We (my husband Nigel and I) have just returned from a week in Dassia and it’s May 2018. I was hoping to stay somewhere peaceful to perfect the outline of my next book and Corfu gave me that peace, most of the time. This was out first experience of the Greek Islands so bear with me on my lack of geographical knowledge.
Villa Yannis is set in the countryside, or should I say a shattering twenty-five minute uphill walk from Dassia Beach. However, we did the walk daily, sometimes twice and sometimes in the sweltering heat. We love a walk but if you suffer with any mobility problems and don’t hire a car then this location may not be ideal. If like us, you love a challenging walk, it’s perfect. Walking certainly helps with the extra holiday food we tend to consume, especially all the bread that seems to come free of charge with meals.
Our apartment was traditional in style, beautiful balconies, views of olive groves and trees. Butterflies fluttered in abundance, showing off an array of stunning colours. At night we could hear the Scops Owls calling as we watched the lightning flash in the skies above. Lightning without any thunder. Orange flashing through the black skies. Morning then came with the sound of cockerels. I know I’m painting an idyllic picture here but here comes the little irritation. Dogs chained up and left outside all night.
We had a few sleepless nights because of the barking relay that was going on. One dog tended to start it, we called it Boomer, then Yappy joined in, then soon after, all the dogs joined in. It only seemed to bother us though. The locals seem to accept and ignore it. We spoke to a lovely woman, Helga who owns Helga Holidays. She exchanged our money at the excursions shop on Dassia front and explained that this certainly was a cultural thing. Dogs are apparently left outside and people get used to the noise.
If we went again, I think we’d locate ourselves closer to the sea, away from the rural dog chorus. However noisy they were, I did slightly fall for one of the dogs and managed to poke my arm through the fence to stroke it as we passed. My advice to any tourist coming here would be to pack some very good earplugs and request rooms away from open stretches of land that are guarded by dogs.
The sandy part of Dassia beach is mostly taken up by the new Ikos Hotel. This hotel is heavily guarded and they spot trespassers like us a mile off. However, the beach is public. Their sun-loungers cover a lot of the sand but you can walk along the front and pitch up with a picnic should you so desire.
My husband was keen to film and photograph the exterior of the new hotel but was swiftly told by a guard that he had to stop filming. I thought he was being protective of the guests on the beach, sweating in their skimpy swimming costumes but no. Filming the guests was fine. Filming the hotel was a no no. Don’t worry, if you were on the beach sunning yourself last week, we didn’t film you. We really did want to just film a bit of the seafront from either direction. I think the hotel seriously have their priorities wrong on this one but who am I to criticise their external videography and photography policy. Although, I must add, they have no legal right whatsoever to prevent anyone filming anything from a public place so we continued to take some footage anyway. I thought a few lovely photos posted on Facebook might be good for them, free publicity and all that.
We passed a few establishments, one beach bar with a pool that sounded like a party bar, I think it was called Malibu Bar. Then there was a jetty where the boat trips departed from. I saw a price on some of the literature, I think a boat trip would cost around €30 per person.
After passing a hotel/cafe, we found our happy place, a little bar/restaurant called La Plaz. It offered brilliant value for money and a lovely menu of which we ate a lot from. The baked aubergine was lovely and the cocktails, they were good too and ranging from approximately €4. I must add that the staff were lovely which kept us coming back throughout the week. They also provided free sun-loungers for customers. The price of the sun-loungers at the Malibu Bar were €12 per day. If you’re on a budget, La Plaz is the place to go.
If you’re facing the beach in Dassia, turn left and keep going as far as you can. You’ll come across an old derelict tourist establishment. The rusty old umbrellas and sun-loungers give the shingle strip a post-apocalyptic look. Maybe it went bankrupt or the project was never completed, who knows. It would have/could have been a lovely place to stay or eat. Now, it has a silent eerie feel about it. *I have since found out it used to be a club/bar that closed many years ago.
A restaurant we both agreed provided quality and value was 60 Needles. This little gem is situated close to Villa Yannis and is well worth a visit for a special meal at everyday prices. I had the most amazing chargrilled veggies (I don’t eat meat) and tried a lovely sample of yogurt cake that was made by the owner herself. We also enjoyed watching the nesting birds that were feeding their chicks. A delightful evening all round. This was my restaurant of the holiday and I’d recommend it. We were both full and had had enough to drink for €40, and that included a tip.
I’d recommend the bus service if you want to visit Corfu Town. The journey takes about half an hour and costs approximately €1.70 each way. Tickets can be purchased from the supermarket outside the bus stop in Dassia. Corfu Town is easy to spot when you arrive. It’s grand and bustling, like any major city.
The Dassia supermarkets are well stocked if you go self catering. If you want local produce the food is cheap but if you’re after Heinz beans, you’ll pay a fortune. It’s well worth trying the kumquat liqueur which is delicious, like yummy cough medicine. I wasn’t all too keen on the candied kumquats though. Each to their own.
There is a bit of a bin emptying issue but it didn’t affect us at all and wouldn’t have put us off going. I’m not sure why this is, maybe someone can enlighten me in the comments below.
Would I come again?
Definitely. I’d look to stay closer to the sea where the evenings would be a little quieter. The views are amazing as is the flora and fauna. Corfu is a beautiful island and should be experienced at least one in a lifetime. It’s fairy cheap to get to. Our flights were approximately £120 each for a return and out apartment cost less than £300 for the week. We used Lord Travel for the transfer and they got us to and from the airport without any issues.
I hope you found my information of some use if you are also planning a trip to Dassia. For now, I’m going to get on with writing my third book in the DI Gina Harte series. Thank you Corfu for giving me the environment I needed for getting into the writing zone.
Author of the iBooks UK bestseller, The Next Girl.
The Next Girl
She thought he’d come to save her. She was wrong.
Deborah Jenkins pulls her coat around her as she sets out on her short walk home in the pouring rain. But she never makes it home that night. And she is never seen again …
Four years later, an abandoned baby girl is found wrapped in dirty rags on a doorstep. An anonymous phone call urges the police to run a DNA test on the baby. But nobody is prepared for the results.
The newborn belongs to Deborah. She’s still alive.
If you love Lisa Gardner, Patricia Gibney and Robert Bryndza, you’ll love this jaw-dropping new crime thriller from Carla Kovach. The Next Girl will keep you guessing until the very last page.