I know this has been done to death before, but new members may not of seen it.
Me, I was sick to death of being rained on where ever I spent our holidays here in the UK, so decided to go abroad for the first time.
We went into Lunn-Poly (remember them) and ask for somewhere sunny and warm, the young girl said where abouts do you want to go, I said anywhere where it not going to be raining all day and night.
She said what about Corfu, well she may as well have been asking if I would like to go to the moon..I never had a clue where Corfu was but if this Corfu place is sunny and warm I'll go there..she then said what sort of holiday would we like, peaceful or lively I said both providing I could do a bit of fishing.
Well we settled on Kassiopi and have never looked back in all these years.
But I must say this and I've told this to many a Greek, Britain is a beautiful place and in some places more so than Corfu..but it never seemed to stop raining when I holidayed here.
Message posted by Mrs Mushypea on 07 April 2011 at 4:17pm - IP Logged
Nice to re-ressurect this post again Bruce - it's been a long time.
We first went to Sidari 11 years ago. We had taken the boys to Ibiza for their first holiday abroad when they were 4 & 6 and we decided that we would make regular trips to Spain which we did up until 2000 when my Mum had suggested trying somewhere else "for a change". Now Mum had always talked about her two trips to Corfu staying in Sidari and Roda back in the early eighties and how lovely a place it was and how she would hire a push bike for a week and travel back and forth to Sidari and Roda and also how wonderful Corfu town was, the castle on the hill, the harbour and how lovely the weather, food and people were...
So on mum's advice we decided to book a holiday at Sellas Hotel in Sidari in June with our friend who worked at a local travel agents. Well the rest is history really - 11 years later we are off in just over 40 days for our first visit.
We also introduced our friends last year to Corfu and Sidari and they have also booked a return visit in August with their three teenage boys too because they absolutely loved it.
Message posted by ele 56 on 07 April 2011 at 4:23pm - IP Logged
First for our honeymoon to Glyfada in 1980 and then to Agios Gordios for our 20 year anniversary with 2 teenage children. We all love it now. Been back about 6 or 7 times since, sometimes with them, sometimes just the 2 of us (our silver anniversary)! Son has been by himself and daughter is taking her boyfriend to Agios Gordios in June! The resort and island tick all our boxes! Many happy memories to treasure!
Message posted by SusieH on 07 April 2011 at 4:32pm - IP Logged
I visited Corfu first in 1974 when I was a member of a charity taking terminally ill kids on a holiday of a lifetime.
We were on a cruise and it called in at Corfu. The welcome we had with a group of 20 kids, half of them in wheelchairs, was overwhelming
I have loved Corfu and Greece ever since
Message posted by Deedee on 07 April 2011 at 4:32pm - IP Logged
Great thread idea Bruce.
Those of you who have heard this before forgive me.
The first time we came to Corfu, October 2001, it was by default. We used to book our holidays a year or more in advance for reasons connected wtih my husband's place of work. So, in August 2000 we spent a long time looking through brochures and decided on Samos. We booked with Thomsons via our local Lunn Poly, we'd used them for a few years.
The following March we got a letter from Thomsons advising that they were not now flying Manchester to Samos after the end of September and would we care to fly from Gatwick instead? Well no we wouldn't thank you, we live 8 miles from Manchester so Gatwick is rather inconvenient.
We weren't as aware then as we are now and didn't know that we could have cancelled and got our deposit back. We were offered the option of booking a different holiday.
We were disappointed and were not immediately up to trawling through the brochures again.
Then we got a call from the Lunn Poly shop advising they had an alternative for us. The alternative was the A & A at Kalami, Corfu. It was £150 cheaper than the holiday we had originally booked (even with a week's car hire added) and the brochure picture was very similar to my avatar and also showed the top pool at the A & A. We were sold.
We had a glorious two weeks, it was the best holiday we'd ever had and we've not stopped going back since. Still not been to Samos.
We'll always remember Lunn Poly Bruce because the staff there chose Corfu for us. The shop name changed to Thomson a few years ago and the staff we knew have moved on. We usually book on the internet now but every time I pass that shop I smile. Deedee
Message posted by daveyh on 07 April 2011 at 4:44pm - IP Logged
I went on holiday to Turkey and became friends with a couple staying at the same place. I didn't like the hassle when walking past shops, tavernas and in the market otherwise it was a nice holiday. During the year met the new friends several times and we decided to holiday again next year. Greece was seen as the better option and so it came that we found Corfu and Sidari. I've been back at least once a year since but my friends haven't as they like to visit a different place each year. For me I would not wish to go anywhere else. Roll on 1st July.
Message posted by Cath45 on 07 April 2011 at 4:50pm - IP Logged
Mic and I had met in the January and decided to go on holiday in the September, as I had been to Rhodes before I went off to the local travel agent on the Saturday (he was working) and tried to book. The TA couldn't fix us up with Rhodes but suggested Ipsos, Corfu as we wanted somewhere that was still open and reasonably lively. I booked it and then went to a payphone (no mobiles then) and rang him at work to give him the news. We arrived early morning and the transfer coach braked sharply to let an old lady across the road with her sheep or goats, he said "what the hell have you brought me to" my reply was take your watch off and enjoy!! He did and many years later we still try to visit at least once a year.
