Around April-Palm Sunday-commemorates the delieverance of the island from the plague.The relics of St.Spyridos pass through the streets accompanied by the band of the islands philharmonic.The procession sets out from the saints own church at eleven in the morning and follows the line of the old town walls,from where the saint drove out the disease.
Around April-Easter Sunday-The second and oldest procession was established in 1550 in thanks for the relief of the island from famine.This procession traditionally takes place on Easter Saturday starting at nine in the morning.
1st Sunday of November-The third procession commerates the Saint's intervention in saving the island from plague a second time(1673).
If you are searching for a restaurant in Corfu, there is a site in Greek and English, that can inform you about the different kinds of restaurants, existing in Corfu.
Read the description and pick up the restaurant you like!
As you are used to so many beers from so many countries of the world, for a change, you should try a local beer, made and brewed in Corfu.It will surprise you...pleasantly!
And the name of the beer is: Corfu Beer.
As simple and fresh as that!
Some customs left by the British, are still strong.For istance, except cricket, Corfu is the only place in Greece, where you can drink: "Tsitsibyra" or "Ginger Ale or Ginger Beer".
It is a refreshing drink, containing only natural ingredients, like: water, sugar, lemon and ginger, without preservatives.
This is "tsitsibyra", the local drink of Corfu.Try it!
It is produced and bottled by G.Cheimarios, at the village of Kalafationes, near Corfu Town.
It's still Holy Saturday and we have not finished yet!
Once the procession of Saint Spyridon has finished, we are heading for the "second round" and a very "noisy" one: the Throwing and the Breaking of the ceramic pots (like jugs and pitchers), which in Corfu are called: Botides.
At 11:00 a.m (sharp) from all the balconies, from all the windows of Corfu, the Corfiots throw down and break the "botides"!That' s an ancient custom, commemorating the first Resurrection of Christ.The ceramic pots have different sizes: from small to extra-extra large (plus some huge ones replenished with water to make more noise), so be extremely careful!
This event happens mainly beside the Spianada Square, as well as in every possible balcony of Corfu, and the balconies, which are going "to act", are decorated with a purple carpet.
Anyway, be cautious!
Once Good Friday is over, you can not take a breath, because Corfu is full of religious traditions!The next one happens on Holy Saturday, early in the morning (get early and grasp a good position, if you want to take many photos and videos!) and it is the procession of Saint Spyridon's relics (actually, the "body" of Saint Spyridon which has miraculously stayed "intact"!) and starts at 09:00 a.m. (be prepared: it lasts one and half hours!).
Saint Spyridon is the patron saint of Corfu and his memory is honoured 4 times a year with, among others, 4 solemn processions.The procession of Holy Saturday is the most ancient and commemorates the miraculous rescue of the City of Corfu from famine, thanks to the holy intercession of Saint Spyridon.
You MUST SEE THIS PROCESSION, because you have not ever seen such a thing in your whole life!!!What I mean:
1)Thousands of school boys and girls parading.
2)All the priests of the whole island of Corfu (plus the bishop) on procession.
3)Unique religious objects are taken from the churches of Corfu to be displayed during the procession (crosses, lanterns, banners, big candles, icons).
3)The three music bands of Corfu performing (that makes more than 600 people, playing different instruments).
4)The "intact" shroud of Saint Spyridon and
5)The Epitaphios of Saint Spyridon.
(For political reasons, the Venetians prohibited the procession of the Epitaphios of Saint Spyridon on Good Friday, so it comes out on Holy Saturday).
According to the Orthodox Religious traditions an "EPITAPHIOS" is the bier, where the shroud of Christ is put.It's richly decorated with flowers and it is taken in procession in the evening of GOOD FRIDAY, after 09:00 p.m. and supported by 4 persons.The procession starts with the choirboys holding lanterns and crosses, followed by the choir, the priests and the whole congregation with lit candles.
