Corfu, the second largest of the Ionian Islands, was inhabited since the Palaeolithic period and is bound up with Greek mythology. The so called “Island of Phaeacians” is where the mythical sea adventure of Homer’s Odyssey (Ulysses) is unfold.
With a breeze of Venetian architecture, natural, historical and archaeological interest, a historic city-jewel, and pristine beaches with crystal clear waters on a green background, the island of Corfu attracts a wide range of travellers.
THE OLD TOWN
The Old Town, UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its old and new fortresses is at the center of interest. On the east side of the old town, the first (old) fortress of Corfu rises, dating from the Byzantine period. Buildings of rare beauty and architectural value, Spianáda Square with Liston (the most famous pedestrian street in the city), the arched gallery, the walks on the cantounia (narrow alleys) and the Campiello district, the oldest and most picturesque quarter of the city are just some of the sights which can be seen in the old town of Corfu.
THE ACHILLEION PALACE
The Achilleion Palace was built by the Empress of Austria Elisabeth of Bavaria, also known as Sisi. The palace surrounded with classic Greek statues is a monument of platonic romanticism and was named after Achilles. The place abounds with paintings and statues of Achilles, both in the main hall and in the lavish gardens depicting the heroic and tragic scenes of the Trojan war. The architectural style is Pompeian and has resemblance to that of the Russian imperial residence in Crimea.
MON REPOS PALACE
This villa was first built as a summer residence for the British Lord High Commissioner of the 'United States of the Ionian Islands', Frederick Adam. After the islands unification with Greece in 1864, the estate was granted to King George I, it was used as a summer royal residence and he renamed it Mon Repos. Several royal births have taken place at the villa, including that of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Mon Repos has been transformed into a museum and a historic place with a large park full of archaeological treasures.
The most touristic resort located northwest of the island has been assumed to be the place where Odysseus disembarked and met princess Nausicaa for the first time (in Homer’s Odyssey). The monastery of Virgin Mary in Palaiokastritsa dates from 1225 and is a lovely pastel-hued monastery with views over Paleokastrítsa’s rocky coves.
THE CHANEL OF LOVE
The Channel of love, also known as Canal d’amour, is one of Corfu’s true natural wonders, features fascinating rock formations and secluded coves surrounded by the idyllic waters of the Ionian Sea. It is situated between the villages Sidari and Peroulades, on the northern coasts of the island. It is an opening created by the corrosive effect of the water and the air above the cliff made of sandstone. It was named after the legend that states that all couples swimming there remain in love forever.