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Corfu Travel Guide with tips and advice for this Greek Island. September newsletter.

 
Due to the accommodating climate, cats thrive. Eleni and I are cat lovers, and we have adopted several. Please though observe the following for your villa or apartment:
Do not feed stray cats or let them inside. The subsequent clients may dislike or be allergic to them. More importantly the cats become dependent on food given to them and may starve during the winter.
There are several charities operating on Corfu who look after animals. The most prominent animal charity on Corfu is 'the Ark.' Their mission is to help stray cats and dogs and they operate a feeding and sterilization program.

Corfu Holiday FAQs
Take a new look at our FAQ page.
Corfu getting Around
Hire a car, take a bus or use a local taxi, but renting a motor boat can be the experience of your Corfu holiday.
Olives
How they are grown, collected and pressed on Corfu?
How Much Money?
How much will you need for eating out while on Corfu?
Agni Travel
Properties with pools, traditional local houses and quiet apartments. Agni Travel can help you find your perfect holiday.


Pet Passport in Practice

Have you ever wanted to take your pet away on holiday? Tony and Kandy - took 'Trig' to Corfu - this is how:
We took our Springer 'Trig' on a six week trip via Dover/Calais (one of the designated ports for the scheme) through France, Switzerland, Italy and Greece. Firstly, this is written on the assumption that you are well down the road with your passport application – have had the rabies jab and blood test results - six months prior to travel, are up to date with annual jabs, have a microchip, and have applied, and are in liaison with your  regional DEFRA (old MAFF) office. 
The Blood Test – You need to ensure you have time to have the rabies jab, 28 days later the blood test, and three weeks later the result.  If the first jab does not take (ours was ok), you need a booster, and a second blood test.  As the blood test lab fees are £62.52 it’s worth delaying the booster, but ensure you have 6 months clear after the successful blood test, before travel. 
DEFRA – Our Worcester office were very helpful indeed, and confirmed each stage in writing for us.  Basically, you need to ask for, and return, the application form, which is quite detailed, and states your intended route.  You then need your passport document, and a translated copy for each other country.  They are sent to your vet a week before travel, and he has to complete them all.  Takes a good half hour  - at cost, plus brief examination that the dog is fit to travel.
Packing the dog – We have a Mondeo – and only 2 passengers.  With more, you would need to think carefully.  It gets very hot in the boot section under what is a glass roof (believe me, we brought 4 friends down from Kassiopi to Agni with 1 in the boot!!)  We arranged the car so Trig had half the rear area behind the front passenger seat to himself.  Covered in a pet tarpaulin (but still the HAIRS!!), with his own window, and room to lie right out.  We could then put cases behind the driver with his bed on top (and still have rear vision), and fill the boot,  plus keep the parcel shelf in.  It kept him in the shade, with good access through the rear door for pit stops.
Hoverspeed – Dover - We chose this as the fastest, shortest route, unsure how he would fare, but it was excellent.  On arrival at the port check in, we were given out Pets Travel yellow paw sticker for the passenger sun blind, and ushered round in a special lane.  Trig was scanned, and the number checked against his rabies blood test cert.  Papers stamped, and we then drove what was back out of the port so he could exercise. We then came back in, to queue for the ferry, but he had to remain in the car (as technically abroad then I guess).  We had packed our valuables in hand luggage, so we could leave the car windows all a couple of inches open, on the car deck, (no access on voyage) and on arrival 45 minutes later, he was snoozing quite unconcerned.   Coming back there was a fair old chop, but he was still fine.
Calais – Not stopped outward bound. On return a jovial Brit who commuted each day met us in the passport lane, and checked the scan to the paperwork again, sent us for a stroll, and then again, into the port and remain in the car.  In that cars park outside the cafι and duty-free, you can always have one eye on the car, both ends.  Apparently this route was popular for some 80 new European Crufts entrants, who passed through in their curlers, (the dogs!).
Passport Please? – Only the British seem  to care – all that work and cost – just to go home!
