10 Must See Attractions in Corfu

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Joel Fulleda
@joelfulleda
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

In the Ionian Sea, not even 2 hours from Puglia, Corfu is the Greek island closest to the Italian coast.

The island is very different from the classic Greek islands, for its urban landscape, but also for its peculiar mix that it blends naturalistic beauties with high-level historical and cultural heritage.

It is the ideal holiday for those who want to immerse themselves in turquoise waters, explore paradisiacal beaches and, at the same time, discover the past of the island, which has experienced various dominations: Angevin, Venetian, English and French.

Here are the 10 things to do and see absolutely in Corfu.



Index

  1. Corfu Town
  2. Achilleion (Sissi Palace)
  3. Vlachèrna Monastery and Pontikonissi
  4. Angelokastro fortress
  5. Paleokastritsa
  6. Sidari and Canale dell'Amore
  7. Pelekas
  8. Paleopolis
  9. Korission lake
  10. Cliffs of Cape Drastis
  11. User questions and comments

1 - Corfu Town

Also known as Old Town, is the capital of the island which boasts a charming historic center, Unesco world heritage site.

The most characteristic district, the Campiello, is characterized by narrow cobbled streets and paved in marble, stairways leading to wonderful terraces overlooking the sea, elegant buildings and squares, where the signs of the main dominations are well recognizable: Byzantine, Venetian, English and French.

In the heart of Corfu Town are the Liston, a splendid palace surrounded by cafes and restaurants, and the Spianáda, a huge square with beautiful gardens and paths leading to the waterfront.

The main places of greatest artistic and cultural interest are concentrated in the historic center. Not to be missed: Palace of San Michele and San Giorgio, in English neo-classical style (today Museum of Asian Art), the Old Fortress, citadel on a rocky promontory overlooking the sea and the New Fortress, built by the Venetians in the th century from which you can enjoy a splendid view of the city and the harbor.



  • from the airport take the Line 2 bus (Kanoni - € 1,10) to the Spianada stop in Piazza Liston. The historic center can be visited on foot - Get directions
  • Asian Art Museum open every day except Mondays from 8:00 to 20:00, Old Fortress every day from 8:30 to 14:30, New Fortress from May to October from 9:00 to 21:00
  • Asian Art Museum € 3,00, Old Fortress € 4,00, New Fortress € 4,00

2 - Achilleion (Sissi Palace)

10 km from the old town of Corfu, in a hilly position, is the Achilleion Palace, known as the palace of Sissi.

This impressive late th century building
century was wanted by the Empress Elisabeth of Austria, who found here an oasis of well-being and serenity. In fact, he spent the springs and summers there from 1891 to 1898 (the year of his death) to escape from the austerity of Vienna, from the strict royal protocol but, above all, to recover from the depression caused by the loss of his only son.

The Achilleion was built by the Neapolitan architect Raffaele Caritto in Pompeian style.
The refined building recalls, in every detail, the classical Greek tradition and the myth of Achilles, whose colossal bronze statue dominates the gardens.

Inside there are statues, frescoes, historical artifacts and personal objects of Sissi while outside there is a well-kept park of 80 hectares where you can walk among Doric columns, statues, stairways, fountains, a rich botanical garden and splendid balconies with sea view. .


  • about 10 km from Corfu Town, in the village of Gastouri reachable by bus n. 10 (€ 1,10) - Get directions
  • from June to August every day from 8:00 to 19:00, from September to May from 9:00 to 15:30
  • € 7,00

3 - Vlachèrna and Pontikonissi Monastery

On a tiny islet connected to the mainland by a pedestrian bridge, stands the monastery, the true symbol of the island of Corfu as well as the most photographed attraction.

This splendid white church, with the typical bell tower in Orthodox style, was built in the th century and dedicated to the Virgin Mary of Vlahernon. A fascinating and enchanting place, completely surrounded by the crystalline waters of the island.

