Destination of the Week: Corfu
Corfu, or Kerkya in Greek, is dominated by mountains, dramatic coastlines and peaceful countryside. With an ancient legacy blending culture, art and traditional cuisine, you’re spoilt for choice when you visit – if you can manage to drag yourself away from the vibrant beach and nightlife scene.
The second largest of the Ionian Islands and a long-time favourite of the international jet set, Corfu enjoys a warm, mild climate and mostly sunny days, perfect for the magnificent array of water sports and adventure activities on offer. The beautifully preserved Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, displaying Renaissance and Baroque architecture among winding alleyways and lively squares.
What to do
Swimming in crystal clear seas, water-skiing and dancing the nights away in rollicking tavernas are popular options, as is sailing, trekking and mountain bike riding in the hilly-terrain. To sample local produce, take a trip to Ambelonas, an estate where you can try vinegars, olives and traditional sweets.
Spianada, in the centre of the city, is the largest square in the Balkans and hosts cricket games and concerts. Visit the impressive 15th century Old Fortress, the Saint Michael and George Palace and imposing churches such as the Church of St Spyridon.
Where to stay
From luxury coastal hotels to family run B&B’s and hostels, accommodation in Corfu is plentiful and easy to find. To take a trip back in time, you can stay in the Old Town, opt for a private villa in the lush hills for relaxation or check in to a fully equipped resort to be in the heart of action.
Marabella Beach Corfu (£££)
Situated close to the ancient Roman Baths and Corfu Shell Museum, Marabella Beach Corfu has everything you need for a luxurious holiday. The 5 star property features 5 outdoor pools, spa treatments onsite, 4 restaurants, tennis courts, pool and beach bars and complimentary beach cabanas. All rooms are fully equipped with balconies or terraces, air-conditioning, complimentary toiletries and free Wi Fi.
Potamaki Beach Hotel (££)
With a fabulous beachfront position in Benitses Village and family friendly options, the Potamaki Beach Hotel is a great choice for group holidays. The hotel boasts a restaurant, tour desk, fresh water swimming pool with a large terrace, sunbeds, umbrellas and a children’s area. Room options include family suites and studios.
Angela Hotel and Apartments (£)
Close to the centre of Gouvia, the Angela Hotel and Apartments is a family run hotel offering 2 separate buildings with twin and family accommodation options. All rooms are bright and spacious with TV’s, mini fridges, air-conditioning and private balconies. Family rooms contain fully equipped kitchenettes and 2 bedrooms. The hotel has an outdoor pool with sunbeds and an onsite restaurant serving Greek and international cuisine.
What to eat
Dominated by top quality, fresh produce with an emphasis on seafood, dining in Corfu gives you the opportunity to delight in meats, olive oil, cheeses and vegetables as part of the Island’s famous, traditional fare.
Aristos Gourmet Fine Dining (£££)
Named after Greek shipping tycoon, Aristotle Onassis, the executive chef at Aristos serves up delectable dishes such as cuttlefish risotto, lamb shoulder confit and ‘coral’ tartare overlooking the Ionian Sea. The restaurant is a part of the Corfu Imperial Resort.
To Tavernaki tis Marinas (££)
For a traditional taverna experience, visit To Tavernaki Tis Marinas near the centre of Corfu. The restaurant offers Mediterranean cuisine such as moussakas and grilled sardines, to be enjoyed with ouzo or tsipouro. Soak up the cosy ambience inside the taverna or take advantage of the outdoor eating area.
Make like the locals and head to Rouvas for lunch, in Corfu Town. With a constant stream of locals heading in for takeout, Rouvas is a sure bet with a daily changing menu including fresh fish and traditional meals made in a ‘home cooked’ style at reasonable prices.
Image source: (c) istock/thinkstock
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