Looking for a South-European trip this summer? But you can’t make up your mind between Italy and the Cyclades? Look no further than Corfu. Located off the coasts of western Greece, this island in the Ionian Sea is the best of both worlds. A perfect mix of stunning landscape, pristine beaches and historic heritage, discover five essential places to make the most of Corfu.
Corfu Old Town
Corfu’s history goes back a long way, from the ancient city-state of Korkyra to the medieval Byzantine stronghold. To jump back in time, there’s no place like the old town. Heavily influenced by the Venetians, who ruled the peninsula for centuries, Corfu’s Old Town is a maze of cobbled streets surrounded by colourful Venetian mansions. Its architecture also bears the mark of British and French styles, giving a unique cosmopolitan feel to the city.
Take a stroll through its narrow alleys to soak in the atmosphere of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The old town boasts around twenty churches, the most famous of all being the Orthodox Saint Spyridon Church. To indulge in breath-taking views, head to the Old Fortress.
Speaking of scenic views, you might want to add another fortress to your bucket list. The Angelokastro, or Castle of the Angel, is a Byzantine fortress dating back to the 13th-century. This massive military complex stood up to countless sieges, but it never fell. Its prime location on a cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea made for the perfect bulwark to protect the city.
Time has not been kind with this once unconquerable fortress, but there’s magic in its atmospheric ruins and dramatic situation. You can still visit some remnants of the castle’s glorious past, such as the acropolis and the Church of Archangel Michael. Plus, you will be rewarded with gorgeous views on the bays of Paleokastritsa once you get to the top.
Can you really visit Corfu without going to the beach? Even if you’re more into museums than sunbathing on the sand, some beaches are just too dazzling to ignore. In that regard, Paleokastritsa Beach should be the first name on your list. Not only is it deemed the most beautiful beach of Corfu for its turquoise waters, but it is also hailed for its stunning nature and historic surroundings.
You can easily access the nearby Paleokastritsa Monastery to enjoy both a bird’s-eye view of the sea and an authentic discovery of the island’s religious traditions. Forget about the bikini though, as you’ll need to cover your legs and shoulders.
Empress Elisabeth of Austria was passionate about Ancient Greece, so passionate that she had a mythical palace built in Corfu. The Achilleion was her way of coping after the death of her son in 1889. Its name stems from the hero Achilles. References to Greek mythology abound in the palace, from sculptures to panoramic frescoes. Sisi eventually fell out of love with her shelter away from home. But her presence lives on in a museum full of memorabilia.
The Achilleion has also become a hot spot for James Bond fans. The palace was turned into a casino during an iconic Baccarat scene of the movie For your eyes only. Ever dreamed of putting in the shoes of the most famous spy of all time? No need to be Roger Moore to enjoy a game of Baccarat on the internet. Online casinos such as asiabet.org offer you the best of brick-and-mortar casinos, on top of enticing rewards. New players can claim welcome bonuses and even cashback offers to boost both their skills and their bankroll. All you need to do is sit back at home and get enthralled by the excitement of this timeless card game.
Corfu archaeological museum
If there were only one museum to visit in Corfu, it would be the Archaeological Museum. The largest on the island, this museum displays a rich collection of ancient artifacts from prehistoric finds to Bronze Age discoveries. There, you’ll get a broader understanding of the island’s long and troubled history. A special section of the exhibits is dedicated to the pediment of the Temple of Artemis, carved with vivid depictions of the Gorgon Medusa.
Longing for gorgeous beaches, atmospheric towns and historic sights? Corfu is all that and more. Connected to Italy and mainland Greece with companies such as ferries.gr, the island is also easy to access through direct flights from European cities in peak season.