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Kerkyra (Corfu) may be the greenest and, potentially, the loveliest of Greek islands-emerald mountain tops, pink villas, twinkling olive leaves. The blue waters lap rocky coves and bougainvillea, scarlet roses, and wisteria spread over bungalows. This northernmost from the major Ionian Islands has, with the centuries, inspired artists, conquerors, royalty, and, obviously, vacationers. Indeed, whenever you take a look at Corfu as a whole, it's difficult to think that any island so small could produce a history so large. The prolific history, combined with perfect weather and an effortless quaint Greek vibe work in alluring the tourist to this region.
Classical remains vie with architecture in the centuries of Venetian, French, and British rule, departing Corfu having a enjoyable mixture of contrasting elements of design. The city of Corfu remains among the most attractive in most of a holiday in Greece, every nook and cranny informs a tale, every street meanders to some myth, even throughout the most popular summer time day. Corfu today is really a vivid tapestry of cultures, a classy weave, where charm, history, and natural splendor blend.
Where You are Docked
Cruise ships dock in the Neo Limani (New Port), that also benefits ferries operating between Corfu and Italia, A holiday in Greece and Albania. The cruise terminal includes a duty-free shop, rental car shops along with a welcome desk at which you'll get a roadmap and obtain local orientation tips. New Port is really a working pier area.
Envision a wish listing of everything you'll want from the Greek holiday: talcum-soft beaches, spectacular subtropical forests, tasty cuisine along with a beautiful, historic Old Town to understand more about. Add wall-to-wall sunshine, and you will find Corfu ticks virtually every box.
This small Ionian island (only 40 miles lengthy and 20 wide) is really a highlight of numerous Mediterranean cruise itineraries, and you can understand why. Corfu (recognized to the neighborhood Corfiots as Kerkyra) is among Greece's most verdant and attractive islands.
Its lush interior, well-watered by winter rains and suffocated in aromatic pine forests and dense olive groves, is studded with charmingly old-fashioned rural towns, in which the sleepy routine is from time to time enlivened by summer time religious festivals (panegyria).
At such occasions, tempting food and craft stalls appear, a fairground atmosphere dominates and brass bands, known in your area (and rather confusingly) as philharmonic orchestras, toot out feet-tapping tunes. The primary festivals occur in this summer and August and, obviously, over Easter time. And when religion's not your factor, possibly the 2 Corfu beer festivals, in this summer and October, will grab your attention.
Campiello. Now a UNESCO-designated World Heritage site, is definitely an atmospheric labyrinth of narrow, winding roads, steep staircases, and secretive little squares. Laundry lines connect balconied Venetian palazzi engraved using the original occupant's coat of arms to neoclassic 19th-century structures built through the British. Small cobbled squares with central wells and viewed over by old places of worship increase the quiet, mysterious, and absolutely charming urban space. Should you enter, you are almost certain to go missing, however the area is sufficiently small to ensure that eventually you'll emerge on a single of Corfu town's major roads, or around the ocean wall. West from the Esplanade, northeast of recent Fortress.
Chapel of St. Spyridon. Built-in 1596, this chapel may be the highest around the island, because of its distinctive red-colored-dome bell tower, and is stuffed with silver treasures. The patron saint's remains-smuggled here after nov Constantinople-are found in a silver reliquary in a tiny chapel devout Corfiots trip to hug the reliquary and pray towards the saint. The silver casket is transported in procession with the town four occasions annually. Spyridon wasn't a Corfiot however a shepherd from Cyprus, who grew to become a bishop before his dying in AD 350. His miracles are stated to possess saved the area four occasions: once from famine, two times in the plague, and when in the hated Turks. Throughout The Second World War, a explosive device fell about this holiest put on the area but did not explode. Maybe these occasions explain why it appears almost every other guy on Corfu is known as Spiros. Should you keep your chapel tower around the corner you are able to wander as you want without becoming lost for this fascinating portion of town. Agiou Spyridonos, the road while watching chapel, is packed with shops selling religious mementos and souvenirs.
The Esplanade. Central towards the existence from the town, this massive, open parade ground and park just west from the Old Fortress is, many say, the most amazing spianada (esplanade) in A holiday in Greece. It's outlined around the west with a street lined with Venetian and British Georgian houses along with a famous arcaded building known as the Liston, built through the French under Napoleon and designed to resemble the Rue du Rivoli in Paris. Cafés spill out to the passing scene, and Corfiot festivities, games, and concerts occur here during the night, enthusiasts promenade and kids play within this festive public space.
