Corfu is an Ionian islands which lies to the west of mainland Greece. The Ionian islands are situated in the Ionian Sea (or Adriatic Sea). There are seven main islands and several lesser ones. Corfu is one of the better known of these. It is a long and thin island in shape (approx. 36 miles in length and 15 miles in width.) I have now visited several Greek islands, as well as mainland Greece, and have enjoyed every visit. Corfu is quite different in feel; say from Crete, being smaller and with more of a British influence embedded in its history. Corfu had been controlled by Venice, avoided may Turkish attacks, before coming under British rule after the Napoleonic Wars.
Corfu is a lush island; fertile and having olive trees growing in abundance as is much plant life. It has higher rainfall than many Mediterranean islands thus resulting in its greenery.
Much of the island during the summer becomes host to tourists, and because of this some resorts have the usual tourist shops selling souvenirs of all descriptions, but much of it is still traditional with idyllic fishing villages remaining unspoilt.
I had always wanted to visit Corfu since about the age of eleven or twelve when I selected, and read, 'My Family and other Animals' by Gerald Durrell, from a recommended book list at school.
Naturalist, Gerald Durrell enjoyed spending some of his childhood years on this island. He had a very keen interest in both the flora and fauna (to be found in abundance on Corfu). His love of the island shone out in this autobiographical read, and I knew that this was a place to see for myself.
Well, it took me a few years to get to Corfu but I got there and would like to spend some more time on this wonderful island.
Corfu is also famous as the birthplace of Prince Philip, born here in 1921. Prince Philip was born into the Greek and Danish royal families, but exiled from Greece with his family when still a child.
My holiday took place in October time. I visited Corfu with my husband, my father and two of my teenaged children. We stayed in Gouvia at the Louis Corcyra Beach Hotel.
I find September and October great times to travel to countries warmer than England, as you can often find the weather is still pleasant (you may even get a sun tan!) but it isn't so hot that you can't get out and about and really sample the flavour of a foreign country. On this holiday we managed to see a fair amount of Corfu as well as enjoying the facilities of our hotel.
I had also read other novels based in Corfu and to me it seemed as if C this would be a place to relax, sample the food and wine and soak up the atmosphere of a foreign clime. I believe was right.
When we arrived at Corfu airport at night it was raining lightly. We were told that there had been a few days of rain prior to our visit. WE arrived at our hotel, were quickly checked in so unpacked and my husband and I looked out from our spacious balcony to see a sight of twinkling lights reflected on the water. We thought this was probably a swimming pool in the distance-it was too dark.
I was awoken the next morning with my husband exclaiming about the view from the balcony. When I joined him, I could completely agree with his amazement; this was, I think, the best view we've had from a hotel. Nothing was missing-we could see palm trees, mountains with small homes built on the mountains, lots of green and the blue of the smooth sea. And the sun was shining brightly! What a brilliant start to a holiday.
For most of our stay the weather was lovely. It was hot enough to swim in the sea (the pool was quite cold though, well it was for me, at least!) and to lounge for a while on a sunbed but not so hot that we didn't feel like exploring. There was a bus stop close to the hotel and taxis were easily accessible form the small resort of Gouvia. A taxi also could be order from reception. Our holiday was booked with Thomas Cook so we could have joined their tours but usually prefer to do our own thing. We enjoy trying the local buses and choosing when we wish to return to our hotel.
Temperatures in spring are warm, and this is said to be a good time to visit if you wish to see something of the island before the holiday hordes arrive. Corfu will become busy in the summer, especially during school holiday times.
August will see daytime temperatures between the mid 30's to 40, with high humidity. It will remain warm at night and air conditioning, in my opinion, will be a must. Because of the high humidity storms may occur. There should still be plenty of sunshine.
As I visited in October I was pleased that the temperature was in the mid-20s and sometimes a little higher. We wore short and vest tops but it did be cool down at night. went
Corfu is greener than many Greek islands so rainfall should be expected, especially outside of the summer months. If you are considering visiting Corfu then remember that there will be considerably more rainfall during the autumn and winter than in the summer. Can't really complain as the island is so beautifully verdant.
The beach at Gouvia in my opinion isn't the best. Water sports were available but the sea seems more in parts as a lake being weedy and I thought a little oily from the boats involved in water sports. It was very calm and ideal for children and novice to learn to canoe. The hotels private beach is man-made. But be prepared that Corfu is diverse; some beaches are pleasant and sandy others are shingle, and still pleasant.
For sandy beaches the south of the island offers the best, but for authentic Corfu the west of the island will better fit the bill. Although quite a small island there are a myriad of secluded bays waiting to be found by the adventurous tourist.
There are numerous beaches and too many to mention in this review, but here are some details of a few to give you a taste:
Pelekas beach offers a crescent shaped beach of soft sand and is a blue flag holder.
Glyfada is lovely. It has facilities and several hotels edging it which provide further facilities. It has an international feel with this area being popular with many holidaymakers from various countries.
Sidari seems to attract the British visitor. Sidari's waters are shallow and wonderful for families with young children. It has many restaurants and bars on the beach front.
Aghios Gordios is a busy beach ideal too for families, although the resort is fairly quiet.
You won't have to travel far to find a taverna. I enjoy the atmospheric kind which has stayed traditional. Food on offer is Greek Mezze dishes (similar to Spanish tapas with lots of different dishes) Meat is usually tender (so I am told) and as one of Corfu's industries is fishing then sea food is plentiful. If you are vegetarian then never fear as many dishes offer vegetarian versions such as lasagne as moussaka. The salads are gorgeous.
If staying in a popular resort then you should be spoilt for choice, with options of traditional Corfiot fare, or English, Indian, Chines etc.
Eating out is an enjoyable p event here and a meal can last for ages, especially in a taverna .
PLACES TO VISIT
Most taxi drivers will chat and point out places of interest. Once they see you are interested they usually offer a guided taxi tour. However, we didn't take any up on this offer.
We enjoyed our visit to Corfu town. Here one is spoilt for choice for dining. We started the day by visiting the town's market where we purchased several souvenirs. There were several market stalls selling interesting looking vegetables and those with the usual fake Gucci and Versace bags and purses.
We ate here al fresco and found the food pretty good generally in Corfu when dining outside the hotel (not that that was bad but gets a bit 'samey' after a while)
We had a leisurely stroll around the old own, which is rich in architecture being of
Italian, French, and British influence, before catching a bus back to Gouvia. As Corfu is quite small it is easy to travel around it.
This is a beautiful quiet resort bay which is lovely for those wanting a peaceful beach. We loved it here. The sandy beach is s horse shoe shaped and the sea here is good for swimming. And water sports. There are a few restaurants and facilities here but it is largely unspoilt.
Aqualand is Corfu's water park. I didn't visit here. As it close in October it may have been closed. If our holiday had taken place in the summer then we probably would have spent a day here. I did hear good reports from other holiday makers who were regular visitors to Corfu. We did pass by and I can vouch that it easily accessible from all resorts.
The Achillion Palace is outside of Benitses and close to Dassia. The palace was built between1890-1892, for the Empress Elisabeth of Austria, after she stayed in Corfu.
The Empress took a shine to tales of Achilles and it was due to this that many of his statues can be seen. The Empress was assassinated in Geneva,in 1898 and wasn't used again until it was bought by Kaiser Willhelm II of Germany in 1907. It was used as a hospital during World War 11.