Message posted by car864 on 07 April 2011 at 4:52pm - IP Logged
After completing my nurse training in 1982 they had made a mistake with my salary so a little windfall bought us a trip to Corfu via Lunn Poly. We did not know where we were staying although it made no odds as we had never been abroad before. we ended up at the Hotel Elizabeth in Gouvia. We loved it so much that we went there for our honeymoon in 1988 and the took our two children to Govino Bay in 2009. This year we are spending the whole of August in Agios Gordios but will be making several trips to our beloved Gouvia.
Message posted by angela chapman on 07 April 2011 at 4:57pm - IP Logged
1992, hard up, just moved house, mortgage rate 15% ready to throw the towel in, got 2 weeks in A & A for £170 with Thomsons.
Stayed at the house for 20 years, goodness knows how didn't think we would last 20 weeks, and managed to recoup every year since in Corfu.
Michael first came to Corfu 40 years ago before he met me. A very different place then, I have seen the photos, well some of them.
Message posted by Mrs Mushypea on 07 April 2011 at 5:01pm - IP Logged
When we got married in 1982 we couldnt afford a honeymoon so had one the following year! My husband - for some reason he still cannot explain - had always wanted to go to a Greek Island and we chose Corfu for no reason other than we could fly from Newcastle at a civilised time of day.
We stayed in Kanoni (in the Royal Hotel) right above the airport runway and had a fantastic holiday - we were young and fit enough to walk down into Corfu Town regularly and get the local bus back - we were young and "green" enough to book excursions through the rep (we have grown up a lot since then). Inexplicably although we loved the holiday it was some 14 years before we went to Corfu again. This time we went to Roda because our daughter liked the look of the slide in the accommodation's swimming pool and the rest as they say is history.
Many of our friends and family now have the Roda/Corfu bug and we cannot wait until July for our visit this year when for the first time we will be staying in a villa (very grown up). We love the laid back atmosphere, the lovely food, the weather (of course) but most of all the lovely people and the friendships we have made that will last a lifetime.
Message posted by tor the viking on 07 April 2011 at 5:16pm - IP Logged
tor the viking
In Norway we say we have two winters - one white and one green. The green one is worse because we have less clohes on...
Therefore we decided to go to Corfu in 1996. Woke up in Kassiopi. Been going each year (2-4 times a year) and our summer 2011 will be our 27th time.
They call me Tor the Viking over there. I'm even a Godfather for Spiros, son of Don and Fationa! Met some great people there. Even some Brits lol. i.e. Bruce and his Maria. Big Al and Edith a.s.o.
We are going on our first trip this year next Saturday via Venice.
See you there!!
Message posted by SusieB on 07 April 2011 at 5:17pm - IP Logged
Funny reading Deedee's post as after holidaying in various places we fell in love with Samos! Spent 7 very happy years holidaying there even one Xmas on a recommendation of a friend who came from there. Had always had a inkling to visit Corfu so in 2006 we made the monumental decision to go instead of Samos, would we, could we love it as much, would it be too touristy... Had looked at Kassiopi before so the deal was done and we have been at least once if not twice a year since, have got the bug even worse than Samos, we absolutely blimmin love the place!
Message posted by BruceAndMaria (Born again CTG member) on 07 April 2011 at 5:25pm - IP Logged
I'll tell you what did surprise me as somebody who had never been any further from the UK than the end of Dover pier..was Corfu Town, after we left the airport...I really didn't understand other peoples culture...I thought that every city in the world would look something like here in the UK...but at the time with the coach winding it's way around the back streets of Corfu Town to Kassiopi and looking at the shops and cars parked every where..I wondered if I had made a mistake and should have stayed in the UK...to me at the time it looked more like a war zone.
But today I love the place to bits, and spend at least two days visiting Corfu Town on our holiday and I hope it never changes and for all it's faults, to me it's one of the loveliest place I have ever visited.
Only been to one other place and that was to Gibraltar to visit Maria's family and spent the whole week looking left thinking Kassiopi is down that way and thinking I'll be there in three weeks time .
Message posted by BruceAndMaria (Born again CTG member) on 07 April 2011 at 5:52pm - IP Logged
Quote: Originally posted by Mrs Mushypea on 07 April 2011
Thanks Bruce this post is great... it's lovely reading all the posts about their first experience and how they came about landing in Corfu for their hols.
Makes you feel good and all Mr Kiplingy inside..
Cheers Sweetheart....It does make you feel good and Kiplingy..I know I have 122 days to go before I'm back in Kassiopi, but I'm so thankfully glad that the young girl in Lunn poly 22 years ago sent us to Kassiopi.
Even at 70 years old I'm like those kids in the Disney TV advert..still jumping for joy at the thought of going to Kassiopi.
Message posted by Mrs Mushypea on 07 April 2011 at 6:04pm - IP Logged
We came across Corfu purely by chance. I had travelled to many Greek islands and was looking to take my hubby to only his second one. I did a search for a last minute holiday and Kassiopi Corfu was the one I picked...and boy am I glad I did.
