Corfu

Enchanting Corfu Island

Corfu at a glance

Corfu island is the most western part of Greece and it is the second largest island of the Ionian Sea, with an area of ​​592 square kilometers and a population of 120,000 inhabitants, of which 6.000 are foreign in origin, mainly British. Their presence is so intense and so important on the island that the region around Kassiopi, in the northern part of the island, is called “Kensington in the Ionian”.. The island is 60 km long, with a width ranging from 4 to 30 km. The beautiful rugged coast reaches 217 km in length. The prefecture of Corfu includes the islands of Paxos, Antipaxos, Mathraki, Othoni, Erikoussa. The capital of the prefecture is the city of Corfu, on the east side of the island of Corfu.

The island experienced the sovereignty of Venetians, French and finally the British. All of them, but mainly the Venetians, who remained more than 200 years on the island, left their indelible marks in the architecture, the arts, the culture and the behavior of the population. Their sovereignty developed and set off the artistic nature of the residents of Corfu. It made them cosmopolitan, friendly people with an open mind that can grow and coexist harmoniously with other nationalities that decided to live permanently or for a long time interval in Corfu. It is not a coincidence that you can find Consulates of Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Denmark, Portugal, Cyprus, and Serbia.

The capital of the island will enchant you at first glance. With many elements from the Venetian period, Corfu is a miniature of neighboring Italy. The old fort dominates the Garitsa bay and includes almost the entire modern history of the island.

One of the most famous and beautiful islands of the Ionian sea, the Corfu is waiting for you to explore.

Corfu is a green island full of magic contrasts. Long sandy beaches of unique beauty unfold on the western side of the island, while the Eastern side is dominated by pebbly beaches, with small bights that give shelter to ships and well-hidden luxurious villas. The mountain of Pantokratoras rises in the northern part of the island while the extents in the southern part are plainer. Prosperous valleys unfold in the hinterland, while a big part of the island is covered with olive trees and vines. The mild and humid climate of the island encourages cultivation and vegetation revels in all extent. In a lot of reports and traveling guides, Corfu is described as a “blessed place”.

However, it is not only the natural beauty that makes Corfu an ideal location for a permanent residence and for spending your holidays. It’s a place that assembles all the comforts of a big city. Daily flights from and to Athens and Thessalonica are carried out at the international airport Ioannis Kapodistrias while the island is connected to a lot of European cities with direct charter flights. Corfu is also connected by sea to Italy, Patras, and Igoumenitsa. Itineraries to the islands of Diapontia (Ereikousa, Mathraki, Othoni) and Paxos are carried out from the island’s harbor, especially in the summer months. Corfu can take pride in that it allocates one of the biggest and very well organized marinas in Greece, which offers its hospitality to hundreds of boats every summer and is located only 5 minutes from the city.

Corfu hosts a lot of cultural, social and athletic activities. The island has 18 philharmonic bands, the municipal theatre in the city center as well as the open theatre “Rena Vlachopoulou” at Mon Repo.
There are also museums, the Municipal Library, the Art gallery as well as the Ionian University with six active departments. A lot of concerts, plays, exhibitions, and festivals that are organized throughout the year, reveal the artistic nature of Corfu’s residents. The fame of the Easter celebration has spread throughout the world and thousands come to the island in order to be part of the celebrations.

Concerning your entertainment, there are suggestions literally for every taste: stylish restaurants as well as traditional taverns, cafes, bars, clubs, the casino, bowling, cinema. At the same time, the possibility for athletic activities on the island is being continuously developed: football, cricket, golf, tennis, water polo, swimming, riding, handball, diving and a lot of summer sports. A lot of shops await you to make your purchases throughout the year.

For all these reasons and for many more which you will discover yourselves, Corfu constitutes an ideal place for a refined way of life. Here children still play carefree in the neighborhoods; people smile and live together harmoniously, without stress.

Criminality is virtually unknown and the residents promenade at Liston and Spianada until late in the evening. Corfu is an earthly paradise, a blessed place, ideal for permanent living or the purchase of a second residence since it combines the comforts of a big city with a natural environment.

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History of Corfu

Corfu’s history is action-packed…to say the least! it has the makings, of real-life epic featuring the likes of Alexander the Great, Dimitrios the Besieger, Roman emperors Brutus and Claudius, France’s Napoleon, and the pirate Barbarossa…to name but a few of the tyrants and leaders who have battled over the island’s position.

Corfu was the first Roman base on Greek soil, after being asked for help, in 229BC, following a particularly strong pirate attack. Under the Romans, Corfu lost the power and privileges it had accumulated, struggling through years of defeat and depravity.

In 40AD the new Christianity arrived on Corfu through two Ionian bishops, Iasonas, and Sosipatros of Tarsus. Disciples of St. Paul, it is thought that they were the first to preach the gospel on Corfu and later built the first Christian church in the area, on the Pythia islet, and dedicated to Agios Stefanos.

How to get to Corfu Island

Located very close to the international harbors of Patras and Igoumenitsa and is easily accessible by air and sea.

To get to Corfu there are three options: by airplane, by car and then taking a ship from the port of Igoumenitsa or by the Intercity Bus which operates from Athens and Thessaloniki.

By car

If you decide to arrive by car, you should know that the distance from Athens is about 500 km and you will need 6-7 hours to Igoumenitsa port and about 1 hour and 45 minutes to reach the port of Corfu. Igoumenitsa ferry schedules are daily and throughout the day from 6 am to 10 pm.

