We’ve all been there; you have travelled miles and miles to get away from home and experience something different only to find yourself unsure of what to do or where to go, following the crowds into some overly-priced banal venue. Nowadays, it is awfully easy to get sucked in the tourist maze. It is meant to be easy. So in order to truly experience any destination as if you were a local, you have to wander to parts less frequented by tourist hordes. The fact that you have travelled and booked like a tourist, and that, most probably, you will visit the “must-see” places does not have to mean you need to act like one. Some people prefer to stay in the tourist places out of fear, but given that Corfu is safe, straying from the beaten path can only hold pleasant surprises for you.
Explore the island
Driving is one of the best ways to explore the secret corners of the island and discover its traditional scenic beauty. Far from the bustling city centre and its overly-developed tourist spots there are small picturesque villages, hidden in Corfu’s lush countryside, where time seems as if it has stood still. Visit one of them to catch a glimpse of the traditional Greek lifestyle and try out local delicacies.
Have coffee in a Greek Kafenion
The Kafenio in Greece is not exactly what we would call a coffee place, though it serves coffee, refreshments and even ouzo and meze. It constitutes an important part of Greek culture, a way of life. It is not just about the traditional Greek coffee and card games; the Kafenio is a meeting place, an institution that has survived throughout the years not only in villages but also cities. Nowadays, they are mostly frequented by older people who enjoy their retirement, but remain a cultural element you must experience. While you are there…
Greet the locals
What trip would be complete hadn’t you mingled with the local people? Say hi to an old person enjoying their afternoon walk in C
orfu’s cobbled streets. They are really friendly and love kids. Learning a few key phrases in Greek can also go a long way in helping you meet new people, not to mention getting you what you want. Greeks always appreciate the effort even if you think you are doing rather badly.
Take your time
Slow down and take some time to really take in what you are experiencing. That could mean missing out on some “must-see” sights, but enjoying yourself sometimes means you have to go with the flow, leave your plan for a bit, let serendipity take over and see what you discover.
Spend a night in Spianada square
Spianada is indeed one of those must-visit places for tourists. After the sun has set, Spianada becomes a meeting point for young local people and a favourite place to hang out and drink beer.
Learn about local events
Corfu boasts a rich music tradition and various events are often organized, whether in special venues and bars or out in the open and inside Corfu’s old fortress, with music varying from classical to jazz. Look for posters, ask the locals or follow local entertainment listings, featuring shows and performances in town.
Experiencing a destination like a local is all about stepping out of your comfort zone and daring to try out new things. This way you can be sure you are not missing out on anything and that your experience was truly worth the miles you have travelled.