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General info about Corfu in Greece

Corfu Vacations and Holiday Packages - Information on corfu island, Greece



Corfu  Corfu  Corfu  Corfu 

Corfu


Corfu, the most northern and second largest of the Ionian Islands, and according to many people, it is one of the most beautiful islands in the country, lush, green and unique. It is also one of the best known of the Greek Islands, being the subject of many literary masterpieces, from Homer and Shakespeare to the Durrell brothers. It is a very popular destination for holidaymakers around the world. Despite its popularity is has retained much of its original charm, with its olive groves, wildflowers, magnificent beaches and colourful houses.

In history and mythology, Corfu has a special place, being the last island visited by Odysseus before his return to Ithaca. After the Peloponnesian Wars it was depleted almost to the point of abandonment, until the Venetians took over the island after the fall of Constantinople. Unlike many other Greek islands, it has a very Italian feel to it, with its colourful, narrow, winding streets, archways and balconies. Also, as the island was never a part of the Ottoman Empire, so there is little Turkish influence. In World War II, the Italians invaded the island, and on surrendering to the Allies, thousands of soldiers based in Corfu were massacred by the Germans.

Today, Corfu Town is a thriving place, with a mix of old and new at every turn, with some misplaced oddities, such as Greece’s only cricket ground. The two fortresses at either end of the town enclose the narrow streets decorated with pastel balconies, shutters and railings. The Venetian influence is very apparent. Corfu Town is a fantastic place to wander though, taking in the sights, sounds and atmosphere.

The island has a unique cuisine, more European than traditional Greek, and there are many restaurants that provide traditional Greek and local food. There are also many bars, tavernas and clubs for the adventurous to explore. Corfu Town also has a fascinating archaeological and Byzantine museam and the castles, the Palaio Frourio, or old fortress in the edge of the bay and the Neo Frourio, or new palace at the top of the hill are required viewing.

On leaving the town, the best of Corfu can be sampled. The herbs grown on the island scent the air and the wildflowers, and the tree-lined roads wind into the mountains, delighting the senses. The eastern coast has a wonderful selection of beaches, as well as most of the tourist resorts on which the island bases most of its reputation. In the centre if the island, a number of unspoiled villages still exist.

For those interested in trekking, the walk up to the summit of Moni Pantokrator offers the best views of the island and the Albanian coast. For those interested in culture, the Church of Our Lady of Kassiopi, built on the site of a Roman temple is a good day trip, but a difficult trek when done on foot. The Ahillion Palace, once suimmer home to Austrian Empress Elizabeth, has landscaped gardens and an inspirational vista. The Byzantine fortress of Angelokastro is a great day drip for those wanting to historical sites to explore. The island does have unpopulated areas, including Lake Korission to the south and the views along the road from Makrades to Krini in the north. The best of Corfu is experienced on leaving the tourist enclaves and searching them out.

There is no denying that much of Corfu’s coastline is taken up by resorts built for foreign holidaymakers, but unspoiled areas still exist if you are looking to get away from the crowds. Don’t let the island’s reputation dissuade you from going, as is much more to the island than the hotels peppered around the coast.

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