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Explore Durrell's Corfu 11

Explore Durrell’s Corfu on Foot

Overview

On this ten-day easy to moderate walking holiday in Corfu you will discover both the wild and gorgeous north-west coast of Corfu island as well as the north-east coast with its secluded bays and hidden coves, so beautifully described by Gerald Durrell in My Family and Other Animals.

You will spend the first three nights in Liapades, an old village with impressive mansions close to a small beach and the famous resort of Paleokastritsa with its rock-top monastery and azure blue bays. From Liapades, an old path leads up to the ancient village of Lakones and offers impressive sea views. Reach the beach at Agios Georgios, where you will spend the following three nights.

Walk to the picturesque hilltop village of Afionas with its narrow alleys and the double bay of Porto Timoni. You will spend the last three days in Kalami, known for the White House, the residence of the famous British writer and brother of Gerald Durrell, Lawrence Durrell.

Daily walking varies between 7 and 16 km, and you may choose to extend some of the walks to your liking. On most trails, it is strongly advised to bring a bathing suit!

  • Liapades Village
  • Paleokastritsa Monastery
  • Lakones Village
  • “Roman Way” from Krini
  • Angelokastro Byzantine castle (optional)
  • Agios Georgios Bay
  • Afionas village
  • Porto Timoni
  • Kalami
  • Kassiopi

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival. Transfer to Liapades

Arrive at Corfu Airport and enjoy our complimentary transfer to your hotel at Liapades (22 km / 30 minutes). Meet our representative, who will brief you on the walks and give you the maps and the documentation needed for your trip.

Day 2: The Olive Way and the West Coast Circular Walk | 11-15 km

From Liapades villages, old paths will take you into the centuries-old olive groves around Kanakades and Liapades. In the town of Kanakades, have a look at the beautifully frescoed church, and if you’re lucky, it might be open for a visit. From Kanakades, you continue along the Olive Way. Reaching the surroundings of Liapades, you have the choice to go back to the village or have a swim at the secluded beach of Iliodorou, only accessible on foot or by boat. This will make the walk about 4 km longer.

  • Accommodation: Cricketer Taverna & Studios (studios 300 m from the beach)
  • Walking for the day: 11 km, 3-4 hours, 450 m (easy version) / 15 km, 5-6 hours, 700 m(moderate version)

Day 3: The Bays and Monastery of Paleokastritsa | 4-8 km

Today’s walk to Paleokastritsa offers beautiful views of the bays and rocky coast in the surroundings. The total mileage and ascent are based on the same way forth and back. However, it is also recommended to come back to Liapades by a taxi boat/ boat tour, leaving from the small port at the bottom of the Monastery hill. This way, you will have the possibility to appreciate the rocky coastline with many caves from the sea as well as from the land.

The terrain is mostly paved, apart from the first stretch leaving Liapades beach, where you climb up on a steep footpath through the forest. The Monastery of the Virgin Mary is located on a hill at the end of Paleokastritsa. Originally built in Byzantine times in 1225, the present buildings date from the 19th century. Monks still inhabit the Monastery.

  • Accommodation: Cricketer Taverna & Studios (studios 300 m from the beach)
  • Walking for the day: 4 km, 1-2 hours, 150 m (easy version) / 8 km, 3-4 hours, 300 m (moderate version)

Day 4: The Roman Way | 12-15 km

You start the day with a steep climb up to the village of Lakones, situated on the hills above Paleokastritsa. This village’s location was chosen this way, so pirates could not see it from the sea. Enjoying views over Paleokastritsa’s bays, you enter the olive groves before the village of Krini. If you do not mind the extra 1.5 km and steep climb up, it is worth visiting the Byzantine castle of Angelokastro, perched on a hilltop overlooking the sea and the island towards Corfu Town. Shortly after Krini, you will be surprised with views of the northern parts of Corfu, as an ancient cobbled footpath, also called the Roman way, leads down to the west coast and the resort of Agios Georgios.

