Kavos is a tiny town located on the coast of the Greek island of Corfu. It’s an hour and a half drive away from Corfu airport, and during the coach transfer it became shockingly obvious how underdeveloped Corfu is – vast stretches of untouched greenery, stray animals, a lack of public buildings and dozens of half-finished abandoned building projects. Kavos was my first parent-free holiday destination, and was certainly full of sun, sand and suspicious looking green drinks.
Due to a pre-holiday catastrophe, our party of 10 was reduced to a party of 5, split into two hotels about 15 minutes apart. Two more of the original ten then booked flights and planned to sneak into our rooms without paying full room charges, which was risky. Our hotel was the Ekati, located right at the beginning of the strip, with two of us sleeping on beds, and one on a lilo. Admittedly, it was a bit of a trek to get down to the livelier bars, but it was nice not to have to deal with too much noise when we finally crawled home and passed out, although they start playing really loud music at stupid o’clock in the morning to keep everyone BUZZIN, and the reps were kind of annoying.
By the Olympian Village pool
One rep in particular liked making hourly pointless announcements and saying ‘come on guys, you’re on holiday’ when it became clear that nobody cared. The staff were lovely though, and were totally fine that we had a squatter living with us all week. The other 4 stayed in the Olympian Village, which I personally found less impressive. It had a nicer pool, but less of an atmosphere and you had to walk up this creepy road to get there, with stray chickens everywhere. I wouldn’t think that the hotels further down the strip were as nice as those at the beginning or a little way away. Two of us from the Ekati got in a huge, screaming argument with three from the Olympian village on the second night, and suffice to say we didn’t bother going up the hill to their hotel for the rest of the holiday. Luckily, we managed to befriend a big group of lovely girls from across the corridor, which essentially saved our holiday.
I’ll cut to the chase here – your main priority for booking a wild holiday will not be my description of pedalo rides or how great the lemon trees were. You want to know about the booze. Well, if you’re looking for ridiculously cheap cocktails available 24 hours of the day, you’re looking in the right place. The strip is packed with bars, which employ annoying-but-persuasive PRs to try to get you into their boozers with the promise of the lowest prices and the best experiences.
Beetle Bar, found right at the beginning of the strip, offers two cocktails, a shot and a jagerbomb for five Euros, even if you’re in a small group. Beetle Bar also serves up the suspicious-looking Beetlejuice, a bright green concoction, that we were promised would get us ‘totally fucked’. It didn’t really have the craziest atmosphere, but it was a great place to sit and consume copious amounts of alcohol until you were ready to stagger on. A little further on is Face Bar, home to the famous ’50 cents night’, which offers 50 cent cocktails all night if you buy a 5 euro stamp. Face also offers free drinks for an hour for six Euros, so it’s a great place to begin the night. Further down, you can’t miss Snobs and Buzz, located opposite each other.
Inside Buzz Bar
If you’re feeling too stingy to play for club entry, it’s very easy to hop between the two of these all night. Buzz plays your usual mix of dance, mind-numbing r ‘n’ b and pop, while Snobs is more what I can only call ‘grinding’ music. Further on are a few quieter bars, for instance Tangos, which is nice but small and they get over-excited at the few customers and spray dry ice everywhere. Further down, there’s the always-fun Rolling Stone, which plays crazy jumpy guitar songs and is great for a huge sing-along, conga lines and old favourites. There’s loads more bars than I’ve mentioned here, these were just our favourites.
Clubbing in Kavos swings between dirt cheap and completely overpriced. Some clubs, like Trinity, have big DJs in quite frequently – while we were there, Scott Mills and someone else (can’t remember who) played. Entry costs between 10 and 20 Euros, and this can include a free bar, or VIP access. Other clubs include Venue, which is smaller, but had Giggs play while we were there (we meant to go but we forgot, and apparently missed out on a huge night).Sex club has a foam party (as seen on Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents), which we avoided like the plague due to a mutual hatred of foam. Trinity also holds a foam party, which is for some reason in the middle of the day. Being complete and utter cheapskates, we favoured Future and Atlantis, which were both free.
Future is fairly fun and air conditioned, which means it’s nice to pop in and cool off if an enthusiastic bout of dancing has left you a bit sweaty. Atlantis gets fun after about three AM, which means it’s fun to head there after you’ve drained your purse dry on all the bars. It’s pretty much where people head to pick up someone for some after hours cuddles, so beware – you might be asked if you’re ‘drilling’. It backs out onto the beach, which is nice to chill on and laugh at all the couples fumbling on sun loungers.
If you’ve been on a party holiday before, you’ll probably have been acquainted with the completely messed up eating habits that most of us slip into. After getting home at 5AM, no one’s really going to get up before 12, which means breakfast is off the cards. This means that brunch can either be a cheeky pot noodle, a toastie from the pool bar or if you’re feeling very adventurous, possibly a baguette from the strip. Evenings are where the culinary magic happens, with loads of restaurants offering two courses for €7, or €9 if you fancy splashing out a little more.
We ate out a few times, making the most of the beautifully cheap food. Anyone you ask will recommend the Drunken Squid, which serves an odd-but-delicious combination of Mexican and Chinese dishes at pretty reasonable prices. Our absolute favourite was TKD’s, which served the highest quality and best value food on the whole strip. Their menu catered to all our fancy home comforts like avocados and hummus, while providing a mouth-watering selection of vegetarian and meat dishes cooked from scratch and everything was completely home made. Even the barbeque sauce was home made. You just can’t beat home made barbecue sauce.
THINGS TO DO
Holiday reps offer a variety of outings, although there are places along the strip that will do far cheaper deals. Foam party tickets, organised bar crawls and the ‘half moon party’ (which looked like a glorified bar crawl) are all lead by holiday reps and are on throughout the week. There are a few Booze Cruises to choose from, and although we didn’t actually go on one in the end, they looked alright if you don’t mind a bit of sea sickness. If you don’t fancy spending €30 on a trip, pedalos are available on the beach for around €3/4 per hour, and are a fun way to enjoy the sea without dealing with the disgusting state of the beach.
A cheeky afternoon pedalo ride
There are also a variety of water sports available, including banana boats and doughnut rides. We decided to try the doughnuts for a mere €15 a pop, and I would definitely say that they’re a must-do. Hurtling around the ocean in a tiny rubber ring, screaming your lungs out was probably my highlight of Kavos.
All in all, Kavos was a brilliant place to spend our first parent-free holiday. The booze was cheap, the bars were fun and there was always someone who wanted to stay up all night, just for the sake of it. You won’t have to speak a word of Greek, and contrary to holiday horror stories, walking around at night actually feels a lot safer than it does in London. I’d recommend it to groups of between three and thirty, aged anywhere between sixteen and thirty. Kavos was an experience – if you’re up for great drinks, a good dance or even a holiday romance, this little Corfu town will give you exactly what you want, and leave your head spinning after.