I spent the summer of 2018 in Corfu with my boyfriend. In this blog, I share with you nine things I wish I’d known before going there.
Nine things I wish I’d known before traveling there
1. Public Transport
Corfu is a small island, so I expected bad public transportation. But it was worse. We lived in a small village called Notos, and we only had two buses per weekdays and nothing on the weekends. Of course, transportation is better in bigger cities.
Most of the local people used motorcycle and a few of the used cars. Traveling by car is funny there. The roads are narrow, winding and there is a big level difference. Because of a lot of winding, people indicate that they are approaching with the horn. The most exciting part is when you are in a bend so you can’t see if someone is coming frontwise and have a place for only one car. 🙂
2. Rubbish nightmare
There is a big issue with rubbish in Corfu. The smelling bins overflow onto the street. The situation was a little bit better during the tourist season, but we arrived in May and then it was terrible.
3. Local “supermarkets” have very little to offer
You can find almost everywhere “supermarket” text in the streets. Well, they’re convenience stores, but local people call them supermarkets. It has so much supply that we can’t even find ingredients for one single meal. Of course, their kitchen is much different, so I don’t doubt that they can buy everything they need. Also, the prices are too high there. Alternatively, you can go to Lidl which has a relatively big offer and lower prices. However, there are very few Lidl stores on the island.
4. Siesta everywhere
Talking about supermarkets, people have a few hours siesta every single day. Of course not everywhere. For example, Lidl keeps open without siesta breaks, but almost every people have siesta time. So be careful once we wanted to rent a car, and we thought they keep open as they need tourist’s money, but we were wrong. It means we needed to wait for an hour in front of the store to get a car.
First I found it frustrating as I wanted to buy food in the middle of the day, etc. But then I found out that this is their culture and this isn’t a stupid thing. They want to spend more time with their families because it’s more important to them as working. And I have to tell you that we would also have to think about this.
5. Olive Leaf Beach
What comes to your mind when you think about the beach? For me sand and palm trees. Well, in Corfu you’ll find olive trees instead of palm trees and olive leaf instead of sand. Not everywhere but a lot of places. I don’t say it’s a problem, but it was a disappointment walking on the olive leaf on the beach.
6. Tap water & Canal
Local people say tap water is drinkable but has a very bad taste. I wouldn’t say that. I tried it, and it wasn’t drinkable. Believe me and don’t try it. We noticed that sometimes almost no water flows out of the tap and shower. That’s an issue of the canal. You get used to it.
7. A lot of insects & bugs
What you need to prepare for is a lot of mosquitos and cicadas everywhere. You would better pick up a sweater and trousers in the evening. If you only can sleep in silence, you’ll need earplugs as well.
8. Devil-may-care but very friendly people
One of the biggest unemployment is in Greece. We met people who never worked in their entire life, and they weren’t young. Local people say that it has a political reason because of corruption. I don’t want to write about politics, but I only tell you this to understand their situation a little bit better. Maybe it’s because of the political situation, or maybe it’s cultural, but people are very careless.
I also have to tell you that I loved that people are so relaxed and friendly. If I ever had any problem and asked help from them, they always did everything for me.
9. One of the most beautiful places ever
Maybe it sounds like I hated this place. But I’m not. We’re planning to go back shortly. It was my best summer ever. The place is so beautiful and enjoyable. I only told you the negative things because it would be better for me if I knew it before.