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Rough Guide to Greek Islands

The Rough Guide to Greek Islands
  New full-colour features explore the Greek Islandís highlights, including the best Greek Island beaches and the Greek Islandís finest cuisine. Find detailed practical advice on local products, sections exploring history, music, archaeology and wildlife, combined with information on living in Greece, navigating your way around the Greek Islandís extensive ferry network and comprehensive coverage of the Greek Islandsí glittering festivals. Make the most of your holiday with The Rough Guide to Greek Islands. More information and prices from:
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Greek Islands

Greek Islands (DK Eyewitness Travel Guide)
by Marc Dubin
  The DK Eyewitness Travel Guide to the Greek Islands will lead you straight to the best attractions the Greek islandsí have to offer. With over 1000 detailed maps, illustrations and colour photographs, this best-selling guidebook gives detailed background information on the best things to do, from magical island cruises and scenic walks and tours to the best beach resorts for a family holiday in the Greek Islands. More information and prices from:
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Corfu

Corfu

Church Off Corfu

Corfu (Kerkira) is the largest and most northerly of the Ionian islands, off the western coast of Greece and lying close to Albania. It is 58km (36 miles) long and 27km (17 miles) at its widest. The north is mountainous, the centre more hilly and the south low-lying. Long stretches of the coast have sand or pebble beaches.

Corfu is famous (among other things) for its portrayal in Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals. Durrell describes his first sight of the island, coming in by ferry:

"... before us lay the island, the mountains as though sleeping beneath a crumpled blanket of brown, the folds stained with the green of olive groves. Along the shore curved beaches as white as tusks among tottering cities of brilliant gold, red, and white rocks. We rounded the northern cape, a smooth shoulder of rust-red cliff carved into a series of giant caves. The dark waves lifted our wake and carried it gently towards them, and then at their very mouths, it crumpled and hissed thirstily among the rocks. Rounding the cape, we left the mountains, and the island sloped gently down, blurred with the silver and green irridescence of olives, with here and there an admonishing finger of black cypress against the sky. The shallow sea in the bays was butterfly blue ..."

Corfu has a land area of 593 sq. km. (229 sq. miles) and a population of 120,000 - making it one of Greece's most densely populated communities. The annual visitor influx of one million makes Corfu sound as if it is appallingly crowded. But remember humanity's 'herd mentality': a third of the population live in Corfu town; Greek and Italian tourists are concentrated in July and August - and most go to the major resorts. Outside the busy season and a small number of over-crowded resorts, Corfu still retains its old attractions. There are 217 kms (135 miles) of marvellous coastline and a largely unvisited interior to explore.

The warm, wet climate is ideal for agriculture. 65% of the surface area is farmed with olive oil - some of Greece's best - being the main product.

According to the Globetrotter Travel Guide to Corfu, the island's popularity is due to:

  • Some of the best beaches in Greece
  • The warm climate (for most of the year) and regular rainfall makes it an unusually green Mediterranean island.
  • Outstanding scenery, the north being dominated by Mount Pantokrator
  • Friendly people with traditional Greek warmth towards strangers
  • Inland villages where life goes on as it must have done for hundreds of years
  • Corfu town - one of the most attractive island capitals in Greece

Frommer's Greek Islands also favours Corfu town:

"With its Esplanade framed by a 19th century palace and the arcaded Liston, its old town a Venice-like warren of structures, its massive Venetian fortresses, and all this enclosing a lively population and constant visitors,here is urban Greece at its most appealing"


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