Corfu is undoubtedly referred, as one of Greece's most known "touristic ambassadors" globally. With sharp Venetian, English and French influence, concerning architecture, as well as gastronomy, but also in locals' way of life, Corfu combines all the beauty of the Mediterranean, that one meets in Greek islands, with the cosmopolitan style of a resort in the West World. The innumerable sights in Corfu City, as well as in the whole island, the dozens of beaches, some of them cosmopolitan, others more remoted, the endless variety of gastronomical and pastry products, as well as it's rich musical tradition, are taking visitors away on a "journey in time", where Europe's all cultural cradles (Venetocracy, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Belle Époque etc.) meet here, each one leaving it's own mark. This glare and uniqueness Corfu has, attracts many celebrities, politicians, grandees and others, who choose it for their summer vacation. So, as you walk through Corfu's "kadounia" (small backstreets) and the Mon Repo Gardens, you see next to you a famous Hollywood star, or find yourself lying, in Glyfada Beach, next to a rock idol, enjoying both of you the same sun. Or, if it is written, meet the love of your life, at the majestic Canal d' Amour. But even nothing of these happens, be sure, that the you live the island, a premature feeling of nostalgia will conceive you, as you leave Ionion's Queen, Corfu, behind you. The holidays in Corfu will be amazing so book your ferry tickets now and live unique moments on the magnificent island of Corfu.
Port of Corfu
You can easily travel to Corfu by ferry from Patras, Igoumenitsa, Kefalonia, Zakynthos and Paxoi, as well as from Ancona, Bari, Brindisi (Italy) and from Agioi Saranta, Albania. You can also book your ferry tickets online via aktoploika.gr for a journey more comfortable and carefree. The trip from Patras takes about 5 hours, one and a half an hour from Igoumenitsa, 3 hours from Kefalonia, 4 hours from Zakynthos, half an hour from Paxoi, 5 hours from Ancona and 25 minutes from Agioi Saranta. There is also the option of travel by air, taking a plane from "Eleftherios Venizelos Airport" or "Macedonia Airport" in Salonica. During summer, a lot of flying companies across Europe charter flights from many European airports.
Connection With Other Islands
Corfu is coastial connected with Patras, Igoumenitsa, Ancona (Italy), Bari (Italy), Brindisi (Italy) and Agioi Saranta (Albania) all the year and with Zakynthos, Kefalonia and Paxoi during summer.
You can now book ferry tickets online for Corfu via Aktoploika.gr. If you plan to travel during July and August, it's best if you have booked several days or weeks earlier to avoid hitches. You should also know that round-trip/return ferry tickets come with a considerable discount.
There are buses, that connect Corfu's capital with every village in the island. If you want to feel like a nobleman, you can rent a carriage, to make a small tour to the city. For close destinations outside Corfu, like Pontikonisi and Diapontia Islands, there are small boats to take you there. And finally, you have a familiar option, the most popular in Greek islands, renting a car or a scooter.
As opposed to the most Greek islands, local buses is the most indicated way of easy and cheap transportation in Faiakes' Island. Corfu is a very big island, with plenty of sights and monuments, while it's roads' complexity may weary anyone, who comes here for the first time, so using the local buses is strongly recommended. The buses' schedules cover the entire Corfu City, the Port, the Airport,, the Bus Station and the suburbs. The ticket costs only 1.50 euros. Visitors that arrive to the Port, can choose between 5 routes to Corfu City, Kefaloumantouko, Spilia (Old Town), Liston (Upper Square), Airport and KTEL Bus Station, where they can move to the rest of the island's villages and settlements. There is a bus station with a routes time table right in front of the port. The Intercity Bus Station is located 1 km away from Corfu City, where buses start to all Corfu's settlements, as well as famous tourist attractions. Tickets' prices are very low, costing no more than 7 euros.
