An island with many attributes and names. It has been called the emerald, the green, the magic, the mysterious, the pearl of the Ionian Sea, the island of Gerald Durell or the island of Empress Sissy... In times past, women sought various miracle recipes to preserve their youthful beauty. Whether it was Nefertiti, Cleopatra, Mona Lisa, Madame de Pompadour, Sissy or Marilyn Monroe. The Empress Sissy kept her beauty and freshness through sport, a strict diet and a stay in the fresh air, on the island of Corfu. If you too want to keep your freshness, beauty and charm, visit this northernmost island of the Ionian archipelago, or Eptanissy.
The island resembles a flowering garden - it is covered with olive trees, cypresses, junipers, pines, pistachio trees, planica, sepia and oleander. The real treasure is the 50 species of ground orchids. To learn more about the varied flora and fauna in an entertaining way, we recommend the books "Of My Family and Other Animals" and "Birds and My Relatives" by the well-known English zoologist Gerald Durell. In them, the writer describes his childhood, which he spent with his mother and brother Lawrence on this romantic island, in a very engaging and readable way. Although his books were first published several decades ago, his description and characterisation of the local people, their customs and their observance of traditions are still valid today.
A very engaging read can be found in the book Tales from the Olive Island or When the Almond Trees Bloom in Corfu by Pavla Smetana. The author has lived on the island for over ten years with her Greek husband and two children. Her observations are imbued with love and admiration for her new home, which allows her to perceive both the beauty and poetry of the whole island and the kindness and hospitality of its inhabitants, as well as the less pleasant aspects of local life. She is able to gloss over these, however, with kind humour and a certain understanding.
Another book tip: Emma Tennant has written a slim little book, A House in Corfu, about life in a place that is both beautiful and harsh at the same time. It's a real house, by the way; you'll find it on the west coast of the island, above the bay where legend has it that Nausicaa met the shipwrecked Odysseus.
The northern part of the island has a mountainous character. Here is the highest mountain, the Pantokrator (translated as Almighty), which is made of limestone and dolomite. Limestone is the basic building block of the whole island. There are still small fossils of marine animals and plants found throughout the area, reminding us of the ancient origins of the rocks that make up the island.
Tourists fall in love with Korfa and love to return repeatedly. Here you will find beautiful sandy beaches as well as small beaches that are often only accessible by water and provide much sought after peace and privacy. In the evenings, on the other hand, the famous taverns with guaranteed fresh catches or other local specialties beckon.
Another attraction are the tiny fossils of marine animals and plants that are found all over the island. They are still a reminder of the ancient origins of the rocks that make up the island. The northern part of the island is mountainous. Here is the highest mountain range, the Pantokrator, which is made up of limestone and dolomite. Limestone is the basic building block of the whole island. There are several places of interest in Corfu that we recommend visiting: the capital of Corfu, the Vlacherna Monastery, the summer palace of Empress Sissy in the village of Gastouri, the Pantokrator Mountains, the tourist site of Paleokastritsa with its nearby sea caves, the village of Lakones with the Bella Vista viewpoint, the resort of Sidari with its bizarre cliffs. Near Corfu there are a number of islands: Gravia, Antipaxos, Lagudia, Lazareto, Otupni, Paxos, Vidos, Pontikonissi (the famous mouse island) - of which we recommend visiting the two most important and largest - Paxos and Antipaxos. We hope that you will enjoy not only the places we recommend, but the whole island and that your stay will bring you joy and refreshment.
On the island you will find many interesting places that we recommend to visit: the capital of Corfu, the monastery of Vlacherna, the summer palace of Empress Sissy in the village of Gastouri, the Pantokrator mountains, the tourist site of Paleokastritsa with its nearby caves by the sea, the village of Lakones with the Bella Vista viewpoint, the resort of Sidari with its bizarre cliffs. Aviation enthusiasts will love the Kanoni peninsula. If you walk down to the concrete wall, planes will land and take off directly overhead, which is a breathtaking experience. While you're in this part of the island, head to Garita Bay, where you'll find the Mon Repo mansion with its beautiful gardens. Nearby is the Kardaki Spring - it is said that those who drink from it will stay here forever. Or at least keep coming back.
