Corfu is the pearl of the Ionian coast. The island has survived the influence of many cultures brought with merchants and invaders, but has retained its identity. This was reflected in the language, habits and way of life of the local population.
Who and why should come to Corfu
Fans of history and legends will love the fortresses and museums of the city, which store priceless artifacts from the depths of time.
Cathedrals and temples are the cradle of the Christian religion. Every cultured person should visit them.
Beaches, mountains and islands with stunning landscapes are suitable for family leisure and romantic dates.
Paleo Frurio (Old Fortress)
The citadel, located in the eastern part of Corfu, was built by the Venetians in the 16th century on the ruins of a Byzantine castle. The fortification is separated from the city by a moat and has two small peaks or corypha. It is believed that the name of Corfu came from this word.
At the foot of the hill on which the fort rises stands the church of St. George, notable for its monumental Doric columns. It, like many other buildings of the fortress, appeared in the era of the domination of the British Empire.
Neo Frurio (New Fortress)
The fort appeared on the hill of St. Mark only a few decades later to protect the island from the attacks of the Turks. Subsequently, the fortifications were rebuilt by the British. Today, part of the premises and galleries is open to tourists.
You can wander through the stone halls and climb to the very top of the fortress, which offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the surroundings.
Fortress of Angelokastro
This fortification has played an important role in the history of Corfu. The fortress was built at the dawn of the XIII century, that is, in the Byzantine era. And already in the XIV century, she went to the Venetian Republic.
At one time, the walls of the citadel withstood the onslaught of the Ottoman invaders — a small garrison successfully repulsed the attack of the enemy. In 2009, a global reconstruction of the architectural monument was carried out.
Castle of Kassiopi
Kassiopi is a small village in the northeast of the island. Lovers of “wild” recreation come here to sunbathe on pebble beaches framed by emerald greenery.
The main attraction of these places is the castle, built on the ruins of an ancient Roman fortress. Its massive walls and quadrangular towers are well preserved and open to the public. The majestic building stands on a cape and is visible from anywhere in the harbor.
The snow-white neoclassical palace was built in the 19th century by order of Amalia Elisabeth of Bavaria a year after the death of her son, Crown Prince Rudolf.
The theme of the interior design was the image of Achilles and the myth of the Trojan War. The palace is surrounded by a beautiful garden with a magnificent view of the Ionian Sea. Marble sculptures and statues complete the landscape.
Elizabeth loved to visit Achillion. She often came to Corfu to take a break from the bustle and gossip of the Austrian court. After the death of the empress, the palace passed to Kaiser Wilhelm II.
Palace of Saints Michael and George
The neoclassical palace was built in the 19th century by order of the British governor who ruled the Ionian Islands. Today, the building with majestic columns and massive arches houses a museum of Asian art. It houses the private collection of Ambassador G. Manos, which he collected during his travels in China, India and Japan: paintings, sculptures, jade and porcelain items.
Villa Mon Repos
A beautiful colonial-style villa is located in the forest near the archaeological complex of Paleopolis. It was built for the British Viceroy Adams and later donated to the Greek royal family. Here, in 1921, Prince Philip was born, who then married Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. Today, within the walls of the villa is a museum dedicated to the history of Corfu.
Liston Street is a great place to walk in the evening. Luxurious, graceful, with many elegant arches and amazing lighting, it was founded during the Second French Occupation. The project was developed by engineer Mathieu de Lesseps, inspired by the Rivoli street in Paris. When the British occupied the island, they expanded the arches and completed the floors that today house offices and apartments.
There are two versions of the origin of the name “Liston”. According to one, the word has Italian roots and means “straight line”, which is consistent with the geometry of the street. According to another, in ancient times only noble aristocrats, included in a special list, could walk here.
This museum, equipped with the latest technology, invites you to immerse yourself in the past. The exposition is housed in a restored mansion and tells about the life of its owners, who lived here in the 19th century.
In the recreated interiors of a bygone era, wax figures in elegant dresses are presented in various scenes: receiving guests, drinking tea, cooking, etc. All actions are accompanied by characteristic sounds and smells that are recreated by robotic gadgets.
Museum of Paleopolis
The museum is located within the walls of the Mont Blanc estate, closely associated with the Greek imperial family. The exhibition presents exhibits that tell about the rich history of Corfu.
The detailed model shows the territory of the city within its modern boundaries with an exact indication of the main attractions: temples, museums, viewing platforms. There is also a stand with old photographs showing the city in the middle of the 19th century.
Located in the chamber church of Our Lady of Antivouniotissa, the museum houses a unique collection of icons from the Byzantine and post-Byzantine periods. All his masterpieces were written in the period of the XV-XIX centuries. Of particular value are the wall frescoes of the 11th-18th centuries, collected from various monasteries of Corfu, as well as the altar fabric brought from Russia by Archbishop Nikifor.
