Tourist Places To Visit In Corfu
Corfu is unlike the other popular Greek islands. For starters, it is located in the Ionian Sea towards the north-west coast of Greece. It is popular more amongst Europeans as it is a shorter distance and makes for a quick weekend escape. Corfu's landscape also is quite different - the natural rock formations, mountainous regions and pristine beaches, will surely call out for the romantic soul in you. Apart from these natural wonders, there are many other tourist places to see in Corfu that are historical and architectural splendours. You will surely go back in time and be one with nature on this beautiful island.
The north-westernmost point of Corfu is the stunning Cape Drastis. What makes it special is the shape of the cliffs jutting out with little sea caves and sandy formations in between. It is definitely postcard-worthy. You can view it from the top - accessible via a narrow road - or if the weather permits, you can also do a boat trip to view it from below. It can get quite windy here so you do need to be careful.
The Monastery is located above the beach of the town Paleokastritsa, on a small hill, towards the north-west side of the island. What currently can be seen of the monastery was built in the 18th century, however, its history dates back to the 13th century, built during the Byzantine era. Here you will find a large complex, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and some interesting and rare Byzantine icons, relics and holy books. There is also a traditional Olive Oil press.
This little monastery is situated on a tiny islet that is connected to land by a stone pier. One can walk over to the monastery to visit it. It is an extremely popular tourist spot and a symbolic site for Corfu. It is located just south of Kanoni peninsula. Since it is surrounded by water on all sides, it makes for a beautiful picture. The monastery was built sometime in the 17th or 18th century and was functional up to 1980. Today, only a small church is kept open inside the monastery, for tourists to see. Since the airport is quite nearby, you can also get a lovely view of aeroplanes passing by from here.
St. George’s Church
This beautiful church dedicated to the Holy George was built in 1840, within the old fortress of Corfu. It was built for the British Soldiers who were serving Corfu at the time. The church is one of the largest and has a capacity of 4000 with roman style architecture. The church has some pictures and information about the period of the English Protection which is interesting for history buffs. The church currently is not functional - except for 1 day of the year and that is to celebrate the memory of St. George.
Porto Timoni is a double beach near the village of Afionas towards the west coast of the island. It is both a natural wonder as well as a place with historic significance, as it was a harbour with a fortress, once upon a time. The double beach forms 2 bays facing the opposite direction. The colour of the sea is a deep turquoise which makes it quite a magical site to visit. There is absolutely nothing on the beach - except for small pebbles and sand, so if you plan to spend time here, you will need to carry some drinkables and eatables!
Royal Achilleion Palace
The Achilleion Palace is one of the most famous Royal Mansions in all of Europe and is an architectural landmark of Corfu. It is only about 10 km from Corfu Town and is easily accessible by road. It was built in 1890 for the Queen Elisabeth of Austria to enjoy as a holiday home. It is filled with beautiful frescoes and decorations. In the mansion grounds, there are statues from Greek Mythology, the popular ones being the Nine Muses and the Dying Achilles. It is interesting to note that the casino scene in the James Bond Film - For Your Eyes Only - was filmed here!
Palaiokastritsa is a small town in Corfu. Its name literally translates to Old Castle Place, referring to the Byzantine Castle - Angelokastro, nearby. You can laze around on its beautiful beach, one of the largest here, or visit the monastery, both of which are top tourist spots. There are some lovely restaurants that will keep you satiated. You can also visit the Agios Spiridonos church.
Old Fortress & New Fortress
The Old Fortress is an impressive fortification and is the first thing you see if you approach Corfu by ferry. It is located towards the eastern side of Corfu Town. It was constructed in the 15th century by the Venetians, replacing an old Byzantine Castle. You can enter the fortress from the Spianada square in Corfu Town and is a must-visit as there is plenty to see within, including sweeping views of the sea. The New Fortress was built in the 16th century and is an extension to the old fortress towards the south end. Both the fortresses have castles and other historical buildings - ensure you have ample time to walk around!