If your destination is the southern part of the island, it is convenient to take the ferry to the port of Lefkimmi, with the journey lasting less than an hour. If you come from northern Greece, Egnatia highway has shortened the route, for example, the trip Thessaloniki – Igoumenitsa lasts only 3 hours and Ioannina – Igoumenitsa just 45 minutes.

By boat

a) via Patras: The large ferry-boats which leave the Italian harbors of Brindisi, Bari and Ancona stop at Corfu on their way to and from Patras.
For information on the schedules, ticket prices of passengers and automobiles, contact the Port Authority Office at Patras, tel. (+30) 2610-341002, 341024 or travel agencies in Patras, Athens, and Corfu. You can get to Patras either on the buses of OSE from Athens (Greek National Railroad), tel. (+30) 210-5136185 or KTEL from Athens (Public Bus Company) tel: (+30) 210-5136185.

b) via Igoumenitsa: The trip from Igoumenitsa to Corfu is one hour and forty-five minutes by car ferry. For information contact the Port Authority Office of Igoumenitsa, tel. (+30) 22650-23870. One can travel from Athens to Igoumenitsa on buses of KTEL (Public Bus Company), Athens, Tel. (+30) 210-5125954, 5130428. The distance is approximately 500 km. You can also go on the buses of OSE via Patras, as well as the train. Information: OSE, Athens, rail: tel. (+30) 210-5131601, buses: tel. (+30) 210-8233235. From northern Greece and Macedonia connections to Igoumenitsa are via Thessaloniki by bus. Information, KTEL, Thessaloniki, tel. (+30) 2310-595444, 595495.

You can also reach the island with your own boat, as it has marinas, small and large in various places.

Port Authorities:

Corfu Tel: (+30) 26610 32655

Igoumenitsa Tel: (0030) 26650 99460

Lefkimmi Tel: 26620 23277

By plane

Corfu International Airport “Ioannis Kapodistrias”(CFU), is located 3 km south of the city center, in the area of ​​the Halkiopoulos Lagoon.

Information:
Tel. (+30) 26610-89622, 89823

Located three kilometers south of Corfu town (Kérkira) in the area of Kanoni, opposite the islet of Pontikonissi, Corfu Airport is clean and modern with basic facilities and service. There are three or more flights to and from Athens everyday and flights for Thessaloniki are available on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
There is one terminal building for both domestic and international flights with Greek Airlines, Olympic Airlines and Aegean Airlines as the main carriers. A host of other chartered carriers serve the airport, especially in the summer months.
Essential facilities include a bank and ATM, a money exchange booth, and a post office. There are specially adapted telephones and toilets for the physically disabled, as well as a health center. Once through to the departure lounge, there is a large amount of seating, tax-free shopping, and a café and bar serving drinks, coffee, and snacks.
There is a regular local bus service to and from the airport and Corfu town. Many of the larger hotels have their own free minibus service, and if you’re arriving on a package holiday, transfers to and from the airport are usually included.
By car, Corfu town is to the north on the Kérkira-Kanoni road. Taxis are also readily available outside the terminal; make sure you agree on the price first. There is parking for 120 cars and 60 buses. An information desk is located in the Arrivals hall.

If you are looking for airline tickets and flights to Corfu enter the dates of arrival and departure in the left box, and the online reservation program will show you suggestions and prices for your flight where you can make your reservation directly and securely.

Corfu : Getting to know the island

Today Corfu reflects many of these influences in its own special Corfiot architecture and culture.

Northern Corfu

Heading north out of town, the first places you come to are Alykes (5 km.), a coastal suburb, and Gouvia (8 km.), an old Venetian shipyard now a popular tourist resort.
Next, follow the highly developed Dassia (13 km.) and the charming fishing village Ipsos (15 km.) which has a superb beach.

The further north you pass by several seaside villages half-hidden amongst the olive groves, such as Barbati, Nissaki (22 km.), Kalami (29 km.) and Kouloura (31 km.), where small taverns serve delicious food and local wine.

The drive north is exceptionally beautiful.
The road snakes up the slopes of Mt. Pantokrator, revealing something to marvel at around every bend.
Kassiopi (36 km.) is an attractive little town with a ruined Byzantine castle that has not lost its traditional character.

Roda (37 km.) and Sidari (36 km.), summer resorts today, boast some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean.

If you abandon the coast and venture inland here, the ascent up Corfu’s highest mountain, Pantokrator, is well worth it.
There you can visit the pretty hamlets of Strinila and Spartila and enjoy the magnificent view of the island at your feet with Epirus and Albania opposite.

Caiques from Kassiopi, Roda, and Sidari, offer day-long excursions to the Diapontia Islets: Othonos (7 n.mi.), Erikoussa and Mathraki.
These three islands, which cover a total area of 18 sq. km., form Greece’s northwest border in the Ionian.
Though sparsely populated, they abound in fresh fish and aromatic grapes.

The West Coast

The scenery on the west coast overlooking the Adriatic holds other surprises for the visitor.
The most famous beauty spot is Palaiokastritsa (26 km. from town), which Dopfeld and other archaeologists have identified as the site of Homer’s city of the Phaeacians.
The sparkling turquoise waters here are irresistibly inviting to bathers.

On the right-hand side of the beach lies the historic monastery of Palaiokastritsa dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
From its rocky perch, it has a panoramic view of the area’s multiple bays.

In close proximity to Palaiokastritsa, after the village of Krini, stand the striking ruins of Angelokastro, a 13th-century fortress set on an inaccessible pinnacle.

Glyfada (16 km.) and Ai Gordis are two more stunning spots with splendid beaches framed by gloriously wild scenery.

