The Greek destination of Corfu isn’t known as the Emerald Island for nothing, with this enchanting spot considered to be the greenest of all of Greece’s islands. One of the most staggering facts about Corfu is that it is home to more than three million olive trees.
What is perhaps even more astounding is that some of these are more than 400 years old – imagine the history and stories they could tell you if they could only talk!
Corfiot olive oil is said to be some of the richest and tastiest available, but you’ll have to look hard if you want to find any to take home as a souvenir. The harvesting method used in Corfu, which involves large nets being stretched out to catch the olives as they fall, means that both good and bad olives are collected. As the island doesn’t have extensive refining and processing plants, much of the harvest is shipped off to Italy where it’s turned into olive oil.
There are a couple of estates that produce and bottle their own Corfiot olive oil and it’s well worth seeking them out if you’re a keen gastronome who wants to taste the difference for yourself.
If you’re on a cruise that stops in Corfu, take the opportunity to wander among one of its olive groves. You’ll be amazed by the size of the trees – they are particularly large on this island, which is one of the reasons why the majority of the olives aren’t handpicked.
To see the olive harvest in full flow, visit Corfu during the winter – between December and April – when the fruits begin to drop from the trees and are collected. If you travel in May, meanwhile, you’ll see the olive trees in full bloom – a truly beautiful sight.
So, the olive industry on Corfu makes it the perfect stop for foodies on a cruise around the Med, with olive oil one of the staples of the region’s cuisine. Find out more about the sorts of delicacies you can try during a trip in the area by reading our cruise reviews.
Corfu is a classic holiday destination that combines endless sun, sea and sand. The island is one of the largest and most popular of the Greek isles. Alongside the spectacular beaches here, in particular Paleokastritsa, but Corfu has a lot more to offer.
The islands capital, Corfu Town, is a great place to visit and Greece’s largest ‘living’ medieval town. Here you’ll find historic buildings, beautiful architecture, statues, fountains and the Old Fortress, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There’s a lot to explore in Corfu Town but make sure you allow time to sample one of the many excellent cafés along the French-style Liston Arcade and Esplanade.
Inland you will find many quaint villages, where only Greek is spoken and time appears to have stood still. Sokraki is an example of this and the nearby small town of Ano Korakiana.