The Achillion Palace is ideally located in the picturesque village of Gastouri. This magnificent Palace was built in 1890 exclusively for Elizabeth (Sissy), the then Empress of Austria. The palace used to serve as the summer retreat of the Empress. Unfortunately, Sissy the Empress passed away in a rather tragic manner when she was brutally assassinated in 1898 in Geneva and the palace was deserted till the year 1907 when it was bought by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany.
The palace is located in a place of mesmerizing beauty with the c Corfu coast down below, which still has the jetty from where the Kaiser would embark on his pleasure cruises. The Palace is not only renowned for its classical features.
During the time when the palace was occupied by the Kaiser, he is said to have removed the magnificent statues of Achilles and additionally constructed the House of the Knights with the sole reason of housing his battalion on Corfu. Even the palace garden was relandscaped according to the whims and fancies of the Kaiser. The palace was given the status of a Public building after World War II.
The town is a maze of narrow streets dominated by the 16th century fortress. Around every corner can you can find a chapel, old mansion or secret garden square. The café at the Liston: built by the French in the same style as those in Rue de Rivoli, Paris; is probably the place to 'people watch' while enjoying a Ginger beer. (The British also left Cricket, which was played on the pitch opposite the Liston. Sadly today, due to nearby parked cars, they no long play in this famous location.)
The narrow streets radiating off from the Liston, house small shops of every commercial nature. Dominated by the 'gold shops'. Corfiot craftsmen excel at designing and making Greek jewelry in gold - this coupled with competitive prices may tempt you.
Among the bustle, look out for those shops and stalls selling local items like wild honey, fig cakes and handmade lace.
Palace is located in the village of Gastouri, and is built in 1890 for Elizabeth (Sissy), the Empress of Austria as the solace of her soul. It was used as her summer Palace. Later the Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany bought the place.
This beautiful building in picturesque gardens overlooks the sea and Corfu town.
Another pretty harbour town, Kassiopi is quaint.
Nice harbour location with plenty of bars and restaraunts.
There is a little main street where you will find the shops and more bars and restaraunts.
As part of a road trip, I would definetly recommend that you come and see this place.
There is a local bus service to get you here as well.
Is a stunning resort on the west coast of Corfu,a little more relaxed and quieter than other resorts and very spaced out.Much of the town is set on high cliffs tops overlooking the sea and beaches below.The beaches are said to be the finest on the island and i believe they are right with golden sand and crystal blue waters,most of the beaches are only accessable by boat taxi's which leave for these hidden beaches several times an hour.The main part of the town has your restaurants,bars and cafes and shops as well as a few large car parks,its worth taking the walk up the hill to the Monastary(which is in my tips)to enjoy spectacular views and soak up the sun.Many of the more luxurios hotels and apartments of Corfu can be found at this resort.
The Theotokos Monastary is located in the west coast town of 'Paleokatritsa',built in the 13th century.It is very popular due to its high location perched on the cliffside at the top of a long hillside road.Its a pleasent walk up the hill if you take your time and admire the spectacular views of the beaches and the town.When you reach the Monastary its time to take out your camera a view the panaromic scenery in front of you,there is a Restaurant and car park here as well.
On the island of Corfu it is possible to rent a quad motorcycle for a relatively cheap price. You can chose either to go on a safari by yourself or chose to be part of a group. The Pink Palace offers you the opportunity to see a variety of different spots on the island during their quad motorcycle safari. On this ride you will experience the thrill of motorbiking with a whole bunch of other youths like yourself!
A former fishing village with a strong growth mainly due to tourism in recent years, especially the 70s and 80s, now boasts a wonderful haven of tourist boats (Marina), an ongoing project among other things, includes a large area parking lot and other infrastructure.
Benitses is situated on the Eastern coast of Corfu, only 12 kilometers from the Island's city centre, and 9 kilometers from the international airport.
For the last few years it belongs to the Municipality Achillean and is one of the leading villages.
It is a very popular place, it has been the first tourist resort of Corfu. Speaking of tourism on the island, this is where it all began.
at the 80s and 90s used to be the center of Corfiot nightlife,today is a different place suitable for quiet family holidays, for families and couples seeking rest and relaxation.
The tourist facilities such as apartments, hotels etc are upgraded and offer much better quality and more services than in the past decades.
Nightlife beyond a few bars and a club not actually exist, but for those who want more the city of Corfu is very close.
Most visitors come from the former Eastern European countries such as Czech Republic, Hungary, there are English and German tourists also in a small number.
particular emphasis is given on domestic tourism, during the months of July and August the majority of visitors are Italians and Greeks.
The local events especially during July and August always attract a lot of people, mostly locals from all over Corfu.
Benitses now is a different place,nothing reminds the busy 80s,Benitses is a place for families and quiet and relaxing holidays.
