Corfu is a lush green island, the second largest destination in the Ionian and is extremely popular with tourists. There are so many places to visit during your stay, from beautiful beaches to the historical Corfu town.
Corfu town is a wonderful place with old Venetian style architecture, elegant streets full of shops and the famous esplanade square. The Venetians originally built the town with narrow streets between the houses, which are known as ‘Kandounia’. You can explore the old fortress, and see the 300-year old church, St Spyridon, one of the most famous monuments on the island of Corfu. Walk through the park and into town, stopping for a coffee at the Liston café. The Liston Square is home to the Royal Palace of St George and St Michael built by the first British commissioner. Some of the best restaurants and bars can be found in the heart of Corfu town, with a mix of traditional and modern cuisines.
Between the city and the old castle, there is the “Spianada Square” which is the most lively and impressive square in Greece. It is one of the most popular places in town for tourists and the meeting point for most social gatherings. Three important historical periods are surrounding the square in stone: The City Palace that reflects the British era in the history of Corfu, The Old Venetian Castle and “French” Liston with its beautiful arches lightened by Venetian lanterns.
Also known as the Royal or City Palace, the Palace of Saints Michael and George also known as the Royal Palace is situated on the northern side of Spianada. It was built at the times of British domination in the island between 1814-24.
The palace has been used for many different reasons during the time of its existence. It used to be Government House and a residence of the Governor, a summer residence of the royal family of Greece, and today the Palace accommodates the Museum of Asian Art, the Municipal Art gallery, the 5th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, as well as the Municipal art café in the garden.
The Old Castle is the most famous castle in Corfu. Its history is closely connected with the history of the island. It is situated on a rocky peninsula and has two peaks. The castle dates back to the Byzantine period. The Byzantines were the first to fix the eastern top of the Acropolis and named it the Sea-Tower. Later the Venetians constructed the architecture. Today it is enjoyed greatly by thousands of visitors every year, the place where international and local artists arrange their concerts throughout the summer months.
The Achillion Palace is located in the most picturesque village called Gastouri. This palace had been built especially for the Empress of Austria, Elizabeth and was built in 1890. The palace is very famous for its architecture and there is a garden inside that is known for its beauty. Italian architect Raffaele Caritto designed the palace. Ernst Herter, a famous German sculptor, was commissioned to create works inspired by Greek mythology. His famous sculpture ‘Dying Achilles’ forms the centrepiece of the Achilleion Gardens.
Mon Repos Palace is situated in the area of Kanoni and is surrounded by a magnificent park. The British Commissioner Frederic Adams, as a gift to his Corfiot wife, Nina Palatianou built this palace in 1826. It is a small but very beautiful palace with colonial architectural. This is also the house where Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, the husband of Queen Elisabeth II, was born in 1921. Nowadays, the Municipality of Corfu opened it as a museum, where tourists can see many Ionian treasures. The park is also a big attraction and is visited by hundreds of tourists every year offering a delightful walk in the cool shade of the old giant trees.
There are many other places for you to visit during your stay in Corfu, making it a great place to explore! You can hire a car to travel around the island, or even a boat to explore the small coves and bays, that are private and a great place to relax. Whatever you decide to do when you come to Corfu, it will be an unforgettable experience.