Author Topic: How I found San Stefanos.!!!  (Read 52779 times)

Offline dimitris

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How I found San Stefanos.!!!
« on: February 11, 2012, 01:11:10 PM »
First time I visited San Stefanos was when I was 6 or 7 years old,
It was a daytrip with our Arillas Local School . We walked down from the school all the way from Arillas Church and ended up outside waves Taverna. At this Year the schooll had about 60 children. my class was consisted by 7 kids. it was me, Noula, Aggelos from waves taverna, Thanassis from Tsaros, Klaudios the Brewmeister from Corfu Beer, Vasillis from Armourada in Arillas , Spiros and Spirodoula Kaloudis from Arillas.
This is my strory,... very simple as we have the privelege to have been born here.
What is yours?
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 01:19:41 PM by dimitris »

Dimitris Kourkoulos
Brouklis Str 7  Arillas
49081 Corfu
0030 26630 51418
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Re: How I found San Stefanos.!!!
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2012, 03:31:47 PM »
I first visited Corfu in approx 1995 and spent 2 excellent holidays at the Costas Golden Beach in St. George North.It was during my 2nd trip we hired a car and toured the North of the island.This is how I first found San Stefanos.The following year we booked The Thomas Bay which in those days was bed & breakfast.Among the waiters were George (ex Mistral) & Vangelis (ex Nafsica).Both of whom I now believe are fisherman based in San Stefanos harbour.These were the days before Little Prince & Athina among others existed.In fact Spiros of Bar 38 was also a waiter in the Thomas Bay.
After 3 wonderful years at the Thomas Bay it went half board.It was now time to find somewhere else, as a major part of my holiday is to eat out in the evening at one of the many excellent Tavernas in the village.
One day I followed the path from the beach to the top of cardiac hill & discovered the Romanza. In those days Leo & Jenny now at the Mythica ran the Taverna.Katie in those days ran reception and when Leo and Jenny left,she along with her son Andreas took over the Taverna.I must say what a brilliant job they are doing but I could be biased as this years visit will be my 12th.To get back to the early years Demetra(ex Delfino Blu Pool bar) who now runs Sotto Zero ice cream parlour in the village ran the Romanza pool bar.Also from those days was Aris a young waiter who spoke very limited English.He is now at the Nafsika and his English has come on a ton & is now far better than my Greek will ever be.



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Re: How I found San Stefanos.!!!
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2012, 11:19:05 PM »
After 20+ years of holiday abroad I made my first visit to Corfu in 1999 after seeing the Thomas Bay Hotel advertised in Lunn Poly window. Lunn Poly the younger folks ask? Thomson bought them out. At this stage of my life I had stuck to my promise of never visiting the same resort twice.
I don't know what happened but as I arrived home on the friday night I recalled the great welcome that we'd had and the wonderful people that we'd met and by 9.00am next day I was in the travel agents booking up for 2000.
I have stayed in many places throughout the village and never felt at all disappointed in any that I've stayed at. June this year will see us making our 25th visit.
It is the welcome from all our Corfiot friends that we have made over the years and the multitude of characters that we have met there who have also made it a home from home.
Roll on june...

Offline tonyco1

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Re: How I found San Stefanos.!!!
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2012, 05:35:23 AM »
We found it - - - - - Completely by accident!
Up to 1982 we had gone to holiday in the UK, once to Tenerife, & Majorca - we were not too impressed, the Brits were relatively poor compared to the Germans who could tip well, so the Spanish Waiters didn't give good service in those days.

Now a year later & it's 1983 - we just could not afford a holiday this year, money in those days was really tight, as we had started a mortgage on our house, 5 years before.
Inflation was rife and we struggled. I was doing a part time job as well, getting around 4-6 hours sleep in those days, Linda had gone back to work and mum-in-law looked after the kids. The Mortgage rate had gone through the roof - I'll never know how we survived some of those years!
All of a sudden, my company had negotiated the annual pay rise with the Trade Union, months after it was due -
we got an unbelievable 23% pay rise with the owed back pay thrown in as well. I was due to have 3 weeks holiday,
I arranged to work for my part-time job for the first 6 days, and was looking for a caravan holiday.

We suddenly had enough for a holiday for two abroad and mum-in-law was happy to look after the kids.

We bought the Sunday Mail, and saw a holiday cancellation advertised by Greek Connection Holidays, with a good discount, I phoned, booked it,
drove to Fleet and paid the next day, collected our tickets, and caught the night flight to some funny place in Corfu I had never heard of, called Agios Stefanos.
We arrived outside the Golden Beach Hotel at 05.00am. Katie the rep, (now Katie Mouzakitis via Michalis), showed us to the Apartment above the Old Harbour.

I looked at Linda - and said (tired and exhausted), we are going to have to make the best of it, nothing here, what can we do? It's a disaster!!
We got up hours later and spent a few hours lunch and drinks, at the Nafsika Pool, ate at Golden Beach in the evening (now Fantasea Restaurant),
Stefanos (Condor) and Nikos ran the bar and restaurant  and Stefanos said it's too late  - pay tomorrow!!
This was the start of a love affair with Agios (San) Stefanos (NW).

