Corfiots have a long history of hospitality to foreign residents and visitors. Is typified in the 20th-century the childhood reminiscence “My Family and Other Animals” by Gerald Durrell. If you have the chance to visit this fascinating island, then you will fall in love forever with Corfu!
The enchanting Old Town of Corfu
Visiting the Old Town Corfu is an unforgettable experience. You will spend hours walking up and down along thousands of small paved streets, trying to discover the old town secrets.
Tall old houses, ancient cellars surrounded by stone staircase, old Venetian walls, and hidden gardens. The Old Corfu Town! Every single building, every single street will appear like an open museum. On the other hand, the joie de vivre of the local people will remind you that the Old Town is also full of life and full of surprises.
The paved streets and the ancient buildings will bring you to the large Esplanade square (or “Spianada” as the locals call it). The heart of the city!
Spianada is the main square of Corfu and the meeting place for its residents and visitors. It’s considered the largest in the Balkans as it covers an area of 42.000 sqm. It’s strategically located between the Old Fortress and the Old Town. Many paved- stone narrow streets lead to it. The three splendid points of Spianada -Liston, the Venetian Fortress, and the English Palace – generously offer spectacular views pleasure, and relaxation.
The most impressive square in Greece presents many archeological monuments. Especially, on the side of the Upper Square, (Pano Platia) the Peristyle of Maitland Monument, the “Music Stage” and the Monument of the Union of the Ionian Islands as a memorial to the Union of the Ionian Islands with the rest of Greece that happened in 1864.
Also, the main part of Down Square (Kato Platia) consists of the huge cricket field, a remnant of the British occupation. Impressive buildings, such as Liston, or The Palace of St. Michael and St. George surround this part of Spianada.
The block of building in Liston is inspired by the Baroque and Mannerism era of the 17th and 18th century.
This architectural creation immediately captured the interest of the wealthy Corfiot families. therefore, Liston soon became the landmark of Corfu. Corfu was indeed a European city!
At the same time, Liston was considered being a beneficial place to live as it was autonomic and separate from the bad hygiene conditions of that period. Soon it joined the social life of Corfu providing restaurants, cafés, and hotels. Liston was the place where the bourgeois enjoyed gathering.
Up until the early 20th century, only European royals and elites mainly visited Liston, including Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany and Empress Elisabeth of Austria. Today the middle-class visit Liston. Is the place where we meet, relax and enjoy some beautiful moments of our lives.
By keeping the name that was given to this place after its construction, Liston remains the landmark of social life.
The north part of Corfu
The northern part of Corfu is the most dramatically diverse part of the island. If you drive north out of the Town and along the coast road you will falsely assume that it was going to be nothing but a long string of similar-looking holiday resorts. Bronzing bodies on one side and disco trips on the other.
No indication of this historically and geographically rich island! A few kilometers away a real paradise unfolds in front of you. A wonderful combination of the horizon and natural colors. Kouloura, Kalami, Kassiopi, Sidari, Canal d’ Amour, Agios Stefanos are some enchanting areas to enjoy.
The Northeast Coast has been heavily developed by some British travel companies, with expensive holiday villas. These vacation packages are available on the north, east, and southwest coasts.
Today the middle-class (mainly from the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, and Germany) visit this part of Corfu widely. But with the creation of cheap vacation packages, Corfu has become one of the top destinations for mass tourism.
However, it is still popular with the extremely rich. In the northeast of the island, homeowners include members of the Rothschild family and Russian oligarchs
The central Corfu
A few kilometers south of Corfu Town is Achillion Palace which after Corfu Town is one of the most remarkable sights on the island. The holiday home of Empress Sisi of Austria is located in the historical village of Gastouri. The beautifully manicured gardens with the fabulous views over Corfu Town and the sea make this place one to remember. Especially for the fans of James Bond. Several scenes of ”For Your Eyes Only” were filmed here.
The central area has several small unspoiled places but also big traditional villages. Furthermore, there are many tourist seaside resorts and beaches. Both on the East and on the West coast of the island. Picturesque resorts like Benitses, Messonghi, Moraitika welcome many visitors every year. Generously offer their hospitality without losing their traditional character. Unique beaches are hidden in verdant landscapes. Kontogyalos, Gyaliskari, the nudist beach of Myrtiotissa, the beach of Ermones, Agios Gordios, and Glyfada, the island’s most cosmopolitan beach are some of them.
The south part of Corfu
Do not miss the chance to explore this part of the island. It will amazingly surprise you. In the south part of the island, you will find many picturesque places like Boukari, Petriti. Amazing sandy beaches like Prasoudi, Marathias, Issos, Chalikounas, and Lake Korission. Issos is an unspoiled endless seashore with sand dunes and crystalline waters. The rich flora divides the shore from the most important wetland of Corfu, the Korission Lake. The lake is a magnificent natural reserve that provides shelter for the birds which migrating south.
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