Places Of Interest In Corfu

Corfu’s rich historical, cultural and agricultural heritage have bewitched visitors to her shores for centuries. With a diverse and verdant landscape, over 200 traditional villages and miles of wonderful beaches, an elegant, cosmopolitan and beguiling capital town and a perfect Mediterranean climate it is easy to see why.|There is plenty to see and do on this beautiful island. To simply explore the little villages and countryside along the coast and inland is a delight in itself. There are endless beaches to try out and for the more active or for children there are more modern attractions such as bowling centres and water-parks. If you have a real sense of adventure there are also other islands near by, the Greek mainland and Albania.

Corfu Town The capital of the island and at one time of all the Ionian Islands, Corfu Town is a joy to discover. With its elegant arcades, narrow Venetian style streets and relaxed friendly atmosphere it is definitely a must for all. A historically strategic and heavily fortified town and port Corfu's history dates back centuries. Evidence of the original site of the ancient Greek city can be seen in the gardens of Mon Repos, the one time residence of the Greek royal family and in the Archaeological Museum. Further evidence of Corfu's historic past can be found simply wandering through the streets. You will come across little Byzantine churches, Italian piazzas, French arcades and a very British cricket pitch. Visit either of the two dominating Venetian fortresses for the panoramic views across the town. For dining and shopping you are truly spoilt for choice with a wide range of café bars, restaurants and boutiques open from early morning until late at night.

Gouvia The main attraction of Gouvia is its large and well-maintained marina, one of the largest in Europe. It has two good restaurants, a couple of relaxing cafes and ,for boat lovers, a huge variety of craft to admire.

Behind the marina the two villages of Kondokali and Gouvia meet. Gouvia is one of the larger resorts on the North East of the island and retains a local feel as well as catering to a wide range of people and tastes. It has a relatively small but pretty beach with jet skiing and boat trips available and comes alive at night with a good selection of multinational restaurants, plenty of shops, several good bars and two nightclubs.

Dassia Along the main coastal road to the North East coast of is the attractive resort of Dassia. A bustling and lively holiday resort with a good selection of places to eat, a wide variety of shops and café bars. The long strip of pebbly beach is backed by a narrow promenade, perfect for those evening strolls.

For those that enjoy taking part in watersports on their villa holiday, there are 3 jetties along the beach and generally the water is calm. You can try banana boats and waterskiing. The 2 ends of the beach are more secluded and very pleasant for swimming whilst the central areas are generally livelier with several beachside cafes and tavernas. For night owls, there is a very popular beach nightclub that serves as a pleasant bar by day and a lively club at night.

Dassiais also within easy reach ofCorfutown and the beautiful North East Coast, with a good local bus service and a variety of boat trips and excursions on offer.

Ipsos Ipsos is a long narrow stretch of shingly beach backed with all the amenities of a lively tourist resort. The most attractive area is the local church and traditional harbour at the south end of the strip where you can watch the local fishermen bring in their catch and the long easy promenade with its small palm trees alongside the beach.

This is the place to come if you want to dance the night away as it has a good selection of popular bars and nightclubs and plenty of restaurants ranging from cheap and cheerful fast food to traditional Greek tavernas, Chinese and Italian restaurants. There are also three good watersports centres several tourist offices and a good range of small shops &, supermarkets.

Barbati Barbati’s Blue Flag beach is one of Corfu’s best, and has not been spoilt or over-developed although it has all the essentials such as toilets, showers and changing rooms. You walk or drive down a steep hill from the coast road. When you get to the beach there are sun loungers and umbrellas for hire and several tavernas to keep you topped up with snacks and cold drinks. You can try the various water sports based around the jetty, including parascending, ringos and water skiing and there are pedaloes and dinghies for hire. Children will be intrigued by the remains of an ancient church waiting to be discovered on the beach, adding to its photographic potential. The water is shallow and clear but then shelves quite steeply so it is important to keep a keen eye on small paddling people! The beach is rarely overcrowded and you can usually find a secluded spot if you are prepared to walk for a few minutes. The quietest part is the south end which remains just as nature intended with no sun loungers and great snorkelling potential.

