In Search of Gerald Durrell’s Corfu - Salco Holidays - Low Cost Holidays to Corfu

In Search of Gerald Durrell’s Corfu

The new ITV adaptation of Durrells ‘My Family and Other Animals’ has enjoyed instant success; it relates to a Corfu during the period between 1935 and 1939. Having had the opportunity of being involved in the production of the series on location on Corfu it reinforced two things: that Corfu is a truly diverse and beautiful island and that so much of it utterly timeless.
The things that caught the imagination of Gerald Durrell as a child stayed with him and his passion for the natural world can be said to have been triggered by the wonders he witnessed on the island of Corfu. 

ITV The Durrells House Kontokali Corfu - Salco HolidaysITV Durrells House Corfu - Salco Holidays view

“Each day had a tranquillity a timelessness about it so that you wished it would never end. But then the dark skin of the night would peel off and there would be a fresh day waiting for us glossy and colourful as a child's transfer and with the same tinge of unreality.” 

Lee Durrell, in a recent article in the Radio Times says that the unspoilt island of Durrell’s childhood can still be found today; the filming locations below are indeed testimony to this.

Those of you who have visited the north east coast of Corfu will know the about its rugged coast line and the gorse-covered hills which become an explosion of brilliant yellow in the springtime. In her interview with the Radio Times Lee Durrell shares her hopes for a second series that will be filmed in the Corfu spring time, “…because I’ve never seen wildflowers as beautiful.”  

ITV Durrells House Corfu - Salco Holidays view

“The owls appeared now, drifting from tree to tree as silently as flakes of soot, hooting in astonishment as the moon rose higher and higher, turning to pink, then gold, and finally riding in a nest of stars, like a silver bubble.” 

ITV Durrells House Corfu - Salco Holidays view

 

 

Some of the Filming locations in Corfu:

Agios Markos

St Markos Corfu

A tiny village overlooking Ipsos. It has a long history as it was one of the earliest Byzantine settlements. The main street features the traditional architecture and colours of the island; fading yellows and pinks, shutters, narrow lanes. Looking out towards the Ionnian red tiled roofs shyly peak out from amid the olive trees and verdant fauna of the island.  If you arrive there on a quiet day at siesta time there is no reason why you should think you are anywhere else Durrell’s Corfu.

“My childhood in Corfu shaped my life. If I had the craft of Merlin, I would give every child the gift of my childhood.” 

Agios Arsenios Chapel – Lefkimi

“So I went instead and tasted Taki's new white wine. Spiridion! What a wine...like the blood of a dragon and smooth as a fish...” 

The Old Fortress Canal

Corfu Old Fort

The Old Fortress was part of the Byzantine fortifications of the island. When the Venetians colonised the island these fortifications were reinforced and the Venetian military engineers Savorgnan and Martinengo were commissioned for the task. The Old Fort was almost reconstructed over a span of 10 years from 1545 and is considered a masterpiece of engineering. Included in these plans was the moat to separate the citadel from the town. The connecting drawbridge has been replaced by a permanent one. Today the Old Fort houses some municipal offices and the National Library which uses the architectural features of the old stone walls and arches to make a very impressive and inspiring reading space.

“Gradually the magic of the island settled over us as gently and clingingly as pollen.” 

Giannades

The original village was much closer to the coast but because of its relative wealth it was a focus point on pirate maps and so in the 16th Century the villagers relocated inland which is the site of the present Giannades. Some of the buildings date back to this time. The charm of the place comes partly from its ancient derelict buildings which are as much a part of the community as any of the others. It is almost as if the ghosts of the past still live silently in these places going about their daily chores. With such ambience it is a perfect location for filming.

“What fools we are, eh? What fools, sitting here in the sun, singing. And of love, too! I am too old for it and you are too young, and yet we waste our time singing about it. 
Ah, well, let's have a glass of wine, eh?” 

Halikounas

 

Temploni

The village lies in the very centre of the island between the west and east coasts. Near the plane and meadow land of Ropa, it is considered an ideal are for hiking and cycling.

Cape Drastis

 

"The new villa was enormous, a tall, square Venetian mansion, with faded daffodil-yellow walls, green shutters, and a fox-red roof. It stood on a hill overlooking the sea, surrounded by unkempt olive groves and silent orchards of lemon and orange trees" .

 

Mon Repos - Prince Phillip's Birthplace (and the dutchess' house)

 

Alex Tsirimiagos 

 
View all articles
ACCEPT COOKIESTo give you the best possible experience, this site uses cookies. Using this site means you agree to our use of cookies. We have published a cookies policy, which you should read to find out more about the cookies we use. View cookies policy.