This a small mountain village located near the centre of the island.It is not often visited by tourists which means its relatively untouched by tourism and maintains it Greek style,a quiet place with not much to do but worth a stroll though the narrow cobbled streets or pop into a taverna for an Ouzo and a chat with the locals.the views from hear are very nice and you can see the west coast on a clear day,the roads are accesible by car and there is a large car park in the village,wear a hat though as it gets very hot up here.
The village is 700m above sea level.
Situated five to six miles from Agios Georges is this Byzantine Fortress from the 13th century, quite hidden from the main road and up a little few side streets,unfortunatly not a lot remains and its not in very good condition but worth a look anyway.There is no entry fee,just park up at small car park and go in.
St.George church was built in 1840 and it looks like an ancient temple (pic 1) as it has Doric columns in front! This weird church was built by the british army. The church is closed but opens only one day each year, on Great Friday when the procession of the epitaphios takes place (see local customs). It used to be an anglican church but turned into an orthodox one after the reunion when the old temple from Agios Spyridon church transferred here.
So, as during Great Friday we choosed to be in Old Town we just checked the church exterior, took some pics of the church and the bell(pic2) and then wondered along the fortress outer walls (pic 3). It’s hard to do but try to imagine that there was a period that the city out of the fortress didn’t exist…
You can reach the St George church even when the entrance for the top of the Old Fortress is closed, so there’s no entrance fee.
The Old Fortress is definitely one of Corfu’s landmarks. It was first built by the corcyrans that were living in the byzantine fortress that used to be in Kanoni and destroyed by goth races. The new city was built with materials from that fortress and the Venetians extended the fortifications and dug a moat.
There is a 4euro entrance fee to go up but you can wonder around the lower rampants for free in case you come late (the doors to the top are open till 14.30 during winter, till 19.00 during summer).
After the entrance to the Old Fortress, there is a sign that informs you that on you right are: the Acropolis/Lighthouse, the venetian prison, the St George’s church, the british army cookhouse and the café.
On your left are: the Music Department of the University and the Sailing Club.
Right in front are: The Archives of Corfu and the Public Library.
First we noticed a 4 pdr cannon from 1788 that was used from the French Army during King Louis XVI era. It’s 565 kg with a 84mm bore. For some strange reason I thought it was turned against the opposite wall of the fortress!
We wondered around the buildings for a while (most of them were built by the british army), we took some pics over the walls and visited the church of St George (see next tip) before we go up to the top. The climb is difficult on a hot day but the views are great and don’t forget that there is a café in the fortress where you can refresh your self with a cold beverage.
The entrance fee for the top of the fortress is 4 euros(april 2010)
The municipal Gallery is housed in St Michael’s & George’s Palace. The entrance (pic1) is from the back side through the small park on the right of the palace. The entrance fee is only 2 euros including entrance for the 2 exhibitions (permanent and temporary). Photography isn’t allowed inside, pic 2 just shows part of one of the rooms at the permanent exhibition.
There are 9 different rooms that house the permanent collection, it is not big which was nice because I could spend more time and enjoy it more. The most famous paintings are “Kapodistrias’ murder” made by Ch.Pahis and the “Arab musician” my P.Prosalentis
The temporary collection is housed on the front side of the Palace, it’s much smaller but some times really interesting. During March/April 2010 I saw Ntemi Kaia’s collection. It was called “With Eyes Opened” focusing on peoples stare/glance and it was really interesting but unfortunately photography wasn’t allowed so I can’t show you any of her work but only the poster (pic 3).
There is also a small gallery downstairs where you can go for free. Pics 4-5 are from that gallery (you can take pics there)
Sidari used to be a peaceful village some years before. Now, it’s one of the major beach resorts in Corfu. It has many bars, restaurants and many many hotels and apartments that can pack the hordes of tourists.
The good thing here is one great spot at Sidari, It’s called Canal d’amour and yes! It’s a great place for couples, so picturesque and unique. There’s only one small problem, the area is so crowded during summer period that you will hate me if you just read my tip without this warning :)
But if you go off season like we did you may not enjoy the water so much (it’s cold) but you we love the place. We did! All the hotels along the front beach were closed (pic 3, that’s why you can see only one car, our car) so we enjoyed for about an hour the area that is actually eroding sandstone cliffs. You can walk among them, follow small paths, swim around and discover small coves etc It’s amazing what wind and water created here, a natural piece of art.
All the cafes and restaurants were closed in early april but we didn’t care, we enjoyed the place and returned back to town for lunch.
There are some really nice beaches all over Corfu. As we came here it wasn’t first priority for us but we really enjoyed visiting some of them as they were empty and peaceful, not even local families were there.
We didn’t stay too long in each beach but we noticed that there are some shaded by large trees beaches but most of them are really under the sun. Even, in beaches with no facilities you will notice a lot of umbrellas and sunbeds in many of them.
At north shore try Agios Georgios, Arilla, Aharavi, Dassia, Kalami, Peroulades, Sidari kai Paleokastritsa beaches.
At South shore try the ones at Moraitika, Messoggi, Agios Georgios(6km long!), Issos, Kavos.
At West coast try the ones of Glyfada and Agios Gordios