Corfu Corfu

One of the first books I remember reading at secondary school was My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell. I have to admit to finding the book a bit of a struggle at the time. Even though I was the same age as the author at the time in which the book was set our lives seemed to be separated by more than the thousand or so miles that divide the island of Corfu from my childhood Nottingham home. I shared neither the colourful landscapes or the equally colourful family life that Durrell reveals in his auto-biographical account. So why has this book lingered in my memory for the last 30 or so years?

My Family and Other Animals is the first of a trilogy of books that Durrell, a passionate naturalist, wrote about the flora and fauna of Corfu, his childhood home. His widowed mother brought him to the island and away from their English home, along with his older brother Larry and sister Margo. They only lived on Corfu between 1935 and 1939, but in that time Gerald experienced an informal education that would have an impact on him for the rest of his life.

Gerald’s adventurous explorations of the island are encouraged by his private tutors, most notably the naturalist Dr Theodore Stephanides who fires the young boy’s passion for collecting specimens of anything and everything in jars. During his adventures around the island he encounters tortoises, owls, spiders and all types of insects, all of which he studies and, where possible, gathers up and brings home to his exasperated mother. As he describes his outings around Corfu, Durrell paints for us a picture of an idyllic island of deserted beaches, wild greenery and traditional villages where time moves slowly and the sense of community comes ahead of all else.

Perhaps for many people Durrell’s book is best remembered for his merciless observations of his rather eccentric family. He spares none of them in his accounts of strange adult behaviour and teenage angst and describes with naive honesty the visitors that would call at the White House in Kalami, where the family lived (now surrounded by holiday apartments).

Corfu was the first Greek island I visited back in 1990 and by that time it had already developed into a popular holiday destination. But the words of Gerald Durrell and the images he had painted through his words stayed with me as we toured the quiet inland roads of the island. It was heartening to know that despite much of the island’s lurch towards mass tourism, away from the main resorts there are still plenty of wild areas where nature has remained untouched and where Gerald Durrell would still feel at home.

Our main site has plenty of useful information if you’re thinking about a holiday in Corfu.

Tony Birdy

By Tony Birdy

17th November 2011



Talk to our Greece expert

Tony Birdy
Tony Birdy

Tony, a fervent lover of Cyprus and a frequent visitor to the island joined us in 2007. He was not new to travel as he had run his own agency, Birdy Travel, in Hounslow since 1999. Born in India but with many years in the UK, Tony has, in the years he has been with Sunvil, travelled extensively to Greece and knows our programme well. Corfu and Paxos are his favourite islands and, of course, Cyprus.

Call one of our experts to discuss your next holiday with Sunvil on

020 8568 4499

We're open tomorrow at 9:00 AM

Make an Enquiry

Please use this form to request further information about a Sunvil holiday or destination.

We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

Required Information

* Mandatory Information
Title *
First name *
Surname *
Telephone number *
Alternative telephone number
Email address *
Confirm email address
Preferred method of communication *
If you would like to be called during a specific period, please specify

Details

Preferred departure date *
Duration *
Preferred UK departure airport *
Party size *

Back

  • Adults(12+ yrs)
  • Children(2 to 11 yrs)
  • Infants(Under 2 yrs)
Budget range
Other comments:

Email newsletters

We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

Required Information

* Mandatory Information
Title *
First name *
Surname *
Telephone number *
Alternative telephone number
Email address *
Confirm email address
Preferred method of communication *
If you would like to be called during a specific period, please specify
Booking reference number *
Alternatively, please enter your query in the box below:

Email newsletters

Thank you for your enquiry

Thank you for your enquiry. A member of our specialist reservation teams will be in touch shortly.

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

Your details have been saved

Feel free to continue to browse the site and add to your enquiry. Don't forget to send the enquiry before you leave!

My Suitcase

We understand that so much choice can be overwhelming which is why we have developed 'My Suitcase'. This facility allows you to save and compare your favourite holidays, and even allows you to return to your selection at a later stage.

Why not use 'My Suitcase' to compile a wish list of your future Sunvil holidays?

 

Sign in


New to Sunvil?

Create Account


Already have an account?

Password reset

Back

Close

Close