Within the bay of Kanoni it is also located the islet of Pontikonissi, "the island of mice", which can be reached by boat from the Vlachérna pier. It is a small green island, completely covered with pines and cypresses, where there is also the Byzantine chapel of Christ Pantocrator, dating back to the th century. Greek mythology tells that the islet would be the ship of Ulysses which, on his return from Ithaca, the god Poseidon transformed into rock.
This islet, wild and untouched, was one of the most beloved places of the Empress Sissi.

The place gives the best of itself, especially from a photographic point of view, and is highly suggestive at sunset.



  • on the Kanoni peninsula that can be reached on foot (an hour's walk on the pier) or by bus no. 2 from Corfu Town (€ 1,10) - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • the monastery is free. Boat to Pontikonissi € 2,50

4 - Angelokastro fortress

Located on the northwestern coast of the island, this fortress is a interesting vantage point which offers a spectacular view (although the path to reach the top is rather wild and winding).
It is a structure overlooking the sea, built in the thirteenth century by Michael II of Epirus and today represents one of the most important Byzantine castles in Greece.

For centuries, within this fortified citadel, the inhabitants of the north side of Corfu found refuge every time the pirates lapped the shores of the island.

From the etymological point of view it is not clear whether the name refers to the habit of Michael II of Epirus to add to his signature the appellative "of the Angels" or whether it is to be referred to the presence, inside the walls, of a small chapel dedicated to San Michele Arcangelo.

Just 2 km away, you will find the picturesque mountain village of Makrades where to buy the best local wine, honey and aromatic herbs.

  • by car or scooter via Palaiokastritsas (30km, about 45 minutes) - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free

5 - Paleokastritsa

It is one of the most enchanting places on the island, where uncontaminated nature and crystalline sea merge giving life to what the Corfiots themselves define "the most beautiful place in the world".

Located on the west coast, it is a jagged and rocky bay, offers 5 bays and 6 inlets of sand or rock.

During the same day you can move from one beach to another by traveling aboard taxi-boats to discover the most hidden destinations of the bay, passing under caves and inside suggestive granite coves.

To make this place even more romantic contributes the legend according to which, precisely on one of the beaches of Paleokastritsa the meeting between Ulysses and Nausicaa took place.
This locality is also a picturesque village where to stroll, take a refreshing break in some typical taverns and visit (for free) a monastery.


  • bus n. 9 from Corfu Town (€ 1,10) or own transport via Palaiokastritsas (23 km, approx. 33 minutes) - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free

6 - Sidari and the Channel of Love

It is the most romantic place on the island.
Located in the north-west of the island, it is a picturesque village very lively both during the day and in the evening.

Its geological conformation characterized by a series of high sandy and rocky walls, eroded by the sea and smoothed by the wind, in an imaginative and undulating way, creates coves, beaches and small natural inlets very fascinating.

The sea is transparent and crystalline, with a sandy bottom. Which makes it an attractive destination for families with children.
To make it romantic is the presence of the famous Canale dell'Amore, or Canal d'Amour, a deep natural inlet that forms a series of bays and canals in the yellow-pink rock of the coast that represent some of the most beautiful beaches on the island.
Legend has it that couples who swim in the canal are destined to get married soon!

  • bus n. 2 from Corfu Town (€ 1,10) or own transport via Palaiokastritsas and Epar.Od. Skriperou-Peroulades (37 km, approx. 50 minutes) - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free

7 - Pelekas

It is a mountain village surrounded by olive trees on the west coast of Corfu.

Here is one of the most evocative viewpoints of the island, not surprisingly chosen by Emperor William II to meditate and to admire the view, surrounded by the tranquility and serenity in which this place is immersed. In particular, there is a vantage point chosen by the emperor to watch the sunsets, which today has been renamed Kaiser Throne, the "throne of the emperor".

In the 70s it became one of the most popular hippie destinations in Europe. After all, pristine beaches, olive groves, vineyards and a small village perched in the hills, have represented the ideal context for artists, naturists and more or less eccentric characters looking for places out of the ordinary. Today this is no longer the case, but in Pelekas there is still something extravagant and sui generis.
Also worth seeing Mirtiotissa Monastery 200 meters from the homonymous beach.

