Corfu's Diaponitia islands
'beaches and coves in a superbly tranquil setting'.
Northwest of Corfu is a trio of tiny islets that help make up the beautiful Diaponitia Islands, a set of serene Greek island hideaways and popular day trip destinations from many Corfu resorts.
The islands are very beautiful, often with dense vegetation and many delightful small beaches and coves in a superbly tranquil setting.
The islet of Erikousa is the nearest to Sidari, a tiny place just about two kilometres in diameter and with a population of around 90 people.
Most of the inhabitants live in the harbour town of Porto on the south coast, set in a large bay of shallow water with a signature old windmill sitting on the hilltop above.
The islet name is said to derive from the purple heather (riki in Greek) which is found everywhere and makes Erikousa instantly recognisable.
Erikousa also has plenty of very old and gnarled olive trees which produce much prized oil of very high quality.
Most of the island's inhabitants scratch a living from agriculture and fishing although the growth in tourism has added an extra income stream in recent years.
A small track leads north across the islet to a small beach cove at Pranghini where the crystal waters are ideal for swimming
Othoni is the largest of the island trio, the furthest from Corfu, and the westernmost point of the whole of Greece.
One of the most notable characteristics of Othoni are its impressive rock formations and the numerous marine caves that are a great underwater playground for scuba divers.
According to mythology Othoni was home to the legendary Calypso, the Muse that kept Odysseus prisoner for seven years.
The Cave of Calypso is considered a must-see for visitors but the main village is Ammos with a small port often full of anchored boats.
Othoni has around 150 permanent inhabitants living in the villages of Ammos, Horio, Dafni, Kasimatika and Deletatika.
For those who fancy more than a day trip there is a small hotel, some rooms to let and tavernas that serve freshly caught fish and other local dishes.
The island is about eleven square kilometres and crowned with soft, rolling hills that make it ideal for hiking as well as boating and fishing
Mathraki is the smallest and least populated of the three. It to the south of the other two islets, about six kilometres from the Corfu resort of Agios Stefanos.
Boats pull into the port at Plakes but there is no permanent settlement here just a three kilometre beach at Portela which is a turtle nesting site. Inland are a few hamlets at Benatika, Geatika and Karagioulatika where around 70 people live.
Most notable are two huge rocks that lie offshore called Karavi and Arkousa by the locals. According to the legend they are all that remains of a Turkish ship and a pirate boat, petrified by the island saint Agios Nikolaos before they could loot the island church.
With small populations and a picturesque setting these are real getaway Greek islands. The scenery is wild with many small sand beaches and coves that offer relaxation away from the crowds even in the high season.
There are day trip boats from ports at Sidari, San Stefanos and even from the port at Corfu Town.