Style: Freeride, Freestyle, Wave
Level: Intermediate, Good, Specialist
Chalikounas located on the southwestern shore of Corfu, is one of the most impressive beaches of the island as this large, sandy shore extends north-west of the freshwater lake Limni Korission, separating the lake from the sea.
it is one of the few beaches where little or no development is allowed as it is part of the Natura 2000 areas, so by today's standards one of the few “wild” beaches left unaltered by human intervention and yes, it is also one of the windiest beaches of the island catching the summer north westerlies side on, but still sheltered from large waves good for beginners and intermediates but leaving advanced sailors hungry for larger waves.
Chalikounas and Issos are the most popular wind/kitesurf spots in Corfu.
Medium Months: January, February, March, November, December
Wind Type: Thermal Winds
Best Direction: NW
Main Direction: SE, SSE, S, SSW, SW, NW
Wind Factor: 11-16 knots (4 bft), 17-21 knots (5 bft), 22-27 knots (6 bft)
Main Wind Direction: Side Onshore
Blowing at: Midday, Afternoon
During the summer are very consistent and prediction accurate as there are few variations in the weather. Typically, the island will get a stream of cool dry wind from the North West once a week and will blow for 2-3 sometimes 4 days, from April till September. Best month is July. These winds start from the morning from a force 3 bft and peak early afternoon as they get accelerated by the local sea breeze to a solid 5 going on to 6 bft, gradually fading to a 4 as the sun sets, but will continue to throughout the night dropping to a 2-3 bft.
The best time is between 15:00-18:00 when the wind is at its peak and before veering to the north when it will become somewhat gusty from the nearby mountain of Panaktor. You can continue sailing well into the evening but if you want clean air you need to stay a good 500 meters inshore to avoid the mountains turbulence. Day two is often the strongest and can pick up to a solid force 6 bft, easily reaching 7 and peaking to an 8+. Yes, it can and does get very windy here, but typically winds are in the region of 4-6 bft. If you are a kitesurfer, the most popular kites are 12-14m. You can expect warm temperatures from spring to autumn with very little rain.
Winter: SE to SW winds.
Depth: Shallow (walking several steps not to step on)
Chalikounas has exceptionally clean water and is unspoiled by tourists. The sea is moderate at best, even when the winds are howling since the beach is protect by a rocky point further up the coast and no its far too rocky to catch the waves there, so the best you can find are modest rolling waves inshore and short chop along the beach.
This makes it perfect for beginners to intermediate sailors knowing that if they cannot restart in deep waters all it will cost them is a long walk back. The beach downwind is present shape, with a 50 m shallow sandy gradient and safe so it will catch any drifters without any worries.
This of course will not make wave sailors happy who are thirsty for big waves, at least not during the summer months. September onwards when the Southerlies make their appearance it is a different story altogether. Fully exposed to the South the waves often rise above the coastline and into the lagoon. Surfing during the autumn and winters months pose a whole set of new challenges including safety since the beach becomes almost deserted.
Bathers Period: July, August
Kid Friendly: Yes
The beach is approximately one mile long, 25m wide stretch of soft yellow sand backed by bushes and wild vegetation. The natural environment in Chalikounas beach is unique, unaltered even by tourism. Lake Korission, moreover, is the most significant wetland of the whole island and it is a preserved area. There is a small, wooden bridge which allows you to cross to the opposite shore at that point where the lake connects and flows into the sea. In the surrounding area extends a dense forest full of impressive cedar-trees.
Chalikounas is the island's most popular kite spot, although it's never that busy. Happily, it is never crowded even though it is one of the most popular shores of the island. Swimmers rarely come here as the beach is off the beaten track and the last mile down the dirt track is bumpy. So, if you are a kitesurfer, there is always lots of space to rig up and very few swimmers to worry about. When windy this beach is for sure never crowded.
One more benefit is the fact that it is accessible even to handicapped people as it has wheelchair ramps at certain strategic points.
Access to Chalikounas: From Corfu center south and follow signs to Chalikounas, which is further south of Agios Mattheos. You can park directly next to the beach.
Access to Corfu: As is the case for most Greek islands, Corfu can be reached by sea or by air.
Arrival by Airplane: The International Airport of Corfu, Ioannis Kapodistrias, is located 3 km south of the centre of the island, in the region “Kanoni”. There are daily flights from and to the airport of Athens, Eleytherios Venizelos, and the duration of the flight is round 1 hour. There is also air connection to Thessaloniki, 3 or 4 times a week. Ticket prices can be very low, if you make the reservation enough time before, or if you travel during low season. In summer it may have air connection with other Greek islands, such as Kefalonia and Zakynthos. Finally, during high period, Corfu is air-connected to a lot of European cities, with charter flights, mainly from Germany and England.