In the capital, don't miss a stroll along the grassy Esplanade, where you can cross a bridge spanning a man-made canal to the beautiful Venetian fortress. Across the street you can sit in the archway and enjoy a coffee or a more traditional refreshing frappé. In the northern part of the square you will find the Museum of Asian Art in the former residence of the British Governor. From the old harbour at the New Venetian Fortress, which you can also explore, you can take a boat (sailing every hour) to the islet of Vidos.
If you're heading north from the capital, be sure to stop in Gouvli, where the magnificent yachts of the world's millionaires are usually moored.
There are a number of islands close to Corfu: Gravia, Antipaxos, Lagudia, Lazareto, Otupni, Paxos, Vidos, Pontikonissi (the famous mouse island) - of these we recommend visiting the two most important and largest - Paxos and Antipaxos. We hope that you will enjoy not only the places we recommend, but the whole island and that your stay will bring you joy and refreshment.
LIFE OF SISSI CHS
Alzbieta wife of Emperor and King Franz Joseph I,was descended from the Bavarian Wittelsbach family. Her father Maximilian belonged to the ducal branch of the family, while her mother Maria Ludovika was the youngest daughter of King Maximilian I of Bavaria.
Born on Christmas Eve 1837 in Munich, Elisabeth grew up in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps. Her life was completely transformed by a visit to the spa town of Bad Ischl, where she accompanied her mother and elder sister Helena, who had been chosen to be the wife of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. The young emperor was so enchanted by the fifteen-year-old Elisabeth that he completely overturned his parents' plans and, two years later, forced his marriage to his cousin, seven years his junior.
The young newlyweds, Sissi and Franz Joseph I, represented the ideal monarchical couple of their day, admired throughout monarchical Europe. Beneath the surface of the couple's ostentatious happiness, however, discord could be seen. Elizabeth felt overly bound by court etiquette, and moreover, almost after the wedding, disputes with her authoritative mother-in-law erupted. These disagreements culminated in Elizabeth's departure from court when Archduchess Sophie took over the education of the heir to the throne, Rudolf. The disputes between the two women were mentally exhausting, especially for Emperor Franz Joseph I, who was torn between love for his wife and filial respect for his mother. In the end, Elizabeth managed to have her way and, especially in raising her youngest daughter, Marie Valerie, she was not bound by any demands of etiquette.
In addition to family disputes, Empress Elizabeth also intervened in political issues. While dislike of the Hungarian Estates prevailed at the Viennese court, Empress Elisabeth became a supporter of the Hungarians and by her constant pressure brought about the Austro-Hungarian settlement and the coronation of Emperor Franz Joseph I as King of Hungary. To this day, she is still considered the national queen in Hungary because of her affection for her country.
From the 1960s onwards, the Empress spent more and more time travelling throughout Europe and rarely returned home. From the beginning, Franz Joseph was madly in love with his wife, suffering all her whims. Moreover, Elizabeth exploited rumours of her failing health to justify her absence and gradually became estranged from her husband and, in addition to her youngest daughter, from her children. The death of her only son, Crown Prince Rudolf, completed the virtual break-up of the imperial family, after which the Empress was completely replaced in her husband's bedroom by the actress Katherine Schratt. Elizabeth's travels to European spas, however, proved fatal - in 1889 she was murdered in Switzerland by an Italian anarcho-socialist.
Empress Sissi's stay in Corfu
Empress Sisi was very fond of coming to Corfu to relax, as the local climate suited her, but she was also fascinated by Greek culture, which of course was reflected in the design of the Achilion Castle, which is now open to the public.