Sunday cricket matches, a holdover from British rule, are occasionally performed around the northern 1 / 2 of the Esplanade, which was when a Venetian firing range. Waiting in the middle is definitely an ornate Victorian bandstand and, just south from it, the Maitland Rotunda, a circular Ionic memorial built-in recognition of Mister Thomas Maitland, the not-much-loved first British the almighty high commissioner who had been hired in 1814 once the island grew to become a protectorate of england. In the southernmost tip from the Esplanade a statue of Ioannis Kapodistrias, a Corfu resident and also the first leader of contemporary A holiday in greece, looks out over Garitsa bay. Kapodistrias seemed to be, regrettably, the very first Greek leader to become assassinated, in 1831.
New Fortress. Built-in 1577-78 through the Venetians, the brand new Fortress was built to bolster town protection-only 30 years after the making of Venetian fortifications around the "Old" Fortress. In France They and also the British subsequently broadened the complex to safeguard Corfu town from the possible Turkish invasion. You are able to wander with the maze of tunnels and fortifications the dry moat may be the site from the town's seafood-and-vegetable marketplace. A vintage British citadel stands at its heart. At the very top, there's an exhibit center. Solomou on promontory looking over New Port.
Old Fortress. Corfu's entire population once resided inside the walls from the Old Fortress, or Citadel, built through the Venetians in 1546 on the website of the Byzantine castle. Separated in the relaxation from the town with a moat, the fort is on the promontory pointed out by Thucydides. Its two levels, or korypha ("peaks"), gave the area its title. Sitting on the peaks, you've got a gorgeous view west within the town and east towards the mountainous coast of Albania.
A statue of Count Schulenburg, an Austrian mercenary who grew to become a nearby hero in 1716 as he assisted to defeat the entering Turks, stands in the fort's entrance just inside, there's an exhibit that informs Schulenburg's story. The majority of the old Venetian fortifications within the fortress were destroyed through the British, who changed all of them with their very own structures. The most known could well be the Chapel of St. George, created to seem like an old Doric temple. Near it, looking over Garitsa bay, there's a shaded café where one can sit and relish the splendid view. On eastern reason for Corfu town peninsula.
At Kanoni, 5 km (3 miles) south of Corfu town, the website from the ancient capital, you might behold Corfu's most well-known view, which looks out over two beautiful islets.
Mon Repos. The compact neoclassic structure (a real rental property) was built-in 1831 by Mister Frederic Adam for his wife, also it was later the summer time residence from the British the almighty high commissioners the architect, Mister George Whitmore, also designed the Structure of St. Michael and St. George in Corfu town. After A holiday in greece won independence from Britain in 1864, Mon Repos was utilized like a summer time structure for that royal group of A holiday in Greece. Full Elizabeth II's husband, Prince Philip, was created within 1921 (he would be a king of A holiday in Greece and Denmark the Corfiots, who've no passion for royalty, call him up "the broke Greek who married a full"). When King Constantine fled the nation in 1967, the Greek government expropriated Mon Repos. After touring the structure, wander round the extensive grounds (entrance is free of charge, so this can be done even when you do not go to the structure), including the elusive remains of the Doric temple in the seventh and sixth centuries BC and also the small but beautiful beach which was once used solely through the Greek royal family and it is now available to the general public. Take the suit and join the local people around the lengthy pier jutting out in to the very-obvious waters from the Ionian Ocean. Opposite Mon Repos are ruins of Ayia Kerkyra, the fifth-century chapel from the Old City.
Achilleion. This Teutonic structure, built-in the late 1800s for Empress Elizabeth of Austria, is possibly typically the most popular tourist attraction in Corfu and stays a monument of 19th-century historicism. The empress used the area like a retreat to flee court existence and also to ease her heartbreak over husband Franz Josef's numerous matters and her boy Archduke Rudolph's mysterious murder or suicide at Mayerling in 1889. Elizabeth named the structure after her favorite hero, Achilles, whom she strangely recognized with Rudolph. After Elizabeth was assassinated in 1898, Kaiser Wilhelm II bought the rental property and resided inside it before the outbreak of The First World War, throughout which period the Achilleion was utilized by French and Serbian troops like a military hospital. Following the armistice, the Greek government received it as being a spoil of war.
