Corfu in the spring

Situated in the Ionian Islands off Greece’s northwest coast, Corfu is a perfect get-away destination in April or May.  Enjoy the feeling of walking back in time as you stroll through the Venetian streets of the Old Town—the island was, after all, ruled by the Venetians until the 19th century—and marvel at the architecture.  

To really appreciate Corfu’s nature, however, you’ll want to head to the wetland of Korission.  Approx. 19 miles from Corfu Town on the south coast, it’s a ‘Natura 2000’ protected area—an EU initiative that protects certain areas across the continent for threatened species—and as Korission is spread out over 1480 acres you’ll see the area in full bloom over the spring as well as birds such as European flamingos, kingfishers, red-footed falcons and herons, to name but a few.

Easter is one of, if not the, main celebratory event in the Greek Orthodox calendar and is marked nationwide by the somber torchlight procession of the Epitaph on Good Friday night (this takes place on Easter Saturday in Corfu due to a historic rule imposed by the Venetians in 1574).  Easter Sunday is a day of celebration throughout the country where people make as much noise as possible in joy of the resurrection of Christ.  Unique to the island, to achieve this feat of noise, Corfu performs the ‘Botides’ ritual whereby locals throw various sized amphora pots from the balconies of their houses across Corfu Town, smashing onto the road below.  Be warned; some of these pots are huge!
Bands play and the traditional Greek Easter dish of roast lamb on the spit is served across tavernas, even set up in town squares to share with one and all.  There’s a real community feel to the celebration.

Corfu Town, Corfu, Greece Corfu Town, Corfu, Greece

Crete in the spring

Crete is the largest of the Greek islands, and due to its southern location (near the Libyan Sea), April and May can see daytime temperatures in the mid to high 20 Celsius.  Whilst it’s still considered too cold to go swimming, the springtime weather in Crete means it’s perfect for exploring many of the ancient ruins such as Spinalonga island—made famous by Victoria Hislop’s novel The Island—and the Minoan Palace of Knossos.   Wildflowers are in abundance and snow caps the White Mountains, the mountain range running the inland length of the island. Spring is also the best time to go hiking here, the 10 mile (16km) Samariá Gorge being the most famous.  Don’t feel you have to hike the whole distance—it’ll take 5-6 hours if you choose to, depending on your fitness level, but the starting point is from the mountain village of Omalós and finishes at the seaside village of Agia Roumeli.  Along the way, expect to experience alpine like scenery such as pine forests and streams and, if you’re lucky, the Cretan wild ibex that live in the National Park.  The Samariá Gorge derives its name from the village of Samariá, now abandoned and located halfway along the trek. Along the entirety of the Gorge you’ll find wardens to assist if needs be, and picnic tables to rest at.   The Samariá Gorge opens from the first week in May through to October.


Aside from the aesthetic beauty and quietness of being in Greece and the islands out of season, 18th May is also International Museum Day, and where better than to celebrate this by gaining free access to the country’s plethora of museums housing ancient artefacts?  The main towns across all of the islands host local museums; it’s a perfect way to spend a morning or afternoon, acquainting yourself with the local culture and traditions.

As mentioned, Greece is beautiful year round.  But to avoid the crowds, mix with the locals and gain a true appreciation of the country, springtime is the best.

White Mountains, Crete, Greece White Mountains, Crete, Greece
The Sunvil Family

By The Sunvil Family

25th June 2018



The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family
The Sunvil Family

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