DSC - About Corfu

The temperate island of Corfu is the frontier of the Greek world and a crossroads of Mediterranean culture and politics. For five formative years (1935-39), Lawrence Durrell and Gerald Durrell lived here, calling it 'paradise' and 'home.'

With its massive twin Venetian fortresses Temujin , stately Esplanade, Parisian Rue de Rivoli, its scores of churches, its mediaeval streets and imposing Venetian architecture, Corfu Town is the focus of an island of villages, where traditional local customs continue to thrive against a backdrop of mountains, olive groves, and the blueness of the Ionian Sea. Above all, Corfu has an atmosphere that personifies Lawrence Durrell's evocative statement: Greece offers you the discovery of yourself.

The classroom and the community both offer valuable experiences, and the DSC encourages all students to explore the landscape, sites, and history of Corfu. Less formal excursions include walking tours of the city, focussing on its colonial architecture and cultural sites. Trips to Kalami, Paleocastritsa, and other locations on the island form an integral part fo the DSC programme. The museums of Corfu Town are rich in materials, ranging from Corfiot antiquities, Byzantine artworks, and Indian and Asian artifacts.


Old Town Corfu | Weather | Eating |

Corfu Town and Sites on Corfu

Modern Corfu sits near the border of Greece and Albania, and it is easily connected to both the Greek and Italian mainlands by ferry. Kerkira (Corfu) is also known as the 'garden isle,' due to its flower-filled garden and natural beauty. celebrity birthdays

Corfu's main city is Corfu Town (Kerkira as well) and sits on the East coast of the island, facing toward Greece and Albania.

Other sites include Paleocastritsa on the West coast of the island and the nearby Angelokastro (13th century Byzantine fortress). The Achilleon mansion lies south of Corfu Town near Perama and boasts lovely gardens and the Dying Achilles.

Corfu Town, Town Hall Square

The Dying Achilles


Corfu Old Town, with a population of around 30,000, is magical, and a wonderful place for writing inspiration!

It is built on a little promontory, so it is bordered on three sides by the sea, and dominated by two forts - the 'Old' Fort, which dates back 1500 years but whose extant buildings date from the 16th century, and the 'New' Fort, with its late 16th buildings added to by the British and the French.

The Old Town itself, though, has an entirely Venetian feel, and sometimes reminds me of wandering around a Venice where the canals have been removed, and the sidewalks then pushed together - for there are lots of wonderful winding little streets to explore, and the architecture is largely renaissance or early modern - so it's a bit like walking back into a Romeo and Juliet era.

The oldest part of the town (where the Durrell School is situated) is full of little shops and stalls, catering to both locals and tourists - Corfu silver is quite famous and quite distinctive, and not that expensive, and is well worth looking at for presents and souvenirs.


The hotel is on the edge of the oldest part of town, and looks out on the broad esplanade, with its early 19th century buildings, walks, and parks, all bordering the sea front. This area, being a little more open than the old crooked Venetian streets behind it, is the social hub of Corfu for the local population - you'll see families gathering here in the evening, to eat out or have drink, or just to promenade up and down - a great atmosphere, and those at the Durrell School usually end up here for a pre-supper drink!

Corfu window

You might even catch a cricket game on the esplanade on weekends, as this is the only place where cricket is regularly played in Greece, reflecting the legacy of the British occupation of the island. 

 back to top      


The weather in Corfu in the summer months is gorgeous, but those planning groups might  consider May June - the best of Corfu weather - rand bear in mind that July and August are very hot.

Daytime temperatures are in the region of:
May: 19oC (68oF)
June: 24oC (78oF)
July: 27oC (84oF)
August: 29oC (88oF)

Night time temperatures are around 15oC - 20oC (60oF - 70oF), which is wonderful for dining outside in the evening (as everyone in Corfu does), but means that bedrooms are hot if there isn't air conditioning (not a problem for those who are staying in the Cavalieri or the Konstantinopolis).

Therefore you just need clothing for hot weather. Bring swimming things if you like swimming - the sea temperature, espeically from June onwards, is just right.

A good sunhat is also strongly advised, as are good strong walking sandals, both for walking around Corfu town and for the field trips, and a spare pair of sun glasses.

As with any Mediterranean country mosquitoes can be a problem in the summer, and those allergic to or particularly sensitive to mosquito bites should consider asking their doctor about appropriate anti-allergy medication.


You might, if you are lucky, get one of the wonderful thunderstorms that occasionally come over the town, dumping lots of water in a very short time, and making the air feel marvellous!



back to top      


Corfuans (Corfiots to the locals) love eating out, so there are many good and inexpensive restaurants. Eating out means eating out, too, as the very warm temperatures, and the lack of any motor traffic, means that you can sit outside for lunch and supper, and most Corfiots do. Supper is very much a social occasion, as well as a gastronomical one.

As the sun sets around 8:50 pm (it rises at around 6:15 in July), and as European evening meal times are much later than North American - if not British - equivalents, that usually means your supper lasts well into the night, which, in the well-lit Old Town, adds a magic of its own.

Food styles are primarily Greek, especially in the middle price range, and concentrate in particular on salads, fish, and lamb dishes, though the variety is considerable. The wine is plentiful and cheap (and, in the Greek style, slightly resinous), and you should be able to eat and drink very well for $35 a day. The Durrell School has a number of favourite affordable restaurants in the Old Town which we would enjoy introducing you to. Our experience is that visitors are usually surprised at how well (and how much!) they can eat on a simple budget in Corfu. The variety of most menus means that vegetarians and those with allergies usually have a wide choice.

There are also some very fine and expensive restaurants for those who wish to experience very high quality cuisine; again, the Durrell School can provide you with information on where to find them, and what their specialties are.


eating out

If you prefer to buy your own food, there are plenty of stores in the Old Town to do so, with a lot of fresh local produce usually available. Prices are broadly compatible with those in a British or North American supermarket.

All other supplies (such as toiletries) are similarly easily available, at prices equivalent to a British or North American supermarkets.

back to top      


contact: [email protected]

Site designed and maintained by: James Gifford
© Durrell School of Corfu