The Ionian Islands, of which Corfu is one of the largest, are known for their lush green interiors and stunning coasts. Mountains, olive groves and forests make up the landscape of Corfu, sprawling behind sandy beaches and rocky coves. The sea is one of the islands best assets, as clear and calm as you are likely to find anywhere in Europe. Like many of the Greek Islands, Corfu’s appeal stretches beyond its terrain, with plenty of historic sites and architectural masterpieces to explore. The rich landscape is nourished by the heavy rains which sweep over the island from October to May, so bear this is mind if you plan to visit at this time.
Despite the island’s long established place on the package holiday route, Corfu’s size ensures that unspoilt gems can still be found in easy distance of the built up holiday hot spots. Thousands of hotels also keep prices reasonable and standards competitive. The northeast of the island is where Greek culture shines through strongest. Many smaller villages have managed to retain their timeless charm, the best of which include Koloura and Kalami. Pebbly bays and coves are sculpted by the rocky coast on this part of the island, with secluded swimming spots in the clear seas.
For sandy beaches, head to the north or west coasts. Larger resorts like Acharavi are popular with families, whereas smaller beaches like Agios are best for those seeking peace and relaxation. The great thing about Corfu is the number and range of beach locations, which all vary in their appearance and character. Villages like Paleokastritsa are perfect examples of this, with three unique beaches spread around.
From the ghost village of Ano Perithia to the goat’s cheese of the tavernas, walking up and around Corfu’s highest peak, Mt Pandokrator is a uniquely different way to spend a day on Corfu. Established footpaths run between villages and can be reached by local bus.
Forts, churches and arcaded streets make Corfu’s capital Kerkyra one of the most attractive towns in the Ionians. Situated on the east coast of the island, its harbour side location gives it a fairytale appeal, with fishing boats bringing in fresh catch to candle lit tavernas. The town is divided into two parts: the historic centre and the new town which surrounds it. Flanked by two forts and with two stunning churches at its heart, the historic centre is definitely worth exploring for a break from the beaches. A maze of narrow alleyways, tall houses and cobbled streets, this area is where much of Corfu’s history is on show. Order a carafe and sit beneath the arcaded terraces of The Liston to soak up the atmosphere from the capital’s best looking pedestrianized street.
For in depth culture and history the new town’s archaeological museum houses a diverse and impressive collection, many pieces excavated from the Doric temple at Paleopolis. The site itself can be visited, concealed amidst dense woodland. The magical collection of temples nestle behind Mon Repos beach along with a basilica and museum.
Last Edit by sophie mcgovern on 23/08/2011 EDIT NOW >>