A Quick Guide to Corfu, Greece

Out of all the countries I've visited in Europe, Greece has always stayed one of my favourites. Maybe it has something to do with the climate, or maybe the language, or maybe just because Greek people are beautiful people, both inside and out. Either way, I find myself drawn to visiting whenever I get the opportunity for a trip away. Last time I went to Crete, South of the mainland, and this time I went to Corfu, which is North of the island. Other than the fact that it's slightly colder in the latter, and a tad more commercialised (because why go to Greece when you have the same experience of walking down Oxford Street in London?), Corfu is gorgeous. And so, here's a quick guide to the island - with a special focus on Sidari.




Where I Stayed, How I Travelled


So a fortnight ago I left London to go on an eight-day trip to Corfu where I would stay in a place called Monika Apartments, which I fell in love with instantly. The people were lovely, the location was convenient, and the place itself was gorgeous, with the layout of a typical Greek village. We had a little road opposite the ocean, with a bunch of little houses dotted around, each with five or six small apartments in them, and a river ran across opposite. It was incredible when we could hear Greek singers over in the main town, overlooking the river with stars over our heads, but was slightly less so when we'd wake up with twelve more mosquito bites (and eyelid bites? totally a thing). We got to and fro from Gatwick to Corfu via an airline called Small Planet, which I was a bit dubious about to begin with (cheaper airlines such as Ryanair always disappoint, no matter how many free boiled sweets they offer for landing), but it turned out to be very friendly and efficient so I really wasn't disheartened. Honestly, Monika Apartments made my stay super lovely, and Small Planet made it comfortable to get to. Turns out that sometimes budget is better.

The Best Things to See and Do 


Parga


Prior to landing in Greece, I decided that I wanted to go on a couple main excursions. The first of which took me on a boat up to mainland Greece, to a place called Parga. I'm not going to lie, this was probably my favourite trip that I actually went on, mainly because the town was so full of history and culture, and well, everything the majority of holidaymakers wouldn't go out of their way to see - which meant I was surrounded by dozens of locals rather than tourists (win!). This one is technically not in Corfu, but as it was a day trip from the island I thought I may as well mention it.


Paxos


Another place that I liked was Paxos, which is a little island to the North of Corfu, which is perfect for shopping and trying out your Greek with the locals. There's an abundance of little souvenir shops where you can get presents for the people back home, and they're run by the families of the place which means that you're helping pay for a child's ballet lessons for example, rather than a big corporation. There's also a little church called the Church of Analipsis, which just encompasses the whole attitude of Greek Christianity in one little building, which is quite interesting to see. As an anecdote though, on the boat ride down, the crew members took all our names and information just in case the boat sank. I don't know about you, but that doesn't instil a lot of faith into me. 


Paragaea Olive Factory


One place I stopped by on a trip out in Parga was the Paragaea Olive Factory, which is a lot more interesting than it sounds. We went on a tour, which lasted around an hour and told me everything I've ever wanted to know about olives (and more!), and was pretty cool, as we got to try out different oils and pastes and see how they make olive oil, step by step. Honestly, it was cool.



Corfu Town


After coming down with food poisoning from an ice cream cone (which actually happened - I had no idea that was even a thing), I had to cancel a day trip I'd booked to Albania and was super hyped for, so our hotel rep pulled a few strings and got us a boat tour to Corfu Town. It actually turned out to be a lot better than Albania (apparently, as everyone I know who went on the trip complained about it), as we got to go around the old town and see the ancient buildings and chill with locals and just.. it was lovely. Minus when I got hit on by a Greek guy who legit just turned around, blew me on the shoulder, and gritted his teeth. Who knew that was a thing?


Blue Lagoon


The Blue Lagoon is actually the name of a beach in Corfu, but I took a boat down to it which just let us dive into the water and swim around. It was lovely, but not as lovely as when I went to Crete, where the water was warm and clear - and I wasn't shoved on a tiny boat with 300 other people. This time I swam in cold water amongst boat oil and fish. So, you win some, you lose some. Also, look out for flying fish if you're going here via boat - but don't get tricked by what I tend to christen the "flying moths", because they don't count.


The Syvota Islands


I thought that I would mention these islands because I went down to a couple one day and had a nice time, but I also wouldn't recommend it as a full day trip because there isn't an awful much to do. I'm the kind of person who would be quite content just walking around the villages and looking at little Greek houses, but on these islands there really is nothing. There's a couple of restaurants by the ocean just for any tourists who plan on stopping there for an hour, but other than that I didn't find anything else of interest. I think they're the kind of place you'd go to just to say you've done it, but not somewhere you'd go to actually enjoy yourself.


