General Information about Corfu Island, Ionian
The cosmopolitan island of Corfu is one of the most popular destinations in Greece. It attracts millions of tourists every year that visit the island for its elegant architecture, its greenery, the traditional villages and the wonderful beaches around the island.
Located on the northwestern side of Greece, Corfu was one of the first Greek islands to develop tourism facilities due to its closeness to Italy and its historical background. In fact, Corfu was long conquered by the Venetians and the English, who influenced the island in every aspect: from the language, that has a more lyric Italian tone, the architecture and culture.
It is believed that in the ancient times Corfu was the kingdom of Alkinoos, where Ulysses shipwrecked on his way back to his beloved homeland, Ithaca. Many archaeological findings from the Ancient and the Byzantine Era are hosted in the Archaeological Museum of Corfu.
The first thing to notice on the island is the impressive architecture of Corfu Town, with its tall, multi-stored buildings with no balconies and no yards. The Old Town is paved and has ample squares. Along the Town, there are beautiful Neoclassical buildings, such as the Liston street, lined by cafeterias and restaurants, the Ionian Academy and the Town Hall, that used to be a theatre. Espianada Square of Corfu is the second largest square of Europe, after the square of Saint Marc in Venice.
The beaches of Corfu are known for their clean water and the lush greenery that surrounds them. The most famous beach resort of the island is Paleokastritsa, on the northern side, while also popular are the beaches of Agios Gordis, Agios Stefanos, Glyfada, Dasia and Gouvia. All these beaches are surrounded by tourist amenities and get very crowded in summer. However, there are also many calm beaches to relax away from big crowds.
Apart from beautiful nature, Corfu also has many historical sights to see. The two fortresses in Corfu Town and Angelokastro Fortress close to Paleokastritsa are reminders of the long Venetian rule. Another famous sight is the Palace of Mon Repos in Kanoni, the summer residence of the former Greek royal family. Do not also miss Achillion Palace, built by Empress Elisabeth of Austria. The trademark of Corfu, though, is certainly Pontikonisi and the church of Panagia Vlacherna in the area of Kanoni.
Greek Ferries to/from Corfu
Corfu is regularly connected to Igoumenitsa, a port town in mainland Greece. Ferries from Igoumenitsa to Corfu leave every hour and the trip takes about 1 hour and half. Corfu is also linked to the port of Patras, the third largest port of Greece, in about 6 hours. Also regular and daily hydrofoils connect Corfu to Paxi in about 1 hour.
Moreover, all year round there are ferries from Corfu to Italy. The trips from Corfu to Brindizi and from Corfu to Bari are the most popular, while there is also ferry from Corfu to Venice but the trip is very long.