Following the processions of Epitaphii in Corfu is something unique, not only for Greece, but for the international standards!What is unique: their number (30 only for the City of Corfu!!!) and the fact that all of them are accompanied by music bands (philarmonikes-there are 3 ones:Palaia Philarmoniki (red), Mantzaros (blue) and Capodistrias, distinguished by their colours), performing the"funebral merches"like: the "Adaggio" by Albinioni, "Marcia Funebre" by G. Verdi, "Sventura" by G. Mariani.Due to their "numbers", the processions start from 02.00 in the afternoon!
The first "Epitaphios" is from the Pantocratoros Parish Church and the Spiliotissa Parish Church from the New Fortress.If you want to see a big and complete procession, wait till 04:00 p.m., when comes out the Epitaphios of Saint George (the Ancient Greek temple-like church) from the Old Fortress.
If you are a Catholic, do not miss the procession of the Catholic Epitaphios of the SS Jacob and Christopher Catholic Cathedral (Domos) at 09:15 p.m.
And finally, the most important: at 10:00 p.m. the Epitaphios of the Orthodox Cathedral of Corfu (Our Lady of Spiliotissa).Said procession crosses the whole city and lasts more than one and half hours!
I guess we all agree on this on; there is nothing more exciting than going travelling - exploring another country, experiencing a different culture, travelling around in new ways, sampling the local cuisine and chatting to the local people for a different perspective on life.
However during our travels we learned that there is one certain thing that you should be aware of and prepared for to make sure that the trip is as easy and enjoyable as possible. We always try to see everything once we're there, but this is not always an act of responsible travelling. We always talk to the locals and we know that they have the information about just the right spots to visit and how to undertake them. It will not only enhance your experiences but also avoid any unnecessary hassles.
For us the travel tips we have written in this section made the most of our travel experience and we came home in the same happy, healthy state that we left.
Due to the fact that the Corfiots seem to be so laid back, it can sometimes take a while for them to serve you, so don't get annoyed about this. Food is seen as something to be enjoyed and time should be taken over it.
Also, as we were advised by a local that we made friends with, get in there and use your hands - enjoy the meal!
One thing that was not left by the British in Greece was the great plumbing system that many countries in the world now have. Their plumbing system cannot cope with toilet paper being thrown down the toilet and instead, has to be thrown in a bin.
When I first heard this, I thought it was going to be a bit of a nightmare, but you very quickly get used to it. In all public areas, as well as in accomodation, the bins are emptied quite regularly, and generally have a lid on.
Unless you want overflowing raw sewage coming back out of the toilet, keep this in mind!
A few hours in the afternoon, usually between 2 and 6 p.m. People are relaxing, shops (and sometimes also restaurants) are closed. It seemed to us that some people have siesta all the day - they are sitting in front of their houses, talking, observing the life... - good example for us, the hurried people from the big cities. See also my travelogue on People from Corfu.
Pastitsada is the local favorite for special occasions and holidays.
Sofrito consists of beef stewed in white sauce with white pepper and garlic.Mashed potatoes or pasta can go along with it. It is a dish of Franko - Venetian origin.
The Corfu Town was originally founded in the Byzantine Era on the site of the OLD FORT where for a long period the entire population of the town lived. The old fort although partly demolished by the British when they returned the Ionion Islands to Greece (1864), still contains some impressive fortifications including some by the famed Martinego.
The New Fortr, near Old Fort was started by the Venetians in 1575 and completed in 1645. The British added to it. Today is a naval establishment but it can be visited. Look out for the giant Venetian Lion over the main gateway.
At the weast coast
At the north coast
At the north east coast
Gouvia and Kondokali
Ipsos and Pyrgi
At the south coast
Moraitika and Messongi
The people like to help you everywhere and always, but don't disturb them when they have a disagreement, theyre temperament is high.
Don't wear a short skirt or shorts, when you enter a sanctuary. That is impolite.