CORFU

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Corfu Island

The island of the Phaeacians

Beautiful, romantic, historic and above all spontaneous Corfu travels all of us, in an uncontrollable magic journey and charm.

It have been been written songs,  it have been shot movies, Corfu is cosmopolitan and unique. It attracts thousands of tourists who want to taste the beauty and to experience unique moments.

 

 

Corfu is one of the most beautiful islands of the Ionian Sea and fascinates every visitor, with its unique natural beauty.

It is one of the most overcrowded islands in the Mediterranean and a world-renowned tourist destination.

 

Geography

Corfu town is the capital of the island and it is built eastward, on a peninsula which divides the city into two parts. It is a cosmopolitan city that emits a sense of nobility. The Old Town of Corfu is something out of the past. The Venetians ruled the island for more than 400 years and strongly left their marks on the island’s culture. The picturesque streets, strongly influenced by the Venetian, British and French occupation, join the Medieval Europe with Greece.

 

History

It is identified by archaeologists to the mythical island of Corfu. It is the island that charmed poets and kings, the island that hosted the resourceful hero of Homer, Odysseus.

The main sources of relevant information are located in the Odyssey and the epic poem of Apollonius, Argonautica.

In the Odyssey, it is clearly described by Homer, the reception of the ingenious shipwreck Odysseus from Alkinoos and Ariti and in Argonautica, the reception of Jason and Medea by the same kings.

The Homeric island of Corfu has a great historical course, and this is revealed by  the unique archaeological monuments, castles, monasteries, churches, museums but first of all, by the historical city center of Corfu.

 

“Since 2007 the old town of Corfu belongs to the monuments of world heritage of UNESCO.”

 

Weather in Corfu

The almost paradisiacal look of the Corfiot nature is due to the mild weather and the high level humidity rate for the Greek climate (frequent rains from November to March).

The summer heat is tempered by the humidity (maximum July temperature 27oC). On summer afternoons a north-western wind blows that rarely exceeds the 4 Beaufort.

 

Winters are mild and surprisingly reminiscent of the southern parts of Greek territory (average minimum temperature in January is 10oC). In the winter months the southern winds are strong and their intensity exceeds, 8 Beaufort.

 

 

Accomodation

There are marvellous hotels, apartments, villas to choose from across the island. Several tour operators send organized groups in Corfu, and you can easily find a great 4 or 5 star hotel for your accommodation with “all inclusive”  packs for a week or more. On the other hand we recommend you to travel by yourself, as the beauty of Corfu is the hidden mountain or coastal villages, that reveal the beauties of the Ionian Sea.

 

Time Zone

Corfu and generally all Greece is  in the Eastern European Time Zone (Greenwich Mean Time plus two hours during daylight saving time, all over the year).

 

Transportation

You can access the island by air or by car and then by boat.

 

By air: there are a lot of services that connects Corfu airport "Ioannis Kapodistrias"  to  Athens or directly to any European airport. During the summer season charter flights from various European countries, especially from Germany and England arrive on the island.

By boat: there are regular daily services from Igoumenitsa to Corfu port and the journey time is from 1 hour to 1 hour and 45 minutes, depending on the type of boat you choose. The port of Corfu is connected by ferry to Italy (to Bari, Ancona and Brindisi), to Paxos island, Kefalonia island and Albania.

By car:you can go to the island with your own vehicle. You get to Igoumenitsa port and take  the ferry boat, which will take you to the island with your vehicle or without it. Of course public transportation services the island from Athens & Thessaloniki, by buses, in a daily basis.

 

Gastronomy

 

“Corfu has a marvellous local cuisine. Don’t miss the delicious dishes that are prepared with fresh local products of excellent quality and splendid flavor!”

 

Some of the most famous local specialties are Pastitsada (beef or rooster in tomato gravy with pasta), Sofrito ( beef, stewed in a white sauce with garlic and white wine), Noumpoulo (smoked pork fillet), Savoro (fish, stewed in a white sauce of white vinegar, garlic and different spices), Bourdeto (fish in spicy tomato sauce), Kumquat ( sweet and liqueur also, made by the homonymous fruit), etc.

 

Top Attractions

 

 

  1. Spianada Square: it is the largest square in  Balkans. The square is surrounded by famous buildings like the Liston, which was built by the French engineer Lesseps -during the conquering era of the French-. At the northern side of Spianada square is located the peristyle of Maitland. It is a building with Ionic columns built in honor of the English commissioner Sir Thomas Maitland in 1816, when the period of government was the toughest in the island, under the British rule. The Peristyle is made of Maltese rocks- one of the most famous of that time-. In the area you can also see the old prefecture building,  a neoclassical architecture typical example. The old prefecture is built on the site of the house, that Ioannis Kapodistrias - the 1st Governor of Free Greece- was born.

