Skip to main content
Original Issue

A Big Aloha from Corfu

These grass-skirted welcomers are not Hawaiians or Tahitians but carefree Europeans and Americans who are living it up, South Seas style, on the Greek island of Corfu. They sleep in straw huts, sip free wine, eat Parisian meals and slip into bikinis to fish, bathe and sunbathe (following pages). All belong to the Club Méditerranée, a French organization that decided it would be cheaper to bring the South Seas to its members than to send its members there (Paris-Tahiti, round trip, $1,895; Paris-Corfu, round trip, plus two all-expense weeks, $110).

Singing a song, another group acts out Volga Boatmen on way to bivouac far from Corfu's daily classical concert.

Landing a grouper, two vacationers prove good spearfishermen while on overnight bivouac to island. Longer cruises, called Odysseys, last up to two weeks.

Fighting a battle to celebrate Bastille Day, French club members wear crepe-paper helmets in mock storming of prison.

Sleeping on deck of caïque, members return to Corfu after bivouac to mainland. Most spent day swimming, sunbathing on beach.

Feeding a donkey amuses lunchers on beach. Bivouac meals are simple: a salad tossed in red wine and oil, steak, fresh fish.

Lovely hula hands are everywhere at Corfu. Les girls catch the sun aboard a ca√Øque, play pétanque, a French version of bowls (right), and, inasmuch as the main washing facilities are mixed, even watch a man shave (left). Says one male: "Unless the eyes are disciplined, shaving becomes impossible." Although 70% of the club's 100,000 members are French, membership is open to anyone for a small fee. At present, the club runs 10 vacation "villages" in the Mediterranean, and each boasts a sick bay, a laundry, a post office and a distinct lack of flies. The bar is the only place where one needs to pay, and there beads are used instead of money—a handy tropical arrangement for people who seldom have their pockets with them.