The Ionian island of Corfu is a land of fertile hills, translucent seas, endless soft-sand beaches, stunning Italian architecture and multiple attractions. Its history is rich and varied. The Byzantines, the Venetians, the British, the French and the Austrians all left their mark on this spectacular Ionian paradise on Greece’s west coast.
Summer visitors to Corfu will have the chance to explore its mountainous and seaside villages, its best beaches, such as Glyfada, Palaiokastritsa, Agios Georgios and Halikouna, and unique landmarks, such as Mon Repos, the old Fortress, the church of Agios Spyridon, Pontikonisi, the Spianada Square and the always famous Liston.
Holidays in Corfu Greece are destined to be memorable. Outstanding attractions include the old Venetian quarter, declared a UNESCO world heritage area and the Achilleion Palace, a magnificent colonial-era building, once home to Princess Sissy, Empress of Austria. The Palace now houses the stunning Dying Achilles sculpture by Ernst Herter.
Corfu’s natural attractions start with Paleokastritsa, with one of its best beaches and many little coves ideal for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving. The water at Paleokastritsa is cool, crystal-clear and green with pine trees growing down to the water’s edge. Equally famous is the legendary Pontikonisi, or Mouse Island, one of the most photographed attractions in Corfu, home to the Monastery of Jesus the Saviour Corfu is undeniably a unique Ionian island! From the moment you set foot in its stunning natural surroundings you will marvel at its glorious past and take pleasure in the many attractions it has to offer you today.
Corfu has numerous beaches catering to every taste. Crowded, with every watersport facility, more isolated, pebbly and sandy, some of the beaches are only accessible by boat.
The great sandy beaches of Glyfada, Kontogyalos, Halikounas, Vitalades and Agios Gordis, with their turquoise blue waters are all located on the southwest side of the island. Glyfada is particularly popular because of its good infrastructure and proximity to Corfu city.
On the north side of the island there are two excellent beaches, Acharavi, a well-known summer resort, and Sidari, a cosmopolitan seaside town. In the northeast, there is Ypsos, renown for its watersports and cobalt blue waters, Nissaki, with its charming little pebble beach, Kerassia, with its Rothschild mansion and Avlaki, a small idyllic cove.
To the island’s northwest is the famous Paleokastritsa, celebrated for its natural beauty and refreshingly cold waters. There are six individual coves at Paleokastritsa, featuring sandy and pebble beaches. The main cove has multiple watersport facilities and the whole area is dotted with restaurants and bars overlooking the bay and serving fine local cuisine.
Southern Corfu also boasts excellent beaches, Santa Barabara and Issos are particularly special.
Dassia, on the northeast coast of Corfu island, is one of its most popular resorts, only 12 kilometres from Corfu town, the airport and the main port. The Blue Flag (www.blueflag.org) eco award-winning Dassia Beach is a sandy and pebble beach with shallow waters, ideal for swimming and suitable for children. Watersports are popular, including waterskiing, banana boats, pedal boats, scuba diving, windsurfing and boat hire is always available. Other activities include horseback riding, paintball and go-kart.
S&O luxury villas at Dassia are the perfect location for romantic walks around Dassia Bay, while their proximity to its lively shopping area, restaurants and beach bars is a main attraction for returning S&O clients.
The spectacular Ionian island of Corfu has numerous attractions, including monuments, churches and historic locations. The old Venetian quarter in Corfu town is a heritage-protected area. Corfu’s architectural heritage has been heavily influenced by the Sicilians, the Venetians, the British and the French and boasts beautiful mansions, superb palaces, narrow stone-paved streets, Byzantine churches and sun-filled piazzas.
While in Corfu town, visitors can admire the church of Agios Spyridon, the patron saint of Corfu, the Archeological Museum, Spianada Square with its famous Liston walkway, the Ionian Academy, as well as the new and the old fortresses. Kanoni is about 10 minutes from the centre of town and from there you will enjoy arguably the most photographed of charming Corfu vistas – the monastery of Vlaherena and behind this, the famous Pontikonisi, or Mouse Island.
Other attractions around the island include the stunning Achilleion Palace (Mon Repos), which was the summer residence of the Hapsburgs and the abandoned and ghostly town of Ano Peritheia, hidden in the mountains of north east Corfu. Also remarkable, the Byzantine Museum of Antivouniotissa, with its incredible icons and frescoes, and the bay at Palaiokastritsa, with its exotic coves, pine forests and lovely restaurants overlooking the bay.