Sissi showed great affection for things of the culture and spiritual legacy of ancient Greece, which she passionately admired and loved. She showed a particular interest in Greek mythology, which was also reflected in the decoration of the Achillion Palace. In 1876, Sissi decided to travel again. She came again to the beautiful Kerkyra and subsequently visited Athens. Her love of ancient Greece led her to Mycenae and Tirynthos. She returned to Kerkyra in 1886 and was the guest of the Austrian envoy, Baron Warsberg. In 1888, the Empress's father died. She decided to travel again. She visited Olympia, Mycenae and Nafplio. She also stopped in Corfu, where she was a guest at the villa of the local intellectual Peter Vrail. After the death of her son Rudolf, Sissi decided to leave Vienna to build her own house where she could spend the rest of her life. She remembered an area in Corfu she had visited in 1888. The place was Gasturi, where she was a guest at the Villa Vraila. So she bought this villa, had it demolished and had a neoclassical palace built in its place, which she named Achillion.
Includes: Corfu Town, Anemomylos Windmill, Mon Repos, Vlacherna Monastery, Achillion, Kontokali, Gouvia, Dassia, Ipsos, Pantokrator, Barbati, Mitsos Taverna, Nisaki, Agni, Kalami, Kerasia, Agios Stefanos, Avlaki, Kassiopi, Kalamaki, Agios Spiridon, Acharavi, Roda, Astrakeri, Sidari, Apotripiti, Cape Drastis, Loggas, Agios Stefanos, Arillas, Porto Timoni, Agios Georgios, Angelokastro, Paleokastritsa, Liapades, Limni Beach Glyko, Ermones, Mirtiotissa Monastery, Mirtiotissa, Glyfada, Pelekas - Kaiser's Throne, Kontogialos, Agios Gordios, Paramonas, Gardiki Castle, Chalikounas Beach, Lake Korission, Agios Mattheos, Issos, Lakkiess, Marathias, Santa Barbara, Gardenos, Mikro Nisi, Arkoudilas, Monastery of Panagia, Kavos, Boukari, Messonghi, Moraitika, Agios Ioannis Peristeron, Benitses, Corfu Town in night
Includes: Afionas, Agia Varvara (Santa Barbara), Agii Deka, Agios Georgios, Agios Georgios Pagon, Agios Gordis, Agios Ioannis Peristeron, Agios Mattheos, Agios Stefanos, Agios Theodori, Acharavi, Achillion, Angelokastro, Ano Korakiana, Aqualand, Arilla cape, Aspraou, Asprokavos cape, Avliotes, Barbati, Benitses, Boukari, Drastis, Ermones, Gardiki, Glyfada, Gouvia, Chalikounas, Chlomos, Ipsos, Pyrgi, Issos, Kalami, Kalypso Star (Sea Lions show), Kanoni, Kassiopi, Kavos, Kerasia, Koloura, Corfu - Town, New Fortress, Old Fortress, Korission Lake, Lakones, Lefkimmi, Liapades, Makrades, Messonghi, Moni Panagias monastery, Moni Theotokou, Moni Vlacherne, Myrtiotissa, Paleokastritsa, Old Perithia, Palies Sinies, Pantokrator, Pelekas, Pentati, Perama, Perivoli, Peroulades, Pontikonisi (Mouse Isle), Sidari, Sinarades, Spartera, Spartilas, Strinilas, Vouniatades, Greek Night, ...
CORFU – Basic information:
- Greek name: KERKYRA (Κέρκυρα)
- Capital: Korfu
- Island area: 592 km2
- Population: over 100 000
- The highest peak: Pantokrator - 906 m above sea level
- The patron saint of the island: St. Spyridon
RESORTS IN CORFU
The quieter tourist resort on the northern coast has become a very popular destination for foreign clients in recent years. The romantic sunrises and sunsets may entice you to take a stroll along the coastline or enjoy a relaxing day on the beach. The resort's day and night life is concentrated in an imaginary triangle. One side consists of a sandy beach with the possibility of renting umbrellas and sun loungers (for a fee of approx. 2 - 3€/piece) and various water sports - e.g. banana boat ride or ring (approx. 12€/person), paragliding (approx. 45€/double or approx. 30€/person), water skiing with lessons for beginners (approx. 30€/person). There are several taverns, restaurants and bars on the coast, which invite you to sit down over a refreshing mixed drink or iced coffee. The other imaginary side is a road lined with tavernas, snack bars, cafes, discos, mini-markets, fruit and vegetable shops and a bakery. There is also an ATM, a doctor's surgery, a pharmacy and several car, bike and motorbike rental shops. The last side of the triangle is formed by a picturesque street running through the resort, which leads to the local church.