  • Accommodation: Belle Helene Hotel & Studios 
  • Walking for the day: 12 km, 4-5 hours, 350 m (easy version) / 15 km, 5-6 hours, 500 m (moderate version)

Day 5: The Double Bay of Porto Timoni | 9 km

From Agios Georgios, it’s a steep climb up to the beautiful village of Afionas, with its olive oil shops, narrow alleys and beautiful views. On a footpath, you descend steeply towards the sea below, where the peninsula is so thin that you can choose on which side to swim! The path continues a bit further up the peninsula to the chapel-like cave of Agios Stylianos.

Day 6: Around Agios Georgios | 9 km

From Agios Georgios, you will follow a stretch of the main Corfu Trail up to the villages of Prinilas & Paghi. Descending a fertile valley, the walk continues towards the road in Aspiotades. From here, the route turns back to the coast at Agios Georgios.

Day 7: In the Footsteps of Lawrence Durrell | 7-15 km

Morning transfer to Kalami (40 km, 1 hour). Breakfast at Thomas’ Place. From Kalami starts a splendid walk passing by the White House (Lawrence Durrell’s residence) along the East Coast. The route will take you south through some secluded coves to Kaminaki. Another option is to walk the Mountain Flanks, going up from Agni to the flanks of Pantokrator Mountain and the ancient village of Mengoulas. Going down, you will return to Kalami on the coastal path from Kaminaki.

  • Accommodation: Hotel or Studios in Kalami
  • Walking for the day: 7 km, 2-3 hours, 200 m (easy version) / 15 km, 6-7 hours, 650 m (moderate version)

Day 8: Rest Day / Walk around Kalami

Breakfast at Thomas’ Place. Walk around Kalami, take a boat tour, or relax on the beach.

Day 9: Eremitis Peninsula to Kassiopi | 12 km

Walk the Eremitis Peninsula to Kassiopi. A beautiful coastal walk follows with a visit to the village of Kassiopi, where you can also go to the Byzantine castle above the town. From the village of Kassiopi, take a bus back to the main road above Kalami. Bus to Kalami not included, about GBP 2.50 pp.

Day 10: Departure or Onward Travel

Return home or individual stay extension.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in hand-picked studio apartments or small family-operated hotels in private en-suite rooms. This holiday is mostly centre-based, you spend three nights in each of the three hotels. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view default hotels

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will give you the exact accommodation details upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is always included. Half board option is possible to order. In towns, there are multiple restaurants and taverns where you can sample the incredible local cuisine.

Difficulty & terrain

This holiday is suitable for walkers of average fitness. Some days include optional longer walks of a moderate grade. Total walking distance is 64 km (83 km including optional walks), and average daily walking distance is 9 km per day (12 km including optional hikes), while total elevation gain is up to 2,500 m (optional: up to 3,250 m) (read more about difficulty grades). The terrain is varying from rocky footpaths to cobbled paths and asphalted roads. Routes are well signposted. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never shorten the way through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to go

This trip is available between 1 May and 21 June and between 1 September and 17 October. July and August are too hot for walking, while most hotels along the trail are closed in early spring and late autumn. If you want to visit Corfu in March, April or November, we have developed a special itinerary where you will walk certain sections of the Corfu Trail, being based in Corfu Town. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

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By plane

Our recommended airport for this tour is Corfu (CFU). Complimentary airport transfers from/to Corfu airport are included.

