7 nights starting from
Superb five-star hotel in glorious setting
Guided walk of the wonderfully atmospheric and historic streets of Corfu town
Guided tour to the famous Achillion Palace
A full day trip, by boat, to Albania to visit the exceptional historic UNESCO World Heritage site of Butrint
Optional day trip to the Greek mainland visiting the picturesque River Acheron, reputedly the gateway to the underworld, and pretty seaside Parga
Magnificent, verdant Corfu was Homer’s ‘beautiful and rich land’. Mountains dominate the northern half where the coastlines can be steep and dramatic and the island’s interior a rolling expanse of peaceful countryside. Stately cypresses, used for masts by the Venetians, rise from shimmering olive groves, whilst in the south the island flattens and narrows. This wonderful natural scenery is enriched by the islands long heritage that has been shaped by Byzantine, Roman and Venetian influences and, later, by both the French and the British. In the early days of modern Greece Corfu was a seat of European learning. While the rest of the nation struggled simply to get by, the Corfiots established cultural institutions such as libraries and centres of learning, and many major Greek figures like Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first head of independent Greece, hailed from Corfu. To this day, Corfiots remain proud of their intellectual and artistic roots. This legacy is visible in its fine museums and its rich cultural life, which ensure a friendly, cosmopolitan atmosphere in which the visitor is always made to feel at home.
Corfu's position, just across the water from Albania, provides the opportunity to include a day trip to Albania, with a visit to one of Albania's UNESCO World Heritage sites, the Greek Roman city of Butrint.
|12 - October - 2020||£ 1195.00||Travel Info Book Now||booking-journey/#/start/COR/12 October 2020/|
Departing: 12th October 2020 at 11:15
Returning: 19th October 2020 at 17:35
Day 1: Fly from London Heathrow to Corfu (some regional flight options may be available. These are on request, please enquire for more details.) On arrival transfer to the very comfortable five-star Kontokali Bay Spa Hotel for a seven-night stay. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 2: Guided tour of Kanoni and Corfu Town with the afternoon free for you to explore further
We start our tour by visiting the area of Kanoni, visiting the incredibly picturesque Vlacherna monastery, probably one of the most photographed spots in Corfu. After a break for a coffee, we continue and visit the wonderful ‘old town’ and capital of the island, Corfu Town, with a local guide. A fascinating and attractive town that owes its character to its vast history and the influence of the various occupiers of the island who left a beautiful architectural legacy. Magnificent buildings line the narrow streets that are perfect for strolling and exploring but also for lingering and enjoying one of the towns many cafes or restaurants. The afternoon will be free leaving you time to explore further and perhaps for visiting one of the many wonderful museums such as the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Asian Art, the Byzantine Museum or the Municipal Art Gallery.
Day 3: A taste of Albania - Butrint.
We depart from the port of Corfu and journey by boat to Agia Saranda in Albania and then join a bus that takes us through picturesque villages to the site of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where we will be guided by a local guide. Lunch (included) will be arranged in a local restaurant and there will be free time in the town of Sarande before catching the ferry back to Corfu in the late afternoon.
Day 4: Today is a free day to enjoy at leisure
Day 5: Exploring Corfu
After a long day yesterday our tour today will be a relaxed scenic day seeing a bit more of Corfu. We shall visit the charming village of Kassiopi on Corfu’s north-east coast, the abandoned village of Perithia and the monastery of Pantokrator, situated on Mount Pantokrator, the highest point of the island (906m). The monastery was built in the 14th century but destroyed in 1537, the present church dates from the 17th Century and the outer cells the 19th Century. ‘Old Perithia’ is a completely abandoned village that has been designated an ‘historic, heritage village’. There will be time to explore the village and enjoy lunch in one of the handful of tavernas located here. Our final visit today is the pretty village of Kassiopi with its narrow-cobbled streets overlooked by the ruins of an ancient castle. Dinner at the hotel.
Day 6: Relax and enjoy the facilities of the hotel or join an optional tour to the Greek mainland visiting the Acheron River & Parga
We depart this morning by ferry to the mainland town of Igoumenitsa. On arrival there we drive to the picturesque resort town of Parga, which sits next to the sea on the west coast. There will be free time to wander the town’s pretty harbour front, swim, if you wish, walk to the remains of a Venetian castle that watches over the town or just relax in one of the many seaside cafes. Later we will re-join our coach for the 30-minute drive to the beautiful Gliki village. This little village sits next to the picturesque Acheron River, known as the mystical river Styx in Greek mythology and believed to lead to the entrance of the underworld and the Kingdom of Hades. According to tradition, Zeus was devastated when the Titans drunk from the water and so he condemned the river to remain eternally under the earth. In this beautiful surrounding with rich vegetation and crystalline waters there will be a short 20-minute walk and exploration along the banks. In some parts of the walk you will wade into the water up to knee level. Returning back to the starting point, there will be time for refreshments in one of the river side tavernas before heading back to Igoumenitsa to catch the ferry to Corfu. (Minimum numbers required for this tour to operate). Dinner at the hotel.