Distance from Corfu: approx. 40km. Rating of the resort: suitable for all generations. Other entertainment options for children and adults: horse riding (approx. 12 - 15€), car track for children, entertainment clubs, discos. We also recommend a walk along the coast to the neighbouring larger resort of Acharavi (approx. 3km), where there is a wide selection of souvenirs.
The area of Almyros, beyond which rises the Pantokrator Mountains, lies on the northern coast of Corfu. It is suitable for those who appreciate the peace and quiet of the crystal clear sea that bathes the pebble and sand beach, probably the longest on the island. While real tranquillity can be enjoyed here (there are only a few hotels and a mini-market), for entertainment and shopping you can take a pleasant walk along the beach to the resort of Acharavi, about two kilometres away. There are many restaurants, bars, discos, cafes, shops, mini-markets, a pharmacy, car and motorbike rentals. There is a wide range of water sports on the beach. Those who find lounging on the beach and swimming in the waves not attractive enough can visit the renowned Hydropolis water park. A full day's admission for adults costs about 15€, for children 5 to 12 - about 10€. Further along the coast, it is possible to walk to another famous resort, Roda. The area is famous for its protected nature reserve at the semi-saline Lake Antinioti, which is home to 96 rare species of fish, amphibians and birds). During your stay, we recommend renting a car or motorbike and taking trips into the surrounding area.
Beach: sand and shingle. Distance from Corfu: approx. 35 km. Rating of the resort: suitable for a quiet family holiday.
It can be found on the north coast of the island, a short distance from the resort of Roda. Tourists are attracted here by a several kilometres long sand and shingle beach with a gradual entrance to the sea, which is occasionally choppy. There are many restaurants, taverns, cafes, bars and a grocery and souvenir shop, and in the evening you can go to a bar or disco. During your stay, you can visit the original village of Acharavi, where you can walk among the traditional original houses and get to know the life of the locals. Between Acharavi and the neighbouring resort of Almyros, the Hydropolis water park has been built with many slides, water slides and a wild river, so families with children will love it.
Beach: sand and shingle. Distance from Corfu: approx. 35 km. Rating of the resort: suitable for all generations.
The tourist area called Glyfada is situated at the foot of a 270-metre-high hill, at the top of which is the picturesque village of Pelekas. It is a small resort on the west coast, surrounded by several beautiful sandy beaches and wild, almost untouched nature. It is nestled in a small bay and seemingly enclosed on both sides by various rock formations. Glyfada beach is one of the most famous beaches on the island, stretching for about two kilometres and the sea is shallow and crystal clear.
The resort consists of just a few hotels and apartments, tavernas and snack stalls. A road winding down a slope covered with olive trees will lead you to the village of Pelekas at the very top of the hill. From here you can enjoy a panoramic view of the central part of the island, the Ropa Valley, the capital and much of the Ionian Sea.
Beach: sandy. Distance from Corfu: approx. 14 km. Rating of the resort: suitable for all generations looking for a quiet holiday.
AGIOS IOANNIS PERISTERON
The tourist area named Agios Ioannis Peristeron can be found along the main road connecting the capital Corfu with the southern part of the island. The area is especially famous for its pristine sandy-pebble-rock beach, which has been awarded the EU Blue Flag as a symbol of clean sea and environment. A belt of deciduous and coniferous trees and olive trees extends almost to the beach. For entertainment and shopping, we recommend taking the bus line to the capital or renting a car and driving around the entire southern coast.
Distance from Corfu: approx. 15 km. Rating of the area: suitable for a relaxing holiday.
AGIOS IOANNIS MELITION
The tourist area called Agios Ioannis Melitieon is located between the resorts of Benitses (approx. 3,5km) and Moraitika (approx. 4km). It is a quiet area where the sea is very clean and refreshingly refreshing and the landscape is beautiful. For shopping and entertainment, it is possible to go to the neighbouring resorts by public bus or we recommend renting a car and taking a few trips to the surrounding area.