The church of St Spyridon holds the relicsof the saint it was named after. Saint Spyridon is famous in Corfu for riding the town of the plague.
I would recommend Corfu as a holiday. It is ideal for families, couples and singles. If you research well then you will be sure to find what you are looking for on this wonderful island. Admittedly some of Corfu is very commercialised but there are still many traditional and unspoilt spots to be enjoyed.
It has now been quite a few weeks since I went to Corfu for my holidays but last night I was showing my holiday photos for the umpteenth time and remembering just how nice the island is. Now as I like to spend my holidays exploring and not necessarily sunbathing all week I have seen a lot of Corfu so I decided that I would give you all a very quick tour of the island of Corfu and then if you do have any questions then you can ask me. So here I go.
A Little Bit of Information:
Corfu is a Greek island or Ionian island as it is known over there. It has the nickname of the Emerald Island because it is just so green and is known for having good weather. Corfu town is its main capital with Kavos probably being the place that most people will have heard of.
To get to Corfu it is just over 3 hours on a plane from Britain and the only airport is in Corfu town but everywhere on the island is within an hours drive away from Corfu town.
This is an absolutely stunning area on the North coast mainly due to the small resort of Canal Damour which has amazing sandy cliffs to look at and at sunset I can guarantee you will just want to spend all night staring out at the scenery. Sidari has one main strip of shops, bars and restaurants and has one long beach and then several smaller ones. The beach itself is not great as motorists use it as a bypass and there is lots of rubbish and sewage you can see in the sea and on the sand. Sidari is like being in Britain though as most of the people who work there are British and it is not like a proper holiday resort.
I recommend staying here for an evening so spend about three hours and watch the sunset but no more.
It is quite nice here on the North coast but it is very small so I would only spend a couple of hours to have a wonder around. They have a nice beach but it is not sandy and they have very few shops with only really the normal holiday souvenirs such as frames available to buy.
I recommend going for two hours as there is really not much here.
I found Acharavi on the North coast quite sweet although the one thing I did not like is how spread out it is. Like Roda there is not much here but some of the things were on a main road which is dangerous as the driving is quite mad in Corfu so crossing a main road is not fun. There are some nice bars on the main road though but not many shops at all to browse. There is a beach which is not very sandy but is quite nice but it is away from the main bit and a bit hard to get to but I liked it there.
I recommend going for a couple of hours to have a look.
Kassiopi is ever such a nice place on the North coast and boasts some impressive beaches not because of how they are as they are all pebbly but because the scenery is stunning with the mountains of Albania in clear view. The actual place has a small marina like area which has some great bars and restaurants and some nice jewellery and lace shops too. At Kassiopi you can go on boat rides and even have a walk around an old fortress which we did and it was quite creepy up there but enjoyable. I loved it here because it was so Greek and such a nice looking place with no litter anywhere or even loud music so it was nice and quiet.
I recommend staying here for your holiday as it is lovely or at least spend an entire day here.
On the East coast Gouvia is the main marina in Corfu and I loved it here. Everything is big here so a lot of the hotels are five star and massive and there is lots to do in terms of golf, tennis and other sports. The beaches in Gouvia are great as they are sandy and it was great to just look out to sea from the beach. The thing I liked about Gouvia is that there are hidden parts so go down side streets as we came across a great music bar on the beach and a nice souvenir shop by doing this. The marina is stunning and there are so many restaurants to choose from and they all smelled delicious. We ate in Vergina and if you stay I really do recommend it.
I recommend spending at least a day here or staying in this resort for your holiday.
This is the main city of Corfu situated on the East coast and it is absolutely amazing. It is the cultural capital of the island so here you can find many museums and fortresses to have a look around. I recommend going to the old fortress and having a walk as it is only 4 to get in and it was great and we could have spent hours there. Corfu town is stunning and we stumbled across the park which had people eating and people playing football and it was so nice. Of course being the capital it means there are loads of shops so for those of you who love to spend your holidays shopping then I would come here. The only bad thing about Corfu town is that the traffic is bad but as the capital you kind of expect it. This is where the airport and port is.
I recommend coming here for a couple of days as we spent one day here and I dont think that was enough and I would have loved to have returned.
This was a place we were told to go and visit on the West coast as we wanted to find a nice sandy beach to spend the day. We got here and it is a nice long beach and yes it is sandy with cliffs surrounding it so you kind of feel caved in which is quite nice. It gets a lot of sun here and there is a bar so you can get a drink and some food while you are there. If you need a beach then come here.
I recommend staying for a few hours or however long you enjoy sunbathing for.
This was a great find on the West coast as it is an old fortress. You get there and the sights are truly stunning and then you can climb steps to get to the top which when you do is just worth the climb for the pictures you can get. We just sat there for about an hour as it was that nice. There is a café at the bottom of the castle where you can get ice-creams and drinks and it is nice in there. The only bad thing is there is not much space for parking as we were lucky to get a space out of season.
I recommend making a stop here for a couple of hours at least.
Where-ever we were on the island people told us that this was a huge tourist spot on the West coast so we decided to go and take a look. The two beaches we went to were not amazing as they were pebbly but the actual place was lovely. It is nice and clean here and I did not see any litter and everybody is extremely friendly. The best thing is that you can take boat trips out into the sea from here so go exploring caves which would be quite fun. There are some nice restaurants here but the place is surprisingly small but the drive there through the mountains is fantastic.
I would spend a day here and do some of the trips if you can.
We were told to go here for the beach and what an amazing beach it is. I can honestly say it is the best on the island and the only one I would go back to. You can do the usual sunbathing but you can also rent pedalos and jet skis if you fancy it. The sea is crystal clear and the beach is so huge and sandy it is just so comfortable. There is a lovely restaurant which does some great main meals and snacks which is useful and I honestly cannot fault the beach. We spent a very enjoyable afternoon here.
I recommend going if you want to go to a beach be it one day or every day.
This is another place we were told to go for a nice sandy beach. When we got there yes it was sandy but I would not say very nice. The sea was very clear but the beach was littered in rubbish and there were stray dogs everywhere. The bar by the beach was graphitised and just looked nasty so that put us off but the actual beach was massive.
I would not recommend coming here but go to some of the other beaches mentioned instead.
We only drove through here but I am mentioning it because there are small winding roads all around which spiral high on the island and you can get some amazing pictures.
I do recommend driving around.
So there you have it, my general snapshot of what to do in Corfu. The island itself is amazing and is one of the nicest looking islands I have ever been to. They call it the emerald island because it is so green and it doesnt matter where you are as you will always be amazed by the scenery. While we were driving around Corfu we had to stop the car so many times so Dave who was driving could soak it all in.
The only area I did not go or want go exploring was the very south of the island where Kavos was as we knew it wasnt going to be our sort of place. We went on a boat trip one day and passed Kavos and the beaches looked like they were covered in seaweed and you could hear the people as there were so many so no not for me.
I would recommend Corfu to everyone as it is a great island with lots to see and do and I think in a week if you are like us you can visit most places. The only thing I would say about Corfu is that apart from Corfu town everywhere is not exactly huge so I would rent a car or bike or even quad so that you can explore. The Quads are so much fun and can go anywhere on the island and they were only 9 a day so they are really worth it as long as you are careful.
I am definitely going to give Corfu five stars as we loved it there and although we stayed in Sidari which I would not recommend I think the whole island is wonderful and I probably would visit again.
Any questions feel free to ask.
Thanks for reading.
