Every summer, Corfu island attracts thousands of tourists and has become a favorite destination for summer holidays. The historical and religious monuments, the picturesque villages, the beautiful nature and the hospitality of the locals offer memories difficult to forget. Corfu Town is a gem for sightseeing with many monuments from the Medieval times, including the Old Fortress, the New Fortress, Liston Promenade and the Church of Saint Spyridon, protector of the island. Visitors should not miss the quarter of Kanoni, a bit outside Corfu Town, with the nice view to the Mouse Island and the chapel of Panagia Vlacherna. Very impressive sights in Corfu are also the Achilleion Palace, the Monastery of Paleokastritsa and the Fortress of Angelokastro.
Corfu Town is the capital of Corfu (Kerkyra in Greek) one of the most beautiful and elegant towns in Greece. It is the principal port of the island and one of the largest and most populated (30,000 inhabitants) towns of the Ionian Islands. Built on a promontory, the town displays a unique architecture which is strongly influenced from the different occupations, such as the Sicilian, the Venetian, the French and the English ones. From those times, Corfu Town has kept many of its imposing buildings, elegant mansions, superb palaces, French-style flowered squares and beautiful fortresses.
The Old Fortress of Corfu was constructed by the Venetians in the 15th century on the site of a former Byzantine castle. To make it more secure, they made an artificial fosse and thus they separated the fortress from the mainland. The fortress was connected to the land by a movable, wooden bridge. In 1819, the British replaced this bridge with the present stable pathway, which is 60 m long and stands 15 m above the fosse, locally known as contrafossa. For more than four centuries, this fortress had been the symbol of the Venetian occupation in the Ionian islands and today it is one of the most impressive sights on Corfu.
The New Fortress of Saint Mark in Corfu is also referred to as the Fortress of San Marco. It was built by the Venetians and is strategically located in close proximity to the Old Harbor of the town. It took a rather long time to be built (1576 and 1645). Construction of this impregnable fortress was completed soon after the infamous Turkish invasion.
The Museum of Asian Art in Corfu is the only museum of this kind in Greece. It is housed in an imposing neoclassical building near Liston promenade, Espianada square, in the Palace of Saint Michael and Saint George. This building was constructed between 1819 and 1824 by the British and initially served as the residence of the British High Commissioners of the Ionian islands. When the Ionian islands were united to the Greek state in 1864, this building was used as a summer residence of the Royal Family. In 1967, the Palace was given to the Municipality of Corfu.
The church of Saint Spyridon was initially built in Sarocco square, Corfu Town. However, in 1590 it was erected in its present location. The architecture of the church is typical of the Venetian architecture that dominates all over the Old Town of Corfu. Its bell tower is the highest spot of the town and this is the first thing that you see as the ferry approaches the island. The locals have deep faith in Saint Spyridon, who is considered the keeper of Corfu.
The Achillion Palace is ideally located in the picturesque village of Gastouri. This magnificent Palace was built in 1890 exclusively for Elizabeth (Sissy), the former Empress of Austria. The palace used to serve as the summer retreat of the Empress. Unfortunately, Sissy the Empress passed away in a rather tragic manner when she was brutally assassinated in 1898 in Geneva and the palace was deserted till the year 1907 when it was bought by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. The palace was given the status of a Public building after World War II.
The location of Kanoni with the church of Panagia Vlacherna below and the Mouse Island (Pontikonissi) are the most famous and photographed spots of Corfu. Kanoni is actually a quarter of Corfu Town, just a couple of kilometers from the city center. It took its name from an old cannon that stands on top of the hill. Some steps go down the hill from Kanoni and you reach the small church of Panagia Vlacherna. Fishing boats depart frequently from the church and go to the legendary Mouse Island, just 5 min boat ride. According to mythology, this rocky island is the ship of Ulysses that was stoned by god Poseidon. In the center of the Mouse Island, there is the 13th century church of Pantokrator. It is also very frequent that you see an airplane landing and taking off from this spot, as the airport of Corfu is right next to the church.
Monastery of Paleokastritsa on the north western side of Corfu, there is a large Monastery complex dedicated to Panagia (Virgin Mary) of Paleokastritsa. This monastery dominates the whole region. Built on top of a remote hill, it gives gorgeous view of the island and the sea. This Byzantine Monastery dates back to 1228, however the current complex, the cells of the monks and the yard date from the 18th century. The monastery has a small ecclesiastical museum with rare Byzantine icons, holy books and other relics. Inside the monastery, there works a traditional olive oil press. The road to the monastery passes through a forest of olive trees and cypresses.
Aggelokastro, which is also referred to as Angel Castle, is strategically located in close proximity to Krini. It is believed to date back to the 13th century. The Aggelokastro is conspicuous by its domed gate at the entrance. It boasts of priceless vestiges and there are exclusive storage rooms as well. Another interesting remnant is an ancient church dedicated to the angels Gabriel and Michael which is surprisingly constructed in a cave.
Kassiopi: The village of Kassiopi lies 38 km north of Corfu Town, opposite the Albanian coasts. This small picturesque fishing village counts 1200 inhabitants and is dominated by a Roman fortress where it is also believed that the Emperor Nero once stood near this location. Today, Kassiopi is a cosmopolitan town with several taverns, cafes, bars and accommodation.
Sidari is a popular tourist resort, 36 km north-west of Corfu Town. Surrounded by a landscape of wild beauty, Sidari has developed a lot of tourist amenities over the last years. The village is located right next to the famous Canal d’ Amour (the Channel of Love), with the unique geological formations. Canal d’ Amour is one of the most distinctive spots of Corfu and everyone should visit.
Argirades is a large village on the way to Lefkimi, located 33 km south of Corfu Town. The village lies on the slopes of a verdurous hill, offering lovely scenes to the surrounding area. The architectural heritage of the village has its roots in the days of the Venetian rule with houses that reflect the strategic position of the area.
Kavos is one of the most tourist spots in Corfu. This popular resort is located at the southern part of the island, 45km from the town. During the last 20 years, Kavos has been hugely developed and today it is regarded as the top destination for British tourists. The pristine beaches and the night entertainment are all important features that Kavos has become famous for. Lying on the southern coast of Corfu, the village provides an impressive view to the