30 November 2013

Corfu. Is the North West the new North East?

According to our local informants the north west is on the up and up! New design-oriented bars and tavernas are opening up in Arillas and the neighbouring villages and resorts, and up-market clientele are booking villas overlooking the sunset for their Corfu holidays. Land prices have increased as more and more buyers are tempted by the sandy beaches and more laid-back style of the west coast north of Agios Georgios. We have been looking around to find new property to show to clients arriving shortly in Corfu and today we discovered that there are plenty of places to stop for coffee and cakes, and a wide selection of supermarkets within an easy drive of Arillas, Agios Stefanos and the neighbouring villages. We have also met developers in search of land to buy in order to increase the villa stock in this up and coming part of the island,
The picture shows Villa Ionia, located between Arillas and Afionas,  shortly to be added to our websites.

29 November 2013

This makes it all worthwhile!

We have been moaning about the rain for the last couple of weeks (funny how we have already forgotten the wonderful late October/early November days) but today everything has turned around yet again. Wonderful sunshine, clear blue sky - everything looks so much nicer, and the fishing boats unloading, with the sea and the mountains in the background make one of those iconic Corfu pictures, complete with the first winter snow on the mountain peaks on the Greek mainland. These days always help to remind me of why I'm here!

25 November 2013

The Sunny South

We have been getting more enquiries than ever before about property in the south of Corfu. As Diana, our resident "southerner", will tell you, there are many advantages to the gentler, quieter south of the island. One of them is that the narrowing shape of Corfu makes it really easy to pop from one coast to the other in search of that ideal beach, or favourite taverna (fish is especially good).  Lefkimmi - a lovely unspoiled mini-town - is worth exploring, and the recent sightings of pink flamingos on the salt flats has also increased awareness of this normally less popular part of Corfu.

If you are tempted, take a look at this stone villa with pool. Close to the beach, peace and quiet guaranteed, and it can certainly give the better known villas in the north east a run for their money.


21 November 2013

Bureaucracy is alive and well in Greece

The other day I bought some paint and as usual when I got it home my other half told me it was the wrong paint. So I took it back, where the shop happily changed it for me. However, the replacement paint was 6 euros cheaper than the original. I was going to look for something to take up the 6 euros but the cashier insisted on giving me the refund. Only problem was, it took ten minutes and the issue of five separate sheets of A4 paper, and two signatures from me, in order for him to hand over the cash. Lots of things are changing here, but the endless paper trail is definitely nt one of them - the computer era just seems to mean that more paper can be churned out!


This is an interesting little article

For the last couple of years easyJet flights to Corfu in early and late season have not been the bargains that they used to be. Part of the reason for this seemed to be that they had already sold a chunk of seats to UK tour operators and therefore did not have as many to sell, so could hold to higher prices. Perhaps this will make a small difference?

EasyJet cools on deal with Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook has not made clear whether it will be reducing its capacity next summer or sourcing flights from elsewhere after easyJet revealed that it would not be flying as many of the tour operators customers in 2014.

EasyJet managing director Carolyn McCall announced in the airline's results presentation on Tuesday that it would continue its deal with Thomas Cook next year, but not on the same scale.

An easyJet spokeswoman said this was because blocking seats for external companies created too much complexity for an airline that likes to keep its business simply, and also because summer is one of the busiest times for easyJet so blocking of seats "needs to be at the right price".

This year easyJet is believed to have provided 3% of Thomas Cook's flights, or roughly 80,000 seats.

Thomas Cook issued a statement saying: "As far as Thomas Cook is concerned, the agreement is ongoing and we look forward to continuing our close collaboration with easyJet."


16 November 2013

Sunset last night


After a day of storms, and another of mixed rain and sunshine, the combination of disappearing cloud and setting sun was truly magical last night. 

Today we were treated to another brilliantly bright and sunshiny day.

13 November 2013

Still with us

We all thought the flamingos would have moved on by now, but here they are (even more I think) sitting comfortably on Lake Korission, in the south-west.  The owner of Alonaki Bay Taverna told us that towards the end of the season his restaurant was busy every day with people coming from all parts of Corfu to see the flamingos.

6 November 2013

Some people catch on really slowly

The Greek Tourism minister has just announced that the Tourist Board will be promoting Greece as a year round destination, as if this is a great innovation. Has anybody not told her that we have been trying to do this for years? 
We who live and work here know that as a short break destination, with flights and properly structured prices, Corfu has so much to offer. Up until today we could still be described as a late season sun destination (although of course we all know it can't be guaranteed) but virtually all year, whatever the weather, Corfu can offer a wonderful break for people who like to walk, cycle, wander around Corfu Town and its villages, and enjoy local food and hospitality.
After all, no one says they won't take a winter break anywhere in the UK, or the rest of northern Europe, because the weather might not be nice!

5 November 2013

Is this winter at last?

After weeks of the most brilliant sunshine and warm temperatures - with thick fog either in the valleys (see photo) or on the mountaintops, we have finally had some rain. A storm woke us in the middle of the night, causing us to crawl bleary-eyed from bed to unplug the computers, phones, and TV aerial. It's still really warm, though and I cannot remember ever lasting through to November without needing a duvet on the bed.  Sunshine is forecast for the rest of the week, though, and news of low temperatures in Britain makes us feel very lucky to be in Corfu in November!