Corfu and the Durrells: Real life and ITV series

At the end of 2018,  Corfu won the EUFCN Location Awards competition for the best European location in the film and TV industries. This was in recognition of its key role in the filming of the tremendously popular British TV series The Durrells on the island (2016-2019) – bringing our delightful Greek island to everyone’s attention!

Who are the Durrells?

Durrells is probably the most popular family associated with Corfu! This hugely successful TV series is an adaptation of Gerald Durrell's trilogy of autobiographical books about the four years when he lived in Corfu with his family in the 1930s.  In real life the Durrells, a widowed mother, Louisa Florence Durrell, with her three children (Leslie, Margot and Gerald), moved to Corfu in 1935 to join her oldest son Lawrence and wife, Nancy. The family found a little paradise on the island,  as they made friends with the locals and enjoyed living by the nature and hospitality of Corfu!  It was in Corfu that Gerald Durrell, the well known British botanist, naturalist and writer started collecting and keeping the local fauna as pets and developed his love for nature and animals. Life in Corfu influenced Gerald so much and was his inspiration for writing his best sellers “My Family and Other Animals”, as well as the “Birds, Animals and Relatives” and the “The Garden of the Gods”.  Lawrence’s Durell “Prospero’s Cell” was also inspired by Corfu.

The Durrells in Corfu filming locations

The filming for the series took place at a variety of locations around the island. Corfu Town served as one of the main film locations - for example, the scene where Louisa Durrell visits the Bank to check if their money arrived from Great Britain was filmed in the Museum of Asian Art, which is housed in the Palace of Saint Michael and Saint George in Spianada Square.  Just south of Corfu Town, the Mon Repos Palace - once a summer residence of  the Greek royal family and also the birthplace of Prince Philip of the UK and now a museum - doubled as the home of Countess Mavrodaki in the series. Following the tracks through the gardens and woods, you will find a pretty bay and marbled-topped Venetian pier, which was the picturesque swimming spot of the Family in the series!

Another big part of the outdoor scenes was filmed in Danilia, or "the Bouas Village" in the northeast of the island. This is a replica of a picturesque 1930s village  that was created in the 1970s and is now owned by the Grecotel group.  Some of the scenes filmed here include the market where Louisa tries to sell her English food to the locals, the café where Larry hangs out in when he leaves the family home and the police station.  This village was also used in the James Bond movie ‘’For Your Eyes Only’’ back in 1981.

The Villa Annemoyani in Gouvia (NE Corfu) was used for exterior shots of their home, which - known as the Daffodil Yellow Villa in Gerald’s books – is in reality not far away.  Villa Annemoyani is a wreck inside so  interior scenes shot at Ealing Studios in London. The White House, where Lawrence and his wife lived in real life, is also used in the series to depict the new home that the family moved to. The White House is the only one of the Durrells' homes that is now open to the public – their other homes in real life (the Strawberry Pink Villa, the Daffodil Yellow Villa, and the Snow White Village)  are privately owned. 

Of course, there are many other filming locations around Corfu countryside. Apart from the filming locations use the unique natural beauty and relaxed charm of the island  which inspired Gerald and Lawrence and the whole family – still exists today and can be experienced by all who visit Corfu! 

If you are visiting Corfu and want to get a glimpse of the life Durrells and discover the series filiming locations, check out our new Private Tour ''In the Footsteps of Durrells in Corfu''