Inland, at Pelekas (13 km.) is a rocky hilltop, famous among Corfiots for being the best place to watch the sunset.
The village itself is among the most delightful on the island.

Not far from Pelekas in the Ropa Valley stretches Corfu’s attractive golf course, ranked among the 100 best worldwide.

The south

Kanoni (4 km.) is one of the most astounding spots on the island.
A narrow strip of land connects it to the Monastery of Vlacherna, and from there you can board a little boat to take you to the enchanting Pontikonissi – Corfu’s trademark – the islet with its 13th-century church.
Hidden among the silvery green olive groves of Perama (8 km.), there are several fine hotels as well as attractive villas for rent.

Gastouri (10 km.) has managed to retain the pretty, old-world charm that inspired the empress Elizabeth to built her dream palace, the Achilleion, here which is a museum.
It is currently renovated in order to accommodate international meetings.

The next place you come to is Benitses (12.5 km.), once a fishing village now a tourist resort with taverns lining the beach
From here the road leads to Agios Ioannis Peristeron, Moraitika, and Messongi where the island’s most beautiful olive grove starts.

Tourist facilities and hotels parallel its extended beach. At Messongi the road turns inland and crosses the island to take you to Lake Korission (25 km.), Corfu’s only noteworthy lake.

Another road leads you to Ai-Yorgi (4 km.) and Kavos, near Lefkimi (40 km.), the wealthiest and most important of Corfu’s large villages which are in the middle of its biggest valley

The Nearby Mainland

While you’ re hardly likely to develop ”island fever” on Corfu, the mainland lies just 90 minutes away by ferry – and it’ s unquestionably worth a visit. Boats leave the Old Port in Corfu Town about a dozen times a day in the summer. If you’ re lucky, dolphins will show off alongside during your passage. You land at Igoumenitsa, a drowsy little gateway to Epirus (Ipiros) in northwestern Greece.

Right away you ‘ re face to face with some of Europe’s most ruggedly magnificent scenery. Driving inland through rarely explored mountain valleys, you’ ll most likely be obliged to slow down or stop frequently: large flocks of sheep and goats wander seemingly at will. For mile after mile, the only signs of civilization are the paved road itself and the odd shepherd’ s cottage off on a distant hillside. The district capital, IOANNINA, is a lakeside -the modern Greek- surrounded by high mountains. Here the fearsome Albanian despot Ali Pasha reigned supreme until he was beheaded, in 1822, on the Monastery Island sitting out in the lake. A delicate minaret and a musty bazaar-like quarter of the city recall the long centuries of Ottoman occupation, which didn’t end until 1913. A persevering shopper might find a worthwhile buy among the thousands of silver and brass items displayed here.

Smoked-cheese lovers should sample Metsovone or the other similarly named varieties brought in from the charming mountain village of Metsovo to the east. Just five minutes beyond Ioannina at the hillside hamlet of Perama, you come to the superb speleological spectacle. An eerie underground wonderland, almost a mile in length, awaits you. Many of the stalactites and stalagmites have names. And these incredible creations of nature often bear a striking resemblance to familiar things. There are 19 types of mineral formation here. To add just one-half inch takes 60 years of the slow dripping process; thus it’s no surprise to hear that the grotto is some 1.5 million years old. Among the cave’s discoveries were the teeth and bones of a family of bears living here some 600,000 years ago. It’ s standard practice to tip your guide, although his narrative and flashlight services are part of your entrance fee.

35 km away you find the wonderfull villages of Zagori (55 small villages). At the slopes of Pindos among Ioannina. Metsovo and Konitsa from Mitsikeli Mountain to Aoos River Zagori are extended. Tsepelovo is the heart of Zagori. It is lost in the mountains and embraced by the forests. It stands beautiful and proud glimmering nobleness. It is a picturesque, traditional village with Galderma, stony mansions and beautiful bridges, as well.

Diapontian Islands

Those little islands can be found on the northwest side of the island. With almost, no tourist development but with an outstanding peaceful wild nature the Diapontian Islands – Othonoi, Errikousa, Mathraki – they are the ideal place for peaceful and solitude vacations. They are easily accessed by a small harbor in the Sidari area.

Paxos Island

About 8 miles in the south side of Corfu island can be found to small islands, Paxos and Antipaxos. Two beautiful traditional greek islands composing a unique atmosphere. Fantastic beaches with emerald, crystal waters, magnificent Blue Caves and the very well organized marina, they gather a large number of visitors from every corner of the earth, every year.

Health Conditions

Due to prosperity and the favorable climate, Corfu has no endemic diseases, and no special vaccinations are required. Hospital facilities, both public and private, are of a good standard. Medical Services: In most resorts, you will find a chemist which is open till late hours.

History of Corfu

Corfu was inhabited since the Paleolithic era. The first inhabitants of the island, based on Homer’s words, were the Piaeks, but according to the geographer, Strabo was an Illyrian descent, the Libyrs. In the course of time, other peoples settled on the island. The Corinthians, the Spartans, the Syracusians, the Romans, the Venetians. The island was the cause of many conflicts among the peoples because of its immense beauty and geographic location. Corfu was incorporated into the Greek state on 21 May 1864 along with the rest of the Ionian islands.

By the time of the Persian War, at the beginning of the fifth century BC, Corfu had become a sea power to be reckoned with. It provided the largest force of ships after Athens in the fight against the Persians. Later that century the rising power of Athens, Sparta, and Corinth led to tensions and the communities of Greece became divided into factions attached to these powerful “poleis” (city-states). The smoldering tensions were set alight by a dispute between
Corinth and her daughter city Corfu over Corfu’s daughter city, Epidamnus (near the northern border of modern Albania). The Peloponnesian War had begun. In this conflict, Corfu was lucky enough to back the winner, Athens, but in the two centuries that followed its fortunes would change.

