The magic of Gerald Durrell’s childhood can still be experienced and savoured. It is a privilege for me to be with people when they visit Corfu, to watch their sense of enchantment unfold as the sun, sea and flower-filled olive groves that so beguiled the young Gerry once again weave their spell.Lee Durrell
Discover the real Durrells’ Corfu with Lee Durrell
One of the biggest stars of ITV's adorable Sunday night drama The Durrells is Corfu itself. With its sparkling cobalt-blue sea and beautiful mountainous interior, it is easy to see why the famous naturalist and author Gerald Durrell instantly fell in love with the sun-drenched Greek island when his family moved there in 1935. Fans of the TV series will be delighted to know that Keeley Hawes and the rest of the cast will be back next year: ITV has just announced that a fourth series will soon begin filming.
And what better way to celebrate than by joining our exclusive Corfu trip with the naturalist, author and broadcaster Lee Durrell? During this magical holiday you will visit memorable filming locations from the TV series and many of the places that Lee's late husband Gerald immortalised in his wonderful childhood memoir My Family And Other Animals. Enjoy expertly guided excursions to some of the young Gerry's haunts - including Mouse Island and the Lake of Lilies - and visit the charming home of his literary elder brother, Lawrence. Plus, you will take a boat trip to Corfu's intriguing neighbour, Albania and, back on Corfu, enjoy a lunch at the renowned Taverna O Foros (which has been featured by TV chef Rick Stein).
Your special guest will be Lee Durrell, who will share family stories as she introduces you to the Durrells' favourite spots. Lee says: "The magic of Gerald Durrell's childhood can still be experienced, and it will be a privilege for me to watch as the sun, sea and flower-filled olive groves that so beguiled the young Gerry once again weave their spell."
You will also receive a complimentary copy of My Family and Other Animals upon booking, which Lee Durrell will be happy to sign.
Reasons to book
Meet Lee Durrell
The White House in Kalami
Guided walking tour of Corfu Town
A taste of Albania
Visit sites from the book and TV show
Four- or five-star hotel
Your expert guides
- Return flights from London to Corfu
- Five nights' bed and breakfast accommodation at the five-star Corfu Palace (May departure) or the four-star Cavalieri Hotel (September departure)
- Lunch and dinner on four days
- All excursions and entrance fees
- All overseas transport with English-speaking guides
- The services of a tour manager throughout
- Complimentary copy of My Family And Other Animals, which Lee will be happy to sign
Day1Arrive in CorfuCorfu Town, Greece
On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel for the next five nights - the Corfu Palace Hotel. Enjoy some free time before a welcome cocktail reception with Lee Durrell, followed by a talk by Lee reflecting on the legacy of her late husband Gerald and his lifelong love of this magical island. After the talk, we will head to a local restaurant for dinner.
Day2Mouse IslandMouse Island, GreeceThe boat across to Mouse Island is weather-dependent.
Enjoy a coffee on Corfu Town's renowned arcaded avenue, The Liston, where you will be joined by special guest David Ashcroft, the director of the annual Gerald Durrell Week. Join David for a walking tour of Corfu Old Town, including sites of historical interest and relevance to the Durrell family, before lunch at a local taverna.
This afternoon you'll visit Mouse Island, a tiny isle in the bay south of Corfu Town that featured prominently in Gerald's most notable book, My Family and other Animals. From here, you can see his Chessboard Fields - marshland rich in wildlife - and the location of the original Strawberry Pink Villa.
After a leisurely breakfast, we'll drive along the beautiful east coast of the island to Kalami and the White House, the former home of Lawrence and Nancy Durrell. You will have time to explore the area where Larry and Nancy swam and had picnics, and Lee will give a short talk about the history and links to the Durrell family.
Our next stop is the "Lake of Lillies" (locally known as Lake Antiniotissa), which featured in My Family and Other Animals, for a short reading by Lee Durrell and photo opportunities.
From there, it's a short drive to the Villa Alexina Study Centre, the location for the annual Gerald Durrell Week. Lee will give her second talk, which will focus on filming and writing with Gerald Durrell in the 1980s. There'll also be a presentation by a local expert on the medicinal herbs of Corfu. Afterwards, we'll transfer back to Corfu Town for dinner.
Day4Old PerithiaOld Perithia, Greece
After breakfast and a relaxed start, enjoy a visit to Old Perithia, an ancient deserted village in the north of the island. You'll have the opportunity to explore the haunting streets and purchase local mountain honey before lunch at reputed Taverna Foros.
Afterwards, we'll return to Corfu Town for a chance to explore, relax or shop. Tonight's dinner isn't included - a good opportunity to sample one of the excellent restaurants in Corfu's Old Town.
Today you'll get a taste of another country: enticing Albania. We'll take the short transfer to Corfu Port for a crossing to Saranda on the Albanian coast. From there, we'll head to the Unesco-listed Butrint for a guided tour of this impressive archaeological site, followed by lunch in a traditional restaurant.
We will arrive back at Corfu at around 6.30pm and will have our farewell dinner in the evening.
Day6Depart CorfuCorfu Town, Greece
Enjoy breakfast and free time to make use of the hotel's facilities before your return flight.
Classic beachside hotel with views over the bay, old fortress and mainland
Hailed as a Corfu landmark by locals, Corfu Palace is a classic hotel a mere 400 metres from the main town, facing Garitsa Bay and the mainland. Verdant views stretch to the Old Fortress, which perhaps served as an architectural inspiration for Sakelarios, who built the Corfu Palace Hotel in 1954.
Services include a seawater swimming pool; impressive floral garden; spa, wellness and beauty centre; restaurants; bars including a poolside snack bar; lounge; casino; jeweler's; and even a hairdresser. All rooms feature a marble bathroom and a balcony or terrace with sea view.
Four-star Cavalieri Hotel is located right in the heart of Corfu's Old Town
Cavalieri Hotel is primely located in the Venetial old part of town. Throughout the ages it has served as a meeting point for important historic figures including writers, actors and poets and travellers. Originally a mansion belonging to 17th-century nobleman Count Flamburiari, The Hotel Cavalieri opened its doors as a hotel at the end of the 1960's, soon becoming a leading luxury hotel.
The renowned rooftop restaurant and friendly service give the hotel a relaxed, modern feel despite its fascinating history, and all guest rooms come with modern necessities such as ensuite bathrooms, air conditioning and Wifi.
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