The village of Kalami, on the northeastern side of Corfu is an absolutely ideal destination for escape from everyday life, for a dream holiday and relaxation. It is a delightful seaside resort, situated 28 km from the city of Corfu. Its distinctive, uniform, horseshoe-shaped bay is surrounded by lush vegetation. Located below the villages of Gimari and Vlachatika, it has a fabulous outlook to the opposite beaches of neighbouring Albania.
Sparkling, crystal clear waters reflect the verdant green of the pines and cypresses around the bay. The pebbled beach has been awarded a Blue Flag, and has sunbeds and umbrellas for rent.
For lovers of water sports, options include water skiing, canoeing, wake boarding, pedalos, Ringo and Banana rides. Jet skis and boats are also available for hire for those who wish to explore the wider area.
The village has a hotel, holiday rental apartments and villas to accommodate all tourist requirements and budgets, with the majority having the added advantage of breathtaking sea views.
There are also two supermarkets, tourist shops with folk art items, gift and souvenir shops and much more. In terms of dining, the area is rich in traditional tavernas, restaurants, bars and pool bars, many of which have sea frontage. The “Thomas’ Place” family taverna comes highly recommended with a lovely selection of local cuisine, traditional dishes and, of course, fresh fish! The ambiance is tranquil, the décor traditional, the service friendly and the sea view amazing. And then there is the food which is positively delicious, whatever you decide to savour.
The famous Durrell’s were great ambassadors for the island of Corfu and presented the island in the best light to the world. The family arrived on the island for the first time in January of 1935 and met Spyros Halikiopoulos (local people called him the American guy), one of the few Corfiots, at the time, who knew how to speak English. Spyros became their friend and guide, the congenial taxi driver taking them everywhere and showing them his island with unabated pride.
They explored the villages and discovered the unique beauty and diversity of the green isle. One of the excursions took them, by taxi, to Kouloura and they then walked to beautiful Kalami.
The White House on the rock in Kalami, belonging to Mr. Tatsis of Athinaios, won the hearts of the family.
Kalami, at this time, had no road so was rather remote and isolated in winter but offered writers, Lawrence and his wife, Nancy, tranquility and respite after the heady summers spent with friends. They so loved the area and the hospitable people that they renovated the White House and added another floor as their private residence. For three years, from 1936 to 1939, it was the Durrell’s home.
In 1939, with the fear of impending war, the Durrell’s left Corfu and returned to England. War broke out in 1940. The Durrell’s returned to alluring Corfu on several occasions after the war, as it was a place that was dear to them and one they had never forgotten.
Author Lawrence Durrell, was inspired by the island’s landscapes and traditions which he vividly described in his book “Prospero’s Cell”. His brother, Gerald Durrell, wrote “My Family and other Animals”; a narrative of the Durrell family’s life on Corfu and the flora and fauna of the island which so fascinated him.
The White House currently belongs to the family of Mr. George Athinaios (son of Mr. Tatsis). Tassos, his grandson, runs the restaurant and manages the rental apartments.
ΚΑΤΣΑΡΟΣ, Θωμάς (2016). “Τα σπίτια που φιλοξένησαν τους Durrells“, MyKerkyra magazine: the real Corfu, Τεύχος 18| 2016, σελ. 66 – 68