We arrived on the transfer coach into Kassiopi, everyone was being dropped off and after the drop off in the harbour we were the last ones left on the coach . That's when I started to get worried...the coach stopped at the top of a lane on the road that leads out of Kassiopi. We were deposited on the roadside complete with cases. Oh my what have I let us in for!!!
We got taken down the lane and shown to our apartment by a wonderful Greek lady called Ellie, she turned out to be our cleaner. She showed us into our apartment and then left. I went to the patio doors, opened them and my breath was taken away at the sheer beauty of the view...we were right on Kalimianos Bay.
We fell in love with the place there and then. As a result we have been back 12 times in 5 years and I've also introduced lots of family members to the place too.
I used to laugh at folk that went back to the same place year after year...not any more!!!
Can't wait to get back there this year to see all the wonderful friends we've made both Greek and other nationalities alike
Message posted by BoltonLynda on 07 April 2011 at 6:36pm - IP Logged
Our first visit to Corfu came after we decided to go somewhere different - we had been camping in France for years when the kids were little. So we looked through the brochures and liked the look of Corfu. I went to our lovely local travel agent, armed with a list of accommodation in various places that we liked the look of. Everything was booked up - until we came to about the 8th place on the list. We arrived in beautiful Kalami at about 4.30 am one morning and fell in love with the place on sight. In 7 weeks we will be going for about the 15th time!
Message posted by MartynG on 07 April 2011 at 6:37pm - IP Logged
Here goes - Lynn and I first visited Corfu in September 1985, prompted by watching the Treasure Hunt programme. (There had been a plan to visit Paxos a couple of years earlier, travelling by motorcycle, but that didn't come off).
Not knowing the island, we booked a villa in Acharavi for two weeks through Direct Greece (it's still there, but now very difficult to find) and spent much of our holiday touring around in our hire car - a very battered Kermit green Fiat 126.
I clearly remember going to Paleo and the monestry, driving at least part of the way up Pantocrator (the road was then unmade once past Strinilas) and having to abandon the car as the road ran out where the large sterna is just before the final climb, a day spent in a little hire boat out of Kassiopi (all of Philipos boats were out so we rented one from an old fisherman) and discovering San Stephanos (N/E) The road down the hill was really bad in those days - unmade and with craters almost swallowing our little car. There are many other memories - these are just a few of the highlights.
We really fell in love with the island and have only missed two years since. Both of our sons have grown up with Corfu as part of their lives (James first visited as a 10 month old and Michael was 10 weeks)and we now have a small house in Porta - you could say that the island has become very much a part of us.
Which is all of a bit of a surprise really. My first impression (after the airport) wasn't exactly encourageing. The stretch of coast after leaving the New Port (and before getting to what is now the end of the dual carrigeway at Kontokoli) heading north was very scruffy, with derilict boats and all sorts of rubbish and I really though to myself "I'm really not going to like this!
How wrong I was!
Message posted by janmanessi on 07 April 2011 at 7:00pm - IP Logged
First visited in 1969 when hitchiking round Europe- on our way home from Turkey. Only stayed a couple of days before heading for Brindisi, but remember swimming out to Ponticonissi, sitting on the Liston etc.
Went off to Africa and forgot about it. Then in 1976 had to leave there (stopped giving work permits) and needed a job, and rang Olympic Holidays (never having been on a 'package' but en route to Africa had worked in Rhodes, and had heard of Olympic!
I got a job, and thought- well I can get experience wherever they send me and then maybe I can get back to my real love- long haul- esepcially Africa. I was offered a job in Benitses, met my husband and married the next year, and the day after tomorrow I am driving out to Venice to return to live full time (for the second time) on the island having retired last week in UK I intend to start a new business in Greece!
In 1991 my husband had booked a surprise honeymoon to my most favourite place - Dubrovnik in Yugoslavia. A few weeks before the wedding I had an urgent phone call to meet him in the pub - now! Crossed my mind that he was having second thoughts and the wedding was off - but no, he had to tell me about my surprise trip to Dubrovnik, and that he'd have to cancel as war had broken out. I was very sad as I loved this place. So we scooted up to Co Op travel and said we'd just go to wherever the brochure opened. Hadn't a clue about Corfu, knew it was Greek, and certainly hadn't heard of Kassiopi. A taxi took us from the airport in the early hours and I was scared stiff driving along the coast road, passing through those narrow roads and twists and turns. Haven't a clue where we stayed - know it was near Oassis as they cooked us breakfast every morning. Had a great time and drank far too many glasses of champagne in Jasmines, bought for us after a night out on a Greek night - where I'd already had far too much wine! We didn't go again for a few years and ended up with a late deal in Ipsos - but made sure of at least two trips to Kassiopi that holiday. We've since been 3 more times and hopefully will be going again this year. Corfu, and particularly Kassiopi has overtaken Dubrovnik in my affections.