Throughout The Second World War, it had been appropriated and utilized as a headquarters through the taking up Italian and German forces. In 1962 the structure was restored, leased like a gambling casino, and then utilized as the looking for the casino scene within the Mission Impossible film For the Eyes Only. (The casino has since gone to live in the Corfu Holiday Structure.) Today it is a museum, although not a terribly inspiring one. More desirable may be the terrace, organized as an Ionic peristyle with numerous 19th-century statues, the very best of the Dying Achilles. The gardens, encircled by olive groves with a remote look at the ocean, are pretty but, overall, the entire place looks a little vacuous and forlorn. Still and all sorts of, enthusiasts of period style will not wish to miss this.
Lakones. The village, built around the steep mountain behind the Paleokastritsa Monastery, looks rather forbidding, but vacationers flock there for that view. Kaiser Wilhelm was among many celebrities who'd result in the ascent to savor the magnificent panorama of Paleokastritsa's coves in the cafés at Bella Vista, just past the village. From nearby Krini you are able to climb to the ruins from the thirteenth-century Angelokastro, a fortress built with a despot of Epirus throughout his brief rule over Corfu. More often than not throughout the medieval period the fort protected Corfiots from attack by Turkish intruders. Search for the chapel and caves, which offered as sanctuaries and hiding places.
Paleokastritsa Monastery. This 17th-century structure is made on the website of the earlier monastery, among terraced gardens looking over the Ionian ocean. Its treasure is really a twelfth-century icon from the Virgin Mary, and there is a small museum with a few other early symbols. Note the Tree of Existence motif around the ceiling. Make sure to go to the inner courtyard (feel the chapel), built around the fringe of the high cliff and searching lower a precipitous high cliff towards the couch potatoes eco-friendly coves and shoreline towards the south. There is a small gift shop around the premises.
Shoreline Activities
Perfect for Beach-Enthusiasts: The Corfu Resort Getaway tour goes to northern Corfu for many serious splashdown time at two popular seaside resorts: Kalamaki Beach (extensive, sandy and ideal for families it provides shallow waters and good facilities) and Kassiopi, an attractive village resort built around a little but spectacular bay in the island's east tip. You will get two hrs at leisure in every resort, so make sure to bring your bathing suit and sun block, plus enough cash to cover lunch, drinks along with a lounger. This trip is nice choice if you have a household to entertain, less if you dislike crowded beaches
Perfect for Active Vacationers: Cruise and Go swimming goes on the 90-minute sailing round the coast of Corfu towards the remote beach of Limnopoula, in which the crew prepare lunch with wine when you go swimming and relax. After lunch, you sail towards the seaside village of Kassiopi and also have here we are at a stroll ashore before at risk of another go swimming within the bay of Aghios Arsenios. Note you need to be fairly fit -- in a position to climb a stepladder, wade ashore and go swimming from the boat in deep water.
Perfect for Families: A good way to have a great time would be to have a Waterpark Tour to Aqualand, that has 36 different waterslides and 15 adventure pools and it is split up into three zones for various age ranges. While lunch isn't incorporated, you will find bars and fast-food shops around the block. Utilization of showers, altering rooms and lounge chairs is incorporated. In case your children are keen to savor the rides, it's wise to complete them each morning as lines can take shape within the mid-day (when ticket discount rates apply).
Don't Miss
Corfu Town is among the biggest "living" medieval cities in a holiday in Greece along with a wonderful maze of winding roads and walkways lined with excellent shops and restaurants. All shopping tastes are focused in order for their sophisticated jewelry and designer shops vie for attention with boutiques selling in your area made dresses and lacy jackets, and craft stores featuring pretty embroidered towels.
That Old Fortress and New Fortress are situated towards the east and west, correspondingly, of Corfu Town. The sixth century, Byzantine Old Fortress (open 8:30 a.m. to three p.m. Tuesday to Sunday and closed Monday) offers magnificent sights from the ocean its entrance is close to the esplanade. To go into, you mix a brief bridge across a moat lined with small fishing boats for sale. The Brand New Fortress (open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily) overlooks the city and it was built-in the 16th century by Corfu's Venetian rulers.
Enjoy coffee or lunch at among the coffee shops, bookstores that line the elegant French-style Liston Arcade (in front from the shopping and restaurant district near Spianada Square). Just behind there, Ayios Spyridon (St. Spyridon's Chapel) can also be worth exploring. It's probably the most essential in the Ionian Islands and also the final resting host to Corfu's patron saint, whose is found in a sarcophagus.