The Corfu Mountain Range


Apparently this is a place people don't tend to stop, but I loved it there. You can go high into the mountains and watch the gradient of hills in the distance, or pass through the little villages of Skripero or Sokraki, and it is beautiful. Especially when it's slightly misty out, or the sun is setting and the sky features gorgeous soft pink hues.


Bikolis


On my second night in Sidari, Corfu, I spoke to the bar staff at Monika Apartments and asked if they would recommend a place for food - and they mentioned a place called Bikolis.  I want to believe that they recommended it just because it's good and not because their family works there or something, but regardless, the food was super lovely and I think that if you're looking for food somewhere off the beaten track where you're eating with locals and being served by three generations of the same family, this place is perfect. It was so nice and quaint, one of the waitresses even offered to drive us home afterwards. Also - grilled feta cheese with honey and sesame seeds is beautiful, you must have it.




Need To Know


First up, for those of you who don't know, Greece is general is pretty hot, and even on slightly colder islands like Corfu I find that it's still 35 degrees celsius at around 8pm. So basically - even if you think you don't need suncream, I can say you will. Also, you think you need that long sleeved top? Dude, even a bikini will be too hot during high sun.

If you plan on going to the beach at some point during your stay, I find that you typically have the visible bit of beach which is super overcrowded with tourists, and then you have the bit of beach ten minutes away which is completely void of tourists, with only a handful of local families about. It's always worth those extra ten minutes. 

If you stay at a hotel that offers a "Greek night" or "tribute night", where they play live music and hire singers and dancers, don't automatically dismiss it like I did, as it may not be as cringey and touristy as it sounds. When my family signed us up for it I was a bit tentative about it, as I didn't fancy being in a group of British people gawking at the Greek people entertain us, as I just think it's a bit iffy - but when the night came I actually enjoyed it as all the bar staff got involved, and it really was pretty good. And then one evening there was a Sinatra tribute act, which wasn't too bad either. All I'm saying is - say yes.

Learn Greek. Now by that I don't mean to learn the whole language before your trip, but a few words and phrases don't hurt. I find that the locals really appreciate it, and it's a great opportunity to get a tad more involved with a certain culture. Also, it makes buying things in non tourist orientated places a hell of a lot easier.

And then all I have left to say to you is - the bugs are big, blood moons are insane, olive nets are everywhere, fish spas aren't so bad (so long as you don't twitch and end up putting a fish in a headlock), and waking up super early just to reenact a scene from Shirley Valentine is always worth it.




And so, to conclude my time in Sidari, Corfu, I was surrounded with many opportunities to engulf myself in Greek culture and cuisines, and seized every chance I could get. Last year I went to Crete and had a great time, and so I knew I would also have a great time this year. However, if I'm honest, whilst I adore Greece in general, I wouldn't go back to Sidari specifically - but that's just because other places like Athens, Pompeii and Santorini await me. 

I hope that some of my stories and advice help you guys out if you ever decide to go to this particular part of the world - and if it does, let me know!

Stay safe and adventure, y'all!

-Amy

98 comments:

  1. Every since I read My Family and Other Animals I've been wanting to visit Corfu. Great post!

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    1. Omg I've never read that, but I'm glad it inspired you c:

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  2. ¡¡Hola Amy!! Nunca he estado en Grecia, y me encantaría, aunque no soy mucho de playa, es un lugar que sólo por sus lugares y sus gentes creo que me gustaría. Tendré en cuenta todas tus recomendaciones. Besitos.

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    1. Y me, porque si es muchas turistas que es no divertido para me. Gracias para tu mensaje c:

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  3. These are beautiful pictures! I'd love to explore more of Greece - the only place I've been so far is Crete which was really lovely and not too commercialised!
    Amy xx
    www.callmeamy.co.uk

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    1. It's really lovely in Crete, you chose a good place to go to!

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  4. I loved how you touched on the stuff you need to know about Greece, now I'm even more excited to travel lol!Ps. how do you manage to travel all over with regards to money stuff???
    Awesome post!xoxo

    http://nownotforever.blogspot.co.ke/

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    1. Thank you c: and simply because travel is the thing I live for, when you want something this bad you'll always find a way!

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  5. Thank you for sharing this. I've never been to Greece but would love to someday. Your tip about the beach is something I'll definitely remember.

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    1. Aw ty. And I'm glad you got something from it c:

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  6. Great tips! I have long wanted to visit Greece! May be next year))
    Blog ♡Reckless diary by Anya Dryagina♡
    My ♡Instagram♡

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  7. Thanks for this guide! Would love to visit! =)


    - Cielo
    Mermaid in Heels

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  8. Greece is perfect! Amazing pics.
    http://freshisyummy.blogspot.com/2016/09/best-dressed-vmas-2016.html

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  9. AMAZZZING!!! WE LOVVVE LOVE LOVVE Corfu! We've been there and had the best time!
    kisses
    xoThe Beckerman Girls

    www.BeckermanBlog.com

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  10. Che posti meravigliosi! E che foto bellissime!
    Un bacione grande e buona domenica
    Manu <3

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  11. Hope you enjoyed your trip in my country dear ^_^

    www.brooklynglam.com

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  12. Thanks for sharing your experience! I hope to visit Greece next year.