Let me set the scene. Its autumn 2004, and a group of friends are disillusioned with life, work, study, and the dreadful Scottish weather. Luckily for this group of friends, amongst them is Dr. Dollanganger, who quickly diagnoses a case of the quite common Severe Boredom and Lethargy Syndrome. The way to combat this crippling problem? Well, says the sharp witted Dr. Dollanganger, I shall prescribe a two week course of antibiotics. I suggest the highly effective Holiday Drug. No go forth.
That, fair readers, is how myself and four other friends found ourselves touching down in Kerkyra (more commonly known as Corfu) airport a short time ago.
*** Which resort, which resort? For there are so many to choose from ***
Over the past thirty years, Corfus popularity as a tourist destination has increased in leaps and bounds, meaning the selection of resorts is pretty decent. Luckily, though, Corfu is hardly on a par with destinations such as Spain, meaning that in each resort there is still a strong Greek culture and presence, which I found fantastic. Theres nothing worse than a town sold out to tourism, so thankfully every second shop is not, as youd find in Spain, a tobacco retailer, but is in fact often a regular old supermarket or Greek off-license. The most popular resorts of Corfu are Ipsos, Sidari, Kassiopi, Kavos and Paleokastritsa. My party had opted for the slightly lesser known Gouvia, which Id highly recommend for those looking for a resort thats a bit more on the quiet side. Thats not to say its dead; there is indeed a wonderful array of Greek speciality restaurants, European restaurants, clubs, bars and beaches. The quiet element derives from the fact that most of the hotels and apartments are set slightly back from the main strip, which is a great advantage if you like your sleep! Having visited several of the other resorts during my two week stint, though, I would highly recommend Paleokastritsa. Its one of the smallest resorts, but it is quite astoundingly beautiful and the least tourist-influenced place in Corfu. This would be the choice of older couples or families uninterested in the bumping nightlife, since the resort comprises of a few apartment blocks, a small number of gift shops, restaurants and a stunning marina with a mountain and sea view. The only problem? This resort is a fair distance from Corfu Town, meaning its also quite a trip from the airport. Fear not, rampant party people, there is a resort for your likes, and that is Sidari. Having met some friends there during our stay, we surmised that Sidari is by far the busiest resort. Chock full of English tourists and absolutely convoluted with bars and clubs, combined with the fact that its the only resort to house a MacDonalds is perhaps testament to just how tourist orientated it is.
Gouvia, mind, is the resort we got to know best, and its quite a fantastic stay. Only a twenty minute bus ride into Corfu Town, it has the benefit of two beaches (one of which our apartment block backed right onto, superb!) and is handy for various high interest places, be it the town, aqualand or the other resorts. As with most Greek resorts, the architecture is cracking, the majority of the Greek houses and apartments being painted in those bright pastel colours, looking clean and attractive all at once. Lovely indeed.
*** What to do, what do? ***
Now, if youre the kind of traveller who spends their days sunning themselves by the pool, there is no need to read on. This is an active kind of holiday Im speaking of. Thats not to say you cant, from time to time, take a day out to bathe on the beach, for there certainly many beautiful sandy shores on Corfu to choose from. However, there is so many interesting things to do upon this island, itd be a shocking waste if you spent your entire stay by a pool.
For the kids (or the kid in you) - Aqualand is the obvious choice. Now, the island isnt huge, so no matter which resort youre staying in, Aqualand will be no more than an hours journey away. For us, it was luckily only a ten minute bus ride away. I didnt go myself (Im not really one for the slides), though my friends did go, and they came back grinning like a pair of cheshire cats and with a fair bit of sun about them. Considering its the second largest aqua park in Europe (according to our rep anyway), this park has a huge range of slides and themed areas (pirates, jungles etc), and my friends certainly enjoyed their day there. Considering theyre both approaching twenty, its fair to say aqualand is just as accessible to those a bit older as it is to the kiddies.
For the intelligent people - Yes, that did in fact sound patronising. But if youre a fifteen year old intent on getting served alcohol for the first time and meeting a holiday romance, youre far from likely to be interested in this section. If youre interested in getting some history (and some spectacular views) of the island as a whole, Id highly recommend a grand island tour. This, contrary to what you may believe, is NOT a bus ride in which a guide with adequate English points out the quickly passing landmarks. The grand island tour sees you shuffled to the best resorts, the Greek Palace, a visit to a monastery, a ride on a glass bottomed boat and a stop for lunch in Paleokastritsa. Most of these tours follow the same route, and its a fantastic way to experience other niches of the island and learn some of Corfus history. The views you are treated to are absolutely stunning, making for a good picture opportunity, and the vast amount of information derived from the guide was top class, meaning I left Corfu feeling as though Id studied its history. Now if I ever happen to speak to an Ionian and say Wow, those Venetians eh? Ill actually know what Im talking about. Which is nice.
For the tourist in general - one of the must-sees in Corfu is Kerkyra Town itself. The modern section, in my opinion, is far too busy and a bit dirty, but the old town is a beautiful place to visit. The architecture, traditionally Greek, means that most of the buildings rise no higher than two stories, there is a very pretty array of colours to behold, and everything looks immaculately clean. There isnt much byway of shops, though if there was, it couldnt really be called the old town any more could it?
*** Anything else you big rambler? ***
If you visit Corfu, or the Greek mainland for that matter, chances are youll try the national drink, that being Ouzo. Fair enough, its a nice tasting drink and its a Greek institution. However, if you visit Kerkyra, you should try Kum Kuat, native to the island. With an citrus flavour (unsurprisingly), this is a very, very alcoholic drink, taken best in small quantities. Its absolutely lovely, and a bottle makes a nice souvenir to take home, a shot now and again a lovely reminder of the hot days in Greece.
Another native taste is the olive oil, which is so vastly important to the Greek people. Corfu in particular produces a high amount of olive oil, and its almost a sacred commodity in Kerkyra, where it is used not only in food, but also in religious ceremonies, and in religious lanterns.
*** Some last important points ***
Bear with me people. Something that must be mentioned is the sanitary system in Corfu. Now, you will notice how lovely and clean the sea water is over there. The reason being that you cannot flush your toilet paper down the actual toilet, it actually has to be disposed of in a small bin. This may be completely abhorrent to the more prissy of you, so if you dont think you can cope (wuss) then dont go! Its not a great bother, at the end of the day, the only problem is reminding yourself to do it.
Last, but not least, is my piece of advice. Take insect repellent. And lots of it. The mosquitoes are fierce in Corfu, and they do like to hang about by the pool, which can be a bugger (scuse my French).
Corfu is a truly beautiful island, steeped in history and blissfully still mainly untouched by the tourist machine. For a far more spiritual and cultural holiday you could find elsewhere in Europe, Kerkyra is highly recommended. Whether youre a beach lover, a party person or someone interested in some Greek culture, you will find everything in Corfu. So if you find yourself suffering from the dreadful Boredom and Lethargy Syndrome, take Dr. Dollangangers advice and prescribe yourself a holiday in Kerkyra. Its sure to solve your problem.