After the collapse of Alexander the Great’s empire, the power of the Greek world declined. Corfu came under attack from Illyrian pirates (from modern-day Albania, only a few miles from Corfu).

The power of Rome was rising in the same period, and in 229 BC the Romans took control of Corfu, re-establishing security. Once again Corfu was protected by a strong empire and was able to benefit as a trading bridge between Rome and Greece. It enjoyed a few prosperous centuries of peace and quiet, but eventually the power of Rome also passed.

After the Roman empire was split into East and West in 395 AD, Corfu became part of the eastern part, ruled from Byzantium. But Byzantium was too far away to protect Corfu from the hordes
of invaders rampaging through the remains of the Roman Empire, such as the Vandals and Goths.

The island in the 19th century was considered the cultural center of the whole Greek state. So many important academies were founded there, focused on art and letters. The influence of other cultures is particularly evident in the way of house building. A well-known achievement of the inhabitants of the island is the establishment of the Ionian School. Corfu was also considered an important musical center.

The castles, the old town, the countryside, the exotic south, the atmospheric north and everything that makes Corfu wonderful in the spring.

The new fortress

Perched on the hill of St. Mark, above the old Venetian harbor, with the emblematic lion of the Venice Grand Canal to keep its gate, the “new” fortress is not very new: It was built in the 16th century, and today it hosts from the walls of the interesting Art Museum of Ceramics.

The old fortress

You pass through the Venetian fortifications and above the trench to find yourself in the old fortress of the city, with the imposing buildings, the vaulted corridors, the temples, the libraries and the incredible view from its café.

There are so many things to see and admire in Corfu that people who visit Corfu often find something new every time they come Kanini, Pontikonisi, Bella vista, Paleokastritsa, Perithia, Simies, Gardiki, Kassiopi, Agelokastro, Vido, Lefkimi are some of the places you can visit and of course Achillion Palace worth seeing it not only for the history but for its aesthetics as well. Hospitality for people of Corfu is a way of life. They really go out of their way to make visitors feel like home. The nights in Corfu could be either exciting or quiet. There are lots discos, bars and for a quiet night, you can go to a restaurant by sea to have a meal because food in Corfu is delicious of course you can go to the Casino in Kanoni.

Small picturesque traditional houses, paths, taverns and a crystal sea create the ideal place for a perfect vacation in paradise.

Going out - Entertainment

Corfu hosts a lot of cultural, social and athletic activities. The island has 18 philharmonic bands, the municipal theatre in the city center as well as the open theatre “Rena Vlachopoulou” at Mon Repo.
There are also museums, the Municipal Library, the Art gallery as well as the Ionian University with six active departments. A lot of concerts, plays, exhibitions, and festivals that are organized throughout the year, reveal the artistic nature of Corfu’s residents.

The fame of the Easter celebration has spread throughout the world and thousands come to the island in order to be part of the celebrations. Concerning your entertainment, there are suggestions literally for every taste: stylish restaurants as well as traditional taverns, cafes, bars, clubs, the casino, bowling, cinema. At the same time, the possibility for athletic activities on the island is being continuously developed: football, cricket, golf, tennis, water polo, swimming, riding, handball, diving and a lot of summer sports. A lot of shops await you to make your purchases throughout the year.

Museums

Winter Opening Hours for Museums:
Monday: closed
Tuesday-Sunday: 08.30-15.00
Holidays: 6 January, Shrove Monday, Holy Saturday, Easter Monday, Holy Spirit Day, 28 October: 08.30-15.00

Museums are closed on the following public holidays:
January 1st, March 25th, Good Friday (until 12.00), Easter Day, May 1st, Christmas (December 25 & 26). As regards other public holidays, check with the information center of the museum you wish to visit to verify opening hours and days.

The capital of the island, the city of Corfu is extremely charming. It has magnificent narrow streets with multi-storey houses and carved balconies, churches, monuments, beautiful squares. It combines the classic with the modern and romantic of another era with the frantic entertainment of today.  Impressive buildings such as the notorious Liston palace housing complexes of cafes and bars. Liston was built at the time of the French occupation. The impressive arbor is a favorite hangout and meeting place for locals in the city.

Next to Liston is one of the most beautiful squares of all Greece, Spianada. There are often parades, processions and many cultural events. You can also make the city a starting point for your visits to the rest of the island destinations. For your stay there is a huge number of hotels and rooms to rent, of all categories, ready to meet your every need.

Achilleion Palace

The Pompey-style building, with its neoclassic elements, is one of the most popular sights of the island. It is located in the village of Gastouri, in the south, in a wonderful location chosen by the empress of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (in the late 19th century) to build its palace. Impressive interior and exterior spaces, with magnificent gardens, fountains, statues of white marble or brass inspired by Greek mythology and unobstructed views.

Near the palace, in the settlement of Pahatika, there is the “Elizabeth Fountain” as the locals call it, who claim that the empress drank the water there.

The garden and its view are without a doubt magnificent. After the assassination of Elisabeth in 1898 the Palace stood empty until 1907 when it was bought by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, who for a few years occupied it on a seasonal basis. Today, the personal possessions of the former owners are on display in a small museum and are the focus of the camera lenses of the many visitors.

Sights

The Museum of Asian Art, which contains several important pieces of the collection of diplomat Grande Manu and a total of about 10,000 exhibits from artists and creators inspired by Asia and Japan and other museums such as the Byzantine Museum, the Museum of Banknotes and the Serbian house museum. It is also worth seeing the Municipal Art Gallery, the Folk and the Kapodistrias Museum.

