Set in 1935, Louisa Durrell suddenly announces that she and her four children will move from Bournemouth to the Greek island of Corfu. Her husband has died some years earlier and the family is experiencing financial problems. A Homeric battle ensues as the family adapts to life on the island which, despite a lack of electricity, is cheap and an earthly paradise.
The family prepares for a celebration, and Margo is determined to persuade the reclusive Countess Mavrodaki to attend. Sven is put to the test by his potential family, but seems to make a good impression. Gerry begins to question whether keeping animals in his personal zoo is fair, and considers releasing them into the wild.
Larry falls dangerously ill, and it falls to Theo and his neighbour Sven to put their rudimentary medical skills to the task of saving his life. The family's money worries continue, but Spiros brings them good news from a surprising source. Gerry adds to his growing menagerie, while Margo is emotionally wounded - but gets little sympathy from Leslie.
In 1935, beleaguered Bournemouth mother Louisa Durrell decides to uproot her family and build a new life on the sun-drenched island of Corfu. However, with money problems and four unruly children to care for, even a new start might not be enough to banish her troubles.
Margo takes great pride in her new job at the surgery, but after a chance encounter with a recluse, she begins to realise where her greatest talent lies. Louisa grows closer to Sven, but as Gerry befriends a convict and Leslie begins spending all his time in the local bars, she begins to suspect she has made a mistake bringing her children to Corfu.
Leslie falls in with a bad crowd and ends up being falsely accused of armed robbery, prompting Louisa to take desperate measures to save him. Margo takes a shine to a gardener at the Villa Mavrodaki, Captain Creech returns, and the family realises the extent of Gerry's passion for animals when he turns his bedroom into a centre for scientific learning.
The family faces the unwanted arrival of a domineering aunt, while Larry's girlfriend also pays a visit - giving the unwelcome relative an opportunity to voice her disapproval of the whole family. Sven makes an offer that helps Louisa cope with adversity and Margo falls in love - but Gerry is more concerned with his newly acquired owlets.
Louisa tries to raise some money by selling homemade food, which attracts the attention of another Englishman. However, a former lover threatens the family's idyllic existence. Gerry comes up with a plan to breed otters, Leslie accidentally shoots Roger, and Margo considers becoming a nun.
Louisa plots to expand her business selling traditional English food, ploughing all her emergency funds into the project and setting her children to work. Sven provides them with some goats, but is bemused by the prospect of spotted dick and toad in the hole, while Spiro offers some advice on how to sell things at market. Leslie embarks on a beekeeping project, but ends up getting badly stung.
Louisa struggles to adapt to Larry moving out. The thought of all her children leaving her drives her to set aside her doubts about pursuing a relationship with Hugh, which leads to a revealing conversation about Vasilia. The younger Durrell children are not sure when their mother's birthday is - so plan a party anyway.
Larry moves back into the family's villa having come down with mumps, which Louisa hopes will give Aunt Hermione an incentive to cancel her planned visit. Her hopes prove in vain when her overbearing relative turns up, accompanied by medium Mrs Haddock (Una Stubbs), who claims to be able to contact Louisa's husband. She tells Louisa that he is terribly unhappy about her numerous male admirers, fuelling her doubts over her relationship with Hugh, and proposes a seance on a stormy night to set his troubled spirit at rest.
Hugh organises a cricket match between Greek and English teams to bring everyone together. Countess Mavrodaki offers to umpire - but warns Margo that contests between the two nations are never friendly. Spiro advises Louisa that she has terrible taste in men, while Larry finds that Vasilia wants their relationship to progress faster than expected.
The family's maid goes into labour, so Leslie sends Larry to fetch Dr Petrides. However, he finds the doctor occupied, as he is in the middle of delivering his own wife's baby. Hugh has a proposition for a startled Leonora, which she promises to think about - but an altercation with Vasilia nearly ends in tragedy for them both. Donald attacks a rival suitor for Margo - who finds herself quite delighted by the thought of two men fighting over her - while Theo and Gerry make a discovery at the otters' den. Last in the series.
