Let’s be honest here: Corfu sightseeing is one of the best things to do in this beautiful Ionian island!
Having a long history and rich culture, influenced by the French, the Venetians and the English, among others, Corfu literally breaths history. From imposing fortresses, to elegant palaces and mansions, this island offers a whole heap of places to visit and things to see!
So, are you ready to immerse yourself in the history of Corfu?
Let’s get started!
Achillion Palace Corfu
Achillion Palace is, hands down, one of the best and most popular sights in Corfu!
Located in Gastouri village, Achillion Palace was built in 1890, in order to be the retreat of Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Sissi), who adored the island.
Due to princess’s love for Ancient Greece and mythology -her favorite ancient Greek hero was Achilles, after whom she named Achillion- the palace boasts a strongly influenced by the Classic Greece architecture. Statues, elaborate fountains and columns ooze an elegant charm.
The interior of Achillion Palace is equally impressive. Inside the palace you’ll find beautiful paintings, statues, luxurious furniture and even some of Sissi’s clothes. It’s not a stretch of imagination to picture the everyday life in this palace...
The highlight of Achillion Palace, though, is its verdant tropical garden, where many kinds of trees and flowers thrive and which offers a panoramic view to Corfu town.
Corfu Old Fortress
Corfu Old Fortress is one of the most important historical monuments of Corfu.
The fortress sits on a peninsula, on the eastern side of Corfu town, so to reach it, you should cross a 60 meters long pathway that connects Corfu Old Fortress with the land. At the artificial fosse that separates Corfu island with the peninsula, many colorful fishing boats moor, creating a postcard-perfect setting.
Inside the fortress, you’ll find many buildings, such as Saint George church, a Venetian prison, a military hospital and the Public Library of Corfu.
Tip: Climb to the highest spot of Corfu Old Fortress to marvel at a breathtaking view to the Ionian sea!
Mon Repos Palace
Sitting on the top of Analipsis hill, where the ancient town of Palaiopolis used to be, Mon Repos is another impressive and elegant palace in Corfu.
Mon Repos Palace was built in 1826 by Frederic Adams, the British commissioner of the Ionian islands, as a gift to his beloved wife, the local Nina Palatianou. This is also where prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth was born.
Located in a verdant property, in which over 2,000 plant species thrive, Mon Repos Palace has a beautiful ambiance! What's more, Mon Repos Palace actually consists of two buildings and boasts a neoclassical architecture.
Tip: When in Mon Repos Palace, make sure you visit the museum that is housed inside it!
Panagia Vlacherna and Mouse island
Panagia Vlacherna and Mouse island are, hands down, the most photographed sights in Corfu. Chances are you’ve already seen their picture on the internet or on some travel magazine!
Panagia Vlacherna is a picturesque little chapel sitting on an islet that is connected with the land through a 300 meters passage. Mouse island (Pontikonisi) is a tiny verdant islet in front of Panagia Vlacherna monastery. On Mouse island there is also a little church that celebrates on August 6th.
Tip: You can enjoy a breathtaking view to Panagia Vlacherna monastery and Mouse island from the lush green hill behind them!
Corfu New Fortress
Corfu New Fortress (or Fortress of St.Mark) was built by the Venetians in the 16th-17th century, to offer additional protection to Corfu, as the Old Fortress alone was no longer enough.
The fortress has two levels. The lower level served the protection of the port and the town. The upper level, which is called the “Bastion of the seven winds”, offers a panoramic view to the sea and it was useful in order to spot invasion attempts from the sea.
Fact: The fortress often hosts art and photography exhibitions, concerts and other kinds of cultural events.
To sum up, Corfu is one of the islands with the richest culture and history!
Corfu sightseeing is one of the best experiences you’ll have in Corfu, as most of the island keeps its cultural authenticity. Also, the parts of Corfu’s history you can’t see outdoors, you can discover inside the museums of Corfu.
But, that’s for another post...