A sense of sophistication arises from a long and rich history centred around Corfu Town and its outskirts. Corfu Island is a crucible of many cultures that have crossed their paths here. From Ulysses and the Argonauts in mythology, to Ottomans in Byzantine times, British, French, Italian in more recent history, as well as many foreign dignitaries in modern days, have left their mark here. Corfu Town has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status for its cultural importance and rich heritage. Often compared to Venice itself the architecture is strikingly similar, with many Baroque as well as Italian renaissance features clearly visible. The more sober French neoclassical style has also left its mark whilst the Port of Corfu has played a significant role throughout history offering welcome refuge and respite to those arriving by boat.
South of Corfu Town lies the ancient city of Kerkyra. Extensive archaeological sites are limited only by the need for modern housing. Analipsi would have been the highest peak of the ancient city. Today it is an exclusive area of beautiful residences, thick green vegetation and a regal air of what Corfu Island was like. The Palace of Mon Repo where prince Philip of England was born can also be visited from here. Kanoni is the peninsula that extends further to the south and culminates with the impressive Mouse Island and the picture perfect Vlacherena Church that looks as if it is floating on water. Many hotels are in Kanoni as well as offering a front row seat that looks onto Kapodistrias Airport runway. Enjoy a sunset cocktail or early morning coffee as you watch the many planes taking off and landing.
As you head south of Corfu Town past the airport and along the main road that takes you to the very south of the island you reach another royal estate, the Achilleon Palace built by the Empress Sissy of Austria. Set in the traditional village of Gastouri there is much to see. The museum itself has many impressive exhibits but it is the views and overall grandeur of the place that leave a lasting impression. The famous Tripas restaurant in Kinopiastes is also on the way. The food served here is a feast fit for kings and queens. All you can eat of Corfu’s finest tastes and products are served whilst watching a Greek dancing show. Rather than coming back down the way you came you can continue from Gastouri down the other side of the hill to reach the south eastern coast and the resorts of Benitses, Tsaki and Perama.
On the northern side of Corfu Town past Louis Kerkyra Golf Hotel is the privately run Corfu Marina in Gouvia with many cafes and restaurants giving off an international feel. Kontokali is the name of the entire area with many entertainment venues, more cafes and restaurants available to tourists and locals alike. The old Venetian boat building yard is also a very interesting site to visit. Kommeno Bay is a more quiet and peaceful headland that looks onto the Marina and Gouvia across the water. Luxury hotels and villas are in this area making it an A list destination. Further north are the large resorts of Dassia, Ipsos Beach and Korakiana. All three resorts developed during the original Club Mediterrané days that first opened in the area during the 60’s. Today many hotels, apartments and villas offer top holiday accommodation.
From here head west inland and follow the signs for Danilia and Afra to reach the entertaining water park of Aqualand in Agios Ioannis. Most visitors to Corfu Island go at least once during their stay. Vatos is in Corfu’s geographical centre and is defined by fertile and flatter areas that are perfect grounds for one of Greece’s first Golf Clubs. Many golfers arrive to play on a circuit that is considered by many as a hidden gem. Close by is the west coast beach and resort of Ermones.It is here the hero Ulysses is said to have been washed ashore after his many trials and tribulations following the war of Troy.
The central west coast boasts some of the Island’s most frequented beaches all of which have been awarded Blue Flags. Golden sand, unforgettable sunsets and easy access make Glyfada, Kontogiallos and Agios Gordis beaches an easy choice for a fantastic summer holiday. Aquis and Louis Hotels are in these areas as well as the more romantic Levant Hotel on the very top of Pelekas Village. Pelekas has its very own feel and is famous for its jazzy nights and dancing in the village square as you watch Corfu Island stretch out beneath your feet. For a more traditional setting visit the folklore museum in Sinarades village and ask to taste their local wine.