Newest Review: ... 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... more
Corfu- For Flora, Fauna, My Family And Other Animals!
Member Name: lak11
Date: 24/01/11, updated on 10/07/12 (271 review reads)
Advantages: Beautiful and friendly. Easy to explore.
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.
Summary: Highly recommended
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