The island is also famous for its imposing churches. Some of them are Agios Spyridonas with its bell tower, Agios Nikolaos of the Elders, Panagia Antivouniotissa, Panagia Kremasti, Pantokratoras Church, Agios Ioannis Prodromos, Panagia Xenon, and Platytera Monastery.

A splendid route near the city is the one that ends at Kanoni. The Norman peninsula is 4 kilometers south of the city. To get there, follow the coastal Avenue of Democracy. It passes through the monument of Menecrates, meets the estate of Mon Repo. Here was once the summer residence of the Greek royal family.

Passing from the hill of Analipsi is worth seeing the ancient Acropolis with the ruins of the temples of Artemis and Hera, and the amazing view of the coasts of Epirus. The stroll leads to the idyllic Kanoni, overlooking the islet that houses the monastery of Panaghia Vlacherna and the famous Pontikonisi “Odysseus Island” with the Pantokratoras chapel.

Near the city is the famous Achilleion Palace. The palace was built by the Empress of Austria Elizabeth known as Sissy. During World War I and World War II the palace was used as a hospital. Since 1994 it has been operating as a museum.

On the southwest side of the island, 13 km from the city, lies the beautiful traditional village of Pelekas. The village is at an altitude of 220 meters and not far away from a place called “the throne of the Kaiser”, where one can enjoy the most beautiful sunset on the island.

On the eastern coast of the island lies the notorious tourist village Paleokastritsa. It became famous for the enchanting coves, the steep rocks, and the diversity of its seabed. Its coastline is divided into several beautiful bays, while the pine trees reach to the beach. It features great tourist facilities that promise a comfortable stay. Popular destinations are also Acharavi, Sidari, Barbati, etc.

At the top of the hill, above Paleokastritsa, is the old outpost of the Despotate of Epirus, Aggelokastro. It is worth visiting for a unique view.

32 km from the city of Corfu in the north, is Sidari and the famous beach of Canal d ‘Amour, the channel of love. They say that if a couple swims together there they will be in love forever…
On the NE side of the island is the picturesque town of Kassiopi. One can see remnants of the castle dating from the 14th century. Kassiopi has been inhabited since antiquity and flourished during the Roman period.

Other Destinations

Approximately 7 km south of the capital lies the seaside settlement of Perama, located just opposite to Pontikonisi. You will find several hotels and bars and you can swim in the pebbly beaches. Continue to the south and 12 km away from Corfu town you will find Benitses (Benitses), one of the most popular destinations on the island, having excellent tourist infrastructure. Further south, on the east coast you will find the villages of Moraitika, Mesogi, Boukari, and Petriti. Here you can swim and enjoy fresh seafood in the taverns.

Next stop is the very popular village of Kavos, near the town of Lefkimmi, which is an ideal destination for those who love frenzied fun until morning and a favorite destination of many tourists (mainly English).

West Coast

On the west coast of the island stands Agios Georgios Argyradon, which is, in fact, the beginning of a huge sandy beach, and together with the Halikouna beach is one of the longest on the Ionian Sea.

A little further north you will find Agios Gordis, the port of the village of Sinarades, which gives you the opportunity for water sports.

Approximately 5 km north and within a beautiful bay, there is the picturesque settlement of Ermones, on the beach where Odysseus was found by Faiakes.

Harbors and Marinas

Maritime traffic in Corfu is great on the east coast. There are safe ports like Corfu and Lefkimmi and organized marinas such as Gouvia, Garitsa, Benitsas. The biggest port on the island is Corfu with great tourist traffic. It provides all the facilities of a large city and the possibility of the repair of all kinds. Close to the village of Kontokali, 9 km from the town, is the Marina of Gouvia. The facilities are modern with shops, a playground, and all shipping facilities.

Traditional gastronomy

Do not leave Corfu until you try the traditional dishes such as pastitsada (thick pasta with reddish cock, beef or seafood) and sofrite (thin slices of fried veal with white sauce), as well as fresh fish cooked with well-known Venetian recipes such as bourdeto, savoro or bianco, sagebird (fried cod with garlic, almonds, bread, oil and vinegar).

Also try the local soft drink (lemon juice with natural lemon and ginger) as well as the local Corfu Beers from the Arillas brewery. Corfu has also good quality wine, such as Kakkorigis (white), Moschato (white) and Petrokoritho (red brussos). In addition, small quantities of cold cuts are produced here and dairy products. Last but not least, the kumquat, the fruit that the English brought from Japan, is now a trademark of the island (you will find it in various forms such as liqueurs and sweet of the spoon) and sycamadis (pies made with figs, must, pepper and Ouzo).

Cumquat from Corfu island

A very famous product that is produced only on this island and nowhere else in Europe is the Cumquat. This is a small orange that Marco Polo had brought its plant from China in the 13th century. Corfiots make out of it liquor and dry sweets.

Excursions in Corfu

The picturesque port of Kassiopi, on the north side of the island, offers a base for exploring that side of the Corfu Island. Do not miss to visit the church of Panagia Kassimitra (with 17th-century frescoes) and the ruins of the castle.

The rare geological landscape of Sidari worth visiting here just to dive into the Canal d’Amour.

A walk in the ruined streets of Old Peristyle, with its beautiful houses and churches.

The renowned resort of Paleokastritsa in the west with its lush and rocky landscape is still at the top of the travelers’ preferences.

