Wild Grecian holidays have their time and place, but let’s face it – sometimes you’re looking for something a bit classier than boozing your break away. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you want a boring, do-nothing holiday either. The perfect middle ground? Cultural festivals! And boy, are you in luck – from internationally-renowned animation festivals to social awareness events that will teach you something new, the little Greek island of Corfu is teeming with some fantastic options.
For an authentic Corfiot experience, I recommend staying in Perama. It’s very close to the main events so you’ll easily be able to get your culture fix, but far enough away that you can leave the crowds behind when the day is done. Plus, you’ll be able to get a taste of what Corfu is like for locals – speaking of taste, the restaurants there aren’t bad either. For festival-goers and foodies, Perama is perfect.
Be There! Corfu Animation
This four-day event is renowned all over the world as one of the best European animation festivals. Fans and artists alike flock here to celebrate and share ideas, entertainment and art. The main attractions include seminars and an extensive range of international and Greek movies and short films.
- Animation festival
- Location: Corfu Town
- Journey Time: 20 minutes by taxi
Culture vultures will love this one. Located in various outdoor locations around the town, this event features everything from concerts and plays to photography exhibitions and dance performances. If you’re lucky, you might even catch well-known Greek musicians playing their music live on stage.
- Cultural festival
- Location: Viros Village (the exact setting varies; it has been known to range from the Rena Vlachopoulou Theatre to the Old Fortress)
- Journey Time: 10 minutes by taxi
This event was created by the Alternative Cultural Workshop, a group of teachers and students who share a vision that how much money you have shouldn’t define you. They are a non-profit organisation who strongly believe in the exchange of knowledge and offer free access to classes on subjects from dance and music to foreign languages and photography.
The festival itself is three days and consists of a selection of events, including live concerts, creative exhibitions, seminars, speeches and discussions on social issues. There is also an exchange bazaar where attendees can take whatever they need and give whatever they can spare, such as books, DVDs, toys and clothes.
- Social awareness festival
- Location: Corfu Town (Spianada Square)
- Journey Time: 20 minutes by taxi
Feed Your Body
Now that you’ve fed your mind with those festivals, you’ll want to feed your body. Most of the restaurants in Perama feature breathtaking views of the Ionian Sea, thanks to the town’s enviable hillside location. Although international options are available, I recommend trying local delicacies that originated on the island – especially the seafood which is often the catch of the day. Favourites include whitebait, deep-fried squid or, if you’re looking for something a little less fishy, pastitsada (the Corfiot version of lasagne).
Delish Dish: Bourdetto, scorpion fish cooked in a spicy tomato sauce, is perhaps the most famous food in the area… and highly recommended in my book.
Try a Tipple
If you’re looking for nightlife that’s low-key enough to be thoroughly relaxing without losing any of the quality, Perama is the go-to spot. The main road is home to a nice selection of tavernas and bars, most with outdoor terraces – the perfect place for a post-dinner or post-festival drink. Sit outside as you sip some of the local wines – I recommend trying a Moschato (a sweet white), Fraoula (a fruity red) or Retsina.
Where to Stay
Aegli Hotel – This is a lovely accommodation choice for festival-goers, as Corfu Town is only seven kilometres away. There are many historical attractions (such as the Medieval Monasteries of Vlacherna) within walking distance of the Aegli Hotel, perfect for days when you’re feeling particularly culturally-inclined. The rooms are tastefully decorated with wooden furnishings and the views of the Ionian from the balcony is absolutely stunning. Guests can also take advantage of the hotel’s private beach, lush garden and dining facilities – there is a breakfast buffet and an onsite snack bar serving nibbles and drinks throughout the day.
How to Get There
It’s very easy to get to Perama from the UK. Flights take about three hours and land at Corfu International Airport (CFU). Once you land, the journey from Corfu Airport to Perama is only 23 minutes.
I recommend using Shuttle Direct’s airport transfer services to get you to your accommodation. I always do when I travel and I find it’s a lot simpler than trying to navigate your way through a foreign country… not to mention trying to get the hang of driving on the right (or should I say wrong) side of the road. All in all, Shuttle simplifies things. Pre-book before you leave and a driver will be waiting to take you to your home from home when you land.
- UK to CFU Flight Time: 3 hours
- CFU to Perama Distance: 11 kilometres
- Shuttle Direct Transfer Time: 23 minutes
About Shuttle Direct
Here at Shuttle Direct we pride ourselves on being one of the best airport transfer companies in all of Europe and North Africa. We offer both private and shared shuttles – just let us know which one works best for you and we’ll sort it out. Our passion is getting you where you need to go quickly and efficiently. Book with us and we’ll simplify your next holiday.