I've just returned from my first visit to Corfu. i stayed in Gouvia, which is about 15 mins north of the capital Corfu Town. The first thing I noticed was the amount of cats running about the place. being a cat lover I was not bothered at all and I even had three regularly come to my door. Couldn't help but go to the supermarket and buy a few tins of Whiskas! Since it was the end of the season the weather was very changeable. the first two days were nice hot and sunny, followed by a big thunderstorm and a day of rain. Another day of clouds followed then more sun. Didn't last long and three more days of cloud and rain had us wondering what on earth we could do! Needless to say my tan is not very good but going in Oct we couldn't really of expected too much. We were booked on a beach b-b-q trip but it was cancelled so we decided on a trip to Sidari. Sidari seems more "English" than Gouvia, with it's English bars and places to eat - a great place to go is The Red Lion which serves HUGE portions. It was raining in Sidari too so we didn't get to see too much of the place but it looked nice as we travelled through on the bus!! Only thing I would say has put me off was the airport shop. It was more expensive than the Corfu supermarkets, which I have never experienced before, so don't leave all your cigarrette and booze buying until then. the fags were 28 euros for 200 (which is cheap but we were in Turkey in May and they were only 15 euros) but in the shops they were 23euros. I wouldn't go back to Corfu at this time of year but maybe in July when the resort is bustling and the weather is good. if anyone stays at the Aleka Studio in Gouvia, make sure to feed my three furry friends (two blackand white and one all black)!!!
I think I first fell in love with Greece when I was 15 and studying for my 'O' Levels. I read "My Family and other Animals" by Gerald Durrell, a story which is set in the island of Corfu. I liked the idea of the strawberry pink villa where they lived and the description of water melons like "pink ice" has stayed with me till this day. Yes there are strawberry pink houses and yellow ones too! When I first announced that I was going to Corfu I received a couple of derisory and snobbish comments from friends who see themselves as seasoned back-packers and travellers, but who of course had never been there themselves. I am pleased to announce that they were wrong. Yes, Corfu has a strong touristy element and more clubby resorts such as Kavos, but if you do not want that just avoid it! The first time we came to Corfu we stayed in a tiny resort called Perama which is directly opposite the famously photographed Mouse island. Some of the most adventurous hotel guests used to swim there everyday! From here, one can easily walk to a causeway which takes you across the water to a suburb of Corfu town - Kanoni. It takes twenty minutes to walk through this quiet, residential area and we did this nearly every day. We admired the prettily coloured houses in a variety of hues, the heavily flowered gardens and had our first small glimpse of everyday Greek life. At the end of the walk there is of course Corfu town. I loved Corfu town and would like to go back there one day. In parts it is very Greek - winding whitewashed alleyways and backstreet tavernas and in others it has the appearance of an archetypal western European city - boulevards, coffee shops where the cafe society meet and socialise and even cricket on the green (a leftover from the British days on the island). Our second visit to Corfu on a last minute deal took us to Aghios Stefanos (San Stefano) which is on the west of the island, just to the nor
th of Paliokastritsa. (NB There is another Aghios Stefanos on the East of the island!) This was a lovely, quiet little resort and our accommodation backed onto an olive grove! It was late October, so we would sit out on our patio watching the farmers put down nets under the trees for the olive harvest. The people in Aghios Stefanos were amongst the friendliest people I have ever met and there were quite a few pleasant little tavernas where the food was lovely and very low priced! On a final note: do not listen to the travel snobs and when watching certain TV programmes about holidays in Corfu, please understand that these are only showing you one dimension of the island. Just be selective about where you are going. Research and read up on it - use the internet to look at specific resorts and enjoy an excellent (and inexpensive) holiday that is only just over 3 hours away.
I could live in this category having been to Corfu many many times. Of all the places we have gone in the world this is the only place all of us, adults and kids, always want to return to. When we first came our eldest was only 6 months old and we were looking for a holiday that gave us peace and relaxation and not too much hassle with a baby so we thought we would try Corfu. What an inspired choice over 16 years we have spent 10 holidays in Barbati in various types of accomodation. Barbati is north of Dassia and Ipsos and although within walking distance it is compltely different. Over the years it has obviously changed but has remained quiet and peaceful. There is a long shingle beach and one road going through the village on which there are just enough tavernas to have a good choice NO clubs and one bar Think Pink run by Stephanos whose family run the supermarket underneath. Think Pink welcomes everyone and the children have loved going there from toddlers to be teased and given elaborate non alcoholic drinks which so much flourish that they felt very important, to teenagers when they have had their choice of music and again lots of attention. Everywhere we have stayed has been wonderful villas apartements even this year when we tried the one and only hotel. The only drawback is the HILL this is the steepest incline I have ever seen and required much planning to negotiate although the hotel now runs a minibus which regularily picks you up and takes you up and down the hill. Everyone complains about the hill but there are many who return year after year of all ages. The people are friendly we hadnt been there for 4 years yet we were remembered and greeted warmly. (how they remember so many people is beyond me). There is a large number of English in the village mainly married to Greeks and they are very helpful. Behing the village in the mountain Pantokrator and the views from the hillside accomodation is spec
tacular over the bay to Albania and Corfu town. For people looking for more entertainment there is a good taxi service to Ipsos and Dassia and Nissaki. On the whole this is the ideal holiday for anyone who doesnt want alot of English pubs and discos, who want a safe peaceful Greek holiday where they can feel they really have seen something of Greece.
This year was the first time that I have been to Corfu and the third time I have been in Greece as I have only generally been to Spain of France. On this occasion, I decided that I needed a change of scenery to another island and went to Sidari in Corfu with once again Thomson Travel. I stayed in the Canal d’ Amour area of Sidari where there are little private beaches that fill up very fast. Talking to many people, this was found to be the nicest part of the island. I went this year on the 31st of August for a two-week holiday with my parents so I had the last week of high season and the first week of mid season. Between the two weeks of being there, there was a big difference with the amount of people. As I went during high season, the shops were not giving offers to encourage people to spend their money and the atmosphere was great to say the least (bearing in mind it was starting to quieten down), but as soon as the first week of mid season came in, there was a great influx of tourists going out of Corfu almost making the island deserted. This is when the holiday changed to bad weather set in making high winds, hail stones, rain, etc, etc but even due to this the atmosphere around Sidari was good enough to bear. This bad weather only lasted 4 days though. All I wanted this time round was to have a quite last holiday with my parents, and that is what I got. All the pubs, bars, and beaches literately everywhere was quite busy until about the time I was departing myself to come back home when there was to be no one in site of the beach, pubs, and bars. I do not know about the clubs, as I did not go in any. Sidari turned into a ghost town, but talking to locals, this had been the busiest season with all accommodation filling up and that this sudden quite spell was to be expected. Sidari was basically the nature of the Greeks and the English and there are very few other foreigners to cause any trouble. In Sidari, there was n
