas of protection and conservation. This wetland situated on the northern coast of the island of Kerkyra (Corfu) is important for the threatened species Lutra lutra as well as for the ecological balance in the area. In addition, the site is characterized by a variety of habitats, and human activities have not yet exerted much influence upon it. This is of great importance for an island like Kerkyra which shows great tourist development and great pressure due to building construction. The wetland and the nearby habitats are kept in rather good condition. The protection and sustainable management of the site can contribute not only to the preservation of the wildlife but also to the economic development of the area (fishing, leisure activities, ecotourism). The greater the delays in establishing status of legal frame, the more the threats to the environment will increase.
Pantokratoras mountain: Pantokratoras, the highest mountain with the most astonishing view in Corfu, is located in the north-eastern part of the island. Its peak, at an altitude of 906 meters offers a unique view of the whole island, a large part of the nearby Albanian shores, the Diapontia Islands in the north, and even Paxoi in the south, when the sky is clear. During ancient times, Pantokratoras was called Istoni. Its modern name today name is owed to the holy monastery of Pantokratoras, built almost on the top of the mountain in 14th century. Next to the monastery there is a coffee shop, and not far from it are placed several telecommunications towers. A beautiful route, following the coastal road from the city of Corfu towards the north, shall bring out the natural beauty of the mountain and its picturesque villages, which remain intact by massive tourism. Right after Ypsos, you turn left for the village of Spartylas from where, the steep route begins. You continue towards Strinylas, a small village with 3 taverns, where you can stop for lunch. From Stinylas you’ll simply follow the road till its end, and you’ll reach the top of the mountain where you definitely will by impressed by the superb panoramic view. If you already arrived on the Northern side of the island, the road from the centre of Acharavi will drive you to the Pantokratoras through all its beautiful villages.
The Cave of Loutses (Grava for the locals) is situated near the village Loutses on Pantokratoras, at an altitude of about 300 meters. The entrance of the Cave of Loutses is located in a deep hollow with imposing, vertical walls. A path that requires special attention during winter due to slipperiness, takes you inside the cave where, the soil is completely flat and above you, the roof is full of geological formations. If you are inside the cave and look upwards at the opening of the cave, from which comes the sunlight, you will be impressed by the sense of isolation and serenity that this dark cave offers.
The Cave of Anthropograva is located near the village Klimatia, at an altitude of 270 meters, just a few meters from the road which leads to the monastery of Agia Triada, in the northern part of the island. The Cave of Anthropograva is the most interesting among the recently known and accessible caves of the island. The road which reaches very close to it, is covered with asphalt, while access to it is through a cobble-paved path. The entrance to the Cave of Anthropograva has an opening reaching 4 meters and a height reaching approximately 2,50 meters.
The Waterfalls of Nymfes are the most impressive of the whole island and they are located just outside Nymfes, this lovely village which, is built on the mountain Pantokratoras , in a verdant area with oak and holly trees. In order to reach the Waterfalls of Nymfes you must cross through the village, pass outside the local football pitch and follow a rural dirt road for about a half kilometer. The scenery in the Waterfall of Nymfes is enchanting. Rapid waters fall from a height greater than 10 meters into the verdant ravine. Two other, smaller waterfalls are also nearby.
The waterfall in Kyprianades : The second largest waterfall on the island of Corfu, right after the waterfall in Nymfes, is the Waterfall in Kyprianades, of about 8 meters high. It is formed by a tributary of the Tyflos River, the creek of Klimatia which on its course towards the north Ionian Sea also passes outside the village of Kyprianades. Access to the Waterfall of Kyprianades is relatively easy. It is possible through a small path of about 500 meters which starts from the fountain in the southwest of the village. For those who love nature and hiking, an excursion to the Waterfall in Kyprianades, will be unforgettable.
Erimitis: A verdant paradise with deep blue waters, a labyrinthine coastline where, beaches, coves, capes and three lakes are formed that make it a significant wetland, called Erimitis which is located between Agios Stefanos in Sinies and the beach of Avlaki, in the north-eastern part of the island. The position of Erimitis, right across the Albanian shores, exactly in the northern strait of the island, prevented any development or activity in the region which was used by the Venetians for defensive reasons. In order to eliminate hazards to ships passing through the strait, during the English occupation, in the islet Kapareli a lighthouse of a height of 9 meters was built, the second oldest of Corfu. The oldest lighthouse is the one of the Old Fortress. Erimitis includes a continuation of six beaches, a complex of three lakes (Vromolimni, Akoli , Savoura) and is a shelter for a number of rare birds and animals, such as otter. Along with the Lagoon of Antiniotis in the west and the wetland of Vouthrotos (Butrint) in the opposite Albanian shores, they constitute a single wetland system of great ecological value.