CORFU

corfu

ISLAND INFO

Book your ferry tickets online at www.greektrip.gr or via telephone at Sporades Shipping. Corfu is the second largest of the Ionian Islands. The island is bound with the history of Greece from the beginning of Greek mythology. According to the myth, Poseidon fell in love with the beautiful nymph Korkyra and abducted her. Poseidon then brought Korkyra to an unnamed island and, in marital bliss, offered her name to the place: “Korkyra”, which gradually evolved to “Kerkyra” (English: Corfu).

Over time the island has changed a lot but one can still feel the spirit of its distant yet glorious past. Its rich multi-cultural heritage, its numerous historic monuments, its stunning natural landscapes, its crystal clear seas and its excellent weather all year round explain why Corfu is one of the most popular cosmopolitan destinations in the Mediterranean, weaving a powerful spell on its visitors.

Corfu, unlike the rest of Greece, never fell under Ottoman oppression. Due to the successive dominations of the Venetians, the French and the British, the island has primarily become part of the Western rather the Levantine world. This is why Western culture has a strong influence over the city of Corfu: it was here that the first Greek Universitya (the Ionian Academy), the first Orchestra and the First School of Fine Arts were founded.

In the beautifully preserved old town, a UNESCO world heritage site, Palaces, fortresses, austere public buildings of the Venetian rule uniquely blend with lines of drying laundries in tiny alleyways and small secluded squares. Strolling through a complex of narrow cobbled streets with stairways and vaulted passages, the so-called “kantounia”, will make you feel as if you are in Genoa or Naples.

When visiting Corfu, one should not miss the chance to hop to the neighboring islands of Paxi and Antipaxi. You will be amazed by the island’s fjord-shaped beaches, underwater caves, small bays and green hills. According to the myth, the island would have been the southernmost tip of Corfu if Poseidon had not broken it off with his trident when he needed a divine place to live his love with the Nereid Amphitrite.On the other hand Paxi, although a small island lying 3 nautical miles from Paxi, it is endowed with outstanding beauty. Antipaxoi is also famous for its renowned exotic beaches, among which Voutoumi, with its exotic turquoise waters, considered to be within the most impressive within Greece.

GETTING HERE

By airplane: Corfu is connected to Athens with regular domestic flights. Also, during the summer months, it is connected with charter flights from all major European capitals.

By ferry: Corfu is connected with ferries departing daily from the ports of Patra, Igoumenitsa and Venice (Italy). Book your ferry tickets online at www.greektrip.gr or via telephone at Sporades Shipping.

MUST-VISIT

  1. Archaeological Museum: The museum stands in Vraila Street, near the Garitsa coastal road and was built to house the Gorgon pediment from the temple of Artemis which was found in the area of Paleopolis. This pediment dates back to 580 BC and is supposed to be the oldest in Greece. The Museum also houses other finds from archaeological sites across the island, from the ancient town of Cassiopea and from a private collection.
  2. Palace of Mon Repos: The Mon Repos Palace estate (258 acres) takes up the most of the Analipsis hill where the ancient town of Corfu was located. It is 3km drive from Corfu town.  In the centre of the garden stands the imposing palace built in 1824 by the British Commissioner Frederick Adams. It is a grandiose building that has been occupied by British Commissioners, Italian politicians, the Greek Royal Family and was the birthplace of Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh.
  3. Achillion Palace (Palace of Sissy): Located in Gastouri village, this luxurious villa was built for the Empress of Austria, Elisabeth von Wiltelsbach (also known as Sissy) by the Italian architect Raffaele Carito in 1892. Today the palace has been transformed into a museum, whilst its stunning, colorful gardens feature prominent statues such as the one of the dyingAchilles.
  4. Kanoni & Pontikonissi: World famous Kanoni is situated south of the old town peninsula. It was named Kanoni (canons) after the battery of artillery established by the French in 1798. In the sea below Kanoni lays the Monastery of Vlaherna built in the 17th Century, linked to the mainland by a pier. Right across the Vlaherna monastery you can see the verdantly green Mouse Island (Pontikonisi). This stunning view is the trademark of Corfu.
  5. Paleokastritsa: Paleokastritsahas long been considered one of the most beautiful villages in Corfu. Here you can find six secluded sand and fine pebble beaches surrounded by tall cliffs, wooded headlands, olive groves, lemon and cypress trees and lush hilly countryside. The island’s favorite monastery is the charming Theotokos monastery, situated in the 13th Century Venetian Castrizza San Angelo, just above the main beach of Paleokastritsa.
  6. Corfu island safari: Experience Corfu’s stunning beauty on a Jeep Safari and feel the island’s adventurous nature and stunning views. You can choose to be a driver or a passenger. The tour starts towards the north of the island and passes by the villages of Zigos, Omali and Strinilas. Take some time to observe the unique architectural style of the houses with spilling flowers from balconies and pots as well as little churches whose unique architecture was visibly influenced by Italian churches of the 16th Century. You will also drive to the highest point of the island, Mount Pantocrator. On clear days you can even see Italy, which is about 130 km away. Next you drive along to Kalamaki, one of the nicest beaches in northern Corfu.
  7. Old Perithea ghost village: This historic village is a unique area of natural beauty, situated on the attractive north east corner of the island, just below Mount Pantocrator. It is the oldest example of the original mountain villages of Corfu. The village, once inhabited by approximately 1200 people, was one of the wealthiest on the island, surrounded by vines, oak trees and thousands of sheep that roamed across the mountainside. To this day, with its cobbled streets and ancient houses, the atmosphere retains its warmth and friendliness. Nestling beneath the island’s highest mountains, Old Perithea is set amidst beautiful countryside with views to the sea; it was once a hideaway from Pirate attacks. The village remains an enchanting discovery for visitors from all over the world.
  8. The folklore Museum of Acharavi: Inaugurated in October 2008 and housed in a building of more than 1,000 square meters. The owner has been collecting, maintaining and promoting local folk objects of particular historical interest for the last 25 years. The permanent exhibition of the museum is located in two rooms. The objects, which have been mainly donated, are organized in zones concerning the main local activities. The museum has a rich collection comprising of: Photographic material, books and documents dating back to 1862 and a specialized numismatic collection from the period of the Ionian Islands independent state (19th Century), Local costumes dating back to 1800, folk house furniture, a cart, a harrow, a plow and other agricultural objects and many more.

UNIQUE EXPERIENCE

Easter in Corfu: The celebration of Easter in the island of Corfu is a truly unique experience, combining  elements from Paganism, Agios Spyridon’s spirit (the Patron Saint of the island), the Roman Catholic community, the Venetians, the locals’ mentality and of course the Orthodox faith.