Corfu has been a popular travel destination for centuries. Travelers have always been inspired by its breathtaking landscapes, lush vegetation, peaceful olive groves, and great variety of flowers, insects, birds and animals. Gerald Durrell’s “My family and other animals” describes this Corfu in a vivid and humorous manner.
Unfortunately, for the last half century or so, mass tourism has been flooding the island, destroying whole villages and areas in its passage. Nowadays, when people hear of Corfu, one of their first associations are of youngsters coming to Kavos to overindulge in alcohol and sex. More and more hotels are turning all-inclusive and most seaside villages have been transformed into tourist resorts without any kind of cultural identity.
On the other hand, there is hope!
A new model for tourism seems to be emerging on Corfu. More and more people are working on alternative types of holiday travel experiences.
First of all there are great walking holidays available on Corfu.
The Corfu Trail is a footpath covering 212 km from the southernmost to the northernmost tip of the island, over hills, valleys, beaches and mountains.
Apart from the Corfu Trail there are many footpaths all over Corfu, but as they are very poorly signposted they are better suited for the more adventurous walkers.
Another popular form of tourism on Corfu is cycling holidays.
Tourists mainly from Germany and the Netherlands have been coming for years to Corfu to cycle distances between 20 and 80 kilometers a day. The last day’s ride usually takes them up the Pantokrator mountain, with an altitude of 907 meters.
The ride is hard but the view from the top is worth every drop of sweat! On a clear day you can see from the mountains of Albania down to Paxos and sometimes even Lefkas.
Sailing is also very popular, as Corfu boasts the biggest marina of Greece in Gouvia.
Around Corfu and along the coastland of mainland Greece there are tens of little harbours and innumerable bays and coves to explore, from Kouloura and Kalami to Antipaxos and from the Diapontia islands to Parga, Syvota and Lefkas.
Another special form of tourism which is rapidly developing, especially in the north of Corfu is spiritual tourism. There are 3 large meditation centres offering courses as diverse as kirtan and mantra singing, Gurdjieff movements, silent retreats and tantra sessions.
These spiritual sessions are often combined with creative work such as painting, sculpture, music and dance.
There are also some smaller centres specializing in yoga, a well as many individual session-givers offering many different kinds of massage and alternative therapies.
Agrotourism is also on the rise. There are organic farms where the visitor can stay in the farm, participate in the agricultural activities, feed the animals and taste the delicious produce of the farm.
Sometimes you can combine these activities with cooking lessons, learn about the different kinds of wild herbs and their culinary and medicinal uses create your own, natural cosmetics and more.
This is just a brief introduction, if you want to find out more you can visit the Green Corfu website, showcasing all kinds of alternative ways to spend a holiday on Corfu.
The Green Corfu team will be more than happy to help you set up the perfect holiday for you and your family!
We are very excited to have met this inspirational team in the island of Corfu. We are working together to make Corfu a place to visit and come back different from. You will soon be amazed. Watch this space!