Corfu What to do and see ? Corfu island Greece Why ? Perhaps because Corfu is the most beautiful island of Greece. My travel to corfu in 5 days reveals here what are the best places to go in Corfu, also named Kerkyra.
Where is corfu located Greece ? Corfu (in greek Κέρκυρα = Kerkyra) is a greek island in the ionian sea east of Greece, part of the Eptanisa (means 7 islands). It’s an island 58 kms long and 27 kms wide. Corfou temperature is nice in summer with 31 °C. Corfu town architecture (houses and churches) is influenced by Venitian domination (14th cent. to 17th AD) is stunningly beautiful. The island has no trace of Ottoman influence, as Turks never reached the island.
How to get to corfu island Greece ? You can reach the Corfu island by boat from Igoumenitsa town, north-est of greek mainland. You can also get there by plane : you will land at Corfu airport near the main town of the island. I went there for 5 days on the 5th of May 2002 for Easter. I chose this period of time in order to avoid the very tourist season and in order to enjoy all the island and the Corfiotes’ live. I went back to the island this year in August to see the non coasal island and I must confess I was enthralled by the beauty of the villages and their view to the sea. I personaly came each time by ferry with our car from Igoumenitsa with my family. We always book in Corfou town at hotel Bella Venezia. Bella Venezia Hotel is really professionally managed (recently renovated). Our room and bathroom were small but nice and cosy. Ma mark 10/10
My travel to corfu in 5 days.
1st day : Easter time is quite different in Corfu from Easter in all Greece. At the end of the Holy week, the philharmonic bands and students’ marches take place in the street of Corfu main town, called Kerkyra. The day of the Epitaphios (Good Friday) metroplitan church of St Spiridon brings out its funeral bier and parades it in the most popular places of the town. During the celebration of the « Early Resurrection » , balconies in the old town of Kerkyra are fully decked in red pieces of cloth. Day of the Easter Vigil (Saturday) at 11.00 am, the inhabitants of Corfu throw down large clay pots to smash on the street pavements. A Corfiot told me that the sound of the pot on the floor frighten the Evil spirit and that the potsin pieces bring good luck.
2nd day : Visit of Kerkira town. We arrived by boat on Friday afternoon with a beautiful sunset behind the town. We could see from the ferry deck the new and the old castles and ports. I was impatient to start my visit of this town on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 2007. its roots in the 8th century BC. The fortresses were used by Venetians in the island to defend the island against the Ottoman Empire. The mainly neo-classical housing stock of the Old Town is mainly from the Venetian period and partly of later construction of 19th century. I liked Corfu town for its very high level of authenticity. It’s so far one of the best old town I visited in my all life (see the 2 photos on the top).
We spent several hours walking in the streets with our map in hands. Every corner of the town was a treasure to me.
Among the places I loved the most, there was the Palace of St. Michael and St. George or called Old Palace. It was built in 1820 by the British and used as the official residence of the Governor. After the union of Corfu with Greece in 1864, the palace served as a Royal residence. Up to 1967, the Greek king Contantin II used the palace on state summer occasions. Today the palace houses the Museum of Asian art of Corfu. I didn’t visit the museum but I liked walking in the external corridor of the palace and around there to take some photos (see one above, on the left).
There was also the Cathedral of Saint Spyridon. Saint Spyridon is the patron Saint of Corfu island. He was actually bishop of Trimythous in Cyprus. I learned that St Spyridon worked miracles throughout his life and died very old in Cyprus. When the Arabs took the island, the Cypriots opened his grave in order to remove his bones to Constantinople but they found that his body had remained intact. When Othomans took Constantinople in the 15th cent.AD, he was transferred to Serbia and afterwards to Corfu where his relics are today revered.
- Mon Repos palace.
- Monastery of Vlacherna
- Palaiokastritsa bay and Monastery
- Corfu beaches of Glyfada, Sidari, Agios Stéphanos et Agios Gordios (respectively from left to the right)
To be followed…