Introducing Corfu Holidays
Tucked away amidst the shimmering Ionian Sea, a Corfu holiday for 2019 will be chock full of cypress trees, olive groves, dramatic coastlines, and rustic stone buildings; finished with a deep blue sky. Due to its rolling green hills and abundance of olive patches, Corfu has the curious nickname ‘the Emerald Isle’ (which it shares with the island of Ireland, our neighbours will be tickled to discover). But what really gives this idyllic island an air of mystery is not just its spellbinding scenery or laid back way of life, but its intricate roots with classical Greece. For millennia, Corfu has been famed for its culture, art and education; qualities which can still be seen today in both the ancient architecture and sophisticated lifestyles of the locals. Like many other islands in the Mediterranean and elsewhere, watersports, sailing and other seaside activities are among some of the top pastimes in Corfu. A veritable paradise island, Corfu has its very own sea school offering sailing lessons for all skill levels and motorboats for hire, should you fancy a day trip out on the gentle waves or open sea. Also available are cruises around the neighbouring islands and beyond the dramatic cliffs and coves of the coastline are also popular daytime excursions during down time. If topping up your tan is imperative on this trip, Corfu also has around 57 glittering beaches to relax on when you want to get back on dry land.
Holidays to Corfu are all about simplicity and relaxation; and the locals will surely be inclined to agree with this sentiment. Many visitors every year are amazed to discover that the island has a distinct Italian flavour, due to its close proximity to its Mediterranean neighbour. The cuisine in Corfu is a fusion of typical Greek favourites, with deliciously fresh olives and feta on every menu, paired with some Italian classics such as tomatoes, pasta and herbs. Watching the sun sink into the glistening azure ocean as you chow down on mouth-watering dishes is one of the sweetest pleasures of life on the island... or life in general! If you feel the need for speed on your holiday, the undulating landscape in the southern part of Corfu is perfect for mountain biking. If you’d prefer to take in the scenery at a more manageable pace, ambling through olive groves and cypress trees is a peaceful way to experience the countryside. The popular northern coastline is bursting at the seams with lively towns like Kassiopi be sure to brush shoulders with the jovial locals who are always willing to share a story or two. Whatever you do, be sure to soak up some of the ever present classical history of the island; weeks could easily be spent wandering through the old ruins, lost in the world of the ancient Greeks.
Wine and Dine
Corfu offers a veritable smorgasbord of tasty treats for you to tuck into on your travels so don’t be afraid to expand your palette! During the Renaissance period, Corfu was an important trading post in Europe; with traditional Venetian culture seeping into every facet of life at that time, which influenced everything, from the way of life, right down to the cuisine. This can still be seen in eateries today where Venetian specialities are blended seamlessly with staples of the Mediterranean diet; and the island is particularly famous for its high-quality olive oil and pasta based dishes, and plates with more of a kick from the spicier Venetian end of things. We highly recommend you sample local favourites like Pastitsada; the most popular recipe you’ll find here which has its origins in the Venetian dish Spezzatino; and Charcuterie, which is a meat lover’s dream as it contains sausage, salami, bacon and local noumboula...plus whatever the chef has lying around! Another benefit of eating out here is that a usual three course meal in a taverna will only set you back 20 euros, including drinks. So you can dine out, without splashing out!
While we’re sure your kids will be suitably impressed with a personal pool (if you’ve chosen to splash out on a villa); you’ll always have the option to keep it chilled with some splashing around or sandcastle building on the beach. However, we’ve been doing this a long time, so we know young minds can get bored and restless at a moment’s notice, so probably best to have some backup activities on hand... Luckily for kids (and parents) there’s all manner of things to do on the gorgeous island of Corfu. Why not saddle up for a spot of equestrian excitement over at Avlaki? Dimitris stables is a popular choice for those with kids in tow, with riding schools for all ages and skill levels. It’s the best way to explore Corfu’s dramatic coastline and greenery and truly makes for a memory they won’t surely forget!
