2024-02-22T17:35:00Z By Keeley Rodgers
GLT’s Ivana Perkins reports back from a memorable FAM visit to explore the captivating sites of Corfu in Greece.
Blue skies, clear seas and delicious food, my whistlestop tour of Corfu was an amazing experience, shared with a number of friendly GTOs who like me, sampled the delights of this beautiful Greek island.
Not even delayed flights could spoil the atmosphere as our host Ellen Walker of Travel Editions was quick to maintain the upbeat atmosphere and update everyone with the situation – the benefit of booking with a reliable tour operator.
When we arrived at The Divani Corfu Palace, our home from home for the duration of the visit, I was blown away. This modern, 4-star hotel is situated on the green wooded hillside of Kanoni that overlooks the pristine waters of the lagoon.Only 3km from Corfu Town and 1.5km from the beach of Mon Repos, the hotel provides the perfect location for those who wish to be near Corfu town’s activities and famous historical centre, but also, crave the beauty and seclusion of the surrounding hills.
“The village of Paleokastritsa is arguably the most picturesque on the entire island.”
Day one was all about finding our bearings, so we enjoyed a tasty lunch in Corfu Town, followed by a guided tour of the area. This included the Spianada Square, Platia Enoseos, and my personal favourite, the stunning Palace of Saint Michael and Saint George.
The next day, we visited the Folklore Museum in Sinarades, before driving through Ropa Valley on route to Theotoky Estate Winery where we sampled a selection of exquisite white wines and their extra virgin olive oil. Lunch in Palaiokastritsa overlooking Agios Spiridon Beach was also a sight to behold, as was the Paleokastritsa Monastery which concluded day two’s excursion.
The village of Paleokastritsa is arguably the most picturesque on the entire island and retains its traditional charm and character, plus a gorgeous harbour which looks as if it’s something out of a film.
The itinerary on day three included a boat ride across the waves to Sarandë in Albania where we had a guided tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre of Butrint to learn more about its past as an ancient Greek polis and later a Roman city. I felt incredibly lucky to be here, especially as it’s considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Albania. This was also a personal highlight for GTO Mary Fisher who joined me on the visit.
“The busy schedule was well received by everyone and gave more than enough inspiration to tempt the travelling GTOs back with their group members.”
She said: “The visit to Butrint was one I will never forget, but the whole trip was fantastic from start to finish. I also loved seeing the monastery and Folklore Museum - the journey there was beautiful as was the coastal route. An added bonus was catching a glimpse of The Durrells’ house.”
Our final day began with a tour of the Mon Repos Estate, birthplace of Prince Phillip, which felt especially poignant with his son becoming our new King the year. The Estate, which has a total area of approximately 235 acres, has a botanical garden with rich vegetation.
Half of the group visited Corfu Museum of Asian Art while the other half explored the Old Fortress in Corfu Town. We then stopped at Kontokali Bay Resort & Spa (another group friendly hotel in the area) on the way to the small town of Kassiopi where we enjoyed lunch at the Old School of Kassiopi.
The busy schedule was well received by everyone and gave more than enough inspiration to tempt the travelling GTOs back with their group members.
GTO Irena Hibberd said: “It was absolutely lovely with a jam-packed itinerary showing so many superb aspects of the islands, not to mention an introduction to a whole new variety of foods.
“I know how much work and planning these trips take and everything went smoothly and happily. The guides were so informative.”
I couldn’t agree more. Travelling in such a fun and mixed group only highlighted how amazing it is to take in new settings together. Thank you to all the team at Travel Editions for welcoming us on such an amazing trip full of ideas and wonderful memories. I know I will be back again very soon.
To find out more about this and other group holidays offered by Travel Editions you can telephone 020 7251 0045 or visit www.traveleditions.co.uk.