Corfu is a beautiful island on the northwestern most part of Greece, known for its sparkling blue beaches, mountainous skyline and Venetian style architecture. Whilst rival islands like Mykonos and Santorini can boast being the typical picturesque Greek island that we see on postcards, Corfu takes pride in being unique. Known as Greece’s ‘Emerald Island’, Corfu is made up of a coastline filled with greenery, from bushes, to shrubs to beautiful wild flowers. What makes this island unique is the fact that it doesn’t look like all the others, and certainly doesn’t have the same pace.
Stepping off the plane at Kerkyra Airport, it instantly feels like a switch has been flicked – straight to holiday mode. Airport customs gives an indication of the speed of this place, the locals don’t seem to be in a hurry and neither are we. This mood continues throughout the entire duration of our stay, everywhere you go the pace is set to slow mo. This laid back, not a care in the world attitude starts to permeate every fibre of our being, and soon we find ourselves taking naps in the afternoon.
In the mornings we explore the island, wandering through the winding lanes of Corfu town, captivated by the locals and mesmerised by the architecture. Unlike typical Greek islands that are seas of blue and white, Corfu is a myriad of colours. A palette consisting of ocean blues, grey shorelines, green landscapes and finally, a dotted coastline of terracotta houses. The architectural influence stems back in history to when Corfu spent years under Venetian, French and British rule. It feels like Italy and Greece mixed together, all of the best parts from each place, wrapped together in a special package that surprises and delights. I feel a mix of both these emotions when I taste the food, every offering so fresh and delicious, from their spinach and feta pies, through to their vine ripened tomatoes that are so tasty I eat them like apples.
As I eat everything in sight, I think about a friend’s mother that grew up on this island and whilst she now lives in Australia, she visits her hometown every 2 years. The thing that sticks in my mind is the story of how when she arrives, she is inundated with food bought to her from the locals. This is the perfect depiction of Corfu people, with their strong sense of community, offering loyalty, generosity and kindness to both friends and strangers alike. Corfu is rich in tradition and culture and you get the feeling that it’s the same now as it was 100 years ago. They say that the locals invite you into their homes and into their hearts, and there’s no truer adage. Maybe it’s the influence from the locals’ way of life, or the fact that we spend our days eating and sleeping, but a couple of days in Corfu and suddenly every stress and worry from back home doesn’t exist. All the weight from your shoulders disappears, your worries seem miles away and what’s left is a carefree, light hearted and happy human being. Life doesn’t get much better than this and if I could pick a place to stay forever, Corfu would definitely be on my list. If soaring temperatures, long lunches, daily swims in the ocean and naps in the afternoon are your holiday vibe, then Corfu is the place for you.