Wednesday, July 05, 2006


Nordic Walking Holidays - Nordic Walk The Corfu Trail (Greece)

The most northerly of Greek Islands ~ Kerkyra known in English as Corfu, is situated in the Ionian Sea, lying just off the coast of Albania and mainland Greece. It is about 40 miles long and about 20 miles wide at it broadest point and it’s capital is Corfu Town.

Visit Corfu and you will see dramatic mountains and sweeping hillsides covered by silvery olive trees from which majestic cypress trees stand up proud. There are flashes of colour at every roadside. The countryside is strewn with wildflowers and beautiful aromas ignite the air.

In summer, rambling bougainvillaea, geraniums and plumbago cloak village houses and town balconies and in autumn when grapes, nuts and orchards ripen, the island becomes a shimmering sea of purple and gold.

The countryside gives way to stunning coastlines, from fine sandy beaches to white pebble bays and rocky coves. Odysseus the legendary Greek hero (known to the Romans as Ulysses) was said to have been shipwrecked at 'Ermones Bay' on the islands western coast.

Corfu was once home to world famous author and naturalist Gerald Durrell and was the setting for Durrell’s books – My Family and Other Animals: Birds Beasts and Relatives and The Garden of the Gods.
“My childhood in Corfu shaped my life. If I had the craft of Merlin, I would give every child the gift of my childhood.” ~ Gerald Durrell

Prince Philip of Greece who renounced his royal title to marry Princess Elizabeth (now Queen of England), was born at ‘Mon Repos’, the island summer residence of the Greek Royal family.

Ok – Enough of the Geography and History lesson…

It was on my most recent visit to Corfu that I had the pleasure of meeting Hilary Paipeti. Hilary is the editor of 'The Corfiot' - Corfu's English Language Monthly Magazine. As a Nordic Walker, I was particularly keen to meet Hilary as she is also the originator of the Corfu Trail and the author of the book 'The Companion Guide to the Corfu Trail'.
The Corfu Trail winds it's way from the South to the North of the Island, taking in mountains and olive groves, rough footpaths, cobbled mule paths, dirt and gravel tracks, minor roads, beaches and of course sensational view points and places of historical interest.

The Trail presents the Nordic Walker the opportunity to experience the ‘Real Corfu – The Jewel in the Crown of the Ionian Sea' and my favorite place on Earth! The trail is way marked by small yellow signs with the mark CT on them. Between signs there are yellow paint marks and arrows to confirm you are ‘on track’, although these are kept to a minimum to avoid interfering with the natural environment.

The up-keep of the trail is organized by a team of local volunteers. I think a nice touch is that ‘The Corfu Trail Foundation’ (a non-profit organization) asks all users for a donation of just 3 Euros to go towards the upkeep of the trail.

Although I have yet to find the time to walk the whole trail, I have given my trustee Nordic Walking poles a run out (or should I say walk out) on several sections. However, next year I have promised myself to take a fortnight out to walk the whole trail…and really get to experience the full beauty of this Ionian paradise.

Why not join me and walk the Corfu Trail in 2007? ....If there is enough interest, Nordic Walking News will co-ordinate a holiday group ?

If the idea appeals to you – Let me know by emailing: . A Holiday Tour Operator will make all the necessary arrangements, which will include appointing a travel agent in Corfu to look after transportation and accommodation requirements on the island. For those who couldn't or who wouldn't want to walk the whole trail (222km / 138 miles), perhaps we could have the option of a one week package to walk half the trail?

Bearing in mind that Nordic Walking News has subscribers in over 40 countries / territories around the world – This holiday would be open to everyone no matter where in the world they live! I should point out that the Island is very accessible, although even if there is not a direct flights to the island from your country, if you fly to Athens (the Greek Capital) you can take a short connecting flight to the island from there.

So remember... If the idea of joining a group of Nordic Walkers to Nordic Walk the Corfu Trail in 2007 interests you in principle, let me know by emailing: . I will put you on my list and send you further information in due course (don't worry - you won't be obligated in any way by joining the list!)

Facts about The Corfu Trail

Length = 222 km (138 miles)
Highest Point = 900 meters
Lowest Point = Sea Level
Time = 10 – 12 days to Nordic Walk the whole trail
Best Months = February – mid June & mid-September – November

For further details of the Corfu Trail visit:

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