Message posted by kenny boy on 07 April 2011 at 7:28pm - IP Logged
We first went to Corfu 11 years ago when my husband had been diagnosed with leukaemia and was given 6 months to live, we were told to get our lives in order but maybe take one last holiday before starting chemo to slow things down a bit, so we took our 3 year old and 13 year old and 2 friends and just booked the cheapest holiday we could find, 2 weeks in Acharavi in October. It was fabulous. That was 11 years ago and he is still with me (thank god) the docs cant understand it but hey ho there you go. We now own our own house in Roda, and we fly out there tomorrow for 3 weeks. The leukaemia is still there but under control at the minute, fingers crossed.
Message posted by stuart d hill on 07 April 2011 at 8:14pm - IP Logged
1978 and that was an accident. Caught the bus from London to Athens with 4 mates and just went island hopping for 3 months. Coming back none of us wanted to do the bus journey again so decided to go by train via Italy. The ferry broke down in Corfu so spent a couple of days somewhere near town spending our last Drachs. Didn't return until 2001 when I found a good deal for 5 of us to Dassia for 10 days. Wife said may as well make it 2 weeks so the agent found us 2 weeks in Acharavi, next door to The Navigator right on the beach, was hooked!! Next year went to Sebastians in Agios Gordios with Kosmar before they went bump. Longest we managed was 24 days 3 years ago, bliss!!
Message posted by kenny boy on 07 April 2011 at 9:05pm - IP Logged
Hi great post first went in 1991 Drachma used then and could buy loads, no taxes etc. Stayed in Palaeokastritsa smitten ever since been every year since apart from 2 when money was tight. Now got kids who love it too and do not want to go any where else a real family favourite with memories they will remember forever. Sure they will take their families and friends when older xx
Message posted by Peter d22 on 07 April 2011 at 9:32pm - IP Logged
My love affair with Corfu started in the early 60s.
Being a child of Corfiot parents, myself and my sisters were taken by car to Corfu for our 6 week holidays there.
Fond memories of playing with cousins and neighbours
around the side roads of Corfu town and Lakones.
Have lost count of the amount of times I've visited the Island, going 3 time this year, no doubt bumping into friends and relatives on our travels.
36 days to go.
Message posted by brucelin1949 on 07 April 2011 at 10:00pm - IP Logged
In 2001 I decided I would go abroad for the first time as I wouldnt go before as I was terrified of flying but was also sick of cold wet holidays in the UK, I wanted somewhere with a short flight but not Spain, so got a brochure and picked out Luisa apartments in Sidari, booked a year before we went and then 9/11 happened so very nearly changed my mind again. Went ahead with the holiday and have been back to Luisa's 2 sometimes 3 times a year ever since, also flown to other Greek islands, America, Dominican Republic etc, wish I'd done it sooner, all those years in the Greek sun I've missed out on doesn't bear thinking about.
Message posted by Pam Ella on 07 April 2011 at 10:09pm - IP Logged
We first went to Corfu via courtesy of the makers of Kit Kat!
My youngest daughter (11 at the time) won first prize in a competition organized by Kit Kat and the prize was 1 weeks holiday in any of several destinations, and luckily we/she chose Corfu. That was in 1988 and we have been every year since (sometimes twice a year) although not with our daughters every time as they now have families of their own.
Like many other members it would be really hard to go anywhere else now as the 'pull' of Corfu is just too hard to resist.
Message posted by weshamers on 07 April 2011 at 11:31pm - IP Logged
First went to Kassiopi with my now ex husband in 1991, fell in love with it, but dont know why we never went back. When I met Alan my husband now, when we were getting married was getting lots of hassle off family for big wedding, not what we wanted, so chose Sidari to get married, just 10 of us went and we loved it. The locals could not do enough to make sure we had a fantastic wedding. Been hooked ever since, still go to visit the people of Sidari, but prefer to stay either Kassiopi or Kalami now, and hopefully will be visiting for many more years to come lol Ann xxx
Message posted by maizey on 08 April 2011 at 12:17am - IP Logged
My first trip to Corfu, indeed Greece, was in 1984/5 on an all girls holiday in my early (very early) 20's. We stayed in Gouvia - I think the hotel was called Theodora and it was basic! I had only travelled with my parents previously and it was a shock! We had so much fun and Corfu is where my love affair with Greece began. I can remember the cheapest evening meal in a local taverna with wine, beer, Greek dancing, friendly locals and such a fabulous time. We were four girls on our first holiday away from "nice" families and felt so wild! I look back with fondness (in fact I am still in touch with those girls - now mothers/grandmothers and we speak about that holiday often). I moved on to other Greek islands on a year to year basis. However, by chance we visited Corfu last year with my family for my other half's big "0". A villa in San Stefanos N/E absolutely blew us away. We re-visited in September and we are booked again this year. I firmly felt that Corfu as one of the European "hot spots" must have undergone the growth and ravages of the resorts in Spain over the years - so pleasantly surprised to find this is certainly not the case.
Great thread Bruce ...
My first visit was in 1996 with a girlfriend (I use the word ‘girl’ loosely!!!). She had recently had a major op and life hadn’t been good to her, and she wanted a break. I had never been to Greece before. She had, but not Corfu. We spotted an ad in a magazine for a gorgeous looking small apartment block, right on the beach in a place called Kavos ... Never having heard of Kavos, we tried to book. Fortunately we were unable to get through on the phone number given in the ad, and decided to get some brochures on Corfu. Reading these brochures gave us an idea of the lucky escape we had had by not getting through on the phone! Anyway, we ended up in Sidari. Canal D’Amour area and had a brilliant time. It was late September, and there were several spectacular storms, and several electric outages too but that just added to the fun.