  • bus n. 11 from Corfu Town (€ 1,10) or own transport via Epar.Od. Kerkiras-Peleka (13 km, 23 minutes) - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free

8 - Paleopolis

A visit to this is a must archaeological site on the Kanoni Peninsula (about 2 km south from the historic center of the capital).

The site, in fact, offers a very interesting insight into the antiquity of the island, central in the traffic along the Adriatic and Ionian routes already before the advent of the Greeks and Romans.

The excavations, begun in the mid-th century, have brought to light the agora of the ancient city, the remains of the military port of Alcinoo, king of the Phaeacians, the remains of the Roman period baths, the ancient Byzantine Basilica, the sanctuary of Artemide-Gorgone and a tower of the ancient city walls.

Palazzo Mon Repos houses the Museum of the History of Paleopolis. Nine rooms in which in addition to the history of the excavations, the flora of the beautiful park is described.
The visit to the excavations therefore provides valuable information on the classical period of the island but also on the legendary age of the Phaeacians.

  • in the Kanoni area, 2 km from the center of Corfu town. Accessible on foot (15-20 minutes), bus n. 2 Kanoni stop (€ 1,10) or by own transport through Paleopolis (5 km, 13 minutes) - Get directions
  • from Tuesday to Sunday, 8: 00-15: 00
  • € 3,00

9 - Lake Korission

On the southwestern coast of Corfu, this beautiful lake is worth a half-day excursion. It covers an area of 6.000 hectares of sandy land and dunes.

The place is of relevant importance as it is one area of ​​great naturalistic interest.

A lagoon close to the sea crossed by a bridge leading to a small grove on the sand where ducks, cormorants, herons and numerous other bird species have found a unique and perfect habitat.

A breathtaking landscape of water and dunes that find the perfect completion at sunset.

  • with own vehicle through Epar.Od. Achiliou-Agiou Dimitriou / Epar. Od. Vrionis-Agiou Nikolaou (27km, 47 minutes) - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • free

10 - Cliffs of Cape Drastis

"Miracle of nature"; "Dizzying panorama"; "Extraordinary scenario"; "Incredible view".

These are only a tiny fraction of the comments found on the net about this rocky cove of the north-western side of Corfu.

What makes it so special is the shape of the cliffs, which create tiny sea caves separated by strips of sand. The contrast of the white of the rocks with the turquoise sea is wonderful.

When the sea is calm, it can be accessed by sea. Otherwise, it can be admired from above by taking a small road that starts from the village of Peroulades, a small town of about 800 inhabitants. The dirt road leads to a panoramic point where the vertical cliffs drop sheer into the sea.
Absolutely one of the most beautiful places to photograph in Corfu!

  • with own vehicle through Epar.Od. Skriperou-Peroulades (47 km, 1 hour)
  • always accessible
  • free

Plan your stay in Corfu

Corfu is one of the Greek islands where mass tourism is most developed. It is a very green island even in summer, with an always mild climate that combines natural beauty with cultural attractions that give it a truly special atmosphere.

It is not one of the most expensive Greek destinations and therefore one can be found good accommodation at a reasonable price.

The situation is very calm, there is no crime, there is no danger and the people are really hospitable.

Once you arrive, by sea or by plane (Ioannis Kapodistrias airport on the southern outskirts of the island), the most convenient and fastest way to reach your accommodation is to use a taxi (€ 15,00).

For the rest of the holiday, the ideal way to get around is to rent your own vehicle (to avoid parking problems more than a car, from € 30,00 per day, we recommend a scooter, from € 8,00 per day). If, on the other hand, you are not interested in nightlife and you expect a permanent beach life, you can use the comfortable bus service (single ticket € 1,10, if purchased directly on the vehicle € 1,50, day ticket € 5,00).


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