I have made peace with the fact that holidaying with young children, our accommodation options are limited to crowded hotels with kids clubs. However, I still yearn for some quiet, extra nature, some extra idyllic setting with no road or car noise. Unfortunately, Marbella Corfu Hotel has been a disappointment from the get go.
The blend dinner and breakfast are helping the situation either. The hotel's beach is across the road. Even though it is possible to reach it without having to go on the actual road, i completely despise hearing the cars from the so-called beach. It is a deck filled with artificial sand. The part, which is not on a deck is completely pebbled. None of this is ideal for families with young children.
Corfu itself is an island tremendous potential. It boasts beautiful waters, lush and rich greenery, majestic hills, scenic routes. However, and I note this with great regret, it is over built. This removes all the charm from this gem and doesn’t place the island in the top 3 of Greek islands for me.
On the other, for ones like us who cannot simply settle for beach holidays, the island provides excellent options such as the UNESCO World Heritage site of the historical centre of Corfu. It is an interesting mixture of Venetian, British and Greek architecture and lifestyle. There even is a cricket ground!
The birthplace of Prince Philip, Mon Repas is a wonderful place to visit for its location and park to really grasp what Corfu used to be like and what it could further have been (otherwise I couldn't care less about where the Prince was born).
Trailing the locations where the locally famous British family (and well-known by literary enthousiasts) have been and where the TV shows portraying the family have been filmed helped us discover the island better and in all honesty, the Daffodil Villa and the abandoned village of Danilia (filming locations) have been some of the most exciting highlights of the island. Especially, the Daffodil Villa, which was built in an impressive, beautifully landscaped estate by a Venetian merchant is a true beauty.
Best beaches of the island are located on the western coast. It is best avoid the east altogether. The drive onto Ag. Gordios Beach goes through the impressive edifice built by Austrian Empress Sisi in Achilleon and the lovely village of Benitsas. The western coast is quite dramatic with its high rocky formations.
The Achilleon Palace is absolutely exquisite in every sense. It is a must visit, if you have already made your way to the island. Moreover, the Achilleon Village surrounding the palace is one of the most charming villages I have ever come across in Greece.
I have a feeling that this island is best experienced during off season when the crowds have left.