You get to decide on your individual journey on a scooter in Corfu. That road to the proper, snaking down in the direction of the pebbly shoreline, is an journey. That highway to the left, winding by way of switchbacks up a steep hill, is one other.
These alternatives whiz previous continually, selections, quests. Take that flip. No, that one. Or simply proceed on the highway forward.
Already right now I’ve lain on a seaside beneath a steep, wooded hillside. I’ve explored rockpools, crystal-clear. I’ve drunk espresso on a shady patio. I’ve wandered by way of villages. I’ve stopped at an outdated portside taverna for grilled seafood and salad.
And I’ve finished all of this due to my brilliant purple stallion, a Vespa 150, an Italian scooter that appears to slot in simply high quality in these Ionian climes. This is the way in which to see Corfu, or any island for that matter: the solar in your pores and skin, the wind in your hair (that is figurative – you’ve got seen my bio picture), the odor of sea salt and wildflowers and grilled meats within the air.
A scooter is good freedom. The likelihood to decide on your individual journey.
I employed this explicit magnificence from Corfu Town close to the port the place my cruise ship, the Emerald Azzurra, is ready. This, for me, is the possibility to go off-piste from the cruise expertise, to forgo the guided metropolis tour included in our itinerary and as a substitute blaze my very own path, to bid the ship and its passengers goodbye for the day and putter off into the wild blue yonder.
For some time, nonetheless, that yonder is simply wild. The space to the north-west of Corfu Town is basically industrial and unsightly, with a dual-lane freeway main motorists out to nicer elements of the island. You begin to expertise that solely when you lean right into a right-hand activate the highway in the direction of Dassia, and the bustle of the outskirts begins to offer technique to Corfu’s true splendour.
The highway from right here hugs the perimeter of the island, a winding pathway that hangs above the rugged coast, following its contours, making sharp turns and easing by way of mild bends. It passes busy seashores reminiscent of Ipsos and Barbati, the place swimsuited vacationers carry towels and umbrellas, earlier than monitoring numerous little bays, every with a village surrounding shimmering waters.
I’ve chosen my first journey: a proper flip and a steep descent right down to Kaminaki, the tiniest seaside, with just a few small tavernas and a view throughout to Albania. There’s house to park the Vespa just about on the pebbles. This is the proper spot for a fast swim, to chill and invigorate.
And then I’m again within the saddle, up the hill and onto the coast highway, in the direction of Kalami, yet one more excellent seaside village huddled round a bay, with extra tavernas, extra cafes, extra villas with views you’ll do something to name your individual.
The British novelist Lawrence Durrell clearly agreed: he lived right here within the Thirties. His former house, the White House, now operates as a guesthouse and restaurant, benefiting from these dreamy vistas.
You do not wish to cease too lengthy although, on a day like this. The journey actually is the vacation spot. The pleasure of motion is the star attraction.
The coast highway now cuts inland, beating a extra direct path to Kassiopi, a fishing village with a historical past that stretches again 1000’s of years. These days it is a standard haunt for British holidaymakers, although additionally the form of place you possibly can pull up the scooter out the entrance of a small taverna and feast on grilled sardines within the solar.
All of this journey, and it is solely lunchtime. I’ll head again in the direction of Corfu Town quickly, by way of the hilly inside, winding alongside mountain passes and ducking by way of medieval villages, whooping with delight – I’m not even mendacity, some individuals could have heard me and it might have been embarrassing – on the sheer pleasure of the open highway.
I’ve chosen my adventures, and I’m very proud of them.
Corfu Vespa Tours and Rental has new-model Vespa scooters for rent from $38 a day, together with helmet. corfuvespatour.com
Emerald Cruises’ eight-day Mediterranean Enchantment cruise, from Athens to Dubrovnik aboard the brand new Azzurra, prices from $6088 an individual. These cruises embrace a one-day cease in Corfu, with guided strolling tour. Call 1300 286 110 emeraldcruises.com.au
Ben Groundwater travelled as a visitor of Emerald Cruises, although paid for his personal Vespa rent.