With a Venetian aesthetic and sophisticated and cosmopolitan profile, the Ionian Islands’ diva offers great natural, historical, archaeological and architectural interest, with a historic jewel-town, as well as dozens of traditional villages in the well-known Ionian Sea landscape, which combines unique, crystal clear water beaches in verdant scenery. The Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, seduces visitors with the finesse and elegance of its buildings, its famous philharmonic orchestras play the crown of a great cultural tradition that remains vibrant. Picturesque villages, flatlands and lagoons complement its natural landscape, while some of the best restaurants in the country are on the menu.
The Old Town
Starting from the verdant Spianada, one of the largest squares in the Balkans, feel like a noble Venetian strolling through Liston, the island’s most famous promenade in front of the impressive arch shaped construction of Ferdinand de Lesseps (constructor of Suez Canal) and then wander among the old town alleys. Look for the church of Agios Spyridon by locating the city’s tallest bell tower and head towards it to explore the elaborate mansions, impressive public buildings, magnificent palaces and imposing fortresses. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Old Town is a museum by its own nature, with architectural and town planning features that reveal to the visitor a different version of Greece.
Mon Repos and the Achilleion
Corfu’s two emblematic palaces, the first one was the summer residence of the English emperor Sir Frederick Adam and the second one summer residence of the Austro-Hungarian Empress Elizabeth, both impress not only with their unique, cosmopolitan aesthetic of their architecture, but also with their captivating view to the sea. The former hosts the Paleopolis Museum today, while the second, with its magnificent gardens, fountains, white marble or brass statues inspired by Greek mythology and unobstructed views, is an exhibit by itself.
The beach of Glyfada is bustling and cosmopolitan while more private and appealing to the nudists is inaccessible Myrtiotissa beach, known for their green waters and caves are the beautiful beaches of Paleokastritsa, the family friendly beach of Agios Spyridonas, bustling and organized are Roda and Aharavi, Sidari is a natural artifact, with the rocks of the Canal d’Amour beach resembling sculptures, shallow and calm, the great sandy beach of Arillas. To the northeast the small, picturesque coves stand out, such as Kouloura and Agni, or the touristic beaches of Ipsos and Dassia, while to the south there are the developed seaside resorts of Benitses, Moraitika and Mesoggi.
The most distinctive and easy-to-find dish of Corfu cuisine, rooted in Venetian recipes inherited from the Venetian era, the famous Pastitsada is a rich dish full of home-made flavours and odors. Thick spaghetti with beef, garnished with plenty of grated white cheese, according to the traditional recipe, but its variations may include rooster, or even seafood instead of beef.
A delicately crafted and demanding dish, the bourdeto reveals the seafood flavours through the thick texture of its stock, which is accompanied by boiled fillets of fish (ideally scorpionfish) cooked in a hot tomato sauce. It is considered a dish of the noble when supplemented with small cod fish to accentuate the saltiness of the dish.
Fruit brought by the English from Japan, the small and delicate Koum Kouat adorns the houses of the locals and is served in various forms, with liqueur being the dominant but also spoon sweet, jam and crystallized having their fans. It is a trademark of the island and has been registered as a product of Protected Geographical Indication since 1994.
Useful phone numbers
Tourist Police: 2661029168
Port Authorities: 2661365200
Radio Taxi: 2661039911
General Hospital: 2661360400