Day 7: Achillion Palace, Paleokastritsa and Makrades
The morning will be spent at the Achillion Palace, built by the Empress Elisabeth “Sissy” of Austria in 1891, and later owned by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. We will visit the museum, as well as its beautiful gardens, which have spectacular views. The palace was designed with the mythical hero Achilles as its central theme. Corfu was Elizabeth's favourite vacation place and she built the palace because she admired Greece, its language and culture. We then continue north to the beautiful village of Paleokastritsa, described as the jewel of Corfu; this Arcadian, red-roofed town never fails to enchant. We will visit the Byzantine Monastery of the Virgin and its gardens, which have spectacular views over Paleokastritsas’ beautiful green and blue bays. Our final visit is Makrades, which enjoys spectacular views but also offers an array of shops for any last-minute shopping! Dinner at the hotel.
Day 8: Transfer to Corfu Airport for the return flight to London Heathrow.
NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 30 passengers.
Kontokali Bay Resort Hotel
The five-star Kontokali Bay Spa Hotel, located on the lush Kontokali Peninsula, offers comfortable rooms and a magnificent setting. The included rooms in the tour are all bay view rooms, and all have private bathroom facilities, safe, hairdryer, TV, free wi-fi, air-conditioning, telephone, minibar and tea/coffee making facilities. Sea view rooms are available at a small supplement.
Kontokali Bay Hotel Website
Review by Anonymous who travelled 12-October-2019
Review by Anonymous who travelled 12-October-2019
Angela was great as a tour manager and was very perceptive when it came to individual needs. She contributed greatly to the smooth running of the holiday. Mary, the local guide we had on 2 full days, was wonderful and did a superb job in all respects. The local guide at Butrint also did a very good job and was very clear, audible and informative about the site and the country. We chose the holiday partly because of the visit to Butrint and although it was a long day it was worth it. We were also lucky to have brilliant weather, which did contribute to a most enjoyable week.
Review by Walker who travelled 12-October-2019
Local guides were varied, one called mary was excellent, another called something like Veva was unserious and frivolous and didn't inform. The guide in Albania was excellent. The hotel was comfortable and staff was nice but it was too far from town and too "resorty". We prefer the more quirky hotels we have had with you on other tours. The design was excellent but not utilitarian - the floors in the shower were very slippery when wet and there were no grab rails and the safe was so low you had to get down on your knees to use it.
Review by Rose who travelled 12-October-2019
The tour ticked all the boxes, though I skipped Parga as I am a bad sailor. I also needed more time in Corfu town. I took the local bus to Mon Repos palace where Prince Phillip was born. In town I visited its 2017 renovated archeological museum and discovered sensational icons in a 15C church museum. Its access of 50 steps up and down again, without handrail, would sadly be unacceptable to a group. I found the hotel outstanding: I understand from Angela, our excellent tour leader, that it was the first time. The 20 seater bus, driven by Nico, was acceptable unless you were relegated to the back seat. Its slightly coloured windows did not obscure the view, as suggested by a reviewer in 2018. The different guides we had were all good and the excursion to Butrint came off brilliantly.
Review by Sharp who travelled 12-October-2019
A very enjoyable trip. Re the brochure comment, it would be useful to know that you need insect repellent in Butrint; some people were badly bitten. Otherwise all very good.
Review by Anonymous who travelled 12-October-2019
It was noticeable that other members on the tour had both luggage labels and a blue tour documentation wallet which were not provided for my wife and myself.
Review by Bridge who travelled 07-October-2018
Review by London who travelled 07-October-2018
Mary ,our local guide was fantastic.Having always lived on the island she was able to tell us so much. The drivers we had were good but the small bus had such dark tinted windows it was a bit like going around in a hearse! Space was also very limited and it was much better on the larger bus we had to change to when the small one developed a problem. The hotel was excellent,very comfortable with attractive grounds. The buffet had a wide range of items from which to choose and vegetarians were well catered for. The hotel staff were friendly and helpful. The excursions were interesting and I especially enjoyed the trip to mainland Greece. Although the holiday was well organised and great fun it is unfortunate that Corfu has a great problem with rubbish. Everywhere we went ,we encountered piles of rubbish bags, and this did spoil the holiday as it really was unpleasant. I wouldn't go back just because of this .
Review by Anonymous who travelled 07-October-2018
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