Distance from Corfu: 16 km. Rating of the area: suitable for a pleasant family holiday.
The now well-known and visited resort is located in the southeast of the island. It is dominated by sandy beaches with a rich offer of water sports. The resort has a variety of restaurants, taverns, cafes, patisseries and bars. There is also a shopping area where you will surely pick up a nice souvenir that will make your relatives or friends happy. During your stay, we recommend walking in the surroundings or taking the public bus line to visit the island's capital individually.
Distance from Corfu: approx. 20 km.
Area rating: suitable for family holidays.
The resort on the southeast coast grew out of an original small Greek village. You can still see the fishermen's "huts" and original buildings. Messonghi has a long tourist tradition on the island. It was one of the first resorts to be discovered and widely visited by foreign tourists. The resort boasts a beautiful and long sandy beach, equipped with sunbeds, umbrellas, showers and toilets. The beach is divided into two parts by the Messonghi River, which flows into the sea. The entrance to the sea is gradual, the water is clear and the coastline is ideal for snorkelling. You can have fun with more or less adrenaline-pumping water sports (banana boats, pedal boats, canoes, ringo, water skis and more) or be tempted by the aroma of fish specialties prepared in traditional Greek tavernas along the coast.
There are countless options for evening and night entertainment and there is something for every generation. Car, motorbike and bicycle rentals are available throughout the resort at reasonable prices.
Distance from Corfu: approx. 21 km. Rating of the resort: suitable for all generations.
Everyone knows the resort of Barbati. Barbati is not only in Corfu, but also in the Czech Republic. The pleasant tourist resort with a small and peaceful centre is situated on the steep slopes of the highest mountain of Corfu - Pantokrator, which towers over the resort like a protective wall, creating an interesting contrast against the clear sea. For lovers of privacy and wild nature there are smaller beaches with pebbles, rocks or sand. The most famous beach is "Golden Beach", about 15 minutes walk from the Pantokrator Hotel.
On the main beach of the resort there are possibilities of water and beach sports such as banana, ringo, water skiing, parasailing, pedal boats, renting umbrellas and sunbeds. Restaurants, taverns, grocery, fruit, vegetable and souvenir shops are scattered along the main road. In Barbati there are also car and bicycle rentals, an internet cafe and a currency exchange (usually exchanging Czech crowns). An ATM and a doctor's surgery are in the neighbouring resort of Ipsos (about 10 minutes by bus).
Distance from Corfu: approx. 20 km. Resort rating: suitable for all generations, ideal for family holidays. We also recommend renting a private car or motorbike and taking a number of interesting excursions in the surrounding area. Our delegate will be happy to advise you on where to go.
Sidari, originally a fishing village and now a popular resort known for its lively nightlife, lies in the north-east of the island. The beaches and the surrounding coastline are of extraordinary beauty. The yellow-white sandstones of strange and bizarre shapes create many coves and narrow channels, the most famous of which is certainly the 'Canal D'Amour' (the water is colder here, however). The high cliffs and the islands around them stretch to Cape Drastis and on to the Peroulades.
The beaches in Sidari itself are sandy and offer a variety of water sports (banana, ringo, parasailing, water skiing, wakeboard). In the centre you will find a large number of souvenir, grocery, fruit and vegetable and clothing shops, restaurants, taverns, fast food, cafes, patisseries, discos, bars (with big screens for watching sports), as well as exchange offices, ATMs, car, motorcycle and bicycle rentals. There is also a 24-hour health service (centre), doctor's surgeries, pharmacies, etc. Buses to the capital Kerkyra or Kassiopi run several times a day (one-way ticket costs about 3€).
Distance from Corfu: approx. 50km. Rating of the resort: suitable for all generations.
The still developing resort on the southwest coast offers its visitors very pleasant conditions for swimming in the clean and refreshing sea. The long golden beach with water sports is the number one attraction here. In the centre of the resort there are a number of grocery and souvenir shops, several restaurants, cafes, fast food stands, pizzerias and taverns with typical Greek and local delicacies, where we recommend to try the fresh fish specialties.
Distance from Corfu: approx. 32 km. Resort rating: suitable for all generations.