ot trouble with anyone; it was just like one big family. During the day, there was plenty to do all the time, weather you like to dine, sleep, being active, or sight seeing. I did a mixture of all these. I even hired out a cycle (which is very unlike me on holiday) and cycled to various parts of the island during the day. This was like an excursion in itself as I saw some stunning sight seeing sites, local taverns, etc and at £2 a day, this was good value. If you are a water sports person, you will enjoy this location, as there is jet skiing, banana boat, and every other water sport you can think of except jet skiing. As far as the sleep goes, I slept on the beach in full sun (to which you should not do especially during the time of a heat wave), but surprisingly I did not burn, but there were a lot of burnt people. I am quite hard skinned when it comes to the sun, but I was still wearing factor 5, as the sun was very strong in the area. The beach is ok in places with clean water and golden sand. There are parts where the sand is pebbly, but mainly sandy. If you are on a lilo, or any other inflatable, then be careful, as the wind is strong if you go out too far, and of those that are doing water sports. There are a lot of day trips that you can do to other islands and countries. These are highly recommended to do. You cannot really do the trips any cheaper elsewhere, as all prices were the same. I went on numerous trips and thoroughly enjoyed them all. I went on the following; *Sivota Blue Lagoon* This is a cruise across the Corfu straits to the popular highlight of Sivota, which is a little pretty fishing village located on the edge of mainland Greece. On the way back from this village, you visit the spectacular Blue Lagoon where the boat will stay for about an hour. During this time, you can swim amongst the fish, have a general swim or relax admiring the crystal clear waters. The beach in this lagoon is l
iterally all stones. *East Coast Cruise* This is basically a boat trip down the East coast of Corfu where you take the first stop half way down the island to Mouse Island. It is called Mouse Island due to the size and shape of it. Whilst by the mouse island, the boat positions itself under the flight path of incoming passenger flights. This is done by that the end of the runway is in the sea! It was really strange seeing planes flying over you. It felt as if you could early touch them. On the way back, you visited Corfu Town, Kavos harbour, and various other bays, history of the island, etc. Great day out. *Paxos and Parga* I did not make it to this one due to bad weather, but this is basically a visit to the two islands, which have been kept to its old way of living with no effects of tourists. *Kassiopi* Kassiopi by night is a four hour stay in the village where you can shop, shop, and shop. This has a small harbour where some of the boat trips go from. Well worth the visit. *Boat BBQ* This was probably the best trip of them all. You join the caption that is totally mad called Theo and Theo and his crew make this one of the most memorable cruise along Corfu’s Coastline. You can swim in the electric blue Ionian waters, jump off the boat and then you enjoy a fantastic BBQ with wine, beers, and soft drinks for those that cannot handle the pace. As you board the boat, you start having water fights with other boats and amongst yourselves, and get totally covered in shaving foam. Definitely one not to be missed or for the faint hearted. *Greek Night* This was the last of the trips. This included a four course meal, all night entertainment, plate smashing, and drinking as much wine as you can. Some wine is ok, others are like paint stripper, but you have a choice of about 5 red and white wines. Once your meal has finished, you are up on the stage where you take to the dance
floor and learn some Greek dancing. When it comes to dining, try everywhere as all food costs about the same and you get about the same amount in servings. The only difference is the style of cooking and the taste. If you like to dine out, there are nice resturants (the three brothers hotel, the three little pigs) which give magnificant meals. You can choose from italian, greek, english, etc dishes. All meals are about £7 including a couple of drinks. There are no safe deposit boxes in the apartment that I stayed in, nor were there any in other hotels, but there are little shops where you can store your belongings away and you have access to it about 20 hours a day. This service does not cost anything, but the only catch is that you have to change you currency there, but even these exchange places were very competitive and offered a better price than over here in England. Another piece of mind is that the little shops are owned by Thomson’s who monitor the boxes all hours of the day. The accommodation is basic in Corfu, and I mean basic but comparing it to other islands, this was luxury. All you have is a bathroom with the usual amenities. The toilet however is very basic (its ok, it is not the hole in the floor). It is the usual basin but no toilet paper can be deposited down them. All used toilet paper must be placed into the bin provided next to the toilet as with all of the Greek islands. The kitchen is basically two rings (one big, one small), an oven, and a fridge with a freezer compartment, then you sleeping area. It is advisable to take a repellent with you. I got bit about 40 times in the first two days, but locals stated there has been a plague this year of mosquito’s. A bit of advice, eat a lot of onions and garlic. Mosquitoes do not lie the odour of them and also try not where any fragrances or deodorant. Overall, this is a highly recommended place for those that like a fairly active holiday or a
lazy holiday, but it is advisable to go to Sidari, as this is the best place of the whole island. Kavos is like another Blackpool but a lot worse. It did not seem that attractive or much there, apart from the nightlife (which it is recommended to go on the company’s pub crawl there, but then again it is the 18 – 30’s hot spot). This is a good choice for anyone that likes a good time. (Personally, I did not want to leave there as I was having too much of a good time even though it was a little on the quite side.) I enjoyed the island so much, that I am going to try Rhodes next year. I will definitely go to Kos and Corfu again.
My parents said I should get away for a bit after exams, and I had discussed this with some mates beforehand, but I decided I could not afford it, and thought I would just work throughout the summer… until my parents felt sorry for me and said if I found the spending they would pay for the holiday as an early Xmas/birthday present. So, I booked a week in Corfu for myself and two other mates, starting on the 9th of July 2001, costing £281 each, in a self catering apartment, booked sometime in February. This was with Greek Tourism Travel, who work on behalf of Golden Sun Holidays and we flew with JMC airways. Anyway, flying from Gatwick, the flight was about two and a half hours there, arriving in the islands only airport situated in the north-eastern part of the island, near Corfu Town. From the airport it took us about fifty minutes to get to our apartment in St. George via a nicely air-conditioned coach. That was the starter, now the main course: Generally ******** Corfu is seen as a ‘young persons’ island because of the nightlife culture image that it has gained over the years, and admittedly this was one aspect that attracted us to the Greek island. However, because the island is dominated by one place for nightlife, Kavos/Cavos, of this kind, other places have bars and clubs that will not have thousands of drunken fools flowing out of them. This means that people of all ages can go, just make sure you know where you are going so you do not get caught-up in the yob-culture, or as you may inclined to call it, the kn*b-culture. Corfu, like all the other Greek islands has a poor water system, probably because it is so hot, and the protein enriched water would not be good for us to drink. This means that bottled water must be bought to drink, and is well worth doing because it does taste refreshingly good when you take it out the fridge. Bottled water is cheap, and can cost anything from 100
