As a travel agent I always loved selling Corfu. I regularly got calls from customers who came back thanking me for sending them there. In fact usually people rebooked the same place the following year, they loved it so much!
I love holidaying in Greece in general, I love the people, the food and the laid back atmosphere – Corfu is no exception. Unlike many other European destinations most hotels and apartment complexes are family owned so you feel like you are staying in a home away from home. You will probably get to know the owners and by the end of your stay you will probably be their friends on facebook!
There are many resorts to choose from, it really depends what you are looking for. If its nightlife you seek try Kavos or Ipsos, or if you want peace and tranquility try Kommeno Bay. For the rest of us there is actually a large choice. I loved Sidari, it is visually stunning with lots of small cove beaches, plenty of bars and restaurants and just enough night life without being over bearing. The canal d’amour ( canal of love) is a famous natural phenomenon where the cliffs form a canal in the sea. If you are staying elsewhere it is worth a trip to see this alone. If I was to find fault I would say Sidari is a little too far from Corfu town and the airport for me.
Messonghi and Moraitika, two resorts that run into each other are probably the most popular with Irish holidaymakers. They an ideal choice if you want to relax, have great food and some nightlife too. The main road linking the two has a strip full of bars and shops but I thought was a little run down. The beach life on the other hand is fantastic. I stayed in the Delphina Hotel right on the beach and loved it. Rooms are basic like most Greek hotels but the service and welcome you receive more than make up for that. Best of all at night time you just need to wander along the shore to find a good bar or restaurant. In fact you could actually go barefoot because the bars have chairs literally on the sand – when you read about beachfront bars, they actually mean it! There are numerous restaurants to choose from and each one as good as the next. I love the Greek food, the salads, the stifados and the saganaki! My kids loved it too, everything is so cheap you can actually order a choice of main course or starter and the bill will still be ridiculously cheap! This is one of the reasons it is so popular with families, the endless supply of watersports and slides at the waters edge is another. The sea is shallow for a long way out so you can chill on a sun bed knowing your kids are safe in the water.
Try Spiros’ Baracco beach bar at Messonghi for a pre dinner drink or a night cap, either way you will receive a warm welcome. The Village Taverna is definitely worth a trip, great food and a great atmosphere in the old town of Moraitika. One of the best restaurants I have ever eaten in is in this area, Archontiko. Situated at the top of a peninsula this purpose built restaurant will amaze you. It is completely different to anything in the resort centre, modern in design and stunning gardens, you really have to go here! Everything we had was fantastic but they are renowned for their amazing steaks. The whole experience feels so five star but the prices are still really reasonable. In fact that’s one thing about Corfu or Greece in general, it is so cheap to eat out and overall you will spend a lot less than you would in Spain, France or Italy.
While most of the resorts are laid back and generally unspoilt you may find it hard to spend your money! The shops are pretty poor with most offering the same souvenirs and beach wear. Corfu town on the other hand…has great shopping! There are great local and designer shops and it is a lovely town to potter around and people watch. Cruises stop here regularly in peak season so it can be very busy and of course if travelling in July or August it can be very hot! I would suggest going early evening when the temperatures are cooler and the day-trippers have gone back to their cruise ships! Enjoy a walk around the old town and marvel at the fortess and venetian mansions, do some sightseeing and catch a nice meal before heading back to your hotel. There are regular bus services from most of the nearby resorts so take this into account when choosing your holiday resort. Although I loved Sidari in the north of the island, you wouldn’t exactly pop into Corfu town for dinner!
There are plenty of excursions that can be arranged through your local representative or with local agents in your holiday resort. We hired a car and explored the island ourselves and I would highly recommend that. The roads are poor with no highways but the island is small and is easy to navigate. Stop off at hill top villages and admire the typical white washed houses or find an unspoilt stretch of beach for an afternoon dip. The island itself, the people and the landscape are what makes this island so alluring and why visitors return year after year. There are numerous hideaways waiting to be discovered, I recommend you go and find them….