Hotels en route – We took 6 nights down to Venice, and 2 back.  We used the Ibis chain most of the time, one x Formula One, and one Mercure in France.  They all accepted dogs without question, and we were quite surprised really.  We just took his bed into our room.  Some even said he could come in the restaurant – but we wanted SOME peace!  Last, and first thing, we would march him on a short lead off site, and Ibis are usually out on the edge of towns, so lots of walks, some really nice.  It took 4 tries in Northern Italy around the lakes, and we had to upgrade in fact.  Hotel Golf in Lac di Iseo has “dog rooms” really nice, with a terrace overlooking the lake!
Food – Anything fresh has a limited life.
Blue Star Ferries – Dogs free, can go on the promenade but not in cabins.  The main thing we learnt is that there is a camping on deck facility – where there is plenty of fresh air, natural light, power points  and 24 hour access – all the camper vans and refrigerated lorries etc.  and many sleep there.  We had booked a cabin, (very nice and no regrets), but you can’t then book camping on deck in advance as well  - it’s at the discretion of the loading officer.  From Venice it was quite a to-do – wait till the end etc. but from Corfu, dhen pirazi!  A few wistful parakelos helped!  There are 4 little blue wooden kennels in a row on the camping deck with well  savaged doors – for the dog accommodation. Supposed to wear a muzzle in public places too.  Trig is a softy, and no-one asked for it, but if yours is a bit testy, especially in strange surroundings – it is probably wise, and we did see some. 
Most dogs stayed all day tied to the prom deck railings and seemed very happy – loads of fresh air. And they could always return to the car if you fancied a dip in the pool on the return (daylight) trip.
Those with campers obviously slept there – but Trig?  Well – the stewards serve dinner from about 7 to 9 pm – and breakfast from 7 to 7 am - - - - -  - - - - - and he is real quiet! 24 hours at sea is a long time – You can stroll on the camper deck  and mooch (it seems) with loads of great smelling huge tyres  Hint of Warsaw Poland, Eau de Sweden,  etc.,   – and litter bins !
Corfu – and the heat -  Trig is over 13, and on medication, but he managed very well.  We booked a private typical apartment last Sept. at the back of Kassiopi, so we had instant access to countryside – fewer local dogs to meet, and a marble balcony, that was in deep shade from 12 noon onwards, with a breeze.
We didn’t take Trig out with us all day every day, as not fair to him or us, but at 8 am EVERY DAY, he woke us for the 2/3 mile walk to Imerolia beach for an hours swimming!  We had the beach to ourselves, and it was a very happy time.  A short walk at about 6 pm, as still hot, and then another about 2 am – before bed!  Friends have a lovely old boat The Acco if you know her, and we sailed to Ericousa twice with different friends, and down to Kerasia for a day, and Trig LOVED all that.
Other dogs – Best avoided on the whole – either running loose or chained up – they didn’t seem too friendly, and are not really trained to be, and you are a stranger on their patch. 
Food –  English tinned food and bix in all the supermarkets – chum, pal etc., and Trig had raw mince, and cooked chickens for treat.
The French Vet (or where ever) – Started to dominate the conversation, and was best got over with.  Has to be no less than 24 – and no more than 48 hours before travel.  We called into Verdun, and police directed us to the local practice at about 5pm.  It was open till 7, and somewhat bemused, agreed to fit us in at the end of surgery.  What we learnt is that (some way from the ports) not all vets speak English !! and whilst we can get by in French, the instructions  down-loaded from the internet in French for the vet, were VITAL.  Even then, we had to reassure him another blood test was not needed!  He thinks our Government is crazy!  Super practice, several vets – very busy.  We said we would tell all the Brits to come to him – and he begged us not to !!!!!
Summary -  Much easier than we thought.  I had visions of sleeping in the car in the odd lay-by – cleaning up in the High Street, fighting to the death with the local hounds – but no – it really was trouble free, and LOVELY to have him with us.  Can’t wait to repeat.  If you have any queries, happy to help.
Tony, Kandy and Trig.

Corfu Travel Guide with tips and advice for this Greek Island. August newsletter.

 Links:

www.petplanet.co.uk/petplanet/news/french_form_pr.htm   This is the “French” Ticks and Bugs form you will need for the vet on return to the UK

www.dogsaway.co.uk.

www.day-tripper.net

www.paws4travel.co.uk

Pets Helpline  Tel: 0870 241 1710

 

 


 

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The Corfu Travel Guide and Lefkada Travel Guides are brought to you by Agni Travel.
Agni Travel is the sister company of Taverna Agni and also the sponsor of the Agni Animal Welfare Fund
 
Agni Travel Office: ++30 26630 91609; Taverna Agni: ++30 26630 91142
Address: Agni Bay, Gimari, Kerkyra, Greece, TK49100 Corfu