Greek Drachma (less than 20p) (about 550 Greek Drachma to the pound) per half litre bottle. The hot water is solar powered (a great idea) but this means that hot water is scarce until early afternoon (unless few are using hot water in the morning) but with it being so hot (reaching up to forty degrees Celsius) cold showers are a must, and we usually felt hot in the apartment after a cold shower! The other ‘thing’ as it were about Corfu is that the sewage system is not very developed… so much so that, you will find a small bin next to the toilet where you deposit your…. You know, not your faeces, but the toilet paper you use after ‘evacuating’ your bowels. Talking of evacuation, some apartments do not have bathroom windows, so getting out the bathroom quickly was usually essential! As I said, Corfu is a hot place, and you will need to slap on the sunscreen all the time. I remember walking out the apartment about 10:00 one morning, and just feeling my skin burning within five minutes. To be honest, this is when you are likely to burn. When you go onto the beach, the trip is usually started with rubbing in the sun tan lotion and so you are safe, but all those ten minute walks to the local shops will build up if you are not careful. At least a factor twenty-five to those untanned parts of the body. I was safe with a factor ten on my legs and fore-arms as I had a tan from England. (It is possible!) Mosquitoes or Mossies as we called them at the start were everywhere really. I called them Mossies in a nice tone as I just did not get bitten for the first couple of days whilst the other two did. By the end I was calling them f*cking things, f*cking b*ggers, little sh*ts, little t*ssers and biting w*nkers… I am sure there were more! Seriously, wear repellent and take something to help relieve the bites. Two products which did this for us cost less than a fiver from Boots, and was well worth it. The after-sting cre
am made the bite swell and burst causing the puss to come out the area… is that the only way?! St. George Eating and Drinking ************************** St. George can be located in the south west part of the island, (where we stayed) and there are other St. George’s in Corfu (three others I think) but this is the main St. George. The town is situated right on the coast, and has one road that runs through it which is right next to the beach, with roads coming off this road going inland, but not going to anywhere else apart from the country. Basically, St. George is along one road, and that is it! On this road you will find many pubs restaurants and shops. The shops are basically all small shopping markets which will provide you with breakfast and lunch food at reasonable prices. The prices of food from these shops are generally cheaper then here in England, and you will find that everything is local produced. The restaurants are also priced extremely reasonably. I think the most expensive meal we had between the three of us came to 8,000 Greek Drachma which is about fifteen pounds Sterling. That meal had dogfish in it as well as a steak so… it is very cheap to eat out, and I recommend you do so every night, not just because you are on holiday and you should not cook, but it is probably cheaper than buying the food and cooking it yourself. The bars are great. They do not seem to get many people in them before about ten o’clock (when we usually went out) and the prices are good. The Karma Bar and Oh La La are next door to each other, and seemed to attract the most amount of people, especially as happy hour(s) was from nine to midnight. The bars will offer you beer, but most opted for cocktails. These were priced at 1000 Greek Drachma in happy hour and at 1500 Greek Drachma outside of happy hour. The most popular to drink was Sex On The Beach (hence the title) and Sex In The Air/Clouds. These were th
e two ‘safe’ drinks as it were, as everyone liked them. Others such as ‘White Russian’ and ‘Green Dragon’ were not to everyone’s liking. There are many to try and are all made promptly in the bar while you wait. It is very easy to spend a lot of Greek Drachma, but little Sterling, and get very drunk very quickly! The bars are open to about four o’clock in the morning, so beware of noise if you go home beforehand. I think we stayed out most nights (apart from the last couple when I found myself a female friend…) until the early hours. St. George Accommodation ********************** We stayed in Jimmis Apartments which were great. The place was meant for four people, but with only three of us we had an extra bed and extra room for us to p*ss about in. Most of the apartments seemed to be for two people, and so did not have two front doors like us, or two doors onto the balcony which was nice and big. Being in Corfu makes life simple. The cooking (if any) is done on two hobs, and it was mainly pasta that was cooked, taken over from England. You will not find a kettle in any apartments, and so the hobs are used for heating any water for any tea or coffee made. The bathroom is a strange situation. As I said, there is the little bin for the used toilet paper which, if you do not use, (i.e. you put the paper down the toilet) you may experience ‘blowback’ which I think you can guess as to the definition! In the bathroom there is also a stool in there….. which we did not have a ‘Scooby’ about what that was for! Basically, it is for the shower… you put the stool in the shower, wet yourself… OK, you remove your clothes first then wet yourself… with the shower head, and get yourself as wet as possible. Then wash, then rinse yourself down, still sitting on the stool. This is done because of the lack of shower curtain in most apartments. We were fortuna
te enough to have one, but it was too short, and the floor still got soaked! We did not use the stool, I would advise just pointing the shower heard towards you in a way that if you miss it hits the wall. You will not find any bathroom towels in most apartments, only small hand towels (don’t know why!!) which were used to mop up the bathroom mess - something we were told not to do… but forgot… - so take your own bathroom towel, and one for the beach too. St. George ‘Activities’ ****************** The beach was about a two minute walk from our apartments in one direction which was obviously great. I cannot remember the name of the beach, but translated it means ‘maybe’, and basically, if you think about the beach as a ‘normal’ beach at one end, and a nudist beach at the other, the further you walk along the beach the more it gets towards a nudist beach. We did not actually walk that far along the beach, so I cannot confirm this! There was another great looking beach in the other direction, about a twenty minute walk from where we were staying. On the beach there are many sun-lounges which were for hire, apparently costing £3 per day. There is a beady-eyed bloke who walks up and down the beach asking for cash from you! Going there at night is really nice though. Free sun-lounges, (the beady eyed bloke has to sleep!) a nice cooling temperature, a lovely sounding sea, and good company if you are lucky. I went to the beach at night a few times with different company, and you can either just chat, just lounge, other things or just fall asleep… make sure you are with people who will wake you up though! - The beady eyed man is up early! To be honest, that was what there was to do in St. George, just go to the beach. There were water activities such as jet-skiing and… what is it called..? When you are attached to an open parachute, attached to a speed-boat
and then pulled along…paragliding? You can do that too! Prices seemed a tad expensive though. Outside St. George Activities ************************ At our welcome meeting we were given a selection of different activities etc. that we could do throughout the week, but not wanting to do too much and get tied down, we opted for just two of them. The activities on offer and prices (and the companies conversions) are below: Corfu By Coach: Coach trip to the capital, Kerkyra, for a shopping trip. Leave at 16:00, back at 21:00. 4000 Greek Drachma, about £7.00. Greek Night: At Gloupos, this is a traditional Greek meal and celebration. 12000 Greek Drachma, about £21.00. Grand Island Tour: Coach tour of many places around the island with a guide and stops. 10400 Greek Drachma, about £19.00. One Day Cruise: Cruise to Parga on the mainland and the Island Paxos before an evening return. 10900 Greek Drachma, about £20.00. Paxos, AntiPaxos and Caves: Swim, shopping and sight-seeing trip. 7000 Greek Drachma, about £12.00. Scuba Diving: With professional diving instructors, for both experienced and amateur swimmers. 14000 Greek Drachma, about £25.00. I knew people who went on this trip, and they both said it was a bit scary, but amateurs can only go down six metres so she said it wasn’t too bad! Experienced divers can go down about twenty metres, but do take any certificates you have. Recommended. Aqualand: Loads of pools and slides for all the family with lounges, lockers etc. 9000 Greek Drachma, about £16.00. I went on this, but I must say, get a good night’s sleep beforehand. I was out until half five, and although it was a great night, (I think!) the trip to Aqualand the next day (getting up three hours after going to bed!) was a struggle as I had been drinking… you have been warned! But it was a good day, thoroughly enjoyed the slides, but not the wedgies!!