Next day we got up early, having shopped at Margarita's mini Market for Breakfast cereals and rolls etc, we saw a strange VW camper van drive down onto the beach.
It turned from a van into the Kantina, beach snacks and water sports, including wind surfing, run by Captain Nikos and his little son Leon!! Angelina sold the food and drink.

No beach beds in those days, but big beach and loads of fun.
Only the Church, the Golden Beach, Nafsika Hotels, Manthos Taverna, Margarita's Cafe' Bar & Mini Market, Barras and Sunset Taverna's were open there then,
plus a selection of Apartments and villas were there.
The people there were fantastic, friendly and like no one we had ever met before, so different to England and better than Spain.
We returned with the kids in '84 to be greeted like family, and we have been back every year since! We love it like no other place, it always feels like home.
This feeling and the local people, the new generations, has never changed, in spite of the growth.
Tony & Linda

Happy Days in Agios Stefanos, Avliotes, Corfu!! TonyCo1

Offline H A S

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Re: How I found San Stefanos.!!!
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2012, 01:03:20 PM »
Hi 1986 we went to the parks hotel Guivia we got off the plane and had to walk to the shed as it was then  i think there was 1 carosel for cases.
Guivia then was smelly with open drains and rubish just left out in the roadway.
went out first night to a taverna  the man said you pay layter we were driking until time to go . went to pay bill only charged us a small amount of dracmas i thought it would be a lot more than it was .
Went in a shop next day picked somthink up to look at the shop keeper saide you take if you like come back and pay later.
We saide we would not come back to corfu at the time as it was not devoped then.
Thenn we found San Stef and have returned i dont no how many times and if i had my way would not go anywere else.

Offline Cerys

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Re: How I found San Stefanos.!!!
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2012, 02:12:40 PM »
I have to be honest and admit that I didn't find San Stefanos, my parents did! It was our second holiday abroad (the first being a camping holiday in France, oh joy!) and we journeyed through the night to get here. Our coach collected us from the airport and drove us to our allocation on arrival accommodation. My parents exchanged worried looks as my brother and I slept through the winding, cliff top adventure! We arrived and dived straight into bed, no knowing what on earth to expect when we woke up. It was the sound of the lapping waves that woke us a few hours later. My parents opened the curtains and we all looked out from the balcony, completely dumb struck. From that moment we knew we had found our piece of paradise. We made our way down what is now known as cardiac hill from The Romanza and found Leos Pool (now Thomas Bay) and instantly made life long friends. I have so many fond memories from the past 20 years that followed from our first visit when I was only 3 years old!! The fact that I have now chosen to make a life here, as so many others have also done is testament to the warmth and friendliness of the area, as well as its overwhelming beauty. Where else on earth would I want to be!? 

Offline Gavlah1973

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Re: How I found San Stefanos.!!!
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2012, 10:15:28 PM »
We loved Greece and it was getting around to booking our annual holiday. My wife came back from work one day and said a lad who she worked with had recommended a place that his parents had just returned from. Corfu had never appealed as I didnt think it seemed exotic enough (anything described as green and lush usually means wet and akin to Yorkshire in my book!)
Anyway I went onto the computer and looked at the Romanza which was the hotel where this guys parents had just returned from.
Within an hour it was booked and countdown was on to hols around 6 months later!
Upon arrival we were struck by the chilled out atmosphere of the Romanza, being late at night on changeover day it was quiet. Andreas had just bought us a nightcap and we were ready for bed! It was then that the late flight arrived.....around 10 folk who all knew each other and were returning!!

Over the next couple of weeks much fun was had around that pool!! The 9 Muses in Kefalonia will always hold a special place in our hearts as thats where we honeymooned and we will be returning there this summer but we hope to hopefully return to the Romanza in 2013 as the hotel and village were great

Offline Karen

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Re: How I found San Stefanos.!!!
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2012, 04:19:08 PM »
My husband found it with a previous partner ??? back in early 90's. We got together in 1998 and used to holiday on a Greek island each summer.  Went to Zante, Kefalonia for honeymoon, Lesvos (twice) which we loved.  It was very much like Ag Stef at that time.  We then decided on Corfu and went to Sidari, which was not really our kind of place.  So the next year we went to Ag Stef on hubby's recommendation and I fell in love with it.  That was 2004 and we have returned every year ever since!  John saw quite a few changes since his earlier visit but still loved it! We always stay at Stamatis Apartments as Tom is very helpful and kind, as are most other people in the village.  Haven't booked for this year yet.

Offline Richard/Jackie/Nathan

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Re: How I found San Stefanos.!!!
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2012, 04:52:39 PM »
First went in 1991 with my ex wife when I had been working away for a couple of months and just went into the travel agent and booked a last minute deal. Went back most years with her and then when we split up I persuaded jackie to try it and fortunately she loves it and we have been most years since 2003.