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    Replies
    1. Aw thank you for reading! And you should!

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  13. You have me wanderlusting, I want to start travelling more

    Filipa xxx
    PlayingWithApparel.com | Instagram

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  14. Thank you so much my dear :D

    Wooow, this place look incredible and your photos are amazing :D

    NEW FASHION POST | Trend Alert: Madame In Velvet.
    InstagramFacebook Oficial PageMiguel Gouveia / Blog Pieces Of Me :D

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  15. Such a lovely post! Thanks for sharing.

    ** Join Love, Beauty Bloggers on facebook. A place for beauty and fashion bloggers from all over the world to promote their latest posts!


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  16. Lovely post dear!Have a great week! xx

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  17. Beautiful pictures

    Love Vikee
    www.slavetofashion9771.blogspot.com

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  18. Lucky gal to be always travelling! Love Greece! xoxo

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  19. I've just been back from Greece as well (milos). I'm in love with that country so I've enjoyed reading it a lot
    xxx
    mari
    www.ilovegreeninspiration.com

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  20. Incredible photos! Greece looks like a dream!

    Tina
    www.justatinabit.com

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  21. It's way too long I haven't been in Greece, way too long. Thanks for this beautiful post! Baci, Valeria - Coco et La vie en rose NEW FASHION POST

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    Replies
    1. I feel the same even though it's only been a couple weeks xD

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  22. I have always wanted to go there. Especially, I love Greek food!


    http://www.thequinoxfashion.com/

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    Replies
    1. Greek food is definitely a major plus of Greece!

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  23. Amazing photos!

    kiss
    theownerofsushi.blogspot.pt

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  24. Looks like you had fun!

    I hope to visit this beautiful city in Greece someday!


    Thanks for sharing this awesome travel :)


    XX
    Jong
    http://www.summerglee.com/

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    Replies
    1. Dude it was awesome! And you totally have to c:

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  25. Nice photos!
    xx

    http://losaway.blogspot.com.es/

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  26. It's a very beautiful place, it looks magical *.* ! I love the last photo and the one with the sunset *.*

    www.infashionchains.blogspot.com

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    1. Dude it totally was! And omg thank you so much c:

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  27. Amazing post babe !


    http://mollyx.com.au/

    x Molly

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  28. nice post as usual :)

    http://itsmetijana.blogspot.rs/

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  29. Lovely travel photos and thanks for the tips! I really hope to make it to Corfu one day! Hope you had an incredible time, from these images, it sure looks like you did!

    Rae | Love from Berlin

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    1. Aw thanks! You really should, it's wonderful there. It is pretty good c:

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  30. Great post! I love Greece too and really need to go again some time soon.
    Christina ♥ https://caliope-couture.com

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  31. I have fond memories of Corfu, so it was nice to take a trip down memory lane and read this :) Angharad x

    welshandwonderful.com

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    1. Awh I'm so glad that it brought back nice memories for you c:

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  32. I'm off to Greece soon and this is a fabulous guide! Stunning photos too hun xx

    http://www.thatnewdress.com

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    1. Oooh that should be fun! And thank you thank you c:

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  33. Grilled feta cheese with honey and sesame seeds does sound interesting. Was it served on a plate like that or on bread or what? It would've been cool to hear that Sinatra tribute in Greece.

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    1. It was literally just served on its own, and was pretty damn big, too. And it was pretty good.

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  34. That sunset is utterly magical, I can imagine how peaceful it must have been to see at the time :) I love that you seized the opportunity to completely immerse yourself in the culture!

    aglassofice.com
    x

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    1. It was literally insane, both then and still now when I glimpse the photo and remember it. And is there any other way to go?

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  35. These are such beautiful pictures! I would love to go one day :)
    xoxo

    Ileana

    Novelstyle Blog

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  36. Great post and photos :) love your blog design :)

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  37. beautiful places.

    https://mygreenshopping.blogspot.it/

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  38. I've also been in Corfu and one of my favorite destinations was Corfu Town.Greece is amazing,indeed and I hope you enjoyed your stay despite all those little problems.

    Hugs from Alexandra ~ Impavid Blog

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    1. It was so lovely wasn't it? Despite them, yes c':

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  39. Oh yes, would love to add Greece to my must-travel list, dear! Have a great week! xoxo

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  40. Beautiful place, wish I was there!

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