The town is a maze of narrow streets dominated by the 16th century fortress. Around every corner you can find a chapel, old mansion or secret garden square. Don’t miss the shops selling local items like wild honey, fig cakes and handmade lace and gold jewels.
Esplanade Square – Liston
The largest square of the Balkans, with the impressive building of Liston, inspired by the architectural style of Rue de Rivoli, Paris, hosts the most elegant and luxurious cafes of the island; it is probably the place to ‘people watch’ while enjoying a Ginger beer and imagine people playing Cricket on the lawn, as they used to.
Just behind the Liston you may find St. Spiridon’s Church, home to the island’s patron ‘mummified’ saint, as well as the church of the Blessed Virgin and the church of Saint John.
Facing the Liston Esplanade is the Old Fort which was built between the 6th & 19th centuries and now hosts the University Faculty of Music. During the summer there are nightly musical performances of Sound & Light.
The Ionian Academy
the first university of Greece, founded in 1824 by the first Governor of Greece after the Greek Revolution, lies on the southern side of the Esplanade Square.
The Palace of St. Michael and St. George to the left of the Liston, was built by the British and used as the official residence of the Governor. Today it houses the Museum of Asian Art.
Close to the square is also the Ionian Parliament, built in 1854, which hosted the vote for the unification of the Ionian islands with Greece in 1964.
The new fortress which was constructed in the 16th century, is much smaller than the old one and not as high. It consists of two levels. The lower level protected the harbour, the higher one the city. It was considered to be an architectural miracle those times. In 1716 it hindered the Turks to conquer Corfu and thus guarded the freedom of the Western world.
The area of Kanoni (cannon)
with a great view to the famous small island of Pontikonisi (mouse island), is where the first city of Corfu was built. There you can visit the small beautiful palace of Mon Repo, which was the summer residence of all British governors of Corfu and also the birthplace of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Today it houses a museum where you can see many Ionian treasures. The Mon Repo’s park is a delightful place for a walk in the cool shade of old giant trees.
Take a trip back in history, to when this stunning palace was inhabited by two great historical European figures, whose only common bond was their adoration for Corfu, Greece and it’s culture. It was erected in 1890 for Elizabeth (Sissy), the Empress of Austria as her summer retreat. After her untimely death, the Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany bought the Palace. This beautiful building in picturesque gardens overlooks the sea and Corfu town. It is one of Corfu’s top attractions.
Kaiser Wilhelm II spent his summers at Achillion Palace, but his favorite location was the village of Pelekas. It’s not difficult to understand why. Standing at his “throne” you have a 360 degree panoramic view of the island and one of the most impressive sunsets.
A charming picturesque village, perched high on the headland overlooking Agios Georgios Bay to the south and the open Ionian Sea to the north. Situated at the northern end of Agios Georgios bay, Afionas offers a magnificent view of the whole bay and surrounding hills. Looking northwards the views along the northwest coast of Corfu and the nearby small islands are quite breathtaking. You can enjoy a nice dinner in one of the tavernas facing north, while watching a spectacular sunset.
is known to have been first inhabited during the 6th century BC. It was apparently abandoned a little later and then re-inhabited again during 6th century AD. On the north-west side of Akri Arilla (Point Arilla) there are excavations which uncovered a village dating back to the Neolithic times.
From the village follow the path down to Porto Timoni, a half-hour walk, where you can find the ruins of a fortress, built in 300 BC by Pirros, King of Epirus.
The village of Pagi
Nestling on the side of a wooded valley this small hill village is set about 2 km from the sea, over the northern end of Agios Georgios beach. This dates back to the time when pirates roamed the Mediterranean and for their protection the inhabitants built their houses away from the sea.
Seek out the local businesses of this little village who miss most of the tourist trade which passes straight through in typical hurried fashion. In the centre there are several cafe’s and a traditional bakery, from which the delicious aroma of freshly baked loaves and bread rolls fills the air in the early mornings. At ‘The Village Shop’ you can find genuine Greek gift items to take home. The streets are narrow so park your car just beyond the village.
An unusual feature is the junction in the village centre where there is a drop of about 3 metres from one road to the other. These streets were used in a car chase sequence in the James Bond film “For Your Eyes Only” featuring Roger Moore!
Placed few kilometers far from the north-west coast of Corfu island, the Diapontia islands represent a Mediterranean Paradise still far from massive tourism. Diapontia islands consist of 3 small islets with a distance between 2 and 7 marine miles from the coast of Corfu, and 9 uninhabited rocky islets There are few persons who live permanently in small and picturesque villages on the islands of Ereikoussa (the northern part of the Ionian islands), Othonoi (the western most part of Greece located only 43 miles off the cape of Otranto, Italy) and Mathraki (the closest to Corfu but the most isolated one). There are no tourist structures except some family complex of apartments or simple rooms. The Mediterranean nature there is still wild and several lonely sandy beaches offer privacy and quiet even during the high season. During summer it is possible to reach them by a regular ferryboat service from Corfu town or from the tourist villages of Sidari and Ag. Stefanos, as well as by fishing boats and excursion boats from most shores of the northern part of Corfu.