The infrastructure of Corfu has seen many improvements over the past few decades. Due to the development of mass tourism the list of places which can and should be visited is endless. Read on and find out more about what to do during your 2016 Corfu holidays.
Corfu's Old Town lies between the Old Fortress and the New Fortress. (Parking is generally available in this area for a charge of 2-3 Euros for the whole day.) Both fortresses have spectacular panoramic views of Corfu from their summits. The Palace of St. Michael and St George (now houses the Asian Art Museum) overlooks the main square of Corfu, which is said to be the largest public square in the Balkans and the 2nd biggest in Europe. A stop for refreshments at the famous Liston, which borders one side of the square, is highly recommended. The Old Town - pedestrian friendly - has so much to discover and explore, including the church of St. Spyridon (the Patron Saint of Corfu), which is close to the Town Hall square, the Ionian Parliament and the elegant shops and boutiques of this area. A walk through this district is recommended as an introduction to the history and culture of the island.
Visitors can buy for 8 Euros a multi-ticket covering admission to a number of the town's museums and attractions, including the Archaeological Museum (closed for maintenance), the Byzantine Museum, the Asian Art Museum and the Old and New Fortresses.
Corfu's Achilleion Palace and Mouse Island are two of the trademark sights that contributed in making Corfu one of the world's top holiday destinations during the 80's and 90's. The Achilleion Palace was built by the Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Princess Sissy) and was intended to be her beloved holiday villa, where for the rest of her life she would find relief from her frequent bouts of depression. The architecture is unique and much of the decorative features inspired by Achilles - the statue of the dying Achilles is particularly noteworthy. At least half of the visitors to the island of Corfu pay a visit to the Palace. (Entry ticket 8 Euros). Mouse Island is one of two islets that are claimed to be the ship that turned to stone by Poseidon after taking Odysseus to Ithaka. It can be visited by boat, with frequent departures from Kanoni beach.
Paleokastritsa and Lakones are on the west coast of Corfu and are together described by many as the most beautiful place in western Greece. Paleokastritsa is a resort much-admired for its lush vegetation, for the sculpted rocks and vividly coloured waters of its small bays, and for the beauty of the small 13th century monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary that stands upon one of the promontories overlooking the bays. The deep, crystal-clear waters of this area are ideal for scuba diving and snorkeling, and motor boats can be hired (up to 30 HP engine does not require a licence) to explore the breathtaking beauty of the coastline with its many bays and coves and quite isolated beaches. Lakones is a picturesque small village of traditional appearance that is situated on the mountain-side above Paleokastritsa, with an astonishing and unforgettable view.
The Aqualand Water Park has become a great attraction for children and adults. Features include 38 water slides of varying levels of expertise, the world's 3rd biggest Wave Pool, the Lazy River, a 24-metre high Free Fall, and three dedicated children's areas. Sunbeds and umbrellas are provided free of charge upon presentation of your entry ticket, there is a wide variety of facilities including free parking and a day of amazing fun is guaranteed. The Waterpark opens daily at 10.00 and stays open until 18.00.
Northern Corfu is of great interest as the terrain both inland and along the coast is completely different from the rest of the island. Sidari and Peroulades in the northwest are of particular interest for their amazing rock formations - a geological phenomenon. At Sidari, the offshore rocks are pierced with caves that connect with channels - one of which, the ‘Canal d'Amour' inspired the legend that if lovers exchanged a kiss there, their love would last forever! Peroulades beach is unique in Corfu, with steep cliffs and a beach that requires negotiating quite a few steps. It is worth the effort, however, for the chance to observe the most amazing sunsets and to rent a pedalo and visit neighbouring sandy beaches and bays that are otherwise isolated and inaccessible.
The north-eastern coast of Corfu should not be missed. The main road follows the coastline along the mountainside, with many twists and bends. Drive slowly and be patient -the exceptional views through the olive groves that reach to the shore, across to the Greek and Albanian mainland, are well worth it. There are endless photo opportunities, with one small bay after another, such as Agni with its superb waterfront restaurants serving fresh fish and local cuisine, and the former fishing village, now resort, of Kassiopi. Don't miss a detour up the mountain to the ancient Byzantine village of Old Perithia, with its excellent country tavernas and wonderful atmosphere.
Beaches in the south of the island are invariably long, of golden sand, and ideal for families or couples. The island here is quite windswept at times and vegetation on the whole consists of low bushes. The scenery is quite exotic, the golden sand contrasting with the brilliant blue of the sea; there are a number of choices for lunch or dinner.
The islands of Paxos and Antipaxos lie to the south of Corfu, with daily ferry departures from the port of Corfu or the mainland. Paxos appeals to celebrities from the worlds of entertainment and business, for its beauty and privacy and its tranquil atmosphere. The island can be visited within a day, with regular excursions from Corfu or on your own, and is well worth a visit for its unspoiled beauty, the charm of Gaios, Lakka and Loggos, and for the wild cliff scenery of the western coast. Boats depart frequently from Gaios to the small island of Antipaxos(uninhabited in winter), where there are two magnificent beaches comparable to those of the Caribbean.
Other things to do in Corfu:
Golf - a golf course in Ermones area and an English teacher can teach you the secrets of that spor.
Horse riding - a few places spread around Corfu have this possibility, the most important ones are in Ano Korakiana, Arillas and a specially designed area for children to get in touch with animals in Kanoni area. A donkey rescue can be found in Poulades area.
Scuba diving - the amazing bays and rock formations combined with ancient shipwrecks makes this experience memorable. You can do it in Ipsos, Nissaki and Paleokastritsa.
Cricket - the only pitch in Greece, worth watching a game while enjoying a soft drink or a coffe in the Esplanade.
Boat rental - several rentals apply all over the island, the most important ones are situated in Dassia, Ipsos, Barbati, Agni, Kalami, Kassiopi, Palekoastritsa, Liapades, Benitses and occasionally in small bays where you don't expect it! For the lovers of sailing, in Gouvia Marina charter offices will offer you very attractive suggestions for Corfu and near by area.
Daily cruises - many offices organise daily cruises, the most famous ones are visiting Parga, Paxos and Antipaxos but from every resort many cruises are organised for boat BBQ or other places of interest.
Biking - a couple of rentals applly, in Gouvia and Dassia, the countryside will reward your choice.