The next year hubby, kids and I went camping in France. Absolutely hated it. This was our first holiday abroad as a family, and I swore never again unless it was Corfu. Hubby was not at all keen on the idea of ‘Greek food’ but in the end was persuaded, and off we went to get brochures. Saw a pic of Kassiopi (although I am now convinced the pic was taken at Avlaki) and booked Dimitrios Apartments in Imerolia. Never looked back. Have lost count of the times we have been back since, and can’t see us going anywhere else. And hubby even got to like the food (as long as it doesn’t include fish or olives!)
Back to the first holiday though - we had got talking to a couple of ladies (rather older than us) on the plane out, who were going to Kavos ... we smiled and thought to ourselves do they know what they are letting themselves in for? Met them on the plane back, and they had had an absolutely wonderful time. Just shows you never can tell ...
Message posted by rocdoc on 08 April 2011 at 1:18am - IP Logged
Corfu was our 4th Greek island holiday. We were pretty broke and used our clubcard vouchers to pay for 2 weeks in Paleo. It was the best ever and we have loved the place ever since. We usually now visit Greece once or twice a year and while we do not return to Corfu every year we will continue to pop back whenever we can. Sadly the clubcard rules changed and they no longer cover the full cost but ho hum they did their job well when we needed them.
Message posted by BecksyJ on 08 April 2011 at 1:31am - IP Logged
When I was younger, talking 20 year or more ago, I had no say in where we holidayed. It was pre 18-30s, and my parents took a liking to Kavos. We went three years running in the May, but then 18-30s took up residence, so we switched to Rhodes (Ixia).
It wasn't long after that, that I turned 16 and decided I was too old to holiday with my parents, so I stayed home with my Gran.
At 23 I started holidaying abroad again, but I didn't return to Greece until I was 28, starting out with Zante (Tsilivi) and then Rhodes (Trianda).
At 31 my cousin (then aged 29) and I decided we fancied a week away in the sun. My then fiance (now husband) couldn't get the time off, so we looked for a place for the two of us. We wanted somewhere which offered us sun, sea, sand, and good food, without the risk of being hassled as two females travelling alone... Thats when I came across Roda.
The husband tormented me at first saying we were going to the middle of nowhere, but after my visit when I told him all about the place he insisted on testing it for himself, so we returned 18 months later me and he. And he loved it so much that next month you can guess where we are off to again...
Had been to Rhodes in 1982 with my boyfriend (now my other half) then got married had our Son and for the first 10 years of his life we went to Haven Holidays with grandparents. Then going towards his 11th Birthday he had his first real trip abroad in Majorca. He could not believe how warm the sea was. As soon as we got back hubbie and I remembered our trip to Rhodes and decided to let our son see some of Greece, so straight away we booked through Portland to go to Kos the following year. Six weeks after we booked with Portland had a letter from them saying that the hotel we booked would not be available and that we could either choose another one on that Island or pick another Island. Looked through the Brochure and did not like anything else in Kos and looked at the other Islands and finally I made the decision and booked the Dassia Chandris Hotel. Other half was saying Corfu ohhh not sure about that, but we went.
Like Bruce said when the coach was taking us from the Airport to the Hotel, I was thinking what have I done are they going to hate it? Could see other half giving me strange looks. When we opened the patio doors of our room all worries faded as we had a room that overlooked the beach and the views to Albania.
Son loved it and we went back year after year then when he became of age to go by himself he started to drag all his friends there and if he could would go twice a year.
1987 - first holiday abroad (aged 31) Chose Corfu and as the four of us girls were late booking could only get a Freestyle holiday in Ipsos for late Sept/Oct. From the moment I got off the plane I was hooked. The hotel was grim but we took the Grand Island Tour on our last day and I immediately vowed to return. I did two years later with one of the girls and stayed in Kassiopi.
Fast forward to 1995, now married with 2 stepsons. Took them for their first foreign holiday, staying in Roda. We reprised the holiday the next year and then gave the island a break for a few years in favour of Crete, Cyprus and Lefkas. We returned in 2004 for our 10th wedding anniversary and since then have only missed 2 years (Turkey and Thassos)!
I've now stayed in Ipsos, Kassiopi, Roda, St Spiridon, St George South and St Stefanos NW and can honestly say I've loved every day I've spent in Corfu.
Message posted by Lawrence on 08 April 2011 at 10:15am - IP Logged
First time I ever flew was to Corfu summer of 76. Stayed in Corfu town by the docks at the Ionian, its still there. Woke up first morning to a rain storm from hell thinking "It's supposed to be sunny". By midday the sun was out and never went back in for two weeks, never a cloud to be seen. 81 started love affair with Kassiopi, rest is history. Yammas
Message posted by Simmey on 08 April 2011 at 10:30am - IP Logged
First time was in 1988 with Thompsons Freestyle and stayed in Gouvia in the Galaxy hotel, we loved it, there was a festival and it had a very rustic carnival atmosphere, they were cooking and selling spit lamb and lamb kebabs for next to nothing, I also remember my very first Gyros, didn't know what it was or how to ask for one so I just pointed, I was hooked! Now been to Corfu so many times I can't remember and tried lots of resorts but have settled on Kassiopi as my favorite, also tried lots of different Islands and they are all beautiful but I love Corfu. I always feel smug when the plane lands and vow to return when it takes off again.
