“I think no place on Earth can be lovelier than this” said Edward Lear, describing Corfu in 1856. Today, the island, covered by 3m olive trees, is still as beautiful if you keep away from the resorts, perhaps walking the eight-day Corfu Trail (thecorfutrail.com) along paths built when the island was under British rule, from 1814 to 1864.
In the less developed south, rolling hills fall down to empty sandy beaches to the west. In the middle of the island, picturesque villages perch on hillsides. A ridge runs up the west coast and drops down to spectacular but popular beaches. To the east there are views of Corfu town, a world heritage site.
The Pantocrator massif, rising to 900m, crosses the top of the island, with lush deserted valleys stretching towards the north coast resorts and a sheer drop to the “corniche” of the north-east, with its luxury villas and small shingle bays overlooking Albania, just 2km away, and the mountains of the mainland in the distance. In spring the island is covered in flowers, with 150 species, including 50 orchids, counted along the trail (corfuflowers.com). Truly a green paradise.