There are many faces to the island of Corfu. Some parts the island's unique expression have worn thin since the advent of tourism. Other parts of Corfu retain a wonderful sense of cultural and environmental pride. Deep green valleys of olive terraces and tall cypress trees enclose small villages of pastel houses, white-washed churches, simple tavernas with rickety chairs under grapevines, farmlands and groves of oranges, figs and wild pears. Sand or pebble beaches, large and small, indent the coastline and offer safe swimming in clear waters. The old town of Corfu is a delighful maze of 18th century, cobbled shopping streets behind tall Venetian houses with delicatelly flaking plaster. The island's interior contains a contrast of rich valleys, small villages, and a wealth of interesting walks.