The Complete Guide To: Corfu
Corfu is the second-largest of the Ionian Islands. Corfu has far more to offer than just sun, sea and souvlaki. It is located just west of the Greek mainland and the southern coast of Albania. Shaped like a sickle, with its hollow side facing inwards, the island is about 65 km long and 32 km across at its widest point. There are 217 km of coast, although anyone will find that the interior has at least as much to offer as the shore. Much of Corfu is mountainous. At 906 m above sea level, its highest peak, Mount Pantokrator, is visible from most places on the island. Mount Pantokrator offers a wonderful view to the rest of the island , that makes you feel like you’re on top of the world!!!
Corfu is the ideal island for everyone, including those who who want to elude busy resorts and avoid the crowds. Corfu town was a target for several foreign armies in the course of its long history, and the two fortresses which are located in its harbour were built by the Venetians, who ruled the island for four centuries. The Venetian influence continues to give the town an Italian feel till today. From the old fort, or Palaio Frourio (open 8.30am-3pm daily), there is an impressive 360-degree view over the town and the coast beyond it.
Just behind the fortress is the Spianada, a legacy of the early 19th century, when the British conquered the island. Running along the Spianada is the Liston, an attractive avenue part-shaded by trees, partly covered by arcades. With its many restaurants and cafes, it is a perfect spot for relaxation and delicious tastes of the Greek cuisine.
A few blocks back from the Liston is Corfu Town's best-known landmark, the dark red bell-tower of Saint Spiridon church. The area all around is a mixture of quiet squares, intriguing alleyways and lively shopping streets.
One of the most dramatic spots on Corfu's north-west coast is Paleokastritsa, a rocky promontory on the top of which is a ruined castle, the Angelokastro. Paleokastritsa is a rocky, densely wooded headland around which nestle a variety of different beaches and coves. Each beach offers different facilities, with a diving school in Ampelaki, and trips out into the bay on a glass-bottomed boat starting from the little harbour of Alipa.
Another fantastic sight in Corfu is the Pontikonisi, a green rock in the middle of the sea, which is the trademark of Corfu. Pontikonisi is visited during the whole summer season with boats starting from opposite the cannon, with frequent departures throughout the day from 9 am to 9 pm. If you happen to be in Corfu on August 6, when the monastery celebrates the Transfiguration, it is definitely worth a visit for pilgrimage. Corfu’s green nature and crystal clear waters will totally compensate you , since it is not unfairly considered one of the most beautiful islands in Greece.
Text provided by Jessica Erin