 The Asian Art Museum is fascinating to go searching and really worth making time for you to visit. Located inside a former structure, the museum consists of a huge assortment of Oriental items accumulated by two Greek diplomats featuring exhibits from China, Japan, Tibet, the Gandhara Kingdom (now Eastern Afghanistan and Northern Pakistan), Cambodia and Thailand .
The Byzantine Museum, situated within the Chapel of Antivouniotissa, includes a spectacular interior in addition to a fabulous assortment of Byzantine symbols. Admission is 2 pounds.
Making Your Way Around
By Shuttle: Most ships offer free (or reasonably listed) shuttle gets in that old Fortress section of Corfu Town, that is about two miles away.
By Taxi: Taxis stand sits outdoors the terminal building, but many motorists recycle for cash island tours. Negotiate the speed ahead of time. Establish the fare is per cab, not per person, and friend track of other people to find the best deals, especially if you are planning for a day by the pool.
Just use cabs with meters along with a rate card clearly displayed, and appearance the meter is on before you begin. The fare should not be greater than 10 pounds per cab because Corfu Town is ten or twenty yards away.
 By Bus: In the terminal, mind left outdoors nowhere bus will say port. The fare to Corfu Town is all about 1.50 pounds one of the ways. The eco-friendly buses at New Port get you to sites round the island. Once you are in Corfu Town, nowhere-coach suburban routes operate from San Rocco Square. Bear in mind that bus timings are erratic, and repair can stop early at night. If uncertain, shuttle or cab it.
By Vehicle: In case your ship's set for a very long time and you are feeling adventurous, you can rent a vehicle. You will find desks in the airport terminal, and something lengthy-established company, Sunrise, is situated at Ethnikis Andístasis 6, by New Port.
Online reservations should be made a minimum of 36 hrs in front of your trip to Corfu, and you've got to be over the age of 21 having a valid driver's license with a minimum of one year's standing. 
Many people go to Corfu for the superb walking, usually out of season (April, May and June) when the island is blanketed in wild flowers. For walking holidays, contact Walks Worldwide (01524 2422000; fax: 242657; www.walksworldwide.com).
Corfu hosts the best beaches in a holiday in Greece, so you've lots of choices for a lazy day under the sun.
Glyfada. The big, golden beaches at Glyfada are the favorite around the island. Although the sands are inevitably full of sunbathers, it remains among the most popular locations in Corfu. Sun beds, umbrellas, and water-sports gear can be obtained for rental and you will find several tourist resorts.
Pelekas. The shore at Pelekas has soft, golden sand and obvious water but is developed and is commonly crowded. The large Aquis Pelekas Beach hotel resort complex increases up behind it, and Pelekas village is well-liked by summer time vacationers. Based on season and demand, there's a free taxi between Pelekas Village and also the beach.
Easiest: Mon Repos offers soft sand, a taverna and altering rooms. The shore is all about a 20-minute walk (or perhaps a short tourist-train ride) across the promenade south of Corfu Town. Mon Repos can also be popular because history buffs can mind off look around the nearby Mon Repos estate.
This consists of the structure where the British Queen's Consort, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was created, along with the remains of Roman baths, a Doric temple as well as an early Christian basilica. Be cautioned, signs is poor, and areas of the causes are very overgrown. Entrance costs 3 pounds free admission for college students, senior citizens and individuals more youthful than 18.
Perfect for getting away the Crowds: Agios Georgios agon, within the northwest, offers calm, water that is clean and it is peaceful even just in high season. Although it is a cab ride away, it's worth thinking about should you hate crowds.
Perfect for Returning to Character: Halikounas, south of Corfu Town around the island's southeast coast, is among Corfu's most unspoiled beaches. Renowned for its birdlife, it is also a haven for naturists, so be ready to have an eyeful as well as an all-over tan. The down-side of their wild beauty is the fact that there is not much to complete but go swimming, benefit from the peace watching the wild birds. For taxis, make sure to book it for that return journey, too.
Watch Out For
Pricier crossings to become respected, and consider cars zooming all of a sudden from side streets. Should you dare they are driving, beware reckless passing and center-of-the-road hogs. If you are going to a chapel or monastery, respect dress codes. Women must take along a shawl to pay for their arms or mind and steer clear of short-skirts males should ditch putting on shorts unless of course planning for a day by the pool.