Inclusions

Included

  • Accommodation for 9 nights as listed in the itinerary
  • 9 Breakfasts
  • Detailed pre-departure holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions and road notes; maps with daily routes and optional hikes marked
  • Luggage transport to next hotel
  • Airport transfers Corfu Airport-Liapades and Kalami-Corfu Airport and private transfer Agios Georgios to Kalami
  • All private transfers according to the itinerary, apart from the bus transfer on Day 9 and optional return by boat on Day 3
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers from/to airports other than Corfu Airport
  • Bus transfer on Day 9 and optional return by boat on Day 3
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Extra nights in Corfu town or along the trail are bookable upon request

Gallery

Reviews

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Rating

     

Average rating:  4.8 stars  from 5 reviews

Anthea C5 stars

Most memorable part - the views on the walks, from mountain sides and the beautiful beaches.  The sense of achievement on completing a tough walk.

Ratings


Booking process - good.  The holiday was administered well.
Tips - beware of using your mobile phone in Kalami, as it is very close to Albania.  Our phones picked up the signal from Albania not Greece, which is not the 'Feel At Home' range of countries.  The credit ran out very quickly.
Info pack - excellent.  Good guidance on what to take and a good weatherproof map.
Local rep - excellent.  Marcella, who met us at the airport at 10.45pm and gave us a good briefing and advice - excellent.  The local transfers to the hotel, between hotels and back to Corfu Town all worked perfectly.  All drivers were on time and drove responsibly.  We had no worries about transport.
The trails  - good.   They were mostly well marked and could be followed by someone with experience of walking.  Some of them were quite tough walking, especially over hills, but that is what we came here for!
We installed the GPS tracker on our phones but did not end up using it.  The printed script and map supplied were good.
Accommodation - fair to good.  The accommodation was what we expected - by the nature of the walking holiday it was not in modern, 4 star hotels.  Some were better than others.Overall this was a good venture to a new place for us.  The information provided in advance enabled us to choose a holiday which was appropriate to us as 60 somethings who go in for fair-weather rambling.  The ranking of easy to moderate was just about right for us.  A self-guided holiday worked well for us as we are not particularly quick, so we could have struggled if we had had to keep up with a group of seasoned walkers.I was very impressed with our allocated rep, Marcella.  (Incidentally, her husband Spiros, who was not part of our holiday, was also very helpful in giving advice and directions).  The transfers worked so well we were delighted.

Joy C5 stars

We really enjoyed our holiday in Corfu. I enjoyed most of the walks, I really enjoyed the walk from Liapades to Agios Georgios. Bring plenty of water on the walks as sometimes there are no cafes or restaurants found on the way! [...] The accommodation was all fine, [...] transfers were all good and local representative was good. Overall we enjoyed the holiday and would book again with the Natural Adventure Company.

Jonathan D5 stars

Overall we quite enjoyed the holiday, the weather was almost cloudless skies and 26 degrees. Some of the accommodations were rather basic - more like serviced apartments rather than proper hotels, but all nights were in en suite private rooms, very clean. Local rep was fantastic and transfers were very punctual.

Julian K4 stars

The trip was exceptional. Particularly enjoyed the walks and how well organized they were. The GPS tracks were a huge help, I was so glad to have them. [...] High points would have to be the walk to Agios Georgious on the change day, the walk entitled "The Roman Way", and the walk above Agious Georgious in the old hill towns above the bay, and the valley above. Anna and Marcella were exceptionally nice and helpful, when we had questions. Also the taxi driver was exceptionally nice.

Laurence C5 stars






The walk for Stage 3 to Agios Georgios via the excellent Sunset tavern was the most enjoyable walk for us. We came across the crew filming a scene for the next series of the Durrells on a remote beach - both appropriate and memorable. I found the navigation app very useful for checking when a turning was coming along as sometimes it was easy to miss the landmarks. The trails overall were good. [...] I did not do the full Pantokrator walk instead opting to do the shorter walk for stage 6 along the beaches which was actually very worthwhile and Nikolas Taverna on Agni beach warrants a visit. Accommodation was fine all were clean and had plenty of room.  The accommodation at Liapades (Cricketers) was a bit tired but the other 2 were good. All 3 accommodations were close to shops, supermarkets and restaurants which was good. Transfers went very smoothly. Your representative was friendly and helpful.