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As a slightly unorthodox family, led by feisty, sometimes bibulous Louisa, they would have been looking for the kind of rural adventure that we were searching for, and you don’t easily find that in Greece any more.

When we were deciding on locations for our own Greek odyssey back in 2009, ironically, we first thought of Corfu, as it was an island we had visited many times, particularly the northern part, which has spectacular beaches and historic mountain villages, such as Old Perithia.

We were quite in love with the beauty of the place for a while and its easy-going people, but in the end we decided against Corfu as, to us, it seemed the most ‘British’ of all the Greek islands because of its historic link with the UK and ironically probably because the Durrells’ association has lured more Brits there than anywhere else.

Chris Nye, writing for Greece Property Guides believes anyone wanting to ‘do a Durrell’ these days would be better off choosing Crete for its glorious landscape and affordable lifestyle, and he outlines a helpful comparison of current living expenses in Bournemouth and Crete and what kind of property you can find on this island.

Incidentally, Chris is the brother of Simon Nye, who wrote and co-produced the ITV television series I can imagine the Durrells in Crete, no problem, but for sheer rawness and rural eccentricity, which Gerald Durrell’s books have in spades, I feel sure they would have gone for the wilder shores of the Mani as well.

I think the Durrells would have enjoyed reckless encounters with some of the local farming community in the Mani, as we did when we first settled in the hillside village of Megali Mantineia, in the shade of the Taygetos mountains.

They would certainly have enjoyed our eccentric, donkey-riding farming friend Foteini, and her ramshackle farm compound.

If it was madness and mayhem that the Durrells of today were searching for, trust me, it’s all there in southern Greece.

We had adventures we only dreamt about before we left the UK. I would never have flogged a tray of toad in the hole at the Our big fat Greek odyssey has featured this month in the international magazine Womankind is available in the UK at WH Smith stores.

It will be out in North America shortly (through Barnes and Noble), or via the magazine’s website.

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