Corfu: a journey in time
There are two main theories about how Corfu ("Kerkyra" in Greek) took it's name. On the first one, god Posidon fell in love with Nymphe Kerkyra, the daughter of Asopos River, he brought her to the island and gave it her name. Their love gave birth to Faiakas, the legendary ancestor of Faiakes Nation. According to others, Kerkyra's myth is connected etymologically with the word "Koryfo", which, in Greek, means "something located at the top of a hill", and comes from the Latin word "Corfu", a name generated because of the citadel's location, that you can see across the city today.
Corfu is a multicultural place, where nations, civilizations and tendencies from several parts of the World History coexist harmonically, giving colorful emotions to visitors.
Corfu City will definitely charm you, with it's Venetian and neoclassic buildings, the Spiniada Central Square, the biggest one in Balkans, the Kapodistrias Mansion, the Canon, the Agios Michael and Georgios Palace, where the Asian Art Museum is housed, and the Old Castle, or Fortseta, which has Corfu's Historical Records, the Main Library, the Byzantine Collection and beside all these, you can see the city's Lighthouse and the Big Clock Tower.
Achileion, located 9 kilometers away from the city, was built on 1890 for Elizabeth, Queen of Austria. With a green garden, garnished with colorful flowers and imperial palm trees and a magnificent decoration inside, having dozens of sculptures and exceptional paintings, Achileion will take you to a journey in other times.
When you leave the city your options are innumerable. The most famous are Pontikonisi Island, with the PAnagia Vlahernon Monastery, the Roman Baths in Aharavi, the Antiniotis Laggoon, the Arkoudilas Forest and finally the "Canal d' Amour" beside Sidari Beach, a fiord formation by the coast. According to a myth, if someone enters the bay from fiords' one side, he'll meet the love of his life on the other side.
Corfu's beaches are so many, that can't be counted or be mentioned in a few lines. There are over 30 beaches awarded with the Blue Flag Award. The cosmopolitan Mon Repo Beach, Palaiokastritsa, Glyfada (an attraction for many celebrities), Myrtiotissa, Benitses, Molos and Sidari are probably the most famous. On Sidari Beach visitors can enjoy the Waterpark, or take a boat to Diapontia Islands, a 9 islands complex, for a daily cruise.
Local musical tradition is another factor, that makes Corfu so unique. As you walk through "kadounia", you'll surely meet at least one of the city's Philharmonics, while, during night, you'll hear a "kantada" (traditional love songs played with guitar), sang by a company of Corfians.
Even though Corfu has been a place, where miscellaneous civilizations passed and coexisted through ages, it maintained it's identity and glance, keeping alive the glory of the past, but also coming up to the last decades' great touristic development expectations.
- Enjoy a golf game at the Golf Course or a cocktail watching others playing.
- Organize a trip to Potamos Alykes and Korrisia Lake, to watch the flamingos that live there during summer.
- You must definitely visit Palia Perithia Village. It was built by the Venetians and has become a ghost-village, that will thrill you with its eerie beauty.
- Have a walk at Kalami, a picturesque hidden village, the place that inspired the famous author Gerald Durrell.
- Rent a speedboat in Palaiokastritsa and explore the west coast's secrets.
- If you love mountain-walking, ask a local to show you how to get to Kerkyraiko Path or to Hermit's Path. Both landscapes are magnificent.
- Don't leave Corfu, if you haven't tasted "sofrito", a local masterpiece-dish. You can find the best in the island at Ellisavet's Tavern in Doukades Village.
- You can have the most romantic dinner in town in "Venetian Well", a restaurant that will travel you many centuries back.
- "Papagiorgis Pastry Shop" in the Old Town is the best place for sweets and candies and you will surely visit it more than once. You must definitely taste "peanut-ice cream" and "special ice cream".
- If you love wine, the perfect place is in Corfu and it's called "Ampelonas Corfu". You can taste rare and weird wine varieties and enjoy a full tour at the museum and the vineyards.
Locals are annoyed, when they hear "castle" instead of "fortress", and react, when their capital city is called "hora" or "town" instead of "city".
Corfu's weather conditions are a little bit heavier than Greece's, even during summer. Make sure you have a thin jacket with you in your evening walks and be prepared for sudden summer storms, as they are frequent.
Happy Holidays at the majestic Corfu!!!