A traditional village on a hillside, the Cynopiastes with the old mansions (some dating back to the 17th century), the Cathedral of the Virgin in the central square with the marble entrance and the Olive Museum. Here you will find some of the most famous taverns on the island with the traditional Corfiot cuisine.

Kastellani village with the Chrysopigi church (now known as Zoodochos Pigi, 1688), built by the noble Italian Prospero Marini.

Climb up to the Kaiser Observatory (at an altitude of 272 m), on the top of the hill over Peleka, and overlook the west coast of the island.

In the south, the village of Chlomos with its traditional color is famous for its sunset. Walk, have coffee at the cafeteria with the locals and visit the Taxiarches church.

The former fishing villages and nowadays cosmopolitan resorts Benitses, Moraitika, and Messonghi offer travelers organized beaches, hotels, restaurants as well as water sports opportunities.

In contrast to the touristically developed Corfu, the Othonoi, Ereikoussa and Mathraki Islands – the westernmost part of the island – is an ideal destination for nature lovers who prefer a peaceful holiday. There you will find beautiful beaches to swim and hiking opportunities. If you do not have a sailing boat, there are ferries from Corfu Town, Sidari, and Agios Stefanos.

All the islands around Corfu

Paxoi is full of olive’s and the houses are made of stone southern is another island called Antipaxi. There are lots of vineyards there. The beaches are marvelous. It is like paradise a place where you can find peace. The unique beauty of Paxoi beaches is famous throughout the whole of Greece. A lot of tourists dock their yachts in the natural created harbors like Lakka, Gai, and Moggonisio. The magic of these docks is amazing when the wind blows gently. It’s the perfect time for taking the yacht to sea for a ride.

Even if they are at only a few kilometers away from Corfu, the surrounding islands enchant the tourists’ eyes with their beauty and calm, relaxing and isolated way of life.

Northwest of Corfu are three island Erikousa, Othani, Marathia. They are called Diapantia islands. There are many chances for swimming and fishing. It is a place for those who love the beauties of nature.

There are so many things to see and admire in Corfu that people who visit Corfu often find something new every time they come Kanini, Pontikonisi, Bella vista, Paleokastritsa, Perithia, Simies, Gardiki, Kassiopi, Agelokastro, Vido, Lefkimi are some of the places you can visit and of course Achillion Palace worth seeing it not only for the history but for its aesthetics as well. Hospitality for people of Corfu is a way of life. They really go out of their way to make visitors feel like home. The nights in Corfu could be either exciting or quiet. There are lots discos, bars and for a quiet night, you can go to a restaurant by sea to have a meal because food in Corfu is delicious of course you can go to the Casino in Kanoni.

Small picturesque traditional houses, paths, taverns and a crystal sea create the ideal place for a perfect vacation in paradise.

Nature

Visitors in Corfu know not what to admire first: the velvet-like texture of the landscape, the picturesque of the city and villages or the variety of shades of Ionian blue?
The Creator blessed the island of the Phaeacians with a garland of fascinating bays and beaches, visited by the island’s tourists every year. Corfu is not all beaches. Corfu also has a hinterland that offers itself for carefree strolls on traditional paths crossing the island from the North to the South and from the East to the West, leading to picturesque villages like Old Peritheia or locations with rare flora and fauna. Those wishing to do so many attempts to climb Mt. Pantocrator, from the top of which they shall be able to scan the sea and see the islands of Erikousa,

Corfu Weather and Climate

The climate in Corfu features hot, dry summers and mild winter weather. Spring is for real Greek lovers, the wildflowers, orchids, citrus trees and spectacular firefly displays competing with the bullfrog chorus for romantics. The days are warming up and the sun has not yet reached its full heat. Expect temperatures around 25°C with an occasional welcomed shower.

Summer is the most popular season, the picturesque beaches glowing under the glorious sun. The crystal clear and warm waters invite swimming, snorkeling and relaxing. Temperatures can get above 30°C so make sure you have plenty of sunscreens. Hot, hazy days give way to some spectacular views of the sun setting over the offshore islands.

Autumn is the season for warm seas, ripe fruit and balmy evenings. Olives and grapes hang heavy, waiting for the forthcoming harvest. Cooling showers are followed by days of clear sunshine and the occasional thunderstorm gives a spectacular display over the distant Albanian mountains. Temperatures are still warm at 24-28°C.

Winter is mild with relatively high temperatures compared to the UK (5-14°C) with sunshine for approximately 4-5 hours daily.

When to go

Prime time in the Ionians is late spring to early summer and autumn – that’s Easter to mid-June and September-October. The locals say that the North is sweeter and milder in the fall.

General Information

Fire Brigade: 199, 191
Cassiopi: 0663 81240

Marina of Gouvia: 0661 91475 - 91376
Corfu Offshore Sailing Club: 0661 25759
Nautical Club: 0661 30470
Golf Club - Ermones: 0661 94220
Cricket Club: 0661 41205
Corfu Tennis Club: 0661 37021
Mountaineering Club of Corfu: 0661 39481
Amateur Fishermen Association: 0661 34407

A.C.S.: 0661 45791, 44178
Intermail: 0661 46374
Posto: 0661 40857

Great Britain: (+30) 26610-30055
Belgium: (+30)26610-33788
France: (+30) 26610-30067
Denmark: (+30) 26610-35698
Switzerland: (+30) 26610-39485
Norway: (+30) 26610-39667
Netherlands: (+30) 26610-39900
Sweden: (+30)26610-36421
Italy: (+30) 26610-42433
Germany: (+30) 26610-31450

