Corfu has always been one of our favourite islands. It is situated in the lush island chain of the Ionian and is blessed with beautiful beaches and many quiet, unspoilt villages.
Corfu has become one of the most cosmopolitan islands in Greece, offering a variety that few islands are able to match. Rediscover the World provides an insight into this fascinatingly diverse island, offering an exceptional range of smaller hotels, self-catering apartments and villas. Explore the rugged west coast, the fertile plain of the Ropa Valley, the mountain scenery of Pantokrator with its views across to Albania or the southern dunes and wildlife sanctuary of Lake Korission.
On Corfu you can enjoy a true Greek experience and an exchange of cultures -beyond the more developed resorts lies a Corfu bursting with a charm that reaches out to the visitor searching for a truly memorable holiday experience.
Despite once being the greatest power in Greece, Corfu has been invaded countless times. Nowhere is this more prevalent than Corfu Town, fortified by the Venetians to repel Turkish attack but containing so many more legacies from that era. The jumble of narrow alleyways are heady with the scent of bouganvillea; the pastel-coloured Venetian houses, their lines of bright washing dangling precariously, add splashes of colour.
With the Venetian occupation came the olive culture and this led to a flourishing economy, still hugely profitable today thanks to the excess of three million olive trees on Corfu, producing some of the most delicious olive oil in Greece. Foreign powers looked on in envy including Napoleon's France whose architects attempted to rival the Venetian legacy with magnificent buildings of their own. The French occupation was brief but left possibly Corfu's most famous landmark and 'place to be seen' the Liston colonnaded walkway, based upon the Rue de Rivoli in Paris. Sitting in the shade of one of the Liston's cafes today you might hear a brass band practising from an upstairs window or catch a glimpse of one of Corfu's cricket teams taking on a visiting side from England. The British also left a legacy (the Ionian islands were a British protectorate in the early 19th century) - one of the most popular drinks on Corfu is ginger beer!
Corfu gained its independence on May 21st 1864 along with the rest of the 'Eptanissos' or seven islands of the Ionian. Enosis (Union) Day is celebrated annually and along with many other festivals offer splendid entertainment for the visitor. These include Greek Orthodox Easter when Corfu Town is both illuminated by a sea of candles and showered with a breathtaking firework display. The regular processions of Corfu's patron St Spiridon and numerous music and cultural festivals should ensure that whenever you visit you can become part of Corfu's living heritage.
Where to visit
This exceptionally pretty resort lies around a horseshoe-shaped bay and boasts some excellent seaside tavernas.
The long, beautiful bay of Avlaki sits between Agios Stephanos and Kassiopi and is relatively unknown to most of the island's visitors.
An ideal holiday spot for everyone, Kassiopi offers a good variety of nightlife and entertainment - dotted around the picturesque harbour are many bars, cafes and tavernas.