Set on the side of Corfu’s highest peak, Mount Pantokrator, Nissaki is a great place to chill out and relax, whether up in the hills or on the beach. Despite the little village only having a population of around 400 people, it’s big on hospitality, so you can be sure that your 2017 holiday to Nissaki will deliver. Meaning ‘little island’ in Greek, Nissaki is a beautiful, secluded resort in north-eastern Corfu, found off the stunning Greek coast. Resting around a trio of coves, with sweeping views out to Albania, the tiny island paradise is also a fishing village, so you can expect fresh catches of the day. The village enjoys year-round mild temperatures, perfect for both beach-goers and those who want to explore the nearby peaks on foot.
The gorgeous sandy beaches and relaxed surroundings of Nissaki make it fantastic place for families plenty of space for children to play and explore, or for those who just want to get away from it all. Plus its old world charm and clutch of friendly tavernas offer the quintessential Greek experience.
At a glance
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When to go
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From walks in the mountains, passing through sleepy hamlets to high-energy activities, Nissaki has lots to see and do. Namely, are the two sets of caves just outside the village. To the north of Nissaki is the Kaminaki Cave which is formed of seven spectacular levels. Between the village of Barbati and on the slopes of the Pantokrator Mountain is the Katsouris Cave, which is said to have harboured pirates.
Also in the area is the unique and very photogenic Glyfa Bridge. Built in the 18th century, the bridge straddles between Barbati and Nissaki on a leafy glade. Nearby, in the hills of Mount Pantokrator there are several traditional villages around Nissaki. One of these is the deserted traditional village of Old Sinies, which is well worth a visit. Fancy a day at sea? Take a boat trip to the popular destination is Agni, where there’s a charming, pebble beach backed by a trio of family-run tavernas.
Wine and Dine
As you can imagine, the Ionian Sea provides restaurants with the majority of ingredients for their menus. With a wealth of tasty fish and shellfish, you need to look no further than the seafront tavernas on your holiday to Nissaki. Fresh from the fishing boats, you can enjoy the catch of the day from both The Rocks Taverna hidden in the cliff and Yiannis Taverna, which also serves traditional meals.
Packed with Mediterranean flavour, Corfu’s cuisine is unlike the rest of Greece’s. Both Moussaka and Baklava are very popular, as is the Sunday pasta dish Pastitsada, which is rich in poultry, tomatoes and spices. If you want to eat like the Corfiots, then you should also sample a plate of souvlakia with a glass of Retsina wine. When it comes to ordering in a restaurant, it’s worth bearing in mind that starters and mains are served at the same time. Think Greek tapas and share your dishes around the table.
Aside from the glorious beaches, the green land of olive trees and charming villages that surround Nissaki, there’s lots of entertainment for the family. For a big day out, in the centre of Corfu Island is Aqualand Water Park that claims to be most amazing water park in Europe. The kids will be in their element with the choice of 36 different water slides and 15 adventure pools, whilst adults can laze around in the Jacuzzi or find shade in the surrounding forests.
Perfect for strolling around, whilst enjoying an ice cream, Corfu Town is pedestrian friendly with a variety of sights. The impressive New and Old Fortresses, where the kids can imagine they’re king or queen of the castle, are both hard to miss. For an active day out, suitable for children ages six and over, the whole family can explore the hills of Corfu on a horse ride. The Trailriders Horse Trekking Centre is in the village of Ano Korakiana and provide guided horseback treks through olive trees and natural woodland.
Action and Adventure
You cannot go on holiday to Nissaki without taking a glimpse of the underwater life in the Ionian Sea. The transparent waters off the coast are ideal for snorkelling, especially in nearby Agni. Nearby Krouzeri is the home of water sports with excellent diving centres offering scuba dive trips out at sea. Alternatively, you can explore the island on a glass bottomed boat. The tours offered by Kalypso Star allow you to see bottom of the sea from the comfort of the unique boat. Sailing around Paleokastritsa where you will have the chance to see the unique underwater sights. The tour stops off at a deserted beach, only accessible by the sea.
If you pack your walking shoes and a picnic, you can hike along the Corfu trail which runs through the heart of Nissaki. Negotiating the trail beside the coast here, you will reach the glorious bays of Agni and Kalami and eventually end up on the cypress-covered sides of Mount Pantokrator.
Life's a Beach
At first glance, you’d think that Nissaki Bay was a no go area due to the rocks, however you’d be mistaken. The sandy shore is surrounded by rock formations and is ideally located between the villages Barbati and Kassiopi. Protected from the strong winds, the water gradually gets deeper and is a great place for families as the soft rocks on either side are safe for children to play within.
Nissaki is one of the most magnificent beaches in Corfu. The horseshoe beach is decorated with white pebbles and plenty of parasols and sun loungers to rent. With crystal clear water, you can see the beautiful underwater landscape and rich marine life of the Ionian Sea. If you get peckish, tavernas serving fresh seafood and local delicacies also surround the beach. Further along the coast are the blue flag beaches of Kaminaki and Krouzeri. If you want a laidback beach then the Caribbean-like waters and pebble beach of Kaminaki are extremely quiet. Whilst neighbouring Krouzeri has a picturesque bay and spectacular views.
When the sun goes down on your holiday in Nissaki, you can expect a chilled out evening at one of the many tavernas and bars. You can round of your traditional Greek evening by drinking the local Metaxa brandy along with feta cheese and olives. The one thing you won’t find in Nissaki is a buzzing nightlife, all-night discos or happy hours. Head to the neighbouring town of Barbati to enjoy the bright lights of the bar strip and enjoy everything from cocktails to cold beers.
15 minutes along the coast is the serious party hot spot of Ipsos. The nightclubs here attract the younger holidaymaker, so it’s fantastic if you’re young at heart and want to dance into the early hours. Further south is the capital, Corfu Town, which has the biggest variety of nightlife. Most nightlife is near to the port, where the main clubs are Cristal, Eixis and Au Bar are situated.
From tiny secluded coves to candle-lit dinners overlooking the sea, you’ll find romance hiding in every corner of Nissaki. When you book a couples holiday in Nissaki, you can expect an abundance of quiet spots on the beach to enjoy the sunset together. As you rest the sugar-white shingle, you can watch the tide ebb and flow gently into inviting gleaming waters, where you can take a refreshing evening dip in the sea. Set on the foothills of Mount Pantokrator and surrounded by lush greenery, there are many romantic areas around the village. Get lost on a walk through the olive groves and stop on a hillside taverna for a refreshing glass of local wine.
Fell the need to explore? Why not head to the harbour and hire a boat to discover the beautiful north east coast of Corfu and village of Kassiopi. There’s something about sailing in the Ionian Sea, with the sun on the horizon that can stir up passionate emotions.
Draped in history, various cultures have left their mark on Nissaki and the surrounding area. The region’s stone heritage is evident up in the mountain villages where time has stood still. The local stone masonry can be seen in the traditional old village houses and pretty churches. Walking through the winding, narrow, cobbled stone streets, you will witness traditional Greek life.
The best example of these ancient villages is Old Sinies that sits above Nissaki. The deserted Byzantine village was abandoned in the 20th century, so there is not much life here apart from the odd bakery and quaint café. Further up the hills is the Pantokrator Monastery that sits on Corfu’s highest mountain. Away from Nissaki, history buffs will love the Roman baths at Palaeopolis, Acharavi and Benitses. Elsewhere, Corfu Town has a captivating mix of Greek and Venetian architecture, and also the home to the Architectural Museum. The Old Town has also been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its three Venetian forts.