Diver, enthusiast and collector Napoleon Segais traveled the Asia-Pacific region for 20 years. During countless dives, he recovered many valuable artifacts from the seabed. They became the basis of an unusual exposition.
The museum displays a variety of shells. The most expensive of them is estimated at 20 thousand dollars. There are also stands with ancient fossils, stones and corals. Of particular interest to visitors are stuffed turtles, sharks, starfish, snakes and other inhabitants of the depths.
This Orthodox monastery was founded in the 18th century. The snow-white architectural complex occupies almost the entire tiny island, which can be reached along a narrow man-made isthmus. The main shrine of the monastery is the icon of the Blachernae Mother of God. Believers attribute miraculous properties to it.
Cathedral of Saint Spyridon
The temple, located in the heart of the old city, attracts thousands of tourists. They come to admire the outstanding frescoes of the 16th-18th centuries.
The relics of St. Spyridon, the patron saint of Corfu, are kept in the chamber basilica of the 16th century. His remains were brought here from Constantinople and laid to rest in a silver coffin. On major religious holidays, the monks march with him around the city.
Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Also known as the Metropolis, this Orthodox cathedral is one of the most visited on the island. This is partly due to its location — it stands on the way to the Old Port — an important transport and passenger artery.
Another reason is rich interiors, a huge iconostasis and frescoes. The main shrine of the temple is the remains of St. Theodora, the Byzantine empress who ruled in the 9th century.
Church of Saints Jason and Sosipater
In the immediate vicinity of Mon Repos is the chamber church of Jason and Sosipater. It glorifies the two disciples of the Apostle Paul who brought Christianity to Corfu in 63 AD. The church is active, and services are held in it.
The temple, built of massive stone blocks, is a canonical example of Byzantine architecture of the 11th century. The building has the shape of a cross topped with a dome. Initially, its walls were completely covered with skillful frescoes, but many of them have been lost over time. However, some fragments can still be seen. The iconostasis of the 18th century has been completely preserved.
Monastery in Paleokastritsa
The monastery appeared on the island as early as the 13th century, but its final architectural features were formed in the period from the 16th to the 18th centuries. Many valuable Christian shrines are kept within the walls of the monastery. Among them are the icons of Skopietissa (Paleokastritsa) and the Assumption of the Mother of God.
“Canal of Love” in Sidari
This picturesque place is located in the northwest of Corfu. Several shallow channels with piercing blue water are sandwiched between bizarre limestone cliffs.
Peculiar “fjords” lead to small bays with picturesque sandy beaches. Thanks to the rocks, the channels are protected from the wind. Here you can have a great rest, even when the season is coming to an end in the popular Greek resorts, and the weather starts to deteriorate.
This islet is officially called Pontikonisi, but locals and tourists prefer to call it “mouse” because of its very modest size. It only takes a few minutes to walk around its entire territory. Pontikonisi is easily accessible by boat from Kanoni harbor.
There is a legend that the island is actually the ship of the traveler Odysseus, which Poseidon turned into a rock because the wanderer invaded the domain of the god.
The highest point in Corfu is Pantokrator (906 m). At the top is a monastery and cell towers. The observation deck offers a view of the surroundings, and on a fine day, the outlines of neighboring Italy are clearly visible. On the slopes of the mountain there are hiking trails that vary in difficulty. Climbing Pantokrator Peak takes an average of 2 hours.
Regularly, boats and boats full of tourists moor to a small island, overgrown with dense forest. The closest point on land from where you can get to the natural pearl is the Old Port. The voyage will take 10–15 minutes.
The main attractive feature of the island is three picturesque beaches. You can reach any of them along the paths that run through the thicket. The addition to the landscape is a memorial to the Serbian soldiers who defended Greece during the First World War.
This is the most beautiful and inaccessible beach in Corfu. You can sunbathe and swim there only at low tide. The sea recedes from the 100-meter limestone cliffs, exposing a narrow strip of sand, which is reached by two stairs built right into the sheer cliff.
The lucky ones, who managed to take a seat on a few sunbeds, enjoy the stunning scenery and the clearest sea. But not for long — in the evening the tide begins, and the beach is hidden under water.
The bulk of tourists come to Peroulades to enjoy the stunning sunsets from the open terrace of the tavern, built right above the cliff. Tables are recommended to be booked in advance.
This beach, located about 2 km from the village of Pelekas and 25 km from Corfu, is considered the best. The coastal strip is covered with soft golden sand, olive groves, pines and cypresses on the hill complete the landscape. Cafes, bars and restaurants line the coastline.
The beach is located near the village of the same name in the north-west of Corfu, about 20 km from the capital. The picturesque bay with blue water includes 6 sandy and sandy-pebble beaches. The largest of them is the owner of the Blue Flag — the highest award for cleanliness and environmental friendliness.
The long promenade that goes around the bay invites you to take a fascinating walk and admire the local views. You can satisfy your hunger in cafes and taverns located nearby.