Walk in the Durrell's footsteps
If you were one of the 8 million viewers (like me) who watched the first series in 2016 you will be delighted to know that ITV are to show the second series starting in April 2017. So popular was the down to earth program about the Durrell family who first lived on the island in the late 1930’s that it was shown around the world including the USA, Australia and New Zealand. Rumour has it that a third series is due to be filmed this year.
Gerald Durrell arrived on Corfu at the tender age of 10 years and soon developed a deep interest in the local plants and wildlife. This interest stayed with Gerald all of his life and older readers may well remember him as a presenter of TV wildlife programmes and many may have read one of his excellent books with the first one “My Family and Other Animals” which was published in 1956. Gerald went on to publish “The Corfu Trilogy” which is also available for Kindle lovers. Simply click on Gerald Durrell books to see how to get these at a discounted rate. Tip! It’s well worth reading before you go to Corfu as you will know exactly what to look out for when you arrive. .
For those who wish to follow in the footsteps of The Durrell’s and discover wild Corfu, should head for the north of the island. The best time to see the spring flowers is in April or early May but this little paradise is beautiful any time of the year. Be careful of being led up the garden path as many tour reps would let you believe that the “White House” in the waterfront village of Kalami was were the Durrell’s spent most of their time in Corfu but the families first residence was in Perema just above hotel Agli. The owner of the hotel is the owner of the original house. I couldn’t find the hotel listed in our extensive database but if you want to be in Perema then either the 3-star Oasis Hotel which offers B&B or Half Board or if you really want value for money then there is the 4-star all-inclusive Alexandros Hotel.
No visit to Corfu would be complete without a visit to Corfu Town itself. The island was ruled by the British from 1815 to 1864, which is why Corfiots play cricket and eat turkey at Christmas. Corfu Town is arguably the most beautiful city in Greece, the historic centre is actually Venetian and a Unesco World Heritage site. It’s easy to get lost in the town’s maze of narrow paved lanes made even prettier by the bougainvillea and do look out for the old house of Gerald’s mentor and friend Theo, which is marked with a plaque. Sadly the little bar where Gerald’s brother, Lawrence, and Theo used to knock back glasses of ouzo is long gone, but there are shady tavernas along with upmarket shops.
In 2006, the park next to the medieval Old Fortress (which offers panoramic views from its battlements) was renamed “Bosketto Durrell” and is home to busts of Lawrence and Gerald Durrell and I can think of no better tribute to these two men who loved this enchanting island called Corfu.
With the uncertainty of Brexit it may not be a good time to pack up and move to the beautiful island but there’s nothing stopping you packing you suitcase and enjoying a week or two there. Below are our best sellers.
For those that want to take their own little Durrell’s with them, then these three great family hotels should do nicely.
For those that don’t want to holiday with any little Durrell’s (or any name you can think of) then these three hotels are solely for adults only.