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Sightseeing Corfu

Sightseeing Corfu

The island where Odysseus met Princess Nausicaa in one of Homer’s Odyssey most celebrated scenes is a magical destination all year long: colourful music events, culinary feasts, religious festivals, carnival celebrations –known for their deep Venetian influences–, and the most joyful Easter in Greece form an exquisite mosaic of experiences.

Edward Lear vividly describes the magic of Corfu:

“Anything like the splendour of olive-groves and orange-gardens, the blue of the sky, the violet of the mountain, rising from peacock-wing-hued sea and tipped with lines of silver snow, can hardly be imagined […]”.

Achillion Palace

Achilleion Palace

Achilleion  is a fairy palace built among cypresses and myrtles by the Empress Elisabeth of Austria, who wished to escape from the Austrian court. Elisabeth truly fell in love with the island, and she dedicated this palace to Achilles as she cherished the belief that he represented the very soul and fairness of Greece.

Visitors to the palace can marvel at the exquisite mural positioned right at the reception enclosure which rather artistically portrays Achilles carrying the dead body of Hector. The popularity of the Achillion Palace also comes from the fact that the famous James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only was shot at this magnificent palace.

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Old Fortress

Old Fortress

Being one of the most impressive fortifications of the European continent, the Old Fortress is the most typical feature of the town that towers on its eastern seaside, like “an island within an island”, an imposing two-peak rocky end. After the 6th century, it is fortified and the first residents settle in, natives that had survived the destruction of the Ancient Town; that was the first Corfu Town from the 11th until the 15th century (Corifo, Corfu from Koryfi=peak, top), while the Town has been shaped into the form it has today since the 16th century.
Your tour in the big and impressive Old Fortress is worth devoting some more time into, as there are several important and notable features to be found there and the Fortress can be a place for an extremely nice walk. At the Old Fortress of Corfu, civilizations from different historic periods co-exist. The best engineers of Venice worked for its construction. Nowadays, it is a tour of extreme beauty in various open-air, roofed, closed and underground spaces and tunnels but first and foremost it is a tour and dive in the multicultural and complicated history of this island.


Asian Art Museum Corfu

Museum of Asian Art

The Museum of Asian Art: Being the only one of its kind, it was founded in 1927 after the donation of 10.500 items by Gregorios Manos. Until 1974 it was a Chinese and Japanese Art museum, but it was then enriched with other private collections.It is housed in Saint Michael and George Palace.
Among the items displayed, you will find a Samurai armor and weapons, masks of the No theatre, pieces of Chinese porcelains and bronzes, pieces of sculpture and ceramics. These exhibits are displayed in five rooms. The ground floor of the museum used to be the hall of the Ionian Senate and we can see the portraits of the Senate’s presidents there. On the second floor, we find the throne room, the ball room and the dining room, with the medals of the Chivalric order painted on the walls.
This museum also hosts some other exhibitions from time to time and organizes shows on cultural matters in general. It is certainly an impressive sight to see and something you do not expect from a Greek island.


Archaeological Museum Corfu

Archaeological Museum

Archaeological Museum: Here you can admire important finds from the temple of Artemis and excavation finds from the ancient city of Corfu.
The museum houses findings dating from the Prehistoric to the Hellenistic times. The collection consists of bronze and marble statues, funeral offerings, ancient coins, clay pottery, golden jewelry and parts of ancient temples. The most important exhibit of the museum is the impressive Gorgona-Medusa pediment from the temple of Artemis, dating from 585 BC. This pediment was excavated in 1911 and it is considered the oldest stone pediment of an ancient Greek temple.
Other impressive exhibits include a stone lion of Menecrates, which was probably a funeral offering to the famous politician, a limestone pediment from a temple of Dionysus, 13 identical small statues of goddess Artemis and a marble torso of Apollo.


Kanoni and Mouse Island

Kanoni and Mouse Island

Kanóni (meaning canon) offers from its circular terrace an amazing view across the island of Pontikoníssi (meaning Mouse Island), one of the most photographed spots of Corfu! According to the legend, this rocky islet was a Phaeacian ship that was turned into stone.
Fishing boats depart frequently from the church and go to the legendary Mouse Island, just 5 min boat ride. This lush green island took this name due to its tiny size. According to mythology, this rocky island is the ship of Ulysses that was stoned by god Poseidon. In the centre of the Mouse Island, there is the 13th century church of Pantokrator. This church celebrates on August 6th with a large religious panigiri for Corfu.


Saint Spyridon Church corfu

Saint Spyridon Church

 The architecture of the church is typical of the Venetian architecture that dominates all over the Old Town of Corfu. Its bell tower is the highest spot of the town and this is the first thing that you see as the ferry approaches the island. The locals have deep faith in Saint Spyridon, who is considered the keeper of Corfu.
The Kerkyreans honour the guardian saint with greatness. Many times during the year they have processions to honour the saint. On 11 August when the island celebrates the salvation of the island from the siege of the Turks in 1716, on 12 December, the memory of the saint is celebrated, the first Sunday in November and palm Sunday is celebrated for the island’s release of the plague epidemic and on Holy Saturday the salvation of the people from starvation.
According to legends, he has saved the island four times from the Ottoman invasion, one of the reasons that this church is the most important religious monument of Corfu. Spyridon, or else Spyros, is very common name on the island and the local actually refer to their saint protector when they want to swear on their word of honor about something.


Paleokastritsa Monastery Corfu

Paleokastritsa Monastery

The monastery was founded in the 13th century, but there is little to been seen today which is more than 200 years old. Theotokos MonasteryInside however, the modern building is an excellent example of Greek monastic architecture.
There is an arched inner courtyard, and a small museum with Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons.
The view from the Monastery is superb, with in the foreground the boat of Odysseus (Kolovri).
On a green hill above the beach of Paleokastritsa, on the north western side of Corfu, there is a large Monastery dedicated to Virgin Mary (Panagia in Greek). This monastery dominates the whole region and it offers a breathtaking view of the island and the sea below. The Paleokastritsa Monastery is believed to have been founded in the early 13th century and together with the Achillion Palace  is amongst the best – known places of Corfu. According to local legend it was built in 1228, however unfortunately today little remains of the original buildings.
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