Local Experiences
Step in time with a vacation to the Achilleion Structure, an uplifting neoclassical mansion within the village of Gastouri, about 10 miles south of Corfu Town. Built-in the late 1890s by Elizabeth, Empress of Austria, the residence was named for that mythical Greek hero Achilles, and it is well-kept gardens are centered with a gigantic bronze sculpture of him. However the highlight of the grand structure is its lovely Colonnade from the Muses, a black-and-whitened tiled terrace lined with statues of gods, heroes, muses, poets and philosophers.
Splash out on a holiday to Aqualand. This huge waterpark, just west of Corfu Town, features many exciting rides, huge pools and acres of eco-friendly space. A trip you will see a large hit with families and anybody youthful in mind.
Visit Pondikonisi (Mouse Island) and Vlaherna, two small islands about 30 minutes' walk -- or perhaps a No. 2 bus ride -- across the coast from Corfu Town (past Mon Repos beach). The vista across towards the islands from Kanoni, where you will find enjoyable coffee shops, bookstores, is spectacular, and you may walk along a causeway to Vlaherna and catch a ship after that to Mouse Island for around 2 pounds per person. Vlaherna may be worth seeing since it is almost completely taught in stunning whitened Venetian monastery of Panagia Vlahernon, while Mouse Island includes a small Byzantine chapel.
Mind for that north coast of Corfu and go to the pastel-colored 1700s Paleokastritsa Monastery, with a stunning clifftop setting looking over the Ionian Ocean beaches. Additionally, it includes a fine assortment of ancient symbols, including among the Virgin Mary which dates in the twelfth century. (Open 7 a.m. to at least one p.m. and three p.m. to eight p.m. daily) Have a hike along a stretch from the lovely Corfu Trail, which meanders round the island and helps make the majority of its stunning and varied topography. It might get you about ten days to pay for its entire 137-mile length in the gentle pace required experiencing it all, but a minimum of you may make a start.
Eating Out
If put forth a Corfu restaurant looking to find only typical Greek staples like moussaka and dolmades around the menu, you will be set for a enjoyable surprise. Corfiot specialties are not the same from individuals of landmass a holiday in Greece. Think about the island's history, and also you discover why. Like its architecture, Corfu's cuisine reflects the numerous intruders who, lower the centuries, strove to help make the island their very own.
So, local areas like pastitsado (a beef and tomato stew offered with pasta), Bourou-Bourou (vegetable and pasta soup) and savoro (seafood fried with rosemary oil) reflect the island's Venetian heritage, as the local fondness for charcuterie and vinous dishes like sofrito (beef in whitened wine) originates in France. 
They bequeathed the Corfiots an appreciation of puddings -- though they provided a method entirely their very own. Over coffee, tuck into mandolato (a scrumptious black and whitened nougat), tiganites (sweet raspberry braid) or sykomaitha (spiced fig cakes). Or enjoy frozen treats, flavored by local fruits (such as the ubiquitous kumquat).
Clean it lower with wine from among the island's small wineries like Kakotrygis, an easy dry whitened, or Petrokoritho, a gutsy red-colored. And when you want to see where chefs obtain elements, take a look at Corfu Town's seafood and vegetable market outdoors New Fort. Some stallholders prepare fresh-caught seafood, so that you can do because the local people do and revel in a tasty lunch around the hoof.
If you like to simply wander going to see that which you fancy, Kapodistriou Street and also the Liston area itself are great hunting cause for the hungry, because they are packed with restaurants and tavernas. Just look into the menus, possess a look inside making your decision.
Restaurant Rex began in 1932, and also the family restaurant offers traditional treats -- like souvlaki, fried country sausages, chicken with kumquat sauce and Grandmother's Green spinach Cake -- at inexpensive price points.
Family-possessed Bellissimo comes highly suggested. Vibrant, stylish and alfresco, it is a large hit due to its cost, warm and amiable atmosphere and unpretentious menu (including homemade pizza). Bakalogatos scores highly with individuals seeking foods created using home-grown ingredients.
Corfu Town has myriad small shops. For traditional goods, mind for that narrow roads from the Campiello where olive wood, ceramics, lace, jewelry, and wine shops abound. Kumquat liqueur is really a niche from the island.
Corfu's Old Town is undoubtedly a good option for souvenir predators, with pretty wrought-iron garden lamps and carefully labored embroidered towels making good buys.
Because of so many olive trees about, olive-wood ornaments and bottles from the excellent essential olive oil will also be worth nipping up. Foodie buddies might have a bottle of kumquat liqueur or perhaps a jar of kumquat marmalade (produced from the fruit trees brought to Corfu through the Chinese in the finish from the 17th century).

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