The island of Corfu, also known as Kerkyra in Greek, is located just off the western coast of the mainland in the Ionian Sea. It is an island rich in history and culture, and due to this and its stunning natural beauty has been a popular holiday destination for Brits for over 200 years.
Out of 6,000 other Greek Islands, Corfu is by far the greenest as most of the land is covered in olive trees. This beautiful greenery, mixed with stunning views out to Albania, its long golden beaches, smart villas in the hills, the old Corfu Town, secret coves and fantastic restaurants makes up the beautiful island that has been a favourite for visitors for many years.
Corfu leaves a powerful spell on its visitors and this is why it is a go-to holiday destination that people return to year after year.
One of the most attractive parts of the island is the main Corfu Old Town, which is definately worth a visit to take a stroll through the Venitian-style streets and eat in some of the islands's best restaruants. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the architecture is beautifully preserved and boasts a magical, Mediterranean yet cosmopolitan feel. There is also the Museum of Asian Art and the Byzantine Museum, which can be refreshing after days of sea and sun.
The perfect way to explore the beautiful coastline of Corfu is to rent a speed boat, which can be rented in many of the small towns. You can then hop from cove to cove and beach to beach, finding some tranquil spots to swim, snorkel and absorb the Greek sun rays.
For the more adventurous types, take a trip up to the highest point on the mountain, Mount Pantokrator, for hiking or simple to admire the extensive veiws. On your way up, or down, stop in some of the hilltop villages where you can see truly unspoiled parts of the island with local's continuing their traditional lifestyles.
Between 1935-39, the well-known British family, The Durrells, including the wife and children of author Gerald Durrell, lived on Corfu. Their house, The White House, can be found in the coastal town of Kalami and is now a popular restaurant and tourist spot.
In Corfu Town, a trip to see the Old Fortress, with fascinating history dating back to the 12th century. Climb up to the top of it to see some of the best panoramic views of the island.
On the way up Mount Pantokrator, try and find the abandoned town of Palea Perithia. Also, make your way over to the Achilleon Palace which was designed for the mythical hero, Achilles.
Remember that Corfu isn't a small island and there is a lack of convenient public transport, so it is probably best to rent a car to get around. Beware when driving of very windy, narrow and sometimes steep roads, many of which are in fairly poor condition.
Taxis are available across the island and if staying in a hotel or resort they will be able to organise this for you. Due to the road conditions and the relaxed Greek lifestyle, don't expect them to be on time!
Be careful if walking in rural areas of the island or hiking in the hills and mountains as you may come across a few unfriendly friends such as snakes and spiders!
For those looking for a more relaxing visit to the beautiful Greek Island, perhaps avoid Kavos; the party town in the south of the island, which is catered for mass tourism where you will stumble across drunk Brits on the party "strip" and purpose built modern resorts.
Greece is a country of fine specialities in its cuisine, and Corfu is dominated by fresh, local products including meat and fish, olive oil, homemade Greek yoghurt, fresh fruit (perfect peaches and apricots), and local honey. A typical breakfast in Corfu consists of natural fresh yoghurt and honey topped with peaches and hazlenuts.
Other Greek delicacies that must be tried in Corfu are fried aubergines, greek salads, made up of feta cheese, cucumber, onion and tomatoes, and Tzatziki, a dip mode of yoghurt and cucumber, and Baclava, a sweet pastry made of nuts, honey and filo pastry.
There are many shops across the island from the streets of Corfu Town to the tiny hilltop villages and beach towns, many selling crockery and ceramics in beautiful hand-painted patterns, Greece/Corfu souvenirs, rugs, and beautiful homemade clothes and jewellery.
Try and find some locally produced Greek honey which is long-lasting and travels well, and can make a good gift.
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