A TNT Travel Writing Awards 2009
Author: Emma Anderson
Accommodation: Dora Apartments, St George South (Agios Georgios), Corfu
Duration: 1 week
Couple aged 24 – 33
Total Cost (including spending money) – £1400
Our first impressions were that Corfu has come a long way in recent years but has still kept it’s charm. We began our week meeting Corfu Value Rentals in the airport carpark, a lovely greeting and a great car deal later we were on our way. We met a Greek friend and stopped for a drink in Viro before moving on to St George South. Although daunting at first,. driving in Corfu is relatively easy, once you get your bearings it isn’t too bad for getting around. Although we got lost a few times during the week we always found our way after a little logic was applied. We arrived late at Dora Apartments but were still greeted and cared for.
The Dora apartments are very clean and adequate and their restaurant, The Panama gives 10% discounts to residents. We ate there on our first night and enjoyed our meal overlooking the beautiful sea. The temperature was lovely and the people lovelier, the happiness and warmth exuberated from all we met. We moved onto the bars and explored the strip that is St George South, we took a walk along the beach and marvelled at how warm the water was so late in the evening. We then moved to the Amazona bar where we became regulars for our week receiving a wonderful welcome from Angela and Tony and Tony’s father who was more than happy to try and teach us Greek. A few locals frequented this bar and it was nice to see the mixture of locals and tourists.
The following day we walked to the other side of St George South and sampled the bars there. The beach is ample and every bar or restaurant we went to gave a warm welcome. We also tried most of them during the week to ensure we had a true taste of Corfiot life. Our favourites were Makis’s Restaurant and Demitri’s although we enjoyed every single one and the hospitality was astounding.
The Sunday brought Kostas Boat Trip which leaves St George South on Wednesdays and Sundays and less than 30 euros a head. The staff were lovely and Kostas always greeted us when he saw us after that. The trip to Paxos was lovely, the views were breathtaking. We would recommend the trip to newcomers to Corfu as it is on the whole a very pleasant experience, it lasts from 0830 until 1730 so set aside a day. Anti Paxos was beautiful, I did not swim but my partner did and commented it was fantastic in the aquamarine sea.
On Monday we visited Corfu Town which was a little stressful in rush hour traffic but intersting none the less, however I would recommend Old Corfu Town rather than the new for tourists as it is very pleasing to the eye. You can enjoy a coffee with water and free buiscuits for 6 euros each in Liston Square and marvel at how the Greeks play board games and chat in their spare time, a very civilized and relaxing atmosphere. We then went onto Pelekas for lunch, beautiful but hilly, but well worth the visit
On the Tuesday we visited Corfu Donkey Rescue near Pelema and then onto Nimfes via Roda. Nimfes is a beautiful, classic Greek village, with narrow streets and tall architecture, with a natural spring which legend says that the water Nimphs placed there. Then it was back to where we felt at home in St George South via mountains and winding roads.
On Wednesday we went to Paleokastritsa and took another boat trip, this only 10 euros and gives a lovely view of the ports and the monastery. We ate at a local restaurant and enjoyed the scenery.
On Thursday we spent the day on the beach at St George South then spent the evening in Viros with friends. It was a wonderful yet sad evening as we were due to return on the following day. We had experienced wonderful food, drink, people and scenery. My love affair with Corfu started many years ago but the flame was rekindled on our holiday. There is an atmosphere in Corfu that is difficult to explain, it is relaxed yet passionate. The care and attention the Greeks greet you with is wonderful. It is a common misconception that the Corfiots will only be nice if you are spending your money with them. I have met many a Greek in a variety of situations and each and every time I have been met with warmth and hospitality whether I’m carrying money in my wallet or not. I am not ashamed to admit that I adore this Island. It’s breathtaking beauty, the hospitality of the Corfiots and the feeling of utter safety wrap me up in warm blanket of happiness. The crime rates are low in Corfu and you can experience the results of that when you walk down the streets in safety.
There are negatives to Corfu, as there are with all places in the world, but the positives outweigh them tenfold. The holiday itself was very cheap however we did spend a lot on eating out, although this can be avoided by taking other options. We were self catering and ate out every day rather than cater for ourselves which does bump the price up. Please do visit Corfu, I would recommend it to anyone, learn a little Greek and show respect whilst there and you will be welcomed with wonderful, great, big, Greek, Open arms.