Kaminaki A small pretty resort, located off the main Nissaki to Kassiopi road, this resort has changed little over the past twenty years. It offers a couple of tavernas and an old world atmosphere of how tourism would have been early in the 1960's.

Agni Until a few years ago the only way to reach Agni was by boat or on foot from Kalami. It is suprising therefore that this tiny resort has grown into such prominence.

The main reason for this are the three excellent restaurants on the beach that attract visitors from far and wide who continue to come by boat or now by car. The shingle beach and clear waters offer a chance to cool down before, during or after your meal. All the tavernas offer a boat taxi from nearby Kalami or San Stefano.

Kalami Kalami is on the North East Coast of Corfu nestled between the mountains and the sea and gives your holiday a real taste of authentic Greece. This traditional village is in a really beautiful setting surrounded by olive and cypress groves, beneath hillsides perfumed with orange and lemon trees. The bay is lovely, with a sheltered crescent of Blue Flag beach where you can have a go at water-skiing or hire a canoe, pedalo or small boat to explore the coast. If that is all too busy for you, just set up a base on the sand and pebbles with your sun lounger and umbrella. Relax at the beachside taverna where you can top up with snacks and cold drinks. If you want a more active holiday, right outside your villa there are miles of gorgeous, unspoilt countryside to explore on foot, bike or horseback. Or just walk along the beach for twenty minutes and you will come to the bigger resort of Kassiopi with a greater choice of shops, bars and restaurants. There are also regular buses to Corfu Town or you can travel there by boat for a different perspective of the coast.

Agios Stefanos You may find it hard to leave your lovely private Villa Plus pool, but it is worth venturing down to the beach which is ideal for children. It has warm, clear, shallow water ideal for paddling. There are plenty of sun beds and umbrellas to hire, wooden jetties for sunbathing or fishing and a beachside taverna to keep you topped up with cold drinks and snacks. If you have a car, it is easy to explore places like Arillas, Agios Georgios Pagi, Roda, Sidari and Acharavi. It is as usual to travel by boat as car around here, and you have the option of hiring you own boat from the harbour, a very relaxed and comfortable way to discover the beauty of the North East Coast.

Kassiopi Set around two bays with wonderful views, there are miles of gorgeous, unspoilt countryside to explore on foot or horseback behind Kassiopi if you fancy seeing more of the island on your holiday. Achavari, the main town in this area is nearby along the picturesque coastal road and worth visiting for its splendid 2 mile crescent of clean sandy beach, with warm shallow water perfect for playing and paddling.

Acharavi Acharavi is a new, modern and developing resort with all the amenities of a small town. The main street is dotted with bars, shops and restaurants, and you’ll find even more along the little roads leading to the beach. As well as the usual souvenir and gift shops there is a post office, banks, a dentist, doctors and pharmacies, hardware stores and flower shops plus a couple of large supermarkets. Acharavi is a good place to shop for local handicrafts such as gold and silver jewellery, things made from the local olive wood and very good soap made from olive oil. Locally made ceramics, lace and embroidered linen are high quality, inexpensive and widely available as well as leather belts, wallets and bags. If you visit Corfu Town you will have a much greater choice.

Roda Roda is located on the far North Coast of Corfu, close to Acharavi. The resort was once a small fishing village but over time has been built up to form a large traditional resort, popular with families. Many of the restaurants have entertainment and live music and you’ll find everything from traditional Greek tavernas to English cafes. The main town runs alongside the beach which is made of sand and pebble, with clear shallow water. For anyone wanting to see more of the island, Acharavi is only a short drive along the coast, or you have the opportunity to explore by sea by hiring your own boat!

Sidari Sidari has everything you need for a wonderful, memorable holiday without venturing far afield. The town covers all the basics such as cashpoints, supermarkets, gift shops and pharmacists. If you want to explore the island a villa in Sidari makes a great base, with local buses to the churches, fortress, shops and hidden leafy squares of Corfu Town. There is a good choice of boat trips from Sidari, and Kassiopi is just a 15 minute drive away. Kassiopi is a traditional village in a magnificent setting with Mount Pantokrator as its backdrop surrounded by olive groves, vineyards and orchards of oranges and lemons. There’s an attractive, horse-shoe-shaped harbour and a fine beach with plenty of water sports on offer. Closer to home, Sidari has several excellent beaches, with great views across to Albania. To the east of the main beach, within walking distance of the town in an area of rugged cliffs and rocks is the famous Canal D'Amour. The 'Channel of Love' is 1 of a number of unusual rock formations creating tiny coves and narrow channels, reached by steep paths and in some cases ladders.

