Corfu with its rich history, lush vegetation, traditional villages and beautiful beaches has something for everyone and is fantastic to explore either by land or sea. Many who visit the island return time and time again, smitten by its beauty, unique charm and friendly people. Our concierge has extensive local knowledge and will help you tailor your adventures and experiences to ensure you get the best from your visit to this beautiful island.
Corfu Old Town
The Old Town of Corfu with its wealth of architecture and its labyrinth of narrow streets is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and has something for everyone. The Old Fortress was started by the Byzantines and further strengthened by the Venetians who also built the New Fort. The Esplanade and the Liston were constructed during the French occupation with the Liston modelled on the Rue de Rivoli in Paris. The Esplanade is now a public park and includes the cricket pitch, which together with ginger beer, is a leftover from the British occupation, as is the Palace of St Michael and St George, the only example of Georgian architecture in the Mediterranean. Whether exploring the narrow streets or sitting at the Liston watching the world go by a visit to Corfu Old Town is not to be missed.
St Spiridon Church
Located in the Old Town the Church of St Spiridon is the most significant church on the island. The church was built in 1590 and has a renaissance bell tower, the tallest in the town. Built to house the relics of St Spiridon, the Patron Saint of the Island, it has 2 entrances, a single nave, coffered ceiling and many golden icons. St Spiridon was born, lived and died in Cyprus. His remains came to Corfu from Constantinople to escape Turkish invasion. He is said to have been responsible for 4 miracles, protecting the people of Corfu from plagues twice, famine and repelling the Turks in 1716. Many Corfiot’s are named after him, either Spiros or Spiridoula, and he is celebrated every year on 12th December when his remains are paraded around the town accompanied by a large procession and marching bands. He is also a key feature of numerous other parades including 11th August, Oxi Day on 28th October, the 1st Sunday in November, Palm Sunday and Holy Saturday.
Take a trip to the 14th-century Venetian village of Old Perithia and let your imagination take over. Built to hide from pirates, the village is only a 15-minute drive from the coast, nestling in the foothills of Mount Pantoktrator, the highest point on the island at 906m. The 130 houses and 8 churches were abandoned in the 1960s and are now a protected heritage site. There are several excellent tavernas that serve traditional “mountain” dishes, and it is a great location to experience a guided mountain biking tour or ramble. In the mountains, many of the traditional ways of life are still practised, and you will often see flocks of sheep and goats with their shepherds and numerous beehives.
Kassiopi is a small, picturesque fishing village, a 5-minute drive (or boat trip) or a 20-minute walk from Cavo Alkyoni. Traditionally a fishing village, the local fishermen still land their catch daily at the harbour which can be eaten in the tavernas and restaurants at the water’s edge. Kassiopi is vibrant and cosmopolitan with many shops, restaurants and bars that cater for all tastes from the best cocktails to traditional Greek dancing. Historically, the settlement dates from the Romans in the 3rd Century BC and it is thought that Cicero, Ptolemy and the Emperor Nero visited. The Byzantine’s fortified the headland in the 16th Century and this became the Castle which is still present today. In the 5th Century, the Temple of Kassios Zeus was turned into a Christian Church in honour of the Virgin Mary, it was destroyed in 1537 by the Turks and rebuilt in 1590 with two alters enabling the practising of both the Catholic and Orthodox religions. Whether you choose to take a short walk around the inside of the Castle walls or visit the beautiful church or enjoy the views at the harbour or eat in the excellent restaurants, Kassiopi has it all.