Louisa tries to help Leslie settle on one of his three different girlfriends. Theo gets to use his newly set-up x-ray unit. Gerry continues to grow his animal collection. Margo takes up a job as Theo's assistant. Aunt Hermione arrives in Corfu for good.
There is a death in the house. Leslie decides that he wants to be with Dionisia, but gets unsettling news from Daphne. Gerry becomes fascinated by a wall in the back garden that is covered in insects.
Larry and Louisa return to England. In Corfu, Leslie gets offered a job as a policeman, Gerry saves a donkey from an abusive farmer, and Spiro forbids Margo from seeing Zoltan.
Larry goes to Athens on a shirt trip, and returns with a royal guest. Louisa is delighted to have a prince staying under her roof, but soon finds herself with a less welcome visitor in the shape of Captain Creech. Tension is soon stirred up between the two houseguests when Gerry sits an interview for a local school, and the prince and the captain voice very different opinions on the subject of education.
Spiros spends time with a glamorous Italian family who have recently arrived on the island. Louisa is jealous of the attention he is paying their new neighbours and invites the new neighbours over to learn more about them. She ends up convinced they are hiding something, while Margo feels threatened by their eldest daughter. Larry joins the fire service, and Gerry falls in love.
The family plan a party to celebrate Gerry’s 13th birthday, but when a plague of mosquitoes descends, they are forced to hold it inside. As the party planning progresses, Louisa is finding it hard to accept that her youngest is growing up. Gerry insists that he doesn’t want a fuss, but gets frustrated and upset when the party is clearly aimed at someone much younger. Trying to pick up the mood, Margo’s transformation of an otherwise disastrous party results in hilarious antics as everyone but Spiros seems to join the party spirit. His distant behaviour concerns Louisa who wonders why he has locked himself in a room to sing sad love songs.
Henry Miller comes to stay with the family, and stirs up tension among Louisa and her children with his strange behaviour and the controversial content of his books. Sven is arrested after the government announces a crackdown on what it considers `immoral behaviour', and Larry rushes to his aid, acquiring books on fascism and miscarriages of justice from the countess to help him take matters into his own hands. Spiros continues to pine for his wife, and Louisa is torn between her feelings for him and need to ease his pain.
The family meets members of a travelling circus, and gets involved in helping them to drum up business. Larry falls in love with a contortionist, while Margo takes to the ring in person to perform a very dangerous act. Gerry is more concerned with making sure all of the animals featured in the show are well-treated. Spiros cannot bring himself to return to his empty house and begins spending more and more time at the Durrells' home - but the magic of the circus brings him and Louisa closer together. Last in the series.
Louisa throws herself into running her boarding house, but mysterious guest Lazaros Vangelatos places the villa under police scrutiny.
Louisa finds herself fending off unexpected romanctic advances. Leslie's arranged hunt for new guest, Colonel Ribbindane, doesn't quite go to plan when his past revisits him.
Louisa meets Spiros' wife for the first time, and invites her to join the family on a trip to visit Larry in Kalami. However, the journey ends badly when their picnic is eaten by hungry animals, and Larry turns out to have left the island for Paris. As tensions rise, they seek the help of a local bar owner, who has a special gift for Gerry. Meanwhile, Margo brings a touch of the continent to Prue and Geoffrey's Dorset home.
With the house guests getting ever more rowdy, Louisa worries about the villa's reputation, but Spiros's increasing presence at the villa continues to delight her. Margo finds a surprising way to bond with Maud, while Gerry realises he has feelings for Galini.
The King of Greece is to visit Corfu and the Durrells are keen to be part of the welcoming committee. Things get cosy between Spiros and Louisa.
With storm clouds gathering, the islanders realise they can no longer ignore the rumblings of war, just as it looks as though the Durrells have found their happy ending. Larry marks his return by throwing an audacious play for the locals, but there are surprises for every member of the family.