Paleokastritsa Paleokastritsa is commonly thought to be one of the most beautiful parts of Corfu. The main road leading into the resort is dotted with a choice of good tavernas, many with superb views over the rolling hills to the seafront. The resort also has a choice of excellent sandy beaches. Some of the smaller hidden beaches can only be accessed by boat, which you can hire to explore this area of coastline, or catch the water taxi. The area is popular with families, with a number of attractions. Aside from the beaches and stunning scenery, you can visit the blue water caves, hire a pedalo or even visit the local reptile house!

Gastouri and Sinarades Two of the largest and most traditional villages on the island both these villages are worth a visit to see the traditional ways of life and architecture. Still very 'lived in' villages, Gastouri has an attractive well and is the village from which Corfu's pretty traditional costume originates.

Sinarades once again is lovely for a gentle walk with some breathtaking coastal views from 'Aerostatos' a viewpoint on the outskirts of the village, a large church and a tiny local folk museum that shows village life through the years.

Lefkimi and Lake Korrison The south of the island is largely untouched by tourism except for one or two beach resorts. The salt flats on the South East coast were in use until the 1950s and are now interesting for nature lovers and walkers and on the west coast the nature reserve and sand dunes of the Korrison lagoon are a treasure if you enjoy natural history and walking.

Benitses One of the first tourist resorts in Corfu, Benitses is a short drive south from Corfu town on the main coastal road to the Southern tip of the island. Centred on an attractive shingly beach and bustling harbour front the village is an interesting mix of old and new.

The old village is a delight to explore and a short distance away is a lovely streamside walk amidst the old pump houses and walkways built by the British in the late nineteenth century. The new town is a busy little resort with a good selection of cafes, bars, shops and nightlife.

Benitses Springs Behind the village of Benitses is an interesting all season walk along a stream with 19th century pump houses built by the British to supply the water for Corfu Town. Though largely derelict the buildings are interesting and the walk pleasant.

The Palace of St Michael This imposing and dignified Palace occupying a stately place in the centre of the town was built as the official residence of the first British High commissioner in 1819. The Palace now houses the Museum of Far Eastern Art, a lovely café and two art galleries.

Mon Repos A beautiful villa built in lovely grounds in 1831 by the British, Mon Repos later became the summer residence of the Greek royal family.

Built in part on the site of the ancient city of Corcyra (Corfu) with extensive grounds leading down to the sea it is a wonderful place for a stroll out of the heat of the sun, the easy walkways being shaded by a wide variety of enormous trees.

Some evidence of the ancient city walls and a small ancient temple can be found and there is small museum inside the original villa that shows the progress and some artifacts from the continuing excavations on the site.

The Achilleon Palace The Achilleon is an impressive summer palace that was built in the early 1890's for the Empress Elizabeth of Austria (''Sissy'') who had a passion for Greece and Corfu in particular.

A large imposing building about 3 miles south of Corfu town through the lovely village of Gastouri the Achilleon is worth the visit particularly for the lovely views from the palace grounds.

Pontikonisi The tiny picturesque island of Pontikonisi (or Mouse island) and the nearby convent of Vlacherna has become a symbol for Corfu appearing on almost all promotions for the island. With its tiny miniature Byzantine chapel set on top of the little tree covered island it is a pleasant place to visit and can be reached by local boats that do regular trips from Kanoni.

Vidos Island Opposite Corfu town is the inviting little island of Vidos. Vidos was once housed part of the Venetian fortifications and the remains can still be seen in the center of the island.

Now a beautiful peaceful nature reserve with several small shallow beaches some nice walks and a lovely restaurant the island can be reached by a boat that goes over to the island from the old port several times a day.

Pantocrator Mountain The highest point of Corfu and standing majestically overlooking the North East corner of Corfu, Corfu Town and the mainland beyond.