Sandstorm Beach Party: On K/Cavos beach with a London DJ and great dancers. 12000 Greek Drachma , about £21.00. Although we had a delayed arrival, and the drinks were expensive, we said ‘sod it’ and got a ‘bit’ drunk anyways, and without the alcohol, dancing and socialising would have been harder to do… so drink! A good night when things got swinging, and you are likely to meet loads of people. This is the night us three met another group of twenty-one from Leeds, our age, and we were friends (or more) for the rest of the holiday, and this is always likely to happen on holiday as people are generally more sociable. The above were arranged by our tour operator, but every place you stay at with a rep is likely to do these kind of activities, and I would recommend doing some, but do not tie yourself down too much. Mesongi: We got a taxi here one night on recommendation, and we went to George and Frankie’s (I think) which was the recommended bar there. In the end we left quite early as the place was half dead, and taxi driver’s do not stay long. It cost us 5000 Greek Drachma to get to Mesongi from St. George (quite expensive for a fifteen minute trip) and another 5000 back. Basically, the taxi drivers all ‘sod off’ (as it were) to Cavos/Kavos as that is where all the work is. I would not recommend going to Mesongi from anywhere else, but if your apartments are there, do not worry, there were a few people in the clubs. Kavos/Cavos: Well, this is the main place on the island, and we did only go there once for the Sandstorm night. The drinks were nearly twice as much as those in St. George, and unless you are staying in C/Kavos, I would not go there more than once. It was going to cost us the equivalent of £40.00 to get there and back via taxi, and with more expensive drinks… yeah. Although the clubs are large and often free to get into, the night will quickly get expensive. The
yob-culture is more apparent here than anywhere else, with drunk idiots everywhere (according to our rep) and some drink-driving on scooters. Walking through the place we saw the stereotypical English yobs which made me cringe to think I was from the same country as them! Transport ******** We were handed some prices for car hire at our arrival meeting, and I was considering hiring a car for a day if it was not too expensive. The prices started at 13000 Greek Drachma for a Fiat Panda for a day, and went up to 32000 Greek Drachma for a Fiat Multiplan (nine seater) for a day. The prices were slightly discounted for three or seven day hire, and did include full insurance, VAT, road map, delivery and collection, but after reviewing our drinking finances we decided not to. Mountain bikes and scooters were also for hire (sorry, did not see the prices) but we were advised against scooters. A couple of weeks beforehand, somebody on holiday had drunk-driven a scooter and killed a local girl… not that we would drink drive, but we saw her point. The buses run once a day, and did not seem very reliable on timing! Taxi’s were a lot more expensive than estimated, only use them if you have no other alternative. The drivers are very loyal though, and if they pick you up from your hotel, they will take you to your destination and arrange to pick you up somewhere at a set time. This guarantees you a taxi, and so no worry about getting home. Overall ****** This island has plenty to do if you go out and do it yourself, otherwise you may become an expert at some card games (like we now are!) during the day. The nightlife is good if there are a few of you, otherwise go to K/Cavos if you want some clubbing. If there are a lot of you, you will be able to have a laugh in local bars. In a sentence Corfu is "A place for everybody with a lot to do if you have the money, just beware of mosquitoR
17;s and the hot sun." Ta DAN
I'd strongly recommend you to go to Corfu if you HAVEN'T been to any part of Greece or the Greek Island's before and ditto if u have been. It is a very hot, normal greek island with all the usual features. There are no trendy shops but if you like souveneir shopping you're in heaven. Also, Corfu is a definate beach holiday. I found the beaches quite rocky, but the sea was full of big fish. Things aren't really expensive, but it's not exactly the cheapest place in the world either. There aren't any (lethally) dangerous animals in Corfu, but there are some big insects. The weather is usually in it's high 30's in the summer, so it's an ideal place to get a sun tan. You can get different types of food in Corfu, but the Greek dishes are the most popular. Resorts like Sidari and Roda are very commercialised, but Acharavi and Messongi are quieter. Greek Nights, Boat Trips of the Island and Water Sports are strongly recommended for this holiday. For details on the airport, search CORFU airport. I enjoyed this island very much
Luscious, green, pine-clad hills are typical of the stunning scenery on offer in Corfu. It has to consist of some of the most beautiful views anywhere. Beaches are small and secluded and the waters around the island are absolutely crystal clear. People there are wonderfully friendly, making you feel welcome and at home from the moment you arrive. Prices of food and drink are exceptionally good. Ouzo is a must to be tried by anyone enjoying an alcoholic beverage or two whilst away. Care needs to be taken if hiring a car and travelling around the island as many of the roads are wound around mountains! We stayed at an excellent hotel called the Karina, in Benitses, which is a little village just around 8km from the capital, Corfu Town. The bar there is run by a chap known as ‘Bentises Bill’ who is very friendly and helpful. A Geordie comedian/singer is the entertainment every night and whatever your age he is sure to do something to make you have a great night. A rather amiable Greek, by the name of Spirros, is the hotel owner. From the south eastern coast it is possible to look across the sea and get a good view of mainland Greece and further to the north of the same coast Albania is well in view. Travel across to Albania for the day is now easily accessible. We did that trip too and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It is just around 20 minutes to half an hour crossing and offers a peep in to a different type of life altogether to that across in Corfu, so it is well worth the cost of around £30 in total to go and do the day trip around the area. Corfu is a brilliant choice for a last minute ‘cheapy’.
Until i went on holiday last august to corfu, i allways thought going to greece would be horrible. i heard so many people saying how horrible it was. when i got to corfu airport it was really hot and stuffy and about 5 am. by the time we got our baggage and on our coach to the apartments it was about 6am and just coming light. whilst driving through the island to the apartments i started o notice how nice the island was. no big concrete blocks to be seen and so peaceful.i had the best holiday of my life and wouldn't hesitate to go back. i wouldn't go anywhere else now. it really is the best holiday spot in the world!!!!!!!
I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep this op on the subject of the island of Corfu, mainly because of the goings on in our holiday accommodation, but I'll try. If you've picked this up from my account list of opinions, then I apologise for having turned it into a mini "Wish You Were Here", but I'm having really excellent fun in digging out the photo albums to rekindle some of the memories. We spent two weeks on a Mark Warner holiday at the Club Barbati. My husband had a habit of winning the work competitions where the prizes were holidays, so the operators had already been chosen for us, otherwise I'm not sure I'd have booked with them. Not because I think there's anything wrong with them, but they are watersports specialists and I'm one of the world's greatest armchair spectators. Still, we weren't tied to the club, we were free to do whatever we wished, so we left others to fry on pontoons, waiting for 2 hours before you get a quick waterski, and headed off around the island. Ipsos was the nearest actual resort to Barbati, and was a few miles down the dusty road. We had to walk there in order to hire our car, (hereafter known as the Magical Shitheap) which we'd swiftly decided was vital, because if they caught you hanging round the complex they were hassling you to do aerobics, or sailing, or watersking, or windsurfing, or whatever other form of water torture they could devise. Ipsos was obviously THE place to be at night. Every other building was a bar or club, and it was full to busting all over. Definitely good for a laugh, but not a lot for conversation. Still. Who needs to communicate more than "Get them in!" During the day, it was a busy little beach resort with loads of manic motorcyclists careering along the roads, and the water had manic jetskiers, so we headed off elsewhere to get away from all the mania. Paleokastritsa (my Greek isn't brilliant, so bear wi
th any spelling errors) was our saviour, and we'd keep going back there just to take in the magnificent scenery. From up on high, you look down over the bay and the jutting promontories into the sparkling blue sea. This is best done from the popular restaurant, whose large balconies afford a really great view. On the largest promontory, there is a wonderful monastory, and we visited it more than once. The monks are in residence, and as I recall, you are asked not to speak to them. The trotted about occasionally, and tended to garden work, and look very charming in their outfits. I don't mean any disrespect, but they reminded me of Uncle Bulgaria from the Wombles, only in a long black dress. Corfu Town is busy, busy, busy, and a nightmare in the Magical Shitheap. Apparently it was just a massive free-for-all, no need to understand the traffic laws as no one takes any notice of them anyway. We didn't find too much to enthrall us there, but we did find a cricket pitch with a concrete batting strip in the middle of a large square. I was quite scared for any drivers who were trying to negotiate the town and dodge the flying cricket balls at the same time. Loads of nice looking buildings, but I didn't fancy getting out for a stroll so off we dawdled through the jams instead. Kassiopi was a charming small fishing village just to the north of Barbati, full of traditional and brightly coloured boats and crafts. We had a nice look round here, and ate some excellent food in the waterside restaurant too. We took a boat out for a couple of days too. You can hire these for a set number of hours, and just go off to get to the beaches that you can't reach by any other means. Most of these were stones, but they were deserted and surrounded by dramatic cliffs. Absolute heaven. We'd seen some pictures of something called Mouse Island, where the was a minute old church on a little island that was attached to the mainland by a
walkway. We managed to find it, and it was indeed charming, but the trouble was it to be found at the end of the airport runway, which ruined the atmosphere somewhat. The photos look great, but that's because you can't hear what was going on in the background. Also near here is the small island, who's name escapes me, but it was there in the house, on a kitchen table, I believe, that Prince Philip was born. We also visited a large and beautiful house which my memory is calling The Achillien Palace, but I'm not utterly convinced of that. It was set in gorgeous gardens, with loads of statues to Achilles, but the house wasn't open during the day. At night it was a different matter as it was operating as a Casino, but we never visited it then. Dassia was another beach resort close to Barbati, but it was much more upmarket and very quiet, and for some reason we didn't like it enough to go back for another visit. We did visit Benitses, but only for a brief time. A brief, brief, brief, time. We parked up by a splendid looking roman harbour wall remains, took one breath, and swiftly got back in again. The smell was appalling. I don't know whether this was commonplace or what, but it was overpoweringly sulphurous, and we got out of there as fast as we could. The Magical Shitheap got us almost through to the end of the holidays. It packed up at the furthest point away from Barbati that it could, the guy came out to replace it with another car - a Fiat Panda. My husband is 6ft 3" and had to drive it back to Club Barbati with his head through the sunroof. What a laugh! There, I did manage to say something about Corfu, and never once mentioned the Nymphomaniac guest who caused sexual mayhem for the last week of the holiday; Nor about the middleaged couple who spent the entire week sitting in plastic foldaway chairs in the car park - and her in white acrylic cardigans in 90 degrees of heat; Nor the misu
nderstood husband who went round propositioning any woman he could find when his wife had gone to bed. Corfu? More like Cor-phew!
