Beautiful Hidden Gem of Corfu

September 27th 2023 in Explore
Beautiful Hidden Gem of Corfu

A Gem of Corfu

The old town of Corfu has been declared a UNESCO monument since 2007, and it can be rightfully considered an open-air museum due to its impressive buildings, Venetian architecture, narrow paved streets with laundry hanging, the cricket pitch, and the exclusive street named “Liston,” which was only accessible to nobles during the Venetian era. These are just a few things that will make your visit to Corfu an unforgettable experience.

The old capital, Kanoni, is also worth a visit, thanks to the natural beauty that surrounds it. You can enjoy a fantastic view of the Vlahérna and Pontikonísi islets.

Corfu’s coastline, which stretches for 217km, is adorned with thirty beaches awarded a Blue Flag. Against a lush and green forest backdrop, you can observe the waves breaking, and if you pay close attention, you will be able to notice the many shades of blue of the sea. And many other beaches are just as wonderful and will make you dream.

Corfu is a historical and cultural gem, perfect for those with an insatiable thirst for knowledge about the past. The island has been shaped by a unique blend of Venetian, French, and British influences, making it a melting pot of cultures, traditions, and art. Visitors can explore the island’s rich history through museums, galleries, and historic sites that offer a glimpse into the island’s past. One of the most notable attractions is the Achillion Palace, which was once the residence of Empress Sissy of Austria and, later, the German Emperor Wilhelm II. The palace is a masterpiece of architecture, featuring stunning gardens and an impressive collection of art and artefacts.

The Achilleion Museum is located in the village of Gastouri, just outside of Corfu town. Here, visitors are transported back to a time where emperors and princesses were the subjects of every fairy tale. The majestic palace, located 10 km southwest of the town, is well-preserved and attracts visitors worldwide. Achillion was the favorite retreat of two famous European figures who shared a love for Corfu and Greece’s culture: the Empress of Austro-Hungary, Elizabeth, also known as Princess Sissy, and the Kaiser of Germany, Wilhelm II. Elizabeth built the palace to help her forget her pain, and Wilhelm bought it after her death. However, he was unable to enjoy it due to the war he declared. During World War I and II, the palace was occupied and unfortunately looted. After years of reconstruction and renovation, it has regained most of its former glory and now houses the Achillion Museum, attracting many visitors yearly.

The Capodistrias Museum is an exceptional museum that offers visitors a unique opportunity to learn about the life and legacy of Corfiot Count Capodistrias, a leading figure who was the first Governor of Greece and a highly regarded European diplomat. The museum is located in the family estate of Kapodistrias, "Koukouritsa," in the heart of Corfu. Here, visitors can explore the fascinating story of his life, from his childhood in Corfu to his assassination in Nafplio. The museum provides an unparalleled insight into his Corfiot and Greek heritage and his lasting impact on European politics during the 19th century.

The Museum of Asian Art in Corfu Town has an astounding collection of approximately 10,000 priceless artefacts. The group is sourced from China, Japan, India, Tibet, Nepal, Korea, and Thailand and provides an awe-inspiring exhibition. The Archaeological Museum is another must-visit, showcasing ancient Greek artefacts, including a colossal Gorgon pediment dating back to 590–580 BC.

Corfu's coastline of about 217 km offers an array of sandy and pebble beaches that cater to all preferences. The island is highly regarded as one of the greenest in Greece, with an abundance of olive trees, cypress trees, Eucalyptus, Judas trees, Bougainvilleas, Araucaria, Jacarandas, and flowers such as mimosas, roses, and jasmines. The island's stunning scenery and vibrant colours provide nature lovers with a visual feast that will leave long-lasting memories.

Corfu is also well-known for its local products and cuisine. The island's famous golden oranges and kumquats are a must-try, and visitors should be sure to sample the kumquat liqueur, glazed fruit, and marmalade. The famous tsitsibirra (ginger ale) is a refreshing soft drink that is highly recommended. Visitors should try the local olive oil, Corfiot prosciutto called nouboulo, and the delicious aromatic pastitsada, a typical Sunday meal in Corfu.