The Island of Corfu is a temperate frontier of the Greek world, and a crossroads of Mediterranean culture. Corfu is generally referred to by the Greeks as “the emerald jewel of the Ionian Islands.” This is partially due to an abundance of artesian wells and generous rainfall in early Spring.
Corfiots have a long history of hospitality towards foreign residents, and visitors, typified in Gerald’s My Family and Other Animals.
Accommodation will be in houses in the village – ranging from simple rooms in traditional village houses to luxury villas on the outskirts. Activities will be centred around the Venetian villa in the traditional Corfiot village of Agios Illias, Perithia.
The week will include guided walks, informative talks and excursions to places of interest. A moth trap will be set up most evenings, for investigation the following morning.
We are offering a week based in the North of the Island, where participants will be able to experience aspects of the life Gerald led here, as described in his Corfu Trilogy. The magic of fire flies, the deafening chorus of the frogs, the nightly calling of the scope owls, acres of olive groves with glittering turquoise waters and breathtaking views reaching out over the sea to the distant mountains of Albania.
This is a week in which to discover, under the guidance of experts in the field with comprehensive local knowledge, how you can safely approach and identify species in their natural habitat.
A sample programme
Day 1 Welcome BBQ at the study centre Villa Alexina, which will introduce you to your team and what to expect from the week.
Day 2 Exploring the Shore Line of Ayios Spiridon Bay, the location referred to as “Beach of the White Lilies” in Gerald’s My Family and Other Animals.
Day 3 Experience the Corfu Gerald inhabited – explore the flora and fauna in the woodland, waterfall and meadows.
Day 4 Visit to Corfu Town, follow the trail of Gerald and his family, visit favourite haunts and the renamed Durrell Gardens. Also a chance to visit local conservation projects, such as the project to save the endangered Skyros Horses.
Day 5 Trip to Old Perithia to include tour of ancient village
and lunch at taverna serving authentic local peasant dishes
Day 6 Walk along a coastal footpath to explore flora and fauna and pond dipping at natural lake
Day 7 This day involves exploration of the caves and unspoiled habitat, north of the village of Perithia, which host a wide and beautiful variety of reptiles and amphibians.
David Bellamy will focus on the plant life of the area and give instruction in their origins and properties. David Ashcroft will give you information on the landscape and the history and traditions of the area.
It is imperative that you bring sturdy footwear and a light knapsack with shower proof clothing, just in case. A list of essential items to bring with you is available. Due to remote location, this day you will require a packed lunch and refreshments.