One of the many beautiful driving routes on the island takes you up through several small villages including Spartillas, known (along with its sister village Lakones on the opposite coast) as 'the balcony of Corfu' because of its spectacular views.

Follow on through Strinillas, one of the original hidden villages, built out of sight of the coast and therefore the marauding pirates of the time and up a narrow road to Mount Pantocrator the highest point on the island at 906 metres.

There is also an adventurous drive from the North of the island, but this is best done in a four wheel drive vehicle.

The last section of the road is better on foot but the fantastic panoramic views from the monastry and café, at the top are well worth the effort.

Old Perithia At the far north of the island completely hidden from the sea is the large, almost abandoned village of Old Perithia. With seven churches, a good schoolhouse and numerous old houses old Perithia was clearly a thriving and prosperous town in years gone by.

Through the years it was gradually abandoned but in a recent EU scheme, it is slowly being restored as a living village. The scenery and architecture of the area is lovely and there are three good tavernas and refreshingly, little else.

Many houses in Old Perithia are for sale, at very reasonably prices, by the local authority. However, there is a catch - you have to restore the house to its former glory!

Paxos and Parga Just off the southernmost point of Corfu is the first of the larger neighboring islands Paxos and its tiny sister, Anti Paxos. A beautiful green island with hundreds of tiny unspoilt pebble beaches and a relaxed traditional lifestyle, Paxos is a lovely place for a day out.

There are regular day trips to the island or you can choose to go independently by sea-plane or hydrofoil. Parga is a large fortified town on the mainland that is generally included on the Paxos day trip boats. With two fabulous beaches a lovely coastline and plenty of waterside restaurants and cafes to chose from, this pretty bay is a popular resort in its own right and a very pleasant place to while away some time.

Albania Albania is surprisingly close to Corfu and there are several day trips that take you on a tour across. Aside from sheer curiosity, the main attraction of Albania is the fascinating ancient Greek city of Butrint.

Discovered before the war the city was once a large and important walled city and has a chequered past. It is now a protected area and is receiving private funding to restore and excavate it.

Boat Trips Easily one of the best, most enchanting and relaxed ways to see Corfu is from the sea. Whether you are happy just to remain local with a pedalo, be adventurous by hiring your own little boat, prefer your boat to be captained and be wined and dined or fancy going for the ferries and heading off to other islands, there is something for everyone.

There are various boat trips and excursions on offer all over the island. The main areas to take to the sea are the North East Coast with its stunningly beautiful scenery and myriad of little pebble bays or Paleokastritsa with its dramatic cliffs and deep blue waters.

'Vivi' boat is a well-maintained traditional caique that does boat trips up the North East Coast of Corfu and to Corfu town. Taking no more than 14 passengers it is a lovely day out for the whole family. With or without a meal included it is a relaxed way to see the beautiful coast and some of the beaches only accessible by boat. There are snorkels and masks aboard that the captain shows older children how to use.

Paleocastritsa has little boats that take up to 20 people on small tours to the nearby caves. The tours last about an hour and are a lovely way to admire the dramatic scenery and small caves of the West Coast.

Calypso glass bottom boat. Leaving from Corfu old port on a regular basis a large glass bottom boat takes big groups to a spot just off the island of Vidos. The round trip takes about an hour and children can see two sea lions and the fish around the island.

Avlaki One of the most attractive beaches on the North East Coast ofCorfu, Avlaki has its borders in the Eremitis nature reserve and has a small lagoon which is a nature lover’s delight. Within a short drive or a 20 minute walk of Agios Stephanos and Kassiopi, Avlaki offers a quiet family location for avilla holiday, with a snack bar and a couple of tavernas serving typical Greek dishes.

The beach, a long curved stretch of white pebbles shelves into the brilliantly blue and fresh sea and there is almost always a cooling breeze blowing across the wide bay. There is a very good taverna in the middle of the beach, awindsurfing/dingy sailing school and small boat hire jetty and for those that enjoy horse riding on their villa holiday there is a horse riding centre nearby where the rides take you through the Eremitis peninsular.

Avlaki offers a quiet location for afamily holidaybut if you want something more lively then Kassiopi is not too far away with plenty of good shops, various activities, and a good choice of places to eat, drink and dance the night away.

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