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Corfu Sights And Attractions


Agios Spiridon Church

This church in the centre of Corfu old town is the church dedicated to the patron saint of Corfu, and it's well worth a visit.
It was built in 1589 on the ruins of the older church of Sorokos, which destroyed in the construction of the town's walls. It has typical Venetian architecture and the highest bell-tower on Corfu.
The interior has several good frescos and some excellent icons. Saint Spyridon's coffin is paraded through the town four times a year.
Saint Spyridon was born in 270 AD on Cyprus but became a monk after his wife's death. It's said he performed a great number of miracles as Bishop of Trimythous, on Cyprus, where he died in 348 A.D.
His bones were moved to Constantinople and then Corfu where they remain today. They say the saint has saved the island from danger ever since. In 1533 he was credited with saving Corfu from famine and in 1629 from plague; in 1716 he protected Corfu from Ottoman invasion and in 1673 from yet another plague.

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Hill villages of Corfu

Those looking to get away from the busy Corfu holiday coast can find some beautiful inland villages that echo the peaceful past of the island. Inhabitants are fewer, as the rural jobs have vanished, and some may seem a little empty and flyblown, but their tranquil beauty is undimmed. Many are not far from the main beach holiday resorts, and inland tours make a change from the crowded beaches and noisy nightclubs of the tourist centres.
The delightful village of Lefkimi is covered in the beaches section but, as well as the sands, it oozes the charm of years gone by with a small river that creeps into the forested plains that surround it. Also in the south of Corfu is the large but picturesque villages of Agirades and Agios Matheos with local sights that take in the ruined fortress at Gardiki and the monastery of Christou Pandokratora.
To the south-west, the Venetian bell tower of Sinarades dominates a traditional village where a museum of History and Folklore has examples of artefacts in frequent use in the 19th century. Up a winding road from the beach resort of Paleokasistras are the narrow streets and Venetian houses of the hill village of Lakones with astonishing vistas over the whole region.
In central Corfu are the stone-built houses of Doukades, built in a crescent around the hillside with a traditional square, neo-classical mansions with carved stone walls and wooden doorway and a winding hillside path to the monastery of Agios Simeon.
The lush, green village of Nymphes is fed by waterfalls once used by legendary nymphs as bathing pools and is home to an agriculture co-operative that makes liqueurs and sweets while nearby is the small monastery of Askitario. In the Messi area is the traditional hill village of Kynopiastes with its 18th-century mansion houses, 17th-century monastery and its marble church all linked by narrow tiled paths.


Achilleion Palace & Gardens

Achillion Palace, also spelt Achilleion, is one of the most impressive buildings on Corfu with beautiful gardens and picturesque views over the Ionian sea.
Located in the village of Gastouri, about 12km south of Corfu Town, the palace was built in 1890 for Elizabeth (Sissi), the Empress of Austria and became her summer retreat.
It was later bought by Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany and on the shore below is the unusual Kaiser's bridge, a stone jetty for berthing the Kaiser's yacht.
The Palace was designed around the theme of the mythical hero Achilles and is one of Corfu's top attractions. The casino scene of the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only (1981) was filmed at the Achilleion.
The Palace can get incredibly busy in the summer, so it is best visited early in the day to avoid the coach tour crowds. A number 10 bus from Corfu Town will get you there cheaply.

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Aqualand Water Park

The family orientated tourist attraction of Corfu Aqualand is highly commended by visitors. It's one of Europe's larger water parks with giant water slides, 'free fall' slides, a winding river, huge jacuzzi, wave pools, adventure playground, bouncy castle and arcade along with restaurant, bar and shops.
Visitors find the park clean and there are safe boxes for belongings and polite and helpful staff. It's located Agios Ioannis, west of Corfu Town and it's easily accessible from all the parts of the Island.
The 75,000 square meter waterpark is enclosed by forest covered hills.
It was built in 1997 but each year new attractions get added. The waterpark opens May to October and there are free sun beds and umbrellas, free changing rooms and showers and free parking.
There are discounts for groups, children and later arrivals while kiddies under four years get in free.


Monastery of Theotokou

The monastery of Moni Theotokou is on Corfu's west coast above the beach resort of Paleokastritsa. It dates from the 13th but the buildings you see today are 17th to 18th century.
Perched high on a headland and surrounded by trees, the stone buildings make a lovely sight on approach with pastel walls draped in bougainvillaea and a beautiful open bell tower.
The church is one of the most visited tourist attractions of Corfu and a big a hit with the tour bus trippers. Inside are lots of artefacts dating back several centuries, an impressive painting showing the 'Last Judgement' and a notable carved ceiling of the 'Tree of Life'. This museum part of the monastery is open to the public and has a small tourist shop.
Paleokastritsa is the west coast's largest resort and about 26 kilometres from Corfu Town. If you are in Paleokastritsa in August look out for the 'Varkarola' festival parade of boats with dancers on floating piers and which all ends in a massive fireworks display.


Pantokrator Mountain Corfu

Mount Pantokrator, often spelt Pantocrator, is the highest on Corfu at 906 metres and located in the north-east of the island.
On the summit you can pretty much see the whole of Corfu as well as Albania which lies a short distance offshore. It's a favourite spot for a day trip and there are a couple of tourist cafes serving snacks and drinks.
The views are impressive but they are marred by a large and ugly telecoms station, with the tallest tower built above a monastery.
The first monastery, built here in 1347, was destroyed and the current church dates from 1689 and has a 19th-century facade.
Visitors either drive to a spot about 200 metres from the top along a narrow, winding road with a few passing places or they walk up. The best place to start a walk the old village of Perithia and it takes about an hour.


The Corfu Walking Trail

Corfu's long-distance footpath is said to have met all the expectations of the first hikers from the UK when it opened in 2001.
Around 220 kilometres long, the trail runs the length of Corfu island from the southerly white cliffs of Arkoudillas to Cape Agia Ekaterini in the north.
Paths and trails have been cleared and they are well waymarked with yellow signs. There are 11 daily walks and the terrain varies from mule paths to minor roads and beaches.
The best months to follow the trail are from February to June and from September to November. Corfu trail walking holidays are marketed in the UK by hiking specialist tour operator Walks Worldwide.

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Golfing on Corfu

Corfu Golf Club is an 18 hole golf course, located in Ropa Valley near Pelekas, with a driving range and chipping and putting greens.
The course was designed by the Swiss architect, Donald Harradine, and is a flat parkland course crossed with many streams and several lakes.
The landscape all around the course is mostly woodland with some excellent views, so it makes for a very picturesque round of golf.
The attractive clubhouse is built of local stone and features a restaurant, bar and lounge. You can hire lockers, trolleys and buggies. You can also get married here with the church of Agios Charalambos, located right next to the putting green.


Boat trips to Parga

A boat trip to Paxos and Parga is highly recommended by many Corfu holiday visitors. It takes two to three hours to get to Parga and a further 90 minutes to get to Paxos. Those staying on the north coast should add a coach trip to Corfu Town of around 45 minutes. Parga is a beautiful little town of coloured houses with big sandy beach and clear water.
Daily boats leave Sidari and Roda for local islets such as Erikousa, and also from Agios Stefanos Monday to Thursday. Trips depart from Corfu Town, although these take longer. Tours can be arranged through San Stefano Travel. Captain Aris does a very popular beach barbecue – see Corfu Castaway for details.