A Seafaring Family History


Filippos Boats is the longest established boat rental company in the whole of Corfu and has been renting boats and offering first class service and support since 1980.

Boating and fishing are passions and a way of life that run through the veins of the family and ancestors of Filippos Salvanos, the proprietor of Filippos Boat rental. There is a long-standing history of maritime experience, stemming back to 1890. Filippos’ maternal grandfather helped save many British sailors struck and injured by mines planted in the Corfu-Albanian Channel during the Second World War. This resulted in the Italians stealing his caique; he never got over this and died three years later with a broken heart.

Boating and fishing are passions and a way of life that run through the veins of the family and ancestors of Filippos Salvanos, the proprietor of Filippos Boat rental. There is a long-standing history of maritime experience, stemming back to 1890. Filippos’ maternal grandfather helped save many British sailors struck and injured by mines planted in the Corfu-Albanian Channel during the Second World War. This resulted in the Italians stealing his caique; he never got over this and died three years later with a broken heart.

Filippos started helping his father and uncle on the caique in 1960 when he was five or six years old. After finishing his National Service in 1979, Filippos started his own business and bought two small motorboats – each sporting 3.5 HP engines! Filippos Boats was the very first boat hire company in Corfu to be given a licence to rent boats and today, after 33 years experience with the sea and boats, his children Katie and Nicholas have now joined the family business.


Testimonials

  • It was the boat that clinched it. It may have only been a tiny 25-horse-power model – a sort of Smart car in a sea of turbo-injected 4x4s. It may also have been a bit tricky getting used to – never mind mastering – the art of the smoothly exercised mooring. And we didn’t even mind that among flotillas of craft bearing pretentious names such as Annabell’s Stardust, Sunshine Sarava and Lady Araminta, ours was called Tom and Jeery (sic). What it did do was open up a whole new world: days of lazy meandering down the coast; lingering lunches at quayside tavernas; easy, sand-free, offshore bathing. And fun.
  • The Camerons, like us, rented their boat from Filippos. And a boat is far more important than a car. It means you can putter up and down the coast, stopping here and there to swim in deserted inlets, anchoring for an on-board picnic or enjoying lazy lunches at one of the many excellent seaside tavernas.
  • Perhaps the most distinctive feature of this part of Corfu is that if you want to get about, you need a boat. Until modern times the shortage of roads meant that Corfiots had to sail around the north of the island. Roads or not, the boat is still the only way to travel. Several harbours are hard to reach by the steep, narrow, long-way-around roads, and some beaches only have sea access. The scenery looks doubly stunning from the sea, and even the driver can enjoy it without fear of bumping into a tree.
  • Looking back at the photos for this piece, God I look relaxed. That’s what Greece does for you. On arrival, you are transported to a place where the only things that are important are where your next meal is coming from and whether you have you got enough petrol in your boat to get to you to the next bay.
    Angels and Urchins Magazine, Winter Edition 2012
    Angels and Urchins
  • Hire a boat from Filippos Boats (filippos-boats.com), and follow the gentle coastline of undulating rock to visit Nissaki, where you can dive and explore underwater caves, and Kalamaki beach, which is scarce of tourists and great for children. Stop off at Kalami, a little bay with a sandy beach where Lawrence Durrell lived with his wife at the White House (‘set like a dice on a rock already venerable with the scars of wind and water’), Agni and Kassiopi, a small port that is said to have been visited by the Roman emperor Nero and the philosopher Cicero.
  • Nikos Salvanos, 91, used to take three hours to bring supplies by caique (a traditional fishing boat) from the capital, Corfu Town, to the islands north; his boating genes came from Venetian ancestors. His son and grandson now operate powerboats that do the run in 15 minutes.