Offline Denise

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Re: How I found San Stefanos.!!!
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2012, 07:51:10 PM »
We like quiet, friendly places and so late 2010 we booked our holiday in San Stef for 2011 for the first time.
We'd done quite a bit of research before booking and just hoped we'd got it right!!
I then found this forum and had lots of wonderful advice from all of you.
I couldn't resist booking Terezas even though we don't normally book anything up a hill, but after watching the video
for it, I just couldn't get away from those wonderful views. I'm so glad we found this wonderful place and we're going back again
on August 31st. We met Angela (Sunshine) and her husband last year and this year I'm looking to meeting Jules and her husband.
Once again, I can't wait to get there.

Offline Tredegar Boy

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Re: How I found San Stefanos.!!!
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2012, 12:04:50 AM »
Discovered San Stef by chance back in 2003 when looking to book a holiday for the summer of 2004. Went to a First Choice shop having found the Rose Gardens in their brochure. No one in the shop had heard of San Stef and they had never previously booked anyone into the Rose Gardens either. Not ideal circumstances but we decided to go for it anyway. Well I'm glad we did.

This year will be our 9th visit having stayed twice at the Rose Gardens, once at Delfino Blu (I think we were a bit flushed that year ;)) and every visit since to the fantastic Fedra Mare. San Stef - great place, people, food, sunshine, ambience, environment, beach, sea, taverna's, bar's and more than anything else it's always relaxing and chilling.

I hope we can afford it next year!   
When God created Wales he was just showing off

Offline debra

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Re: How I found San Stefanos.!!!
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2012, 08:25:28 PM »
I had always dreamed of Corfu, right from my secondary school days as our Head Mistress was related to the Durrells and filled my mind with visions of beauty - actually I think my Junior School head first used to teach us Greek Tales (boring to me then) and the idea of all those islands took place in my imagination.

I remember getting brochures before I was married and yearning to go the Hotel Paleokastrista - I don't know what happened - we travelled to many places but not to Corfu - lots of other Greek Islands (Kos, Crete, Zante, Rhodes, Cyprus, The Balearics etc but NOT Corfu. Then in 2002 my friend went to Ag Stef and stayed in the newly opened Hotel Athina - I asked her to look around for me and she bought me a little booklet that she had got from San Stef Travel (still got it).  She loved her holiday but said catergorically that a week was long enough as there was nothing much to do.  Bingo.  Just what we wanted.  We got a last minute peak season booking and was so lucky to be in the Hotel Nafsika.  We arrived at midnight, Speros made us a delicious sandwich, we went to bed and got up to the lovely view of the beach.  I wasn't totally wowed.................Ag Stef just slowly grew on us, every day we relaxed a little more.  We had a room facing the back, closed the doors, air con on and never stirred until the sound of the music after nine and the lovely Vangelis and his lovely jubbly awoke us.  As the days went by, the colours of the sea began to dazzle and mesmorise me - it was different every day - I couldn't believe it was all over after two weeks - I was so chilled out - I went back to school to a training day and had no memory of anything before -  My love affair with Ag Stef, it's beauty, it's friendliness, the space on the beach (even in school holidays), the food, had begun and it has never ceased.  It is hard to explain to others the hold Ag Stef has for me - have had friends who have gone and not really liked it!  How strange.

Offline Rod

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Re: How I found San Stefanos.!!!
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2012, 01:38:39 AM »

That is beautiful.  Your descrption was so ....well... descriptive.  Your love of the place comes across just right.  My first time at San Stef was a long time ago, same time as Tony I think.  However, I always feel reluctant to elaborate about my first stay in San Stef as I was with a different lady then (well it was over 20 years ago).  But if the other forum members dont mind me elaborating, then........   ;D

Offline Denise

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Re: How I found San Stefanos.!!!
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2012, 01:58:49 PM »
Debra , I really enjoyed your post. Last year was our first year and like you we had been to several  other Greek islands . Our favourite place up until last year was Potamia in the Vasilikos area of Zakynthos. We too fell in love with Agios Stefanos and booked again for this year as soon as we got home. Beautiful place and beautiful people.

Offline CHRIS NO 2

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Re: How I found San Stefanos.!!!
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2012, 08:21:49 PM »
I found san steph about the same time ish as tony.went with Ilios island hols stayed with Theo (up opp Manthos )Airport omg men with guns in the shade got your cases out the front from the carts.then on the coach got to san steph mid afternoon and thought what have we let our selfs in for its a ghost town.but after a night in Manthos green shack and pay me later and trying to pay the next day it was getting better.we had breakfast at the golden beach (egg on toast ) only place to get food am.we also had a choice where to eat at night it was Manthos Waves Naffisca or Barras all were good and still pools just the sea oh and the white van on the beach and windsurfing (anyone rem tony )

well that was with the first wife.took a chance and took 2nd wife to Arillas as I love Corfu so much went for broke and walked over the hill to san steph after a 10 year gap it was like we had not been away 2nd wife said why arnt we staying here and we have been since

im not good at writing things down and have prob missed loads but im glad i found san steph (thanks bert )

Any one wanting a nice afternoon with a cold beer overlooking the sea Manthos has loads of pics from years back a young me and i have seen tony in one or two

Chris no 2


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