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Me and my fiancé Dave were in Corfu just last week and although we stayed in a place called Canal D'amour, when we were looking at the brochures it was very attractive that there was a larger and busier resort just a 1km walk away called Sidari. On our second day on holiday we decided to go and have a walk there hoping that the descriptions of bustling shops, restaurants and bars and long golden sandy beach was accurate. We actually visited only twice that holiday and I can only give the place two stars and here is why.
First Impressions: On our way to our actual resort we had to pass through Sidari and from what I remember as I was quite tired on the coach it looked very much like a shanty town. All of the buildings looked like they desperately just needed some paint and the main street had no pavements so people were literally dodging out of the way to get out of the way of cars and coaches. I also remember looking at the roads and thinking how horrible it will be for Dave to drive as we had booked a car.
What I did see though on the way was glimpses of a huge beach which actually looked ok so I was getting a bit excited. I thought the resort looked very quiet but then again it would be as we were out of peak times and I did notice that everything was in English which at first I thought would be great as I could understand everything and then when I thought about it I just thought well I might as well be in England.
Sidari: Sidari itself is situated on the very North coast of Corfu and it actually only takes about forty minutes from the airport to get there driving. Despite what I had read in brochures I thought the place was extremely small and there was only one main street which was quite long but only took five minutes to walk down and then all hotels and apartments are located just off the main street down slip roads but I guess wherever you were staying you could walk to the main bit in two minutes.
To get to Sidari was easy as Corfu actually only has a few main roads which are quite straight and one of these leads you straight into Sidari from almost anywhere on the island. Although Sidari is not pretty really at all you are only a five minute walk away from Canal D'amour which has much more impressive scenery.
Size: Although I have touched on this I think I must reiterate to you how small Sidari actually is as so many people had told me it was huge. There is one main strip of shops and then that is basically it. Seriously you could look in every shop in Sidari which is what me and Dave did and then walk right up to the main road and then back again and you would have only wasted just over an hour. The beach stretches the whole way across Sidari so that was quite big really.
Litter: Sidari has got a small problem with litter which became quite annoying to be honest with you as it was everywhere. The one time we went and had a walk along the beach and it was so hard trying to avoid the broken glass, bits from broken cars and litter from shops that it was ridiculous. I had an ice-cream from the centre and I couldn't find a bin though so had to carry the wrapper back to my apartment so maybe if they put some more bins about there would not be such a problem.
Shops: The whole resort of Sidari actually only had one nice shop as far as I am concerned and that is this sweet little wooden shop which sold things like wooden pens and wooden egg timers and then wooden ornaments such as dragons. This shop did seem to be everywhere you went in Corfu though so it actually was not that special. All of the other shops in Sidari were very tacky indeed and I am sorry but I would not have bought anybody anything from there as it would have been an insult to how I think of them.
In Sidari I think the total number of shops I counted was sixteen and some of those were tattooists and I even spotted a beauty salon at one point. There is also a doctors surgery there, dentist and opticians so at least if you had any problems there are people there who could help you. Other than that if you want to go shopping do not go to Sidari.
Restaurants: To be fair Sidari has got a very huge range of restaurants such as Greek, English, Chinese and Indian so there is a lot to choose from. The Mexican restaurant Tex Mex looked nice although we did not eat there and to be honest the only one I can recommend there is the three little pigs which was just as you are leaving Sidari to get to the other resort of Canal D'amour.
We ate in one restaurant called the Magic Wok which when we got up there the scenery was stunning. It was a rooftop restaurant so you had a great view of the beach and we went up there when the sun was setting which made the place look a bit more special. However the food was not great and I ended up being sick in the restaurant and then back at my apartment due to the Chinese food so do not go there if you ever visit.
I will say though that there are quite a few to choose from and we had one recommended to us which was Dorothy's so try there if you visit. The nice thing about Sidari is that most places will give you views of the beach so you can eat and look out at the scenery which is always nice.
Bars / Nightclubs: There are quite a few of these in Sidari as it does get very busy at night. The bar which looked the best was the Bed bar as all of the seats were leather and there was seating right on the beach front and because it was open until the early hours of the morning I can imagine it is quite nice looking out at the sea.
Me and Dave though do not particularly like loud music so we did not go in any of these places as let me tell you they were loud. Even in the day you could hear music bellowing from everywhere and because there are so many bars it all sounded very disjointed.
There are a couple of actual nightclubs in Sidari which I was told by our next door in our apartments were very good because the music is extremely varied and the drinks are very cheap which is all I managed to get out of him before he went back to bed.
The Beach: Like I said above when I first saw the beach I thought great it is huge but then when you actually get onto the beach and take a look it is so disappointing. For one you can see sewage running into the sea from a nearby canal and this makes all of the sea lapping the waters edge look murky and brown which although it is clearer right away from the canal I did not want to go near to it for fear of getting ill.
The beach is very long and there are sunbeds for everybody to use and also a beach bar where you can get your cocktails and food if needed. What annoyed me about the beach though that the sand was disgusting and there was no way I would walk without my shoes on along the beach. There was broken glass everywhere from the night before and rubbish everywhere. Also what annoyed me is people on motorbikes constantly used the beach as a shortcut to get to each side of Sidari rather than using the roads so I would not call the beach safe for kids at all.
Scenery: To be honest there are quite a few places where you can go and get some nice scenes. Many of the bars and restaurants have beach front views and if you ignore the murkiness of the sea and beach it looks really nice. My favourite thing to do was eat in a rooftop restaurant though as it is stunning at sunset so I recommend that. Other than that though the scenery is a bit rubbish and I do recommend walking down to Canal D'amour which is much prettier.
Verdict: I think with its bustling vibe Sidari is attractive for people wanting a very lively holiday and I think if I was a bit younger I would have enjoyed it. The resort is like taking a part of Britain and placing it in Corfu as everything was in English, everybody spoke English and most people were English which I do not think is great when you are abroad as I like to soak in the culture of another country and you do not get that here.
I was so disappointed in the beach as I was told how lovely it was but it was just disgusting and we went out of season so I have no idea how worse it would be mid summer when it is busy there.
The good points about Sidari though is that they do have a wide range of supermarkets and restaurants so you can usually get what you want from here. The fact they also have things like the doctor is a big plus as you know where your nearest one is. I think if you are after eating out in some nice places then you will be fine here as long as you stay away from the Magic Wok.
I am going to give Sidari just two stars because it does have the essentials you need and it is a bit lively than its neighbouring resorts but I would never visit again as I found it boring as there was nothing to do and I would not recommend anybody ever go and stay there instead just visit and stay at the many much nicer areas of the island of Corfu.
I think you included a lot of information in your review but would argue there is only not a lot to do if you are not interested in doing the things on offer there; there are a lot of bars/clubs/resteraunts and the weather is hot so if that's your thing then some people could argue there's lots to do. I personally wouldn't go back unless it was on a very cheap deal, the beach was probably worse than blackpool and I agree with most of what you've said. However we did still have a fantastic time by spending the day by the pool (not on the beach) and enjoying the nightlife.
Shoka 18.10.2006 16:03
It sounded really bad. I must say Im with you, when I go abroad I want genuine culture from the area not just more Brits abroad' get your full englsih here' signs and lager on draft in all the bars!
mattlucht 04.10.2006 18:35
I must say that I went earlier this year (August) and found none of the problems that you describe!!
The beaches were perfectly clean, the canal had no sewage, plenty of people swimming in there! The beaches were bust, though there was plenty of space for everyone...certainly no bikes!!!
Maybe we were lucky with the two weeks we were there!!!