Message posted by JoannaWells on 08 April 2011 at 10:31am - IP Logged
Mt ‘first time’ was when in 1991. I actually celebrated my 22nd birthday there. While working at a hotel in Brentwood a girly friend asked if I fancied going on holiday with her. I had previously been skiing and to France with college but had never had a ‘sunny’ holiday – I didn’t even really know what one was!
She said she knew this place and hotel where her mum and her mum’s friend had been and said was lovely. I just agreed, let her book it, paid my pennies and turned up at the airport!
After a night flight I will never forget getting off that plane; the smell, the sounds, the very slow coach trip through Benitses [busy then with hordes of people blocking the road] and then arriving at Messonghi Beach Hotel.
It was the most fantastic two weeks of my life. I so didn’t want to come home and it took me literally weeks to settle back into my job and life, all I wanted to do was go back!
Since then I have been lucky enough to have returned over 20 times; first with a boyfriend who became my [now ex.] husband, then with my two boys, my parents and last year with my new partner.
I have friends in Corfu who I can speak to having not spoken to for weeks / months and it’s like no time has passed at all. I can’t say that about all my friends in this country!
I no longer stay at the Messonghi Beach but always stay in Messonghi or Moriatika. During this time I have been fortunate enough to also visit Rhodes, Cyprus and Lanzarote but nothing even comes close!
Not sure I will make it this year but I know my heart will be there!
Message posted by Mrs Mushypea on 08 April 2011 at 11:08am - IP Logged
First visit was 2004. Before that holidays in UK, a lot in France, some in Italy and Majorca. In France we had discovered the benefit of a house with a pool (we like self catering). Friend coming with us in 2004 had been to several Greek Islands - when talking about where to go I commented that I had not so far been to anywhere Greek, so we decided to try it. He hadn't done Corfu so suggested looking there - the first house we tried for was on the beach at Kalami but was booked, so the company suggested Villa Jasmine on the hill - looked OK in pics so we said Yes.
Like Bruce, when we arrived at the airport, picked up hire car and started following the directions through the back end of Corfu Town I was VERY sceptical - it looked very run down. Coming away from Corfu town was not much better, until we turned onto the coast road! The driving was a bit hairy, but I wasn't doing it and was too busy gawping at the sea and the views. By the time we drove down into Kalami I was in love - that feeling has never left me. Lovely people who greet you every year like long lost friends. Villa Jasmine will always have a place in my heart, although we have stayed in other lovely houses in elsewhere in Corfu we have stayed at Jasmine 4 times and hope to again in the future.
Message posted by Samaras mcfc on 08 April 2011 at 2:48pm - IP Logged
First went to Corfu back in 1976, visited Spain on lads holidays for years always to Benidorm but this year 1976 we all fancied a change so I booked Corfu for 8 lads, we eventually plumped for Benitses stayed with Angela and Dimitris in their apartments on the front opposite the Rio Grande, have never looked back still go regularly and now my daughter lives in Roda so have a good reason. Made many friends in Benitses over the years but best memories are all sitting in Amelias bar on the front and then visiting Yiannis bar for last orders ha ha. Best friend there now is Spiro from the Argo apartments. Oh happy days am back there at Easter visiting Benitses and Roda
Message posted by SusieM on 08 April 2011 at 3:02pm - IP Logged
I went out to Corfu in May 1971 with three other girls to work for a Greek who probably had one of the first travel agency there. I had hardly heard of Corfu then but just about knew it was in Greece. We were employed for the season to run the cars, boats, little villas etc etc. I met my husband the first week I was there, it took me about four years to decide whether I could live there as the culture difference then was HUGE; eventually decided yes I could. My Greek inlaws are absolutely brilliant and I couldnt have asked for a nicer family.
Message posted by jundas on 08 April 2011 at 3:31pm - IP Logged
On the recommendation of my best friend, I first visited Sidari in May 2000 with my mum and my 5 year old son. We had like others had many hols in Spain, Tenerife etc before this so was looking forward to a change. We stayed in the Polyxenia not far from the Canal D'Amour which back then were just apartments, now has bar, pool etc., and we loved it right from the start. From our balcony we saw a Greek man with his chickens and smelt the orange and lemon trees. So different from all the high rise places in Spain. We stay more central in Sidari now, beauoes it was a bit of a trek...Since then we've stayed at Therezas, Stamatis, Lia (now a doctors), Loxides and this year Takis for first time. Have been most years since, apart from when my youngest was born and honeymoon. Took my hubby and new son there and we all love it so much. Roll on July 29th!!!