  2. The old fort: It started to be inhabited and fortified after the devastation of the ancient city (6th century), and constituted as the town of Corfu from the 11th to the 15th century. Although it has never been captured  by any army, many flags waved over it during the European changes through the centuries. Byzantines, Venetians, French, Russians, British, Greeks, Italians and Germans, captured or surrendered in turn, but all have left a sign or building, a bastion or church, and turning it into a military architecture masterpiece.

  3. The new fortress: It is an impressive construct engineering of Ph. Vitelli [between 1576 and 1645]. A characteristic example of great military architecture with significant historical value, because it was suffered and successfully fended off the latest attacks of the Turkish army towards the gates of  West.

  4. Annunziata: The Catholic Church-A great monument of European significance, as the Latins nobles who were killed in the Battle of Lepanto- Nafpaktos- in 1571 AD were buried here.

  5. Palaiopolis: In Palaiopolis are resting the traces of the ancient city of the island [8th century BC]. Here lies the green estate of Mon Repo, the market place of the island as it was developed from ancient times to the 6th century AD. The most important monuments of this area are: The Market, The Doric Temple of Kardaki, the Roman Baths, and the Pre-Hellenistic era round building.

  6. The Temple of Artemis: It is a well preserved Doric temple of the 6th century BC, from which survived only a stone pediment which is in the Archaeological Museum of the island.

  7. Achilleion: This palace was built between 1889-1891 to house the residence of Princess Sissi of Austria-Hungary. Its name is due to Achilles, the legendary hero of the Iliad. The palatial villa of “The sad Empress”, Elisabeth of Austria (Sissi), is the emblem of an era. According to rumors, Sissi liked the Greek mythology, so she decorated the palace with statues of the 12 gods of Olympus, the nine Muses and two statues of Achilles, of which one is on the stairs and the second in garden. In the courtyard are busts of ancient Greek orators and writers, while inside there are carved furniture with scenes from mythology.

  8. The Church of Saint Spyridon: The sacred relic of the protector saint of the island -Saint Spyridon- located inside the Church, a saint who saved many times the island of hardships. It was built in 1589.

  9. Monument of Menekratous: A circular tomb that was built in the 6th century BC. It is decorated with an impressive archaic inscription, and is considered as one of the oldest in Greece.

  10. Grava of Gardiki: A cave where habitation was found, from the Upper Paleolithic period (20,000 BC)

  11. Pontikonisi: The most famous attraction of Corfu. A green rock in the middle of the sea, which is the trademark of Corfu. The legendary Pontikonisi, is located at the entrance of Chalkiopoulos lagoon. It is one of the sights that must be seen when you will visit Corfu, as the view that preserves to the guests is magnificent.

 

Nightlife

Corfu, however, is considered as one of the most cosmopolitan islands of Greece, and have a strong and vibrant nightlife. Starting a night out, you can firstly go to any of the many small restaurants and taste the local traditional dishes. Then you can stroll to the Spianada Square and the Liston, where there are many cafes and is the ideal place to drink your coffee before continuing your evening. For those who want to continue the night with more intense pace, there are many bars and clubs either in the center of Corfu or along the coastal road, and in other areas of the island. Corfu stays awake through the night, with loud music, a lot of drinks and unstoppable dance until dawn.

 

Currency

In Corfu and throughout Greece, the euro is the standard currency. This converter allows you to determine the value of other currencies compared with the euro.

Of course, there are so many places where you can exchange your currency for euro such as Banks, Currency exchange offices etc.

 

Safety

Corfu is a popular holiday destination and generally a quite safe place for visitors. Use common caution and be careful when walking around after dark and you won't face any problems while staying on Corfu.

 

Staying Connected

Power sockets in Greece deliver 220-240 volts at 60 hertz, and you may need a converter to use your electrical and electronical devices here.

If you have a laptop or a tablet with you, wireless Internet is available throughout Corfu, including in many hotels, coffee shops, parks, etc. At some locations, you have to pay for WiFi.

 

Local Laws

The drinking age in Corfu —and throughout Greece—is 18, and smoking is banned in public places throughout the Town, including bars, restaurants, Public Transport and taxis. Cigar smoking is permitted at cigar bars that register with the Town. In Corfu, those who are 18 or older can purchase tobacco and cigarettes.

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