Sometimes it is mazing how your life suddenly can change. You were raised as a fisherman and very happy with your life then the very next moment you suddenly became owner or manager of apartments, studios or a hotel on Greece's most popular holiday island called Corfu. This is exactly what happened in the early seventies to many families in Roda, a former fishing village in northern Corfu. At that time Dad took his oldest son into his simple fishing boat to teach him the rudiments of the noble work of fishing, while the mothers stayed ashore, fixed the defective nets and kept her other offspring safe and sound in her skirts. Nothing wrong, a perfect life, things went on for ever and so it will remain always. Or that’s what people thought then.
A holiday island is born
But in the early seventies, people looked surprised when suddenly a few bulldozers came, accompanied by large cranes and other heavy equipment, pulling out the hard lumpy ground a huge building of lots of concrete, glass and steel. After many months of noise, smell and dust there appeared a man in a business suit - a very unusual outfit Roda – who pushed a big sign in the ground of the garden in front of the building.
When people overcame their surprise they went to look and there it was in big letters: Roda Beach Hotel.
Once the initial shock and amazement had vanished, the gnarled fishermen and their descendants laughed about so much stupidity and then went quickly on sorting their catch. A hotel? We don’t know that! Fishing is our tradition, that's what we do, come on. But...
Then the concrete colossus began filling up with wildly enthusiastic foreigners, who did not know how fast they have to book their holiday for next year on this beautiful Greek island in the Ionian Sea. These pale people, also known as tourists, were all looking for restaurants and bars to spend their bundles of money, which they carried in their leather wallets on their belly.
The rest is history. Another Spyros drove by in a large luxury car. His smile was almost hidden by a large cigar. He had sold his fishing company with boats and nets and land to a builder, exchanged his fisherman suit for a hand tailored costume and seemed immeasurable happy.
That was the moment when during the evening hours at the local coffee houses the conversations started. For a start, former colleague and friend Spyros was not there. He was buying a new car again. But everyone else was there to try to discuss what the hell the possibilities were for retraining. One after another quit the fishing industry and opened an apartment, a hotel or a restaurant.
And thus Roda, which was a timid little unworldly fishing village on the coast of north Corfu, transformed into one of the most popular beach resorts on the Greek islands.
Popular beaches on Corfu
Yet the village haven’t lost its original character! Especially the long pebble beach of Roda, which brings back memories of the days when ones income was drawn from the sea with much toil and exertion. The small harbour is still used by some local fishermen and a number of times a week boats will take tourists to Erikoussa, a small island off the north coast of Corfu. A beautiful boat ride for over one hour, to find out that fishing remains an important source of income for many Greeks.
From this picturesque island it is also possible to cross the water to the other Diapontia islands Othoni and Mathraki. Definitely worth the effort, but do not forget to take sunscreen and a hat with you. The sun is extra strong when at sea.
Got no interest in boats or visiting other islands than the one where you are? Don’t worry there is still a lot to enjoy on this part of Corfu. Roda has a long sandy / pebbly beach and is ideal for even the littlest ones. You can walk into the water so far that you think that maybe you can walk to Erikoussa. That is not possible, but it's a comforting thought that the short holiday seekers - what children usually are – have lots of room to splish and splash.
Nightlife in Corfu
Roda would not be a modern Greek resort if there are not a whole slew of nice restaurants, souvenir shops, travel agencies, rental companies, jewellers, bars and other places where you can pull out your wallet. The cosy centre of Roda is a stone's throw away from the beach and the sea, so it really is not really a centre. But it is an ideal spot to relax and wander through the sunny streets. Sitting on a terrace, behind a glass of beer watching until the sun slowly turns into a beautiful red football is even more beautiful. Take a look at one of the many side streets. Not many tourists are interested, but those streets have almost lost nothing of their origins. Just walk there quietly moving between old houses and their elderly residents. You might be watched with a little curiosity but most of them will greet you in a friendly manner.
Walking and Sailing Fun
The northern side of Corfu is renowned for its beautiful hiking area and Roda is no exception to that. Only difference with the neighbouring villages of Sidari and Acharavi is that the environment here is relatively flat. Not as flat as the grass of Buckingham Palace for instance, but there’s no need to invest in all kinds of ointments and liniments to bring your flaming calves to ease after a challenging walk. Lots of forested areas (if you were not a fisherman in the old days, you earned your living in agriculture), many deserted beaches as you go westwards, so lots of exercise on this beautiful Greek island Corfu.
You want to see Roda from a different angle? Rent a boat and explore the entire northern coast of Corfu! Although many people think that Corfu is very touristy, there are hundreds of deserted beaches and bays along the shoreline that are impossible to reach by road. Near Roda you will find some of these pristine beaches with palm Bounty scenes.
It’s a special feeling, throwing the anchor in the bluest water you’ve ever seen nearby an abandoned white beach, plunging overboard and stretching out on the warm sand. That was previously a privilege only Columbus and other great explorers were granted.
Experience that special feeling during your holiday and notice that because of your discovery, your self-esteem increased by leaps and bounds.
A Corfu holiday: good for you!