Arrival by Ferry/Boat: Alternatively, you can reach Corfu by ferry-boat, because it is connected with mainland Greece at two places. From Igoumenitsa there are daily routes to Corfu, from 6 in the morning up to 10 in the evening. The trip lasts 1 to 1,5 hour, depending on the type of ferry boat you have select. During summer months, boats from and to Igoumenitsa depart every 15 minutes, because a lot of tourists visit the island of Corfu. There is also a faster run from Lefkimmi to Igoumenitsa and back.
From the port in Patra, the trip to Corfu lasts 7 -8 hours, but it is very comfortable because the ferry boats are luxurious. These ferries go to Italy and stop in Corfu port for embarkation. The sea connection Corfu-Italy is frequent and the main cities are Bari, Ankona and Brindisi.
Finally, there are boats, which transport you to nearby destinations such as Paxoi, Kefallonia and neighboring Albania.
Arrival by Car, Moto, Camper Van: If you decide to reach the island of Corfu by boat, you should first reach either Igoumenitsa's port or Patra's port.
To get to Igoumenitsa from Central or South Greece you you will pass through Arta or Aktion and Preveza: The city of Arta is linked with the GR-5 (Antirrio - Ioannina) and the GR-30 which links with Peta and Trikala. There are some good highways, like the Corinth-Athens and the Athens-Larissa, Corinth-Tripoli and the Egnatia highway. Igoumenitsa is about 470 km away from Athens, 284 km from Patra, 85 km from Preveza and 130 km from Arta.
In order to get to Parga from Preveza, the underwater road crossing through the Aktion - Preveza channel ensures the fastest connection of Aetoloakarnania and southern Greece with the coastal zone of the prefectures of Preveza - Thesprotia and the Port of Igoumenitsa. The distance is about 15 km shorter than from Arta, but it will take 15 minutes more to reach the spot. The distance from Preveza to Parga is 85 km.
The distance from Thessaloniki -Greece's second largest city, till Igoumenitsa is 323 km through Egnatia highway.
Arrival by Bus: You can go to Corfu also by the KTEL buses, which stop at the port and have direct sea-connection to Corfu. From Athens (Kifiso Station) to Igoumenitsa there are 2 daily routes, which stop in Korinthos, in Patras, in Agrinio and in Arta. From Thessaloniki (Macedonia Station) to Igoumenitsa there are also 2 daily routes and the bus stops in Larissa and in Ioannina.
Arrival by Train: Train travel is not so much in fashion anymore due to the complexity of the journey through the Balkans. Rail services link Thessaloniki with Athens, Thrace and Patra. The line through what was once Yugoslavia provides connections with Central and Western Europe. The line through Bulgaria connects to Eastern Europe and the line through Istanbul, Turkey with the countries of the Near East.
Local Transportation: When you arrive in Corfu, you can either use the public transportation (local bus) or taxis or, even better, rent a car (or a motorbike in the summer). If you land to Corfu airport, you can take a taxi or ask the rental agency that your car will wait for you at the airport. If you come by ferry, you can rent a car at the car rental agencies that surround the port.
By Bus: In Corfu there are available two bus-services, which are well-organized, with modern vehicles and frequent itineraries: The first is the municipal bus service. The buses are of blue color and the station is found at San Rocco square. These buses transfer you in the capital and in the suburbs: Afra, Saint Ioannis, Kanoni, Perama, Achillean... The second service is the KTEL, which offers transportation to long-distanced regions of the island such as: Lefkimi, Kavos, Karoysades, Saint Panteleimon, Saint Gordios, Glyfada and a lot of other. KTEL buses are blue and the central station is found at Theotoki Street.
By Car: Corfu is a large island and for this reason the best way in order to get around to the historical monuments, the beaches and the picturesque villages is the private vehicle. If you have not brought your car on the island, there are a lot of car rental options available from our website. You can pick your car up at the port, the airport and in the capital of the island. There is a great variety of vehicles offered, from small cars to luxurious jeeps. Select the vehicle that suits you, in order to explore Corfu. Of course, remember that you should have the driving license always with you and you should not drive if you have drunk alcohol, in order to avoid unpleasant fines from the frequent police controls.
By Taxi: Alternatively, if you do not want to rent a car, you can take a taxi to get around the island. You can find taxi-stations, in the most cental points of the island, such as San Rokko Square and Theotoki Street, but there is also the telephone service of radio-taxi. The prices for the most popular destinations are fixed and you can ask about them before getting into the taxi. There is also the option taxi-meter charge for non frequent destinations.