Corfu
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Sights on the island of Corfu or Korfoe in Greece - Excavations, monasteries, churches, museums, nature and castles
Corfu, Achilleion Palace Corfu, Achilleion Palace Corfu, Achilleion Palace Corfu, Achilleion Palace Corfu, Achilleion Palace
Corfu, Achilleion Palace Corfu, Achilleion Palace Corfu, Achilleion Palace Corfu, Achilleion Palace Corfu, Achilleion Palace

- The Achilleion - The Achilleion is the summer residence that was build in name of the Austrian empress Elisabeth between 1889 and 1892 on the Greek island of Corfu. After Elisabeth had visited Corfu in the sixties on several occcasions for health reasons, she became very interested in Greek mythology. She travelled to Greece on a regular basis. After the tragic death of her son Rudolf she decided to start a living on Corfu. Her husband, the emperor Frans Joseph was willing to pay the cost of 9 million gold franks.

The classical building was designed by the Italian architect Rafaele Carito and was decorated both inside and outside with neo-classical statues. Sisi herself named the house after her favorite classical hero Achilles. After Sisi had died her daughter Gisela inheritted the palace and she sold it to the German emperor Wilhelm II.

After the 1st World War the palace became part of the Greek state. Nowadays the Achilleion is a museum. There are several remains from the times of Elisabeth and of Wilhelm II that can still be seen. Remarkable are the differences between the Achilles figures that Sissi and Wilhelm II had placed in the palace. Sisi choose the dying Achilles trying to get the arrow out of his heel. Wilhelm II placed an enormous Achilles standing proudly like a hero, strong and unbeaten.

Note: we decided not to visit the Achilleion Palace because it was so busy all the time. The whole parking lot and the streets were filled with busses. Besides that we thought the entrance fee of 7 euro (2012) was a bit expensive compared to other attractions that we went to.

Corfu, Kerkyra Corfu, Kerkyra Corfu, Kerkyra Corfu, Kerkyra Corfu, Kerkyra
Corfu, Kerkyra Corfu, Kerkyra Corfu, Kerkyra Corfu, Kerkyra Corfu, Kerkyra

- The nature on Corfu - Because of the regular rainfall on Corfu the island is beautifully green. On the island there are a couple of rare animals, like a small population of Medriteranean monk seals, and the endangered caretta turtle (allthough the larger part of these turtles seem to prefer the Ionian islands more in the south). On the island also lives the jackal (a wild dog that is very seldom found in Europe nowadays).

- The Pandokrator mountain is one of the biggest attractions on the island. From this mountain there is a splendid view of the bay towards Corfu town, Albania and some of the smaller iskands. On the slopes of the mountain orchids and other flowers grow, and you can find butterflies and many sorts of birds of prey, like falcons, hawks, eagles and vultures. You can climb the mountain from the village of Pirgi of from a side road halfway between Kassiopi and Acharavi. It is not an easy road. It is adviced to make the last part of the journey by foot. On the top of the mountain there is an old monastery and a radiotower. Besides all of this there are plenty of turtles, snakes and lizzards on Corfu.

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Corfu, Antinioti lagoon Corfu, Antinioti lagoon Corfu, Antinioti lagoon Corfu, Antinioti lagoon Corfu, Antinioti lagoon

- Surrounded by cane fields the Antinioti lagoon in the north of Corfu is home to many species of birds such as herons, flycatchers, nightingales and brown harriers, and small marsh turtles swim around in the water. Around the lagoon there are some nice and quiet sandy beaches. It's a nice area for walking.

- The Loutses cave is situated in the northeast of Corfu, close to the village of Loutses, at the end of a 2 km dirt track (you have to walk). The cave has stalagmites and stalactites and its bottom is green from algae. In the winter the cave is filled with water.

Corfu Town, Kerkyra Corfu Town, Kerkyra Corfu Town, Kerkyra Corfu Town, Kerkyra Corfu Town, Kerkyra
Corfu Town, Kerkyra Corfu Town, Kerkyra Corfu Town, Kerkyra Corfu Town, Kerkyra Corfu Town, Kerkyra

- Corfu Town - The cosy capital of Corfu Town has around 35.000 inhabitants and it is still small enough to not completely get confused. In the town there are a lot of historic buildings, amongst which are the by the Brittish made castle Mon Repos and the Palace of st MichaŽl and St Joris. The Venetians too have made their mark on Corfu Town with their fortresses: they build the Old and the New Fortress. In the heart of the town there is a park and there are many nice teracces and shopping streets in a bit of a French style. There are Greek Orthodox churches and there is a cathedral. There are also all kinds of museums in the town, like for instance a Byzantyne Museum and an Archeological Museum.

There are two harbours in Corfu Town, both in the north. In the new harbour just outside the center all the (mostly international) ferries sail in, and the smaller boast to Paxos and other places leave from the old harbour east of the New fortress, where also the fishing boats are. The new fortress (which was build 30 years after the old one) dominates the old harbour, and originates from 1576-1589. The buildings on top of it are from the English times and date from 1815. At the foot of the mounrtain there is a busy vegetable- and fruitnarket. Between the old and the new Fortress there is a labyrinth of narrow streets and alleys.

Scattered across the city are remnants of the ancient civilization of the island. The majority of it can be found about a half hours walk away along the sea from the center, at the castle of Mon Repos. Here was the center of the old Corfu / Kerkyra. Unfortunately a lot of the remains can not be seen because they are located on private property. You can see the remains of the church of Agia Kerkira from the 5th century. It was built on the foundations of a temple. The street next to the church leads to the sparse remains of the Artemis Temple (whose front is now the highlight of the Archaeological Museum). There are also some remnants of city walls, an aqueduct and a port (this port has moved further inland in the course of time). In the field opposite the church of Agia Kerkira are remains of Roman baths.

