The Majestic Desert of Corfu – Must see attractions10 Feb, 2017
Attractions not to be missed when visiting Spiti Prifti
The Majestic Desert of Corfu at the sea lake of Korission and Halikouna Beach
When you plan your vacation at Spiti Prifti this summer, be prepared to experience something different. There are many points of interest that are within close proximity from our premises. Some of them not more than an hour’s drive, some others, a little longer. It really is worth hopping in a car and drive to these places. Without witnessing the sheer beauty of these attractions, your holidays will simply not be the same.
This is the reason we have decided to do a mini –Attractions of Corfu – series in our Blog.
This first travel article is dedicated to a place we consider very special. Being able to see a surreal Desert landscape on a Greek Island such as Corfu, is the least you would expect.
It all started on a quiet, winter day. The sun was shinning, (as it is often the case here during winter), and we, (Spyros and myself), decided to take off and go for a nice, leisurely drive. It was many years ago since I had last visited this place. My father had taken both my mother and myself on a similar driving expedition. I was still at Boarding School in England that time, and was visiting during Easter break.
My mother was stunned by the sheer beauty of this unusual landscape and all I remember was that I got a bit annoyed getting sand in my new trainers then, (I know I was very conscious and a bit of a drama mamma when it came to my new clothing attire).
Spyros was driving for about 45 minutes from Spiti Prifti when we first starting noticing the gradual change of scenery around us. The light was brilliant even though it was about 3pm in the middle of the winter. A few miles later and we first started seeing land formations brilliantly formed, as if there were sculptured by a magical wand.
These were actually sand dunes. It felt like we were in a time warp – transported in the Sahara Desert and not on the Greek island of Corfu!
We parked the car and got out full of excitement and curiosity for what we were about to see!
I was wiser now and wore a pair of army like boots so the sand could not slide its way on the inside, (yes, I know what you’re thinking). Spyros, on the other hand, was very excited to be here. He took off his shoes and was happily sinking his feet into the cool soft feeling of the desert sand. It was a completely mind blowing experience for him, having lived most of his life in the concrete jungle of Athens.
The dark brown colour, mixed with the golden coloured hues of the desert sand, made a picture perfect landscape. The blue of the sky illuminated at places, making all sorts of crazy colour combinations. I have to admit that although I remembered quite vividly this place, (though for different reasons), I was pleasantly surprised too. I started to enjoy the softness of this desert sand and the work out it offered me in trying to climb up to the sand dunes. The fact that no grain of sand escaped to find its way inside my boots, made me even happier.
Seeing Spyros enjoy it as much, I could not help wonder how much fun a family outing this would be!
I could almost see and hear the children laughing and jumping around on the sand dunes. Sliding down and forming new ridges and canals as the sand gently shifted under their weight. Running down and across Halikouna Beach and jumping straight into the cooling waters of the deep blue sea.
The Fauna and Flora of this place is what makes it truly rare and special. Unlike huge and well known desert landscapes, (where hardly anything flourishes or survives), Halikouna Beach and the sea lake of Korission, will amaze you once again.
The special tree species of Cedar, belonging in the extended family of Pine Trees, manages to thrive here despite the harsh environment. Sprawled throughout the sand dunes, cedar bushes of various sizes gather around throughout the area. They compliment this surreal landscape in an excellent way.
Natura 2000, (the Ecological Network of Protected Areas in Europe), has encompassed this area under its protective umbrella. This stands for good reason, as the sand dunes of Halikouna Beach, along with the sea lake of Korission, are sanctuary for more than 148 total bird species. These include several migratory Waterbirds, Cormorants, and even Flamingos, (yes Flamingoes). In addition, several fish species, miniature shrimp and various insects find sanctuary here throughout the year.
The Sea Lake of Korrision is a big area, covering more than 2,500 hectares. One of the fish species found here, produces excellent fish roe as well, which is well known to the area and the few taverns scattered around. Nature lovers will appreciate a walk through the Olive groves that have made this area home.
For those that are after some adrenaline rush, there is a Kite Surfing school here during the summer months. The kites add great colour splashes in the blue, summer skies.
A visit to this place is not complete without watching the sun go down. Being on the South-Western side of Corfu, Halikouna Beach and Korission sea lake offer spectacular sunsets.
We watched the sun go down and slowly made our way back to the car. The soul soothing feelings that the landscape offered to us that day, lasted for many days ahead. We drove back in total silence! Music, (our usual companion while driving anywhere else), was just not going to be the kind of entertainment we were after.
The captivating images that we had just witnessed were enough to overwhelm any other mundane reality!
Enjoy some more pictures at full size from out outing to Halikouna Beach and Lake Korission.