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Corfu

Located in the Ionian Sea just off the northwest coast of mainland Greece, lies the Greek Island of Corfu. Synonymous with British and European travelers for decades, it's an island of contrast, with a rugged interior and shoreline littered with beautiful coves, bays and a mix of hotels, B&Bs and villas. An eclectic island, with an architectural style defined by Italian, French and British rule.

Corfu is one of Greece's more popular Greek Islands and especially so with the British people, who have taken the island to its heart. Once the vacation destination of the rich and famous, its lush green interior is truly beautiful and the combination of hot dry summers and winter rain, helps sustain the island with an abundance of vegetation and olive trees. Corfu has a colorful history, with occupations from France, Italy and Britain leaving their mark on the architecture; as such Corfu Town (Kerkyra) is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Beautifully preserved, the landmark buildings, monuments and Byzantine Fortress create a stunning skyline across the east coast.

North and south Corfu differ in both landscape and style, the north being the quieter of the two, especially on the north-eastern side, with lots of bays and flourishing fishing villages making the most of the influx of tourists. Quaint tavernas, boutiques and souvenir shops make for an ideal stopover, either by land or boat. Here the coastline lends itself to those wishing to hire a boat and explore the popular villages of Kassiopi, Agios Stephanos, Ipsos and Kalami, the latter now made famous from the BBC series, The Durrells. Just 2km from the furthermost point in the north, is the coastline of Albania, which can be clearly seen day or night; but is particularly beautiful at night, when the dotted lights of Sarandë center light up the sky in the distance.

In comparison, the south of the island has a busier feel, with more resort styled towns hugging the coastline, between strips of attractive pebble and sandy beach. Benitses, 20 minutes south of the airport, has a pretty little marina and village square, with a good choice of tourist shops and restaurants.

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