International code for Greece : 0030
Direct dialing code : 26610 (Corfu Town)
GNTO Tourist Information Bureau : 37520, 37639/40, 37638
Municipal Tourist Information Bureau : 28509
Port Authority : 32655
Olympic Airlines (Airport) : 30180
Local Buses (urban) : 32158, 31595
KTEL (Long distance buses) : 30627, 39985
Association of Corfiot Organizations : 32685

POLICE
Police Flying Squad-19 Alexandras Av: 100
Ag. Matheos: 0661 75113
Giannades: 0661 51222
Castellani: 0661 54222
Ipsos: 0661 93204
Benitses: 0661 72222
Argirades: 0662 51422
Lekimmi: 0662 22222
Gimari: 0663 91261
Magoulades: 0663 95222
Paleokastritsa: 0663 41203
Scripero: 0663 31222
Carousades: 0663 32222
Othoni: 0663 71592
Traffic Police: 0661 39294
Traffic Police Carousades: 0663 31233
Tourist Police: 0661 30265 - 39503

Ambulance: 166
Hospital-1 Andreadi Str.: 0661 30562
General Clinic: 0661 36044
Ag. Matheos: 0661 75110
Giannades: 0661 51210
Castellani: 0661 54333
Garuna: 0661 53000
Stronghili: 0661 75200
Lefkimmi: 0662 22201
Argirades: 0662 51421
Perivoli: 0662 22196
Agros: 0663 71201
Ano Corachiana: 0663 22123
Velonades: 0663 71343
Gimari: 0663 91395
Doukades: 0663 41555
Carusades: 0663 31377
Cassiopi: 0663 81238
Macrades: 0663 71550
Othoni: 0663 71550
Mathraki: 0663 71676
Gaios Paxos: 0662 31466 - 31179

Nat. Tourist Organization
Voulefton & I. Polila Str.: 37520 - 37638
Archaeolog. Museum-5 Vraila Str.: 30680
Museum of Asiatic Art: 38124
Museum of Kapodistrias-Evropouloi: 32440
Museum of Solomos: 30674
Achillion Palace: 56245
Backnote Museum-Iroon Kirpriakou Agona Square: 41552
Serbian Centre-19 Moustoxidou Str: 33960
Hist. Folklore Museum of Sinarades 54962
Municipal Theatre: 33598
Cinema Phoenix: 37482

E.L.P.A.: 104, 0661 39504
Express Service: 154, 0661 44244

Campings

Afion

Agios Georgios

06630/51194

Vatos

Vatos

06610/94269

Dasia

Dionysos

06610/91417

Dasia

Karda Beach

06610/93595

Dasia

Kormari

06610/93587

Karousades

Kormari

06630/31415

Kontakali

Kontakali

06610/91202

Messogi

Sea Horse

06610/75364

Paleokastritsa

Paleokastritsa

06630/41204

Pyrgi

Paradise

06610/93557

Roda

Roda Beach

06630/63120

Sidari

Dolphin

06630/31522

Ipsos

Ipsos Ideal

06610/93243

Ipsos

Ipsos Corfu

06610/93246

Corfu - 12 Things You Can't Miss

You won’t be able to see all that Corfu Island has to offer in a single journey but we can make some suggestions with the best places to see and try:

1) Explore the street labyrinth of the old Corfu City, a delicious blend of Venetian, French and British architecture, beautiful churches and interesting museums.

2) Achilleion Palace, built for Empress Elizabeth of Austria and the imposing statue of Achilles which is 12 meters high. This famous statue is situated in the palace garden.

3) We invite you to spend a relaxing afternoon in the gardens of the shady Mon Repos villa, the place where Prince Philip of Great Britain was born. You are welcome to go for a stroll through the archaeological remains.

4). Relax in one of the Liston street cafes, the center of bohemian life.

5) Admire the most picturesque place in Corfu, Paleokastritsa, beautiful bays surrounded by densely forested hills and steep cliffs that go into the sea.

6) Go for a tour of the island bays with a ship and discover the surrounding caves, the isolated beaches, and breathtaking views.

7) Get a motorboat and rent yourself an isolated beach.

8) Try scuba-diving close to the island shores and discover the rich marine life or try windsurfing.

9) Let yourself be amazed by the excellent view of mount Pantokrator, the highest place on the island (906 meters). On sunny days you can see the shores of Italy from its peak.

10) Swim in the crystal clear seas of the famous Blue Lagoon.

11) Try the Corfiot specialties: Sofrito and Pastitsioand honey with yogurt which is a great dessert.

12) Buy liquor, candy or desserts made from a kumquat, a fruit cultivated only in Corfu.

Corfu Today

As the northernmost Ionian island, Corfu’s strategic position on the crossroads between East and West at the entrance to the Adriatic made it a prize for covetous conquerors from earliest times. Among them were the Romans, Goths, Normans, Venetians, French, Russians, Turks and British. Despite long periods of foreign occupation, it never lost its essential Greek character. Nor has it today, a cosmopolitan resort on a world scale, the favorite holiday spot each year of thousands of tourists with widely differing tastes and demands.

In this small area (592 sq. km) with its highly varied coastline (217 km.) – in some places gentle, in others rocky and steep – where nature and man’s creations vie for beauty, charm or magnificence, unparalleled scenery is combined with splendid monuments from the past.

Here the visitor may choose between ultramodern tourist complexes and luxury hotels – with facilities for conferences – in resorts pulsating with movement and life and offering all kinds of possibilities for sports; in rented rooms in town; and in picturesque seaside or mountain villages where late 20th century amenities are present but do not intrude.

Corfu seems to exist between two worlds: one is that of escape into an exquisite serenity, the other that of fun and entertainment against a backdrop of blue waters and long beaches, cafes, taverns, bars, discos, nightclubs, and casinos.