Message posted by tackou on 08 April 2011 at 3:42pm - IP Logged
Was working as a nanny and hadnt had a holiday away from the family I worked for in 3 years so a friend and I went into the travel agents picked up the first brochure we saw turned to the first page and booked a week in the first apartments we saw which were in Kavos Corfu(1989) Landed at about 7am got to the apartments which were lovely and went to the welcome meeting at 11am where I met the owner of the beach bar (slipped on the stairs and landed at his feet) and fell for him big time married him and am still very happy living on this beautiful island
Our first visit was 1976 and we only went because my parents had found a good deal with Enterprise holidays staying at the Potamaki. We were thinking of going to Menorca, but as the price was only about £10 extra and in those days, Corfu sounded oh so far away compared to Menorca, we decided to go. We paid £132 for 2 weeks half board including our flight.
We arrived late afternoon after dropping people off at the Aeolos Beach Hotel which looked quite nice, but the drains smelt at the time. Our first thoughts were what on earth have we come to?? After a couple of days, we had seen most of Benitses, as there wasn't much there anyway and we worried that the 2 weeks would drag. Slowly, the Greek food, music, dancing and more importantly the people got to us and the rest is history. We have been back every year since, sometimes twice a year, including 2 visits at Easter, which is a magical time and recommended to all who have not experienced it.
We also used to visit Amalia's bar in Benitses, invariably, nipping from the Potamaki when the disco started, and nipping back to the Potamaki again for when the Greek Dancing started again about 45 minutes.
Over the years, we have spent quite a few hours on the Potamaki roof teaching people the Greek dancing. Just wish we knew where they all are now.
We go again for 3 weeks at the end of August, and always look forward to meeting our old friends.
We first went to Corfu for our 25th wedding anniversary in 1986, It was a surprise holiday for my wife who had never flown, my brother who had been to Corfu many times suggested Corfu, so I booked 2 weeks with Thomsons and we stayed in San Steph. North West. We loved it and still stay a few nights each year in the resort. Its changed big time as most other places have, but the charm and the brill. locals still make Corfu our favourite place to visit. lorac.
Message posted by Lavinia on 09 April 2011 at 10:29pm - IP Logged
I first went to Corfu in April 1968. My mother was an artist and was going on a painting holiday organised by Sunscape, with my father tagging along. I had been ill and persuaded them to take me too. I remember it cost 65 GBP half-board for two weeks! The roads were just tracks, the airport was a runway with a hut on it, but the smell when we got off the plane was extraordinary and I was hooked from that moment. I remember small children walking along in the evening with jamjars attached to bamboo canes full of fireflies which looked like lanterns and real Romany caravans full of very colourful gypsies, eyes and gold glinting in the sun. It was truly magical. I had been to France and Ibiza before but Corfu was something else.
In 1991. My husband, myself and another couple stayed near Ag Steph (NE) for a fortnight. We'd visited a few other Greek islands and were hooked on Greece generally. I remember it being more expensive than our previous hols, but we had a small villa rather than the normal studio - I think it was £283pp but that included flights and a hire car for the duration!
Our friends fell in love with the island, continued visiting and eventually bought a house here 4 years later. My hubby and I liked it but weren't passionate about the place, and explored new places rather than return.
Sadly in '96 my husband passed on, just a couple of days before he was due to go to Corfu on a working holiday - helping our friends to do some work on their property here. At that time I swore I'd never re-visit the island - and didn't, (apart from a 3 hour stop on a cruise ship), until 2004.
But then my friends decided to move to the island permanently, and after they went I felt very, very strongly that I wanted to visit, just to make sure they were OK (silly really, it's not as though they were kids!!). I'd remarried by then and my second husband had never been to Corfu, so we booked some cheap flights and came over to visit for a week. On day 3, as we were walking through the village, my husband turned to me and said "I could live here".
The rest, as they say, is history. We bought our house 8 months later and have been here for over 4 years now...
Message posted by BruceAndMaria (Born again CTG member) on 09 April 2011 at 11:19pm - IP Logged
Hi Lavina...Love the £65 for two weeks...I spend more than that now in the bar in Kassiopi every night.
1968 was the first time I had ever been on holiday, It cost Maria and me £13 for two weeks for a cottage in North Devon..me and Maria and our two children (soon to become three) 2 years old and 3 months old,had a great time...wish the prices were the same today
Message posted by Lavinia on 09 April 2011 at 11:46pm - IP Logged
Ha ha Bruce, I know, it is just ridiculous. Those were the days when you had to have a good hotel deal as we were only allowed to take 50 GBP out of the country per person. Hence the growth in package holidays! Its all relative though isn't it? I remember earning 11 GBP per week in central London when I first worked there and that covered my rent (and I lived in Chelsea), expenses etc. (sorry I have to keep putting GBP but I have a Greek keyboard without at pound sterling symbol on it)
Message posted by paleogirl on 10 April 2011 at 8:59am - IP Logged
I had done my gap year in Athens aged 18. I had then travelled around the islands and had seen so many lovely places. I had avoided Corfu thinking it would be too touristy but saw an offer for a single supplement of 50p a night...booked (being a canny Scot!!!). As soon as I saw Paleo I knew this was my place. I have returned now twice a year, this being my 15th year and can't imagine spending time anywhere but Corfu. The island is so beautiful, Paleo is amazing and I've met such great friends.
