Trifylli pool terrace

The cicadas in the olive tree above me are busy rubbing their little legs together and enjoying their early morning conversation – or perhaps they have not gone to bed yet? Already the sun is scorching, blazing across from the direction of Albania, dawn’s ‘rosy fingers’ have long gone. There is calm and serenity enveloping the estate, which sits up in the hills above the bay of Agni on the North East coast of Corfu, the emerald of the Ionian Islands.

Trifylli bedroom

There is definitely magic in the air at the Rou Estate yet I cannot pinpoint its source. It could be in the beautifully designed, fragrant gardens that embrace the ancient stone villas within this restored 200 year old hamlet. Lavender, rosemary, sage and thyme bushes surround the private plunge pools and patios providing calming scents that accompany the dreamy views of the green hills and the bluest of seas beyond.  Rou is an ideal environment for a restorative yoga holiday, a perfect location for aspiring artists and peaceful enough to make a start on either writing or reading a long book. Another vital ingredient to Rou’s concoction of hedonism is the air of exclusivity these luxuriously furnished villas provide, and that is immediately felt as you bump and twist up the stony track away from the tourist spots of Dassia and Kassiopi.  Villa guests are looked after by the efficient but not intrusive services of Gaynor from Simpson Travel but where nothing is too much trouble, and every request in the Garden Terrace eatery is responded to with an ‘of course’ by the friendly team of Spiros and Katerina. The ‘as you wish’ vibe extends further, as there is the option to be as private or as sociable as you feel. With 14 houses providing luxurious space for between four and ten each the estate has a maximum occupancy of 72 guests. The weekly Tuesday night barbecue was not only a Greek culinary feast, a perfect example of true Xenia, but fun to meet other families, to swap stories of previous travels, revealing that several of the guests had travelled with Simpson Travel before.

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But you cannot visit this part of Corfu and stay within the estate all week. The highlight for our family was exploring the coastal waters and beaches by a small 30 hp motor boat. Dropping our anchor when we spotted the snorkelling potential of a small pebbly cove or a delightfully deserted sandy beach we soon got the hang of manoeuvering our little craft, which was aptly named the “Stuffed Sardine”! Quickly gained confidence found us expertly coming alongside the wooden pontoon to tie up and jump ashore to enjoy a leisurely seafood lunch at either the Agni Taverna or Toula’s at Agni Beach.

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I cannot recommend The Rou Estate more highly for a relaxing family holiday in this beautiful area of Corfu, and although I am still searching for what makes it so special I’m guessing that Simpson Travel are keeping that magical formula quietly and confidently to themselves. Go now, before all your friends find out about the place!

Sophie Suggests…

  • Explore the coastline in a motorised boat Agni Boats
  • Alfresco seafood lunches at  Toula’s  or Agni Taverna Agni Taverna
  • Consider a two center holiday with a week in  Paxos or Sivita Simpson Travel
  • Make time to slow down and enjoy the views from the Garden Terrace, watch the cruise ships and ferries criss-crossing the sea between Corfu and Albania

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