I've just returned from a week (Oct13th/20th) in Sidari on the north coast of Corfu and had a great time.The resort is about as far from lads' paradise Kavos as possible and that's no bad thing.Going very late season we were concerned about the weather,but on the whole it was good.The rep said they had several inches of rain the week before so it's a bit of a lottery weatherwise if you go late season.As it was we had sunshine most days and a temperature of about 75c which is pleasant for shorts wearing. The resort appears to be in it's infancy and has the appearance of a frontier town.The main street has no pavements and is'nt very wide so tourists,coaches,cars and mopeds all vie for the same space.There was also a large pack of largley friendly but mangey dogs which wandered around and barked at the traffic.A lot of building work is in progress and I don't doubt that a lot will change in short order. The resort caters mostly for families and I never saw any lagerlads(except me!) and the resort generally wound down after midnight.The main street is awash with pubs,restaurants and giftshops most of which offer the same tatty array of fridge magnets,smutty playing cards and ceramics. The food was generally good with most places promoting English grub.We wer'nt too adventurous but Greek food is available and their salads with fetta cheese were great.The best however was the gyros.These are what we call kebabs but they are far superior to the botchulism on a stick we have here.The bread is soft and flavoured,to this real meat (chicken or pork)is added along with sauce,sour cream,tomatoes and chips.Yes our contribution is a few fries added for good measure.At 450drx-800drx(75p-£1.20)these are great value and very tasty. With beer prices coming down here due to the "pub wars "I did'nt find the drink very cheap but at the equivalent of £1.20-£1.50 a pint it was'nt bad.An advantage is that
the pubs show the latest movies on big screens.Gone are the days of the dodgy pirate,the showings I saw of Gladiator,X-men and The Perfect Storm were excellent DVD copies allbeit with Japenese subtitles.More intreguenly were the boards advertising films that don't yet exist like Scream 4 and American Pie 2(possibly Scarey movie and Road Trip). Lots of excursions were offered including a trip to Albania which is only 3km away by boat.We wen't on the cruise to Corfu town which is highly reccommended.It cost 5000drx for adults(less than £10)and took up most of the day.Although the bus was 30 minutes late we made the boat at Kassiopi.From here it was an hour and a half to Corfu with an English commentary on the way. Corfu town offered better shopping and historical sights.We paid 500drx(£1)to get into the new fort (still 300 years old)and this gave great views although nothing else-tourist exploitation still in it's infancy clearly!.The trip home was more choppy but we did get a brief respite on a lovely private beach. Something not to miss is the great beaches of Sidari.There are a chain of small inlets with golded sands and stunning cliffs.We hired pedalos to tour the bays and it was good fun.A refreshing change was the free sunloungers,although the local bar usually expected some trade in return - not a problem. I'd recommend Sidari for the traveller witha family who wants to take it easy and is'nt too keen on the bright lights.I'll probably go back but not for a few years by when they'll hopefully have made the main street pedestrianised and fitted silencers to the mopeds!.
It is no coincedence that Kavos is situated at the bottom or the beautiful island of Corfu, as indeed this is where all of the unwanted waste on the island seems to congregate in both human and other forms. Kavos is a typical 'Brits abroad' resort which appears to have been throen together in a week. Imagine if you will Blackpool with sunshine and lower quality structures, and you are looking at Kavos. The daytime life consists of lying on a beach or sitting in a bar watching repeats of friends for the majority of the tourists, which incidentally are almost all British, then drinking to excess on an evening in one of the hundreds of tacky bars along the main road. There are a few small reprives however. If you are brave enough to hire a motorbike or moped (and believe me there is a substantial amount of bravery required!) there are some beautiful villages to visit, and the beaches on the South West Coast of the island are truly beautiful, and not littered with cigarette ends and broken bottles. Also, Lefkimi port is within easy reach of Kavos, and runs regular ferries over to the beautiful Greek mainland with it's exquisite shops and mountain views. Now don't get me wrong. I did have a wonderful holiday in Kavos, but it is so noisy and brash that you are forced to comply or ruin your holiday. definately a case of if you can't beat them... One haven I did find was the 'Sex on the Beach' Bar, which despite it's name is actually a very relaxing 24 hour bar, situated on the beach front and complete with camp fire, sunloungers and Groove Armada on the stereo. You can almost escape the madness of the main street there. Overall Kavos is a great place for holidaying with a group of (loud) friends, going on the pull and doing the general 18-30 thing. Watersports are extensive and readily available although the prices are slightly higher than most other European holiday resorts. However, this ISN'T the place for a honeymoon/family/relaxing holiday as no matter how far from the action you are the whole area is very nosiy. Don't expect to be in bed until at least 2am.
I went on a holiday to Corfu with a boyfriend in 1998 and stayed in the Resort of Kassiopi. It is quite a small town with not many bars and clubs and would make an ideal location for a family holiday. There is a small beach to the north of the town and a small harbour with cafes and restaurants around it. The rest of the island was visited on Moped while we were there. Here is my opinion on the rest of the island. On the middle East coast is the port town of Corfu Town. This is where the airport is and where you arrive. The more lively younger people tend to head south here to Kavos and the other people head north to Sidari and Kassiopi. Kavos is the clubbing town with lots of bars and clubs and beach. The beach is covered in rubbish washed in from the sea though and looks untidy. Corfu town is the capital of the Island and has great shopping and some nightlife. Not a holiday resort really. Its worth a visit though. Very historical. Kassiopi already mentioned is about 5 or 6 miles from the coast of Albania and it can be seen on a clear day across the sea. Sidari in the north is a collection of small bars and a huge strip of lovely beach. Nice for families looking for a relaxed beach holiday. The island is covered in pine trees and small winding roads around a very hilly landscape. In September the weather turns sour and it RAINS A LOT! I know as it rained hard 5 days out of 7!