Action and Adventure
Corfu is quickly discovering its potential for a large range of activities it can offer, some already well developed, others on the up and up. As you’d expect with any of these Mediterranean havens, where there is wind and water you can be sure there will be kiters and windsurfers, and Corfu is no exception. The island has two large beaches which are particularly suited to both wind & kite surfing with schools always on hand for all skill levels. The entire north east side and most of the west side of the island are chock full of fantastic places to don a mask and dive deep underwater in search of wrecks, treasures or exotic flora and fauna. The rugged underwater terrain and abundance of aquatic caves both make for some very intriguing dives not available everywhere in the Mediterranean. Fishing is a huge pastime in Corfu and you can cast a line almost anywhere if its small shore fish you’re after; or if you want, go after larger fish with a spear gun for something truly different. Why not sign up for offshore fishing expeditions with specialists, tuna is always a popular catch when in season and will definitely make your buddies back home jealous!
The most bustling resorts on the island are located along the north coast. If competitive prices and water sports aplenty are what you want from Corfu holidays, set out for the sun-blessed resort of Acharavi. Such is the staggering beauty of this Ionian gem; it has the largest native population outside of the island's capital and is a great option for couples and families looking to seamlessly adapt to the relaxed way of life in Corfu. If it’s five star luxury and pampering you’re after, you’ll be spoilt for choice over on the east coast in Corfu Town, alongside the glamorous marina. Many of the best beaches on the Ionian Islands awarded with European Union’s prestige Blue Flag distinction can be found in Corfu. The best of them are mostly located on the west side of the island. Agios Stefanos is a long sandy stretch located in a quaint fishing village. The slick Glyfada beach is located just 15 km from Corfu Town, with shimmering azure waters, golden sandy crescents and beach bars galore. Agios Georgios is a beautiful sandy beach with all the usual amenities you’d expect. Kavos beach southeast of Corfu Town is a sure favourite of the younger sets who flock to the late night bars until the wee hours.
Affectionately dubbed by some return visitors as the party capital of Greece, Corfu is no lightweight when it comes to nightlife; and there’s no limit to what you can get up to as the sun begins to set... Awash with bars, pubs, lounges, taverns, clubs and discos, the establishments here uphold the traditional relaxed way of life that the people of Corfu love, so you’re free to enjoy your night of partying at whatever pace you choose. Corfu has definitely embraced its reputation as a haven for revellers with open arms, so you’ll find decent nightlife in every region. Your best bet is to start off in one of the beachside bars for a few cocktails before strolling down the strip to see what takes your fancy... Just try to stay away from the fishbowl cocktails. The ancient Greeks were well known for their hedonistic lifestyles and to be honest, on your holiday to Corfu, you’ll soon see that things haven’t changed all that much.
If you’re looking for the ultimate romantic day trip while in Corfu, head out to Paxos; amble around the landscapes, splay out on the beach or take a trek together up the mountains. For a little slice of heaven, book into Kontokali Bay Resort and Spa; a five star affair with treatments you won’t find anywhere else using organic plants, extracts and aromatic herbs from the islands local flora. But if that hasn’t got you too loved up enough then a horse drawn carriage ride is surely the obvious choice! No matter what time of year you visit, Corfu will offer you warm and lazy summer nights and picturesque autumn evenings; so it’s the perfect backdrop for a horse drawn carriage ride through the most romantic locations on the island. Your carriage will never take off beyond a slow tort, giving you adequate time to drink in the rich scenery and connect with your special one; so you’ll truly get your money’s worth!
One of our favourite cultural activites to do in Corfu is paying a visit to the magnificent Achilleon Palace, near the beautiful village of Gastouri. It was built between the years 1890 and 1892 by the Empress Elizabeth of Austria (known to her mates as Sissy) after one of her visits to Corfu. The large building, adorned in a neoclassical style, has three huge floors kitted out with many statues and paintings. The vast gardens surrounding the building, with a splendid view of a large part of the island, run down along the coastal road. These gorgeous gardens are decorated with many statues, the most famous of which are the two bronze runners, the dying Achilles (the mythological Greek hero) and the statue of Achilles Triumphant. Another highlight awaits you in the Garitsa quarter; a pleasant 15 minute stroll from the Old Town, the Archaeological Museum boasts some of the finest archaeological finds unearthed on the island.