Happy Thursday Hidden Gem Travel community! The travel landscape continues to be very full and somewhat challenging with reopening pain points; I’m keeping extra busy this summer. If you’re thinking about a last-minute vacation this fall or early winter, now is the time to reach out to me to plan your escape.
I’ll be heading to two travel industry conferences over the next couple of months – Las Vegas and California/west coast Mexico. These conferences are important to my business as they are opportunities to meet in person with many of my travel partners across the globe and get firsthand information about trends and new opportunities. More to report on what I learn that in turn will benefit you!
Last week, I discovered a series on Amazon Prime Video called The Durrells in Corfu. Have you seen it? Having recently been to the Greek Island of Corfu, I was interested in the show which centers on an eccentric British family and their adventures on the island in the late 1930s. While I can’t say that my Corfu experience was in any way like the characters on the show, I agree that Corfu is a stunning island and an ideal vacation spot for many reasons.
If you’d like to learn a bit about charming Corfu, read on for the scoop…
Located in the Ionian Island group of northwestern Greece, Corfu is verdant with stunning beaches and a mountainous interior. It’s a mere 35km by boat to Albania (a hidden gem destination between Greece and Croatia) and a popular vacation spot for Europeans. While you won’t come across a lot of Americans, it is a touristy island around the coastline but also offers many quiet, charming areas inland among the olive tree groves.
Corfu has quite a few unique features. As the site of the first Greek University, Philharmonic Orchestra, and School of Fine arts, Corfu is a culturally and historically rich island that never fell under Ottoman rule. For mythology buffs, It’s the island where Ulysses met Princess Nausicaa in Homer’s Odyssey. Kumquats grow all over the island, and you can find all kinds of products made from these fruits. They look like tiny mandarins but taste like a sour orange (but not as sour as a lemon).
💎 Hidden Gem Tip: If you’re already intrigued, you can schedule a chat with me here: www.hiddengemtravelconsulting.com/contact.
Climate & Culinary
Corfu’s climate is generally mild with hot, dry summers and mild but wet winters. The wet winters are key to keeping Corfu lush and green. To avoid the summer crowds and heat, consider visiting Corfu in the spring.
What’s a vacation without eating excellent food? The gastronomy is Greek Mediterranean with heavy influences of Venetian cuisine. Pastitsada is a traditional dish of Corfu that’s classic version is made with rooster but can also be made with veal. The meat is cooked in a uniquely seasoned, spicy red sauce (spetseriko), topped with Greek cheese (kefalotyri), and served on thick spaghetti or macaroni.
As mentioned, be sure to taste a variety of products made from Kumquats, including liqueur and candies, for a hyper-local experience.
💎 Hidden Gem Tip: Wondering how to navigate travel to Europe? Schedule a chat with me and I’ll talk you through it.
Old Town Corfu
The Old Town of Corfu is a UNESCO world heritage site complete with a 15th-century Old Fortress, New Fortress, palaces, and historic monuments all due to its multi-cultural heritage. Corfu Town also has the name Kastropolis which means a city inside castles because it once was surrounded by the walls of both fortresses.
You’ll stroll along narrow alleyways that are framed by brightly colored, Mediterranean flowers. The quaint shops and restaurants are surrounded by historic buildings and crystal-clear waters. In high season (June-September), you’ll have plenty of fellow tourists joining you, but you’ll sense the vibrancy of this special place.
Corfu Loves Cricket
When the British ruled Corfu in the 1800s, they brought the game of cricket to the island. After the Brits left, the locals started teams and the game grew in popularity. It’s still played today, and I happened to catch a game when having lunch at a restaurant adjacent to the field on the Esplanade, the heart of the Old Town.
A big part of the joy of travel is happening upon unexpected experiences like this one!
Paleokastritsa & Northern Corfu
Head north of Corfu Town for verdant hills and mountains, stunning beaches, and panoramic cliff-side views. The area is ideal for families as well as romantic couples. There are hidden beaches and many opportunities for boating, nearby island hopping, and other water-focused activities. The vibe is relaxing and laid back.
Head up the winding roads near Golden Fox. You’ll see million-dollar panoramas that will take your breath away. The roads are narrow and windy so best to hire a driver to show you around. You can also visit the 13th century Byzantine monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
A trip around mountainous northern Corfu will show you the quiet, local side of the island. Gorgeous views seem to pop up around many a corner!
Inspired? If you’re thinking about a bucket list trip, here’s the link to schedule a chat with me www.hiddengemtravelconsulting.com/contact
Wishing you and your family continued good health,