Val and her daughter Zoe have created an ‘island within an island’ in the village of Poulades near Korakiana through their eco-friendly philosophy and activities at Casa Lucia. The family took their old olive press estate, transforming it into eight gorgeous private cottages, along with a meeting space and a pool in the middle of a green paradise-like place. Of course, being on an island, the beach is just a short bus ride away (Paliokastritsa Beach).
Healthy lifestyle inside-out
Espousing an eco-friendly philosophy that’s high on recycling, green products, onsite organic farming and low energy use, Casa Lucia encourages its guests to return to a clean, healthy, creative and responsible way of living that’s good for the soul. There is no television in the rooms and no need for air conditioning, thanks to the cooler Corfu nights and eco-friendly building design. This will encourage you to embark on a number of new experiences
To begin with, the property offers yoga and tai chi sessions, as well as mind-therapy combined with dance therapy and dance movement. There’s even a special session for children and parents together. Nearby is an interesting ceramics workshop run by a friendly couple that also must be visited. Noteworthy on the island is the Silvaland Project, run by Silvia Steen who is breeding the rare, small-sized Skyrian horses and offers therapeutic horseback riding to children.
With respect to eco-tourism, Corfu is a true pleasure for hiking, which can be arranged in the company of a botanist if you want to learn about this green island’s rich flora.Casa Lucia also has contact with little local businesses that offer cycling and horseback riding for everyone.
Gastronomy and adventure together
A treasure chest of activities and local culinary surprises await those who venture to this part of Corfu and Casa Lucia. Take a trip to a vineyard with a cooking demonstration by a lovely lady with a penchant for preparing delicious local food.
You can also enjoy lunch in two organic farms owned by family friends: one farm produces delicious jams, chutneys, cheeses and baked delicacies, while the other is run by an enterprising lady who left her designer job with Louis Vuitton in Paris to come back to her native Corfu. She did however keep her creative side by producing ancient Greek sandals that amaze visitors.
Closer to home, just a five-minute walk from the property, Lucciola Restaurant offers fabulous Corfiot dishes at very reasonable prices. It’s open every evening in summer, as well as on weekends during winter. Further afield, about half an hour’s drive, the mouthwatering Ambelones restaurant located on a vineyard will impress you. The owners have revived old local recipes and delight in preparing fine dishes made with local herbs and organic produce from the gardens.
For a real natural experience visit Halikouna Lake for some good food and easy birdwatching: wild birds and even flamingoes will appear before your eyes. Dine in a favorite seafood restaurant by the lake and admire the sand dunes before heading further south to visit the Alikes Environmental Centre. Once a plain of salt beds, the area is now a protected reserve for visiting flamingoes in autumn and early spring.
Lastly, if you feel like cooking ‘at home’, just order the local organic vegetable box to prepare your own Mediterranean dishes. Corfu’s cuisine is really an unparalleled mix of Greek and Italian flavors, and this part of the island – untouched by mass tourism – will delight your palate.