Last week saw us take our first ever family holiday abroad – with Corfu in Greece as our destination of choice. We’d never been to the country, and seeing as I’m an eighth Greek (and proud of it!) we thought we’d pay Greece a visit. This follows on from Sharon winning some travel vouchers at work, so we wanted to make the most out of it! Our other option was Amsterdam, but I’m so glad we chose Greece.
Arriving on Wednesday, we had a gorgeous 6 nights and 5 days in the sun – although it still wasn’t long enough in my eyes. We knew before arriving that the Island was relatively small with little opportunity to travel further afield outside of our resort and local towns, so we readied ourselves for some serious sunbathing!
As well as treating ourselves to some summer clothing – some of which was also kindly gifted* recently by JD Williams – we were ready for some Vitamin D.
Here’s what we got up to:
Although our flight wasn’t until the afternoon, we decided to leave around 10am in case there were delays on the trains (and because I don’t think I could have handled waiting at home – I’d rather just get on with the journey. Plus, I was irritably excited!). We also thought it’d be a good idea to take some time to grab a big lunch at the airport as we knew that by the time we’d arrive in Greece (around 10pm!) we wouldn’t fancy eating.
As expected, we arrived at the airport right on time if not a bit early, so we took a rare few moments to relax before dropping our bags off.
By the time we had some lunch, it wasn’t long before our gate was open and we were boarding. This is where T ramped up his excitement about getting on a plane. He’d only ever seen them from a distance at airshows (or in the sky) so being up close and personal to one was a whole new experience for him.
Whilst we were boarding, we also happened to mention that it was T’s first ever flight which lead to T being invited into the cockpit to speak to the captain (and try his hardest not to press any buttons)!
The flight itself was fantastic thanks to the weather – making our views incredibly clear and the journey turbulence-free. This made distracting T really easy as there was always something to look at. When he wasn’t looking out the window he sat and played on Hopster. The only issues we had were during our descent where T suffered a little with his ears. Other than that though, he was a super-star!
Our first official day was Thursday, however as we were still pretty tired from the previous day we decided to take it easy and take a tour of the resort in the morning, the beach in the afternoon, and then our first visit to the pool after.
During our holiday we stayed at the Aeolos Beach Resort in Perama, which is 15-20 minutes from the airport. Made up of primarily bungalows and apartments, surrounded by stunning gardens, the resort is home to two pools, their own exclusive beach, three main restaurants, and several leisure areas including a gym and spa.
To say that it’s a gorgeous resort is an understatement. I’ve honestly never seen anything like it. There are olive groves in every direction, exotic plants and flowers, and some incredible looking lizards, as well as a rather large community of cats! I never took our views for granted. It was like we were living in paradise.
Although the beach certainly beats Brighton beach, it still took some getting used to.
Their main beach is clearly man made with what can only be described as builders sand due to the colour, but once you walk through the sea of sun loungers you enter onto a more natural beach made up on small stones and broken up palm leaves. The water was warm and crystal clear and just when I thought we’d peaked with views we found a little spot under some trees and admired our find.
After taking in all the views, we then made our way back to the main resort; deciding to hit the pool on the way through. We couldn’t resist!
There are two pools at the resort; the lagoon pool and the family pool. Although children are welcome at either pools, we spent the majority of our time at the family pool as this one had a shallower pool attached to the main pool which was warmer (although by the afternoon both pools were the perfect temperature). I also liked how open plan the family pool was, along with plenty of choice when it came to sun loungers, refreshments, and facilities.
This is also where T’s love affair with Ice Cream started.
We started our Friday with a trip to the spa for a 15 minute taster session which was included in our welcome pack. Both Sharon and I went for neck and back massages, although Sharon wasn’t keen on hers due to the amount of knots they had to alleviate! I, however, felt incredible after.
After our morning massages, we then took a bus ride – which was an experience in itself – into the local town for the afternoon for some shopping and exploring! Here is where we ventured down several alleyways full of market stalls and shops as well as finding some of the most amazing ice cream (*cough* twice *cough*) and sweet treats. I also fell in love with buildings old and new.
We easily spent several hours here looking around shops and chatting to locals, but we could have spent double that if we had the time. It’s absolutely stunning. Just when we thought we’d ventured down one main street, there were several alleyways going off at different directions full of even more shops. It was a treasure trove and one of our highlights from the holiday.
After a busy Friday, we decided on taking a break from exploring with a day at the pool. This is where T really shone and I got myself into some new swimwear; an actual bikini! Throughout our day Sharon and I read our books, drank alcoholic slushies, and bathed in the sun. T made friends with other holiday makers and gorged on even more ice cream with a side of cucumber from the lunch bar.
During our visit to Corfu town, we came across an excursion at the old dock where you could take a trip on a Pirate Ship around part of the island. We love an excursion, especially ones that are a bit unique or “out there” and this hit that ten fold, so on Sunday we returned to Corfu Town and took a trip out to sea.
As well as the gorgeous views, there was also the chance for T to dress up as a Pirate. I said it was “out there”. It was also a pleasant surprise as we genuinely didn’t think we’d be able to get up to much on a religious day.
After our trip, but before making our way back to the resort, we decided to stay on the bus and make our way to the other side – past our resort – and head into Benitses, which is a smaller “village” in comparison to Corfu town. There’s several beach shops, cafes, and a large beach similar to the one at the resort.
Nevertheless, it was gorgeous – although it was incredibly hot that day. We couldn’t stay out for too long before making our way into the sea.
Arriving at our last full day, we decided to do what T loved the most – eat ice cream and play in the pool. We also ventured down to the beach one last time and tried out the restaurant located right by the shore.
Seeing as it was our last day, Sharon even treated me to a full massage at the spa – which ended the day, and the holiday, beautifully – although I’m never really ready to finish a holiday!
It was so sad to leave the resort after such a wonderful week – we definitely could have spent longer here and it’s no surprise why a lot of the other families we spoke to spent at least 10 days here. Although there wasn’t masses to do, we were happy relaxing by the pool and just taking every day as it came. The food at the resort was incredible and the staff were so friendly and welcoming.
Although it hit the thirties most days, T had an amazing time, too. If he wasn’t making friends at the poolside, he was playing with other children at the mini disco most nights where he didn’t exactly dance but instead brought an offering (aka a new toy!) for everyone to play with. It was wonderful to watch him form some sweet friendships. On top of that, he tried new foods and took full advantage of the break from routine.
Looking back at the week I already regret not taking T on a foreign holiday sooner – especially as we’re going to be hit with price hikes once he starts school – however with the cost of passports and the actual holiday we just couldn’t afford it before now, which is a shame as he did so well during the week as well as during the flight – he’s such a good traveller.
That being said, we have often debated whether he would have appreciated before now? Probably not. So with this in mind, I’m glad that of the holidays we were able to give him, his first one abroad will be one hopefully remembers – and what a holiday it was! We had such a wonderful time in Corfu we’re already looking at prices for next year.