Port Spotlight: Corfu, Greece

[caption id="attachment_16569" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Photo by Kathi King.

The lushest (and some say the loveliest) of all the Greek Islands, Corfu lies just a stone's throw from the Albanian coast. Nowhere is the stunning natural beauty of Corfu more evident than in the small village of Paleocastritsa, where legend says Odysseus was washed ashore to be rescued by Nausicaa.

Corfu is studded with white washed houses, Byzantine architecture and gorgeous beaches with gin-blue waters. Compared to other Greek islands Corfu is very green, due to the winter rains. Summers are hot and dry, making it a perfect beach holiday and fabulous tourist destination.

Beyond tourism, Corfu is known for an abundance of olive trees -- over 2 million olive trees cover the island in cool groves, some even date back 400 years to the Venetian rule of Corfu!

You can visit Corfu on Star Clipper's 10- and 11-day Greece, Montenegro & Croatia sailings! For more information on Star Clippers' easter Mediterranean sailings click here.

Have you visited Corfu, Greece, before? Let us know what you thought in the comments!

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Words of Wisdom

[caption id="attachment_16225" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Photo by Kathi King at Corfu, Greece.

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Photo Diary: Scenes from Corfu

Kathi King recently sailed on Royal Clipper in the eastern Mediterranean and shared some fabulous photos. This is the first in a series of photo diaries. Stay tuned for more photos from her trip!

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From Corfu With Love

Spyros Mouzakitis shared these photos of Royal Clipper at Corfu, Greece.

"From Corfu with love!" - Spyros Mouzakitis

The 5-masted flagship is sailing the Mediterranean Sea this summer. Guests enjoyed a day at port before heading out around 10 p.m. under song and sail.

Do you have a favorite Star Clippers photo you'd like to share? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and you could be featured on social media.

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Nancy in Corfu, Greece

Nancy has been writing about her summer travels. Celebrating 46 years of marriage, she and her husband Joe left the city of brotherly love and landed in Venice, Italy, to begin their journey. She is sailing the Mediterranean aboard Royal Clipper, and was kind enough to share her experience with us. Below are some excerpts from her blog. For her whole story you can visit her personal blog Nancy Near Philadelphia.

After a very relaxing day at sea with no port stops, we came to the island of Corfu, Greece. We caught a cab from the harbor to the downtown area, and walked around.

It was a very pretty city, and more of a city than most of the other ports we had visited. Restaurants and shopping areas were abundant, and there was more variety in the stores. Olives, kumquats, soap, and ouzo are specialties of this island, and they were everywhere in the shops.

While in Corfu, we had a great adventure! As we walked along the shopping street, some young girls beckoned us into their shop. It was a Fish Spa! We'd never heard of such a thing. Everywhere, on countertops, in the window, and on the floors, were tanks with small fish. The shop proprietors enticed us further. First they washed our hands with anti-bacterial soap and asked us to remove our jewelry (which we kept safe and close at hand). Then we each put our hands into a tank and tiny, toothless fish swarmed around and nibbled at our fingers and hands, helpfully removing all of the dead skin! It didn't feel creepy at all; in fact, it was relaxing. When the "treatment" was over, our hands felt smooth and lovely.

At dinner that evening with our British friends, we spoke of our incredible adventure and Kristina was dismissive. "Oh," she said, "We had those in Britain and they have all been closed down due to health hazard! People were getting infections!" We felt properly chastened. Fortunately, no signs of infection developed.

Goodbye, Corfu! Where are we off to next?

To visit Nancy's blog, Nancy Near Philadelphia click here.

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Ellie's Journal: Riding Bikes in Corfu, Greece

Hello, my name is Ellie! Some of you may remember me from three years ago... That's when I blogged last, when I was on Star Flyer in Costa Rica. I'm fifteen years old now, and I'm back again, just on a different ship, Royal Clipper, and having more fun than ever. I'm from Oregon (in the USA) and my favorite sport is sailing, so this is a really fun experience for me.

[caption id="attachment_12686" align="alignnone" width="550"] Our mountain-bike excursion on Corfu was too amazing for words, and our guides took great care of us.

I've had two very packed days while I wasn't blogging! I didn't have the time to sit down and compose a piece that would be coherent because at the end of every day I've been soooo tired from all the activities; on shore, and on the ship. Now I'm settled in my bed, being rocked by the happy swells of the Mediterranean. A lot of people don't like it when the boat rocks or jostles about, but over the years of sailing that I've had, I've come to the conclusion that the swells are just these gentle things, almost like animals, who have to come and say "hi!" and rock me to sleep - so now I love them. Whenever I get nervous I tell myself, "Ellie, the ocean is happy. The boat is happy. Be happy!"

Yesterday was crazy. We were in Corfu, Greece. Again, I felt that same culture shock as I have everywhere else I've gone on this trip. I got up at 9:58 a.m. (breakfast closes at 10) and literally ran down to the dining room to grab a bite to eat. At 11 a.m. we walked down the gangway (we were on a pier) and found our bus driver. My friend Ryan and his family went on the excursion, too, so he and I had fun being able to talk to each other because we're near the same age. The drive was relatively short, and before I knew it, the bus stopped at the bike store where we were to begin our 27-kilometer long bike ride.

The first bit of the ride was insane. I live in a pretty small town, so when I bike around I don't really have to worry about cars and mopeds whizzing by me at a million miles an hour, so that first mile was a little bit overwhelming. We were riding single file on the side of a thoroughfare, and it was very difficult to focus on the road because the beach was literally two meters away and it was beautiful.

We rode about five kilometers up a huge mountain, and stopped for water at several little villages as the road climbed toward the top. Ryan and I were pretty tired, and were very hot, more than 40* centigrade (100+). The group continued journeying upward, through very mountainous and hilly land. After catching our breath, the guides told us all about a monastery that was 2 kilometers farther up the mountain. My dad and a few others rode up to see it, but I stayed back with my friend and my mom. We were all much too tired to ride anymore - at least, for a while.

One of the guides gave us a small tour of the tiny village, and when we arrived back to where our bikes were, there were a few tables full of food for us to eat. Oh my gosh, it was the most amazing food I've ever tasted: fresh baked bread, just-picked tomatoes with just-picked oregano on top, homemade goat cheese! And the best part of it, for me, was the lemon Fanta. We were all so thirsty we drank a river of water and lemonade when we were at the little restaurant.

But when you ride up, the reward is the ride down, and ours was glorious. Ryan and I raced all the way down the mountain, and we could hear our moms yelling at us from behind "Kids don't be crazy! You'll crash! Be careful!" Yeah, right! You know, the normal mom stuff. The end of the road brought us back to the beach and we got to swim for an hour. When our parents told us to get out we hollered back "Noooo!!!!"

We knew we'd have to get out at some point, so we climbed out and went to the freshwater shower. If you'd have seen us, you'd think we'd never seen a shower before. We just stood there in our bathing suits, cleaning off all of the salt water. It was amazingly awesome. I have to go now! Goodnight!!

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