Like many people of my age, my fascination with Corfu began with Gerald Durrell’s books. Reading in my bedroom in Birmingham, his books introduced me to a different world: the dark silence of the olive groves, the eccentric friendliness of the locals (and his own family) and, of course, the animals.
One quote, far better expressed than I ever could manage, captures this perfectly:
“Gradually the magic of the island [Corfu] settled over us gently and clingingly as pollen”
Now a popular tourist destination, Corfu has a diverse landscape: the mountains and heavily wooded slopes of the north; the stunning scenery and glorious sunsets of the west coast; and down to the golden beaches of the south of the island. The view above is from my house in Stavros, in the middle of The Corfu Trail.
Despite its popularity, there are parts of Corfu that have hardly changed since Gerald Durrell’s childhood. Everywhere you look there are the olive trees with their twisted trunks and the black nets underneath to catch the olives. The Venetians, who occupied Corfu for four centuries, offered financial incentives to the Corfiots to plant olive trees and wherever you look the results are clear to see. And so beautiful…
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