• Danik Bates

Agios Gordios - a Greek budget summer destination

Updated: May 7

After four weeks backpacking throughout Eastern Europe, our final country of the trip took us to Greece and after exploring the capital, Athens and the northern city of Thessaloniki, our travels took us to the island of Corfu in the Adriatic Sea. A few days of relaxation before taking the flight home back to England was needed and we found an awesome place on this beautiful island which also matched our budget (which was to do things using not a lot of cash).

An overnight coach journey from Athens and a ferry crossing later, we arrived at the resort of Agios Gordios on the western side of the island. Known for its beautiful beach and rugged coastline, Agios Gordios provided the much needed rest.

Where we stayed in this stunning destination is a place we recommend to anyone who is doing this on a budget and wants to let their hair down. We stayed at the Pink Palace hostel which turned out to be one of the best hostels we have ever stayed at. Located on a hill overlooking the sea, the hostel offers dorms plus private rooms. The private rooms were fantastic for the price, offered a large bed and a private washroom. Also included in the price was a buffet style breakfast and dinner. We couldn’t complain about the price at all.

Also in the hostel known for its ‘tonga parties’ and having a fully stocked bar with a nightclub, Pink Palace also offers a range of activities to keep visitors entertained (for a price of course) such as booze cruises, kayak safari, volleyball and the rental of quad bikes. We also managed to arrive at Agios Gordios on the night bus they provided which runs between the resort and Athens and the price included the ferry crossing which we thought was a bargain and was another reason for us to stay here. They also now provided bus service to Thessaloniki as well. One fact we found out about this hostel is that rock band Queen’s leading singer, Freddie Mercury stayed here a few times before his passing in 1991.

Whilst staying at the hotel we also did a couple of day trips. First one was to Corfu Town where we managed to take a local bus from the nearby bus stop and dropped off on the outskirts of the centre (it's a small centre). The town reminded of any other Greek town, white buildings, scooters parked all over the place and plenty of eateries to choose from. We remember walking past the parks and seeing how green the grass was despite the strong heat of the summer sun blazing down on the town.

Our favourite place in the town has to be the Old Fortress which was built by the Venetians (from modern day Italy), replacing the fortifications which stood here beforehand which were built in the Byzantine era. The Venetians then also had the clever idea of building a moat around the citadel and turned it into an artificial island. After that, three battles with the Ottomans took place here and the Venetians held off and won.

We find the history behind some castles and fortresses quite interesting wherever we go in the world and we found this place to be the same. After a few peaceful years (or centuries), the Venetians buggered off and the town (and the rest of the island) belonged to the Greeks. However, Nazi Germany invited themselves in for a stay during the Second World War and used the fortress to imprison the jewish communities of the island. It was on the 8th June 1944 that the Nazi’s announced to the Jews that they were to present themselves the next morning at the fort. Some of the local Jews said ‘bugger this’ and fled to the countryside but most of the Jews went to present themselves because they feared for their families. At the fort, the Nazis did the usual thing to them (like everywhere else in Europe) and collected jewelry, cash, anything worth valuable before being led into the prison inside the fortress. They were held here for a few days before being shipped over to the mainland and eventually were put on a train to the Birkenau extermination camp in Poland. 1,800 jews from here were taken and after the war, only 120 made it back.


Across the town is the New Fortress which was built by the Venetians from scratch but was built slowly over time. The new buildings we came across were actually built by the British when they ruled the island in the 19th century (something Danik didn’t know about his home country ruling Corfu). We loved walking around here and taking in the breathtaking views of the sea and the other side of the water where Greece mainland and Albania can be seen.


Mentioning Albania, a day trip with a local cruise company is offered and can be booked at hotels and other tourist information points on the island. The cruise (well, it's a boat journey but it felt like a cruise with the summer heat and bright blue skies) takes thirty minutes from Corfu Town and comes into the Albanian Riverian town of Sarandë (or Saranda). Known for its deep blue waters and for its Greek communities living here, a lot of visitors come over from Corfu to chill out on the beach and eat at the restaurants (which are cheaper than Greece). Walking along the promenades was also one of our favourite things to do and sitting on the sea wall and just watching life go by.


We only spent a few hours in the town of Saranda but it was more of a relaxing day tour and just checking out another beach, however, we still recommend taking a trip from Corfu if anyone wants a taste of Albania. Corfu island itself is beautiful and has fantastic beaches. We wished we had more time exploring the place before flying home but we hope to return one day.

How to get to & where it is located: Corfu island has an international airport located on the outskirts of Corfu Town which serves a lot of European destinations especially in the summer months. There are also car ferries between the island and the mainland.


Accommodation: There are a lot of accommodation options and a lot of websites which can do some great deals. Our first point of call is always Booking.com and can offer a range of hostels, hotels, campsites, apartments, guesthouses, bed and breakfasts. After that we always have a look through AirBnb for great deals on apartments and other lodgings especially when traveling as a family.


Currency: Greece uses the Euro currency which is also widely used in most European countries. Currency can be exchanged at the airports and train stations (for a huge fee) so we would recommend either going to a currency exchange place downtown, to a bank (if they have good rates) or if you got a good bank account with fantastic exchange rates, then use an ATM machine (may incur a small fee but we always do this option as we got good bank accounts).


Language: It's Greek! And it's all Greek to us! (get it?) However English is widely spoken with the younger generations mainly because of business and tourism industries.


Watch out for: Didn't have a problem here. Use common sense, like watch out for pickpockets etc. Avoid big crowds in the centre especially around the parliament building, this means there is usually a protest. We haven't heard about them for a while but just in case, if there is one, get out of the area.


Flying into the area: Then we would recommend using Skyscanner to find flights as that is our first point of call. Then if necessary use the airlines directly to find a good deal. We sometimes use Momondo as well to compare prices before booking.


Travel insurance: This is essential to anywhere you go in the world. We always carry travel insurance. Having travel insurance will cover you from theft, illness and those annoying cancellations which can happen on the road.


Need a visa for Greece? Always check if you need a visa when coming to Greece, especially for those who come from outside Europe.


Disclosure: Please note that while we were not working with any companies in Athens, our review and experiences written about in this post are 100% genuine. We value our readers too much to lie to you. Our blog would be nothing without you and your continued support! There maybe some links above which are affiliate and are at no additional cost to you. If our readers use them, we earn a commission to buy their products and remember, we only mentioned products and companies we use. The income from this keeps this website going. Thank you.


Like this blog? Pin it on Pinterest! Click the pin below!


13 views0 comments