About the Island of Corfu - Salco Holidays - Low Cost Holidays to Corfu

About the Island of Corfu

Corfu, the Grand Lady of the Ionian, is characterized  by a series of mythical images: Nausica, the daughter of King Alkinoos, the man who saved Odysseus when he was shipwrecked in the Country of Phaeacians, which many have identified as the island of Corfu; Sissi, the sad Empress of Austria and the Achilleion palace she built; the majestic Mon Repos, the 19thcentury summer residence built for the British High Commissioner and  the Kaiser’s Observatory, from where Wilhelm II looked out upon the iridescent Ionian.

Equally majestic are the iconic city mansions, the Liston Arcade and Spianada Square – the largest in the Balkans. Venetians, English, French, Russians, Greeks  all lived and flourished here, and left their mark  on the island’s numerous sights and attractions. They composed  a diverse culture that you will discover in every musical note of Corfu’s marching bands, in each glass of kumquat liqueur, in the labyrinthine alleyways of Campiello, in every love affair that sparks up  in the Canal d'Amour. Corfu – or Kerkyra as it is known in Greek – will certainly seduce you.
 

Things to do in Corfu

Corfu’s historic centre: a scene out of a classic film 
Unesco has declared the island’s historic centre a world heritage site. The stately buildings with neoclassical influences will dazzle you. Who could not be moved by the Palace of St Michael and St Georgiou, the Liston Arcade, the Reading Society, the Catholic cathedral, the Maitland rotunda, the Ionian Parliament  and  the Kapodistrias family mansion. In the famous alleyways of Campiello, with washing lines hanging above you, and in the opulent hotels with their VIP guests, you will feel like a star in a period movie.


The city’s keepers
On the eastern side of the city, the rocky shore crowned by two low peaks gave the name Koryfo (Κορυφώ) – Corfu (meaning peak) to the island. You enter the Old Fort (Palaio Frourio), built in the 13th century, via a bridge over a seawater moat. It includes the Porta Sopranza, the British barracks, two winged lions of St Mark, the Madonna del Carmine, the Savorgnan bastion, the Tower of Sea and the Tower of the Land (Castel del Mar, Castel della Terra) and the British-built church of St George resembling a Doric temple.

It’s an open-air museum, and each sight is a journey through time. Towering above the northwest border of the capital, the other guardian, the Neo Frourio (New Fort), is a masterpiece of military architecture built by the Venetians between 1572 and 1645. It is a fortress with planes and angles reminiscent of Picasso and Braque’s Cubist periods.

 

Photogenic attractions: Cannon and Mouse islands
The trademark of Corfu island are actually other islands! They are the diminutive Pontikonisi, which translates as Mouse Island, just large enough to hold the Pantokrator monastery, and right next to it, the famous islet Vlacherna, with its 17th century monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary,  connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway. Mass is held here on Easter Monday.

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