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 >  Ionian  >  Corfu  >  Corfu takes top Euro beach title

Corfu takes top Euro beach title

- by Andy Cornish

Best beaches accolade for Corfu at World Travel Awards.

The popular Greek holiday island of Corfu has taken the top title as Europe's Leading Beach Destination in this year's World Travel Awards 2014. The island took over the honour from last year's winner, the Algarve in Portugal, at a gala ceremony in Athens. The award, known as the 'Oscars' of the travel industry was received by Corfu Governor Christos Iraklis Skourtis,

The Acropolis in Athens won the title of Europe's Leading Tourist Attraction, the island of Corfu was dubbed Europe's Leading Beach Destination and Aegean Airlines won Europe's Leading Regional Airline in a gala ceremony.

World Travel Awards President Graham Cooke said: "It was a fantastic night for our winners, congratulations to them all. This is our first visit to Greece and Divani Apollon Palace & Thalasso have done a wonderful job in hosting our Europe Gala Ceremony; they should be tremendously proud of their achievements."

A holiday favourite of the British since Victorian times, Corfu is the Greek Islands that is closest to the UK and the most northern of the Ionian chain of islands that run down off the north-west coast of mainland Greece.

One of the first of the Greek islands to be opened up for package tourism, the downmarket demands of package tour operators, took their toll in the 1960's and 1970's with many Corfu beaches and fishing villages bulldozed to make way for cheap hotels and neon-lit bars.

Indeed Corfu, like Kos and Crete, were once an embarrassing by-word for cheap-as-chips holidays aimed at lager-lout tourists. Much has changed in recent years with the island 'rediscovered' by more discerning tourists.

Around 10,000 Brits have permanent homes on the island and, away from the popular tourist strips is wild and unspoilt countryside, little touched by tourism. The most popular holiday beaches are found in the north and east Corfu while the west boasts remote bays and the central hills has remote villages and Corfiots who are famously welcoming and friendly

The European awards by the World Travel Awards(WTA) marks the second leg of its annual grand tour which opened in Dubai earlier this year and now heads to Ecuador, for the South and Central America awards followed by stop in Nigeria, India, and the Caribbean island of Anguilla before the Grand Final Marrakech, Morocco in November.

WTA's global media partner network includes International New York Times, TV5Monde, CNBC Arabiya, Newsweek, Outlook Traveller, Travel & Leisure, Khaleej Times, Trade Arabia, TTN, Trav Talk India, Publituris, ASTA Network, Breaking Travel News, eTurboNews, Travel Daily News International and Focus on Travel News.