Great Greek getaways: Corfu
If you're on a budget, try self-catering on Corfu. By Jane Lovatt
Carpeted in pine forests, olive groves and fruit trees, Corfu is Greece’s emerald isle, with stunning beaches, traditional villages and rich, historical sights. The most northerly of the Ionian Islands, it has plenty of peaceful enclaves far from party town, Kavos in the south.
For traditional Greek hospitality, base yourself at the Sea Breeze Family Beach Hotel in the picturesque resort of Agios Gordios on the west coast. You’ll be amazed as the dense forest lining the winding roads from the airport suddenly clears to reveal a stunning crescent-shaped bay.
The self-catering accommodation, run by friendly brothers Vasilis and Yannis, has an enviable position right on the golden sandy beach, and its restaurant serves delicious Greek dishes, stone-baked pizzas and fruity cocktails with dramatic views over the Ortholithos rock.
The village, with its small shops, bars and tavernas, is a five-minute walk away. From here, car rental is easy, and a bus runs to Corfu Town, from where services snake across the island. This bustling city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its Old Fort and cobbled streets lined with cafés and boutiques, is well worth a visit.
Although Corfu is blessed with many lovely beaches, Paleokastritsa – a cluster of secluded bays and hidden coves – is its most treasured beauty spot. Snorkel in the crystal-clear waters or take a boat trip around the caves, before heading to the Bella Vista restaurant, for a breathtaking panorama of the coastline.
Things to do
● Get back to Agios Gordios in time to catch the stunning sunset, then dine by candlelight at Steven’s on the Hill or Sebastian’s tavernas.
● Head 20 miles south of Corfu Town to the Achillion Palace. This 18th-century residence, set in botanical gardens, was the backdrop to the James Bond film, 'For Your Eyes Only'.
● Corfu is blanketed with over three million olive trees, so buy locally produced olive soaps, creams and fruity olive oils as souvenirs.
Greek specialist Manos offers holidays to Corfu from airports across the UK. Seven nights self-catering at the three-star Sea Breeze Family Beach Hotel costs from £365 per person, including flights. Visit thomascook.com, call 0844 412 5970 or visit your nearest branch of Thomas Cook or Co-operative Travel.