This combination of tranquillity and high spirits in enchanting surroundings is what gives Corfu the impression of being a modern noblewoman.

If one adds to this scintillating spirit, the Corfiot’s eagerness to please and their hospitality, the clean seas and mild climate, it is easy to explain why tourists have been coming for so many years to this island on the edge of northwest Greece.

Shopping Hours

Shops are generally open 09:00-14:30 Monday to Friday, and 17:30 – 20:30 Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. On Saturdays they are open 09:00-15:00. They remain closed on Sundays. Sometimes small supermarkets – drugstores may stay open up to 22:00 hrs.

Currency

The local currency is the Euro. Most businesses accept credit cards and 24-hour cash-card facilities are available.

Corfu nightlife guide

Corfu is famous for its rich and lively night-life. Big nigh-clubs are situated outside Corfu Town, mostly concentrated in the beach resorts of Kavos, Roda, Ipsos, Gouvia, and Dassia which also offers an incredible amount of lively bars. All those resorts are transforming, at nights, in huge nigh-clubs playing music and serving all kind of drinks until early in the morning. The coastal road of Gouvia is particularly impressive concerning night-life for it is gathering an impressive amount and diversity of bars and night-clubs.

Health conditions

Due to prosperity and the favorable climate, Corfu has no endemic diseases, and no special vaccinations are required. Hospital facilities, both public and private, are of a good standard. Medical Services: In most resorts, you will find a chemist which is open till late hours. Hospital: Address: Ioulias Andreadi Str. 1, Corfu 49100 Telephone: (+30) 26610-88200 

Water

The water in Corfu is generally safe to drink, however if you prefer bottle water this can be bought from supermarkets, bars and restaurants.

Sports - Entertainment

While on Corfu you can enjoy many sports, including swimming, water skiing, windsurfing, cricket, golf, riding, and tennis, among others. Night owls will go wild with the opportunities for fun till the wee hours to be found both in and outside town.

Corfu : Events and customs

Four times a year there is a procession headed by the preserved remains of St. Spyridon in the streets of town accompanied by the island’s many bands.
The procession is held on Palm Sunday, Holy Saturday, August 11th and the first Sunday in November.
Celebrations at Mandouki on August 14th, the eve of the Assumption of the Virgin.

Carnival is celebrated in Corfu Town with special festivities and customs on the last Sunday before Lent. These include a parade of floats and Corfu’s bands, followed by the traditional burning of an effigy representing the spirit of Carnival.

Among the most impressive religious events are those occurring during Holy Week and on Easter Sunday.

One picturesque custom associated with Easter is the breaking of the crockery in town on the morning of Holy Saturday

In summer, two municipal orchestras and the town’s three brass bands give concerts which are enthusiastically attended by residents and visitors alike.

Sound and Light performances are given by the GNTO on summer evenings in the Old Fort in English, Greek, French and Italian.
Check to see which time your language is scheduled.

The annual Corfu Festival is held in September and includes concerts, ballet, opera, and theatre performances.

Lefkimi holds a folk festival with local dances every year on July 8.

Conference Centers

Old Fortress

The space under the Venetian bridge (17th century) of the Old Fortress was converted into a pressroom on the occasion of the ’94 European Summit Meeting. It was a capacity of 500 people and is equipped with modern facilities (lighting, microphonic installation, provisions for simultaneous interpreting booths). The area outside the hall (200m long) may be available to hold exhibitions and outdoor events.

Ionian Cultural Center
 

The Ionian Cultural Centre is housed in St Nicolas Building Complex at Faliraki. It is a fully equipped multi-functional hall ideal for conferences, seminars, cultural events, exhibitions, meetings etc.

Conference Hall
119 sq.m. – 2.77 m height

Capacities:

Theatre Style: 130 delegates

Classroom Style: 130 delegates

“U’’ Shape: 25 delegates

Equipment

2 simultaneous interpreting booths

Latest technical and audiovisual aids (Dolby surround, video projector, multimedia use, microphonic installations)

Possibility of simultaneous interpreting (7 channels)

Folding stage for concerts

Intercommunication of central and peripheral halls

Additional Facilities

2 peripheral halls (capacity of 15-35 persons)

Faliraki Restaurant with a capacity of 50 persons in the interior and 150 persons in the exterior

En Plo Cafe suitable for coffee breaks, receptions etc

Private Parking Space

St Nicolas Church at Faliraki Building Complex is available for the celebration of sacraments

Ionian Parliament

The Ionian Parliament is the neo-classical building where the resolution of the unification of the Ionian Island with Greece was voted.

The hall has a complete microphonic installation and depending on its use has the following capacities:

“U” Shape: 35 delegates (it is possible to accommodate 35 more persons on the first floor)

Classroom Style: 24 delegates (it is possible to accommodate 35 more persons on the first floor)

Theatre Style: 95 delegates (60 persons on the ground floor plus 35 persons on the first floor)

Municipal Theatre

The Municipal Theatre Hall has a capacity of 683 people and is fully equipped with modern electrical equipment (lighting, microphonic installation, provisions for simultaneous translations booths).

Its wide range of facilities includes a snack bar and a private parking space.

During the European Summit which was held in Corfu (June 1994), the Municipal Theatre Hall was selected to host the press conference of the Prime Greek Minister Mr. Andreas Papandreou.

Contact Information:

Corfu Municipality Development Entre.

Publicity & Communication office

Tel: 0030 26610 28337 / 44444 / 42621

Fax: 0030 26610 36257

St Nicolas Gate, Corfu 49100 GR-Greece

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