Message posted by Nobles on 10 April 2011 at 1:54pm - IP Logged
In late 1984 I'd gone back to Uni as a mature student and was feeling the strain having been out of education for about ten years. We'd booked up to go to Poros with my sister and her family later in the year and on a whim just after my exams, I went into our local travel agents (Callers Pegasus) to see whether there were any bargain holidays. There was a choice of Majorca or Corfu and not having been to either I decided I liked the sound of Corfu. I booked there and then, £79 bed and breakfast for week staying in Perama - Norman wasn't happy that I'd booked without consulting him first! A couple of days later we made another booking so that my 7 year old nephew could come with us.
We travelled with Dan Air on a late night flight and as we took off Michael asked us "how do we know when to get off?" I told him we would get off when the plane stopped and asked why he was asking. He said it was because the front of the plane said "Dan Air, London" - he thought we were flying to London and had to change planes and he was scared in case we fell asleep and missed our stop!
We arrived in Perama absolutely shattered and were shown to our room by a grumpy night attendant. Our room was large, dark and old fashioned and during the night all three of us thought that a plane was going to land on the roof. We thought we would move the next day. However when we woke up after a good nights sleep and opened up the window shutters the whole place looked so different. After making a few enquiries (with the night attendant who it turned out was working about 20 hours a day and was really lovely) about the location of a beach we found a lovely man-made one overooking Mouse Island,
We had a magical holiday, didnt stop laughing the whole time and we didnt want to come home. We went to Poros later in the year and had a great holiday with the family but booked up to go back with them to Corfu the following year and have pretty muched holidayed here ever since, usually with the family. They havent always been able to come with us because of other commitments but when we now say we're booking up they tell us that some of them have to come as we're too old to go on holiday on our own now! Any excuse for booking a holiday I say!
First went to Corfu in July 1984 for a week in Benitses.
There were four of us on a Grecian Holidays package, flying with Orion Airways from East Midlands. It was a great fun week, and we hired a jeep which took us to Paleo. Fell in love with Paleo, and have been going to stay there at least once every year since then. By the way, it was my first foreign holiday as well!!
Message posted by maureenandbrian on 11 April 2011 at 8:51am - IP Logged
Anyone noticed a thread appearing?
Wede done the Spain thing as most people did 70s early 80s...and Greece was becoming "the place" to go so we did.
4 adults 4 young kids and Kavos here we come yeas Kavos back then still 2 parts to the "village" big gap where the bungie jump is/was, great beach as well, gone now just a small strip left ... before the port was built and it dissapeared.
Met the guy who owned the ebach bar in front of our apartments and one day he was busy and I helped him serve a few beers make sandwiches collected glasses and the rest is how they say is history.
He invited us to his village Vitalades for a festival after 3 days as there was a festival there, and off we go 12 people in a 15cwt van no seats on a 3 mile ish journey. Back then there was no taverna on the beach no electric just beers in buckets in ice and cooking lambs for the whole village in the sand over metal rods the whole village was there ... nobody then spoke English but when everyone makes you dance who needs speach.
The following year we went back with the friends who hadnt been the year before and they loved it too so been back every year since built there.
Message posted by StephenO on 19 April 2011 at 10:51pm - IP Logged
Time, dripping gently by and you do not even notice it..I first fell in love with Corfu in 1988, and despite my tours of the world, I have never felt my heart beat as strong as it did in Corfu. What was miraculous was its beauty and elegance, and simple tranquility I felt there. At times I'm not in love with the world, with greed and poverty and anguish and pain, and traffic and chaos, but seemingly in Corfu you could find a moment in time never to be repeated. Often priceless moments, that made you gasp in a bewildered smile. If I could capture those moments with Paula I would pay millions, just to get her back, just to have her in my company again. I'd give 100 million for that time and those simple pleasures, I'd give more to feel the total living I felt for the years I spent with her there.
I revisited my old home today and saw the old tap in the back garden gently dripping as it had dripped for two decades or more. It reminded me that I can't waste any more time not being where I need to be.
Message posted by Ray and Gisela on 19 April 2011 at 11:14pm - IP Logged
Sat in our local club in Basildon, UK having a drink with Ian a close friend of ours who had just bought a cottage in St Steph (east) & he suddenly looking at us with a silly grin & asked us if we fancied taking some furniture over for him. The more we thought about it the more we liked the idea after never being to Corfu before, this is about 5 years ago! Off we went in February & arrived in the middle of the night, parked the van up on the cliff & watched all night a magnificent storm! There and then in the pitch dark I fell in love on the spot. Had breakfast in Kassiopi the following day where Ian suggested & Ian & family arrived later on & sorted his stuff out & we admired his cottage. Tea at the same place with our friends. Following day wandered around and investigated the area then set off back to England. Had a magical 3 days & decided at last I'd found a place I would consider home after moving from county to county throughout my life. One day when I can afford it I 'will come home' forever!!!
Message posted by BruceAndMaria (Born again CTG member) on 20 April 2011 at 1:24pm - IP Logged
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