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Corfu

The island of the Phaeaceans, where Odysseus was offered a warm welcome and a ship to return to Ithaca, is still renowned for its hospitality. Corfu, or Kerkyra in Greek, is an astonishing island in the Ionian Sea with lush vegetation, spectacular beaches, incredible old world charm, and a cosmopolitan atmosphere.

The island was under the rule of Venice - as well as the French and the British - for many centuries which gave it a distinct character, a combination of Western and Greek traditions, an intellectual and artistic flair. Welcoming visitors since the dawn of tourism, the people of Corfu are warm and friendly, happy and deeply melodic; you can hear it in the way they talk, but also in the island’s 18 philharmonic orchestras, one of which you may come across as you stroll through the enchanting Spianada square, the largest public square in the Balkans.

The old town of Corfu is a UNESCO world heritage site, which preserves its magnificent local color. Aristocratic historic buildings, palaces, fortresses, blend with traditional houses, and the kantounia, the cobblestone maze of alleys of Kerkyra are filled with life, flower pots, laundry lines hanging up high and the inviting smells of a delicious culinary tradition. And then there is Listón, the legendary promenade spot of the rich and famous of centuries past! To this day, the characteristic arcades, reminiscent of Rue de Rivoli in Paris, are a perfect romantic backdrop for a coffee, people-watching and a chat.

Much as the town is a jewel that you will want to visit again and again, Corfu has so much more to offer. With its charming fishing villages, amazing beaches, exceptional attractions and incredible dining and nightlife scene, Corfu has visitors spellbound to its charm and returning again and again.

Among the beautiful beaches of the island, the sandy Agios Gordios, Issos, Agios Georgios Pagon, and the unspoiled beach of ChalikounaPaleokastritsa surrounded by verdant cliffs is a must see, while the Canal d’ Amour beach in Sidari comes with weird and wonderful rock formations and the legend that lovers who swim here will be forever in love!

Things to do:

1. Visit the Mon Repos Palace.

Mon Repos was built by the British Commissioner Adams as a gift to his Corfiot wife. It is a lovely palace with colonial elements, today a museum. Here, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Elisabeth the Second, was born in 1921. The estate includes a beautiful park, as well as the ruins of Paleópolis, the spot where the ancient city of Corfu was located.

2. Visit the Achilleion.

This fairy palace, dedicated to the myth of Achilles, was built among cypresses and myrtles in 1891 by the Empress Elisabeth of Austria. The legendary Sissi fell in love with Corfu and spent long periods here. Since 1961, the top floor of this stunning palace houses the (also legendary) Casino Corfu, so that may be another reason to visit!

3. Take in the views at Kanóni.

The terrace of Kanoni, - Canon in Greek – offers incredible views to the bay and the tiny island of Pontikoníssi, and is the perfect spot for a Corfiot selfie!

4. Watch the sunset from Pelekas.

The lovely authentic village of Pelekas on top of a beautiful green hill is said to offer the best sunsets in the island. You can make a day of it, spending the day at one of the nearby beaches and eating at one of the local taverns. When it’s time, just head for the spot called “Kaiser's Throne” – you will be rewarded with breathtaking sunset views and some great photo opportunities!

5. Take a day trip to the islands of Paxi and Antipaxi.

These small islands boast some of the most beautiful crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean. Once in Paxi, the thing to do is rent a kaiki boat and sail around the island, or go exploring Antipaxi, in search of your private turquoise paradise!

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