• Change
MENU
Based on 12590 reviews on Trustpilot
CALL US
020·7962·9933
x

Corfu's the real star of The Durrells

Loved the Sunday night series about Corfu's famous ex-pats? Then read Thomas W. Hodgkinson's guide to their enchanting isle

Luscious, seductive and the sun is always shining. That's the way Corfu is depicted in ITV's charming new drama, The Durrells.

What's more, the island is teeming with snakes and tortoises, and there are quaint tavernas filled with boisterous locals beneath olive groves on the edge of sparkling, cerulean seas.

But does the pristine, pre-war vision bear any relation to present-day reality?

Corfu certainly suffered some overdevelopment in the tourism boom of the Sixties, but it still offers opportunity for a host of authentic Durrell-esque experiences, and a whole lot more besides…


The Durrells cast from the TV series


In the footsteps of The Durrells
In 1935, the dysfunctional Durrell family – pretentious twentysomething novelist Lawrence, gun-crazy second son Leslie, man-hungry teenager Margo and animal-loving Gerald (who grew up to be the conservationist and author of My Family And Other Animals, based on his time on the island) – upped sticks from chilly England, led by their long-suffering mother, and settled near Corfu Town.

For a similarly idyllic location, your best bet is to visit the pretty north-east corner, where The Durrells was filmed. The lovely bay of San Stefano is a perennial favourite with British holidaymakers. Or you could even stay in the apartments at the atmospheric White House in nearby Kalami, where Lawrence wrote.


Narrow winding streets of Old Town Corfu


Animal magic
If you're keen to catch sight of a few tortoises of the kind that fascinated young Gerald, visit in late June when they're at their most active. Hiring a motorboat is a must. You could even spot a pod of dolphins, or even a ponderous sea-turtle.

Discover Margo's bay
One of the island's prettiest spots for dropping anchor and having a swim is the tiny bay that hosts a little stone shrine to St Arsenios, just south of Agni Bay. If you search, you'll find a sea-level cave there.

It's a shimmering chamber accessed by a corridor in the rock, with a separate underwater exit for the adventurous. Climb up to the shrine, too, for a look.

Water parks for children
Corfu has several fantastic waterparks, including the mighty Aqualand near Corfu Town (two-day tickets cost £20 for children, £28 for adults, aqualand-corfu.com).


The Old Fort stands guard over Corfu harbour


A jewel of a town
Too many people leave this isle without ever discovering Corfu Town. This jewel is a unique blend of cultures, which pay testament to the nations that have controlled it during its multifarious history.

Where else in Europe can you find a British cricket pitch, in front of a French colonnade of cafes, which gives way to crumbling Italian architecture?

Climb to the top of the Old Fort and enjoy the magnificent view over the town's ramshackle rooftops. Afterwards, visit the blackened remains of St Spyridon, Corfu's patron saint, in the church that bears his name.

But the best thing to do in Corfu Town is simply to explore the endless narrow winding streets, housing lovely little bars and shops.

Dine out in style
The finest restaurant in Corfu is the recently re-opened Venetian Well in Corfu Town, hidden among the back streets. It's pricier than most places, but worth the stretch.

And don't miss...
Try to visit Angelokastro, a Byzantine derelict castle on the west coast near Paleokastritsa.

Scan the sea below for rocks in the shape of ships; legend has it that the sea-god Poseidon punished the locals for helping his enemy Odysseus by petrifying one of their vessels. 


First published in the Daily Mail -  July 2016

More articles below...


For more inspiration, read what travel writers have to say...

Montenegro rediscovered

A new-found clamour for glamour awaited Jeff Mills in this chic little Balkan country

Sparkle at the Ritz-Carlton Abama

Anne Murray takes a lingering look at a hotel of unabashed luxury

Greece is still divine

And this family resort is heavenly, says Jeremy Daniels

Highlife in Cannes

Film producer Frank Mannion tells you how to live like a star here

Loving Lyon

Giles Milton revels in the culinary capital of France

Good Morning Crete!

Charlotte Hawkins recharges her batteries on the Greek island

Magnificent Madeira

There’s a reason the capital is called Fun-chal, says Louise Thomas

Luxury afloat

On a super-yacht, Stephen Cole proves big isn't always best

Greek cliff-hanger

Louise Saunders discovers an iconic hotel carved into the volcanic cliff face

Milan glamour

Deirdre Fernand explores this treasure-house of culture

Florence in a flash

Italy's famous art capital wows with culture galore and delicious food

I just adore a parador

From magnificent castles to luxurious converted convents, Dave Balow takes a tour

Weekend in Seville

This Spanish city is perfect for a short break

Turkish delight

Yoga enthusiast or not, you'll love this oasis of luxury, says Sofia Zagzoule

Break for Rome

David Dillon and his sons discover the Italian capital

San Sebastian

A feast for the eyes and the tastebuds, as Martin Symington discovered

The Marbella Club

The Spanish resort is still full of panache, as Mark Palmer discovered

Modern Montenegro

James Hughes-Onslow reports from the Balkans

Soulful Mallorca

Kate Amey reports from the luxurious Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel and Spa

Croatia's Tuscany

Unspoilt Istria does a great impression of rural Italy, writes Jane Horrocks

Warm up in Iceland

Sky News presenter Kay Burley luxuriates in a steaming lagoon and marvels at the Northern Lights

Kefalonia's hue

Martin Ogden makes his very own Odyssey to the idyllic haven

Who couldn't love Lisbon?

Caroline McGuire gives you the lowdown on this perfect city break

Falling for Formentera

Ibiza's neighbour - but quiet and chic, as Mark Palmer discovered

The heroic island

Miranda Seymour reveals why fans of the magical holiday spot of Malta return every year

La Dolce Vita in Portofino

Sarah Turner discovers Hollywood’s heyday at the Hotel Splendido

Simply baking in ancient Greece!

Bake Off star Candice Brown has a delicious time in Halkidiki

Madeira madness

Taking free-kicks in Madeira with Cristiano Ronaldo

Florence and Milan

Make a long weekend in Italy twice the fun

Towering Tuscany

Take me back to my dream destination, says Mark Palmer

Dining in Palma

Sarah Gilbert savours the delights of Palma on a plate

Portugal's pousadas

Magnificent hotels with wall-to-wall history

Seductive Sardinia

Why Sardinia was a dream worth waiting for, says Lisa Brady

Vibrant Valencia

Is this cultural treasure house Spain's finest seaside city? Michael Hodges gives his verdict...

Croatia's Islands

Frederick Tratt explores the unspoilt gems off Croatia's fabulous coastline

Cypriot ultra spa

How did destination spa Anassa measure up?

My Mykonos adventure

Denise van Outen's dream of exploring a Greek island comes true

Not quite what you're looking for?
We can easily customise an offer to suit your exact requirements

x