ITV's much-loved comedy-drama The Durrells has always been a fan favourite, so it is unsurprising that ITV has brought it back for a rewatch thanks to the COVID-19 lockdown. To celebrate the show back on our screens, we have takne a look at where Keeley Hawes, Josh O’Connor, Milo Parker and co. filmed the popular TV series.
Set in the 1930s and based on Gerald Darrell's autobiographical novels of My Family and Other Animals, the series has charmed viewers with its depiction of the British family’s exploits and misadventures as they adapt to life on the island of Corfu.
When Keeley was a guest on This Morning she spoke about the stunning Greek island the show is filmed in, saying: "Corfu is so beautiful. It has become a bit of a second home. And we are all going back, not together, but separately. Partly out of habit and partly just because we love it, it's so beautiful and the people are just such wonderful, generous people."
The incredible show has been the best advert for Corfu, with holiday-goers eager to see where The Durrells is filmed.
For those of you who don't know, Corfu is the seventh-largest Greek island and sits in the Ionian Sea off the north-west coast of Greece. Today, around 109,000 people live there and over the years it has been a popular holiday choice – more so thanks to the ITV series.
Corfu Town (pictured above) is a key spot on the show, and this is where you can find Corfu’s principal port, pastel-coloured architecture and cobbled streets, and if you head to the Old Town on the northern side, you'll be hard-pressed not to find picturesque views.
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Further south of the city is the Mon Repos Palace, which doubles as the home of Countess Mavrodaki in the show. Now an archaeological museum, it was once the summer residence of the Greek royal family and was the birthplace of our very own Greek, Prince Philip.
Also seen on screen is Dassia, a village on the northeast coast with beautiful beaches and gardens.
In a conversation with the Radio Times, Milo Parker, who plays Gerry Durrell, said: "We actually filmed a lot more towards the north of the island this year in a place called Agios Stefanos where you can virtually touch Albania from the coastline. It was absolutely stunning. We were filming one day on a beach that was only accessible by boat so we had the whole crew on speed boats in convoy going around the island."
An aerial view of Agios Stefanos
In Gouvia (also north of the island), you can find Villa Annemoyani which is the TV stand-in for the Durrells’ home. For fans of Gerald's books, it's the Daffodil Yellow Villa. According to Conde Nast Traveller, all of the indoor scenes are shot in Ealing Studios back in London and the magazine suggests seeking out the little beach where Margo shocks a priest while sunbathing in the show’s first episode. "It’s just south of Agni Bay, round the coast towards the north-east."
When the cast were on location, they stayed in the luxurious hotel, The Corfu Imperial. It has three private beaches and is suitably gorgeous - Keeley no doubt loved the Elixir Spa which has treatments from €85 (£74). Perhaps she sweated it out at the state-of-the-art gym. If you want to follow suit, you won't regret it. Rates vary greatly by season, with superior doubles from €200 (£176) in low season, and €530 (£466) in high.
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According to Josh O’Connor, who plays Lawrence, the cast had a favourite restaurant while they filmed the show - they were regulars at Alexandros Taverna. The dining spot was established in 1970 by the Gianniotis family and is open daily for breakfast, lunch, snacks, drinks and evening dinner. Serving traditional Greek and international cuisine, fresh fish, snacks and ice creams, they no doubt overindulged. And on Friday nights you can even watch traditional Greek dancing there, we wonder if the cast got up to mischief during their downtime and had a boogie. We sure hope so.