The monument of the sculptor Menecrates (dated to 600 b.C.) is situated at the ancient cemetery at Garitsa. Garitsa is one of the first suburbs of old Corfu Town and was built on what was the cemetery of the ancient town. The statue of the lion of Menecrates which is now exhibited in the Archeological Museum was found in Corfu Town near the tomb of Menecrates at Alkinou street. If you head south along the beach promenade you'll come out on a crossroad with an obelisk. Here you go into the Menakratou Street. A little further at the police station you find the excavation.

For much more info and many more pictures of Corfu Town - click here.

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Corfu- Museums on Corfu - In Corfu Town there are a number of interesting museums. The Antivouniotissa Museum or Byzantine Museum, situated in the 15th century Panagia Antivouniotissa Church, is standing at the stairs that leads from the Arsenioustreet. There is a small but varried collection of icons and wallpaintings that date from the 15th to the 19th century. There are many portraits of saints and a number of biblical scenes. Many of these icons originate from Crete. During the Venetian rule Crete was the most important art center of Greece and many artists from Crete that were en route to Venice made a stop at the island of Corfu. Some of the works that were left by these artists are exhibited here.

- The Museum of Asian Art can be found in the Palace of St Michael and St Joris and the exhibition consists of buddhas, bronze statues, stone sculptures, silk, porcelain, weapons and erotic Indian woodcarvings. It is concidered one of the best collections in the world and the largest part of the more than 10.000 objects come from China, Japan, Tibet and Nepal. It was donated to the Greek state by a diplomate from Corfu with the name Gregorios Manos and later donations from other people added to the collection.

- The Museum for Banknotes south of the St Spiridion Church is placed inside the Ionian Bank. It is opened from mondays till sundays (sundays it is closed) between 9.00 and 13.00 o'clock and the entrance is free. In the different halls all the banknotes are displayed that were used in Greece and also the story of the making of a banknote is explained.

- The Archeological Museum is situated a couple of minutes walk south of the center and contains gravestones, sculptures and statues, theater masks, coins and other things from antiquity that have been dug up. As you climb the stairs to the first floor you will see a gravestone that dates from the end of the 3d beginning of the 2nd century BC. It is the gravestone of a 23 year old man that left behind his mother, his wife and his children. It is believed to be the stone of somebody who commited suicide. It is inscribed with the words that the person who died "choose for himself and his own last sleep". Note: the museum is closed for renovation betwee May 2012 untill summer 2015.

Another important piece in the collection is the statue of a crouching lion, which stands in the back of the main hall. This work of art was found in 1843 at the tomb of Menecrates (a famous Greek sculptor) and it dates from the 7th century BC. Behind the statue of the lion is the passage into the next room where the showpiece of the museum is exhibited. Here you will find the 17 meters long and three meters high Gorgon pediment (crowning of the facade) of the Artemis Temple of Corfu. It is the oldest stone pediment in Greece and is dated to 590-580 BC. On the pediment is the figure of the mythical Medusa, the woman with snakes as hair. According to legend Medusa turned anyone who looked at her into stone.

Corfu- Excavations, fortresses, ruins and churches on Corfu - There are not a large number of excavations on the island of Corfu and much still has to be uncovered. In Analipsi, the green (half)island south of Corfu Town, the remains of the Karidi temple have been found. This temple probably originates from the 6th century BC and was dedicated to Apollo. It is the best preserved building from antiquity on the island. The temple itself had eleven colums on each side and six on the two other sides. The temple was discovered by accident by English soldiers in 1822 when they were digging near a spring to see why it had stopped floating. The concealed altar of the temple had sunk a bit down in the ground and this way it had blocked the water supply. Other remains of the old cit cannot be viewed as they are on the private grounds of Mon Repos (a villa / small castle that used to be the residence of the Brittish governor). Here you for instance find the remains of the largest temple of the island that was dedicated to Hera or Poseidon (4th century BC).

Corfu, Paleokastritsa, Angelokastro Fortress Corfu, Paleokastritsa, Angelokastro Fortress Corfu, Paleokastritsa, Angelokastro Fortress Corfu, Paleokastritsa, Angelokastro Fortress Corfu, Paleokastritsa, Angelokastro Fortress
Corfu, Paleokastritsa, Angelokastro Fortress Corfu, Paleokastritsa, Angelokastro Fortress Corfu, Paleokastritsa, Angelokastro Fortress Corfu, Paleokastritsa, Angelokastro Fortress Corfu, Paleokastritsa, Angelokastro Fortress

- Near Paleokastritsa you can take a look at the ruins of a fortress from the 13th century (the Angelokastro Fortress) and also at Gardiki there are ruins of a 13th century fortress. The Byzantine fortress Angelokastro, or "Fortress of the Angels" is situated at 305 meters altitude on a steep cliff. The Angelo fortress was named after the ruler of Greek Epirus area that annexed the island of Corfu in 1214 AD (MichaŽl Angelos Komnenos). When the mighty Sicilian king Manfred threatened to attack him he gave him the hand of his daughter and the island of Corfu as part of the dowry.

The last stretch to the fort is on foot over an asphalt road and long stairs with wide steps (duration about 15 minutes). In 1386 the fort fell into the hands of the Venetians. In 1571 the Turks were unable to take over the fortress and so Corfu island did not fall in Turkish hands. After this the Venetians made Corfu their main arsenal and built many fortresses here so the people could continue to resist the Turkish attacks. Within the walls of Angelokastro are the remains of the chapel of Michael and Gabriel. The fortres has been restored and is open to the public between 08.30 and 15.00 hours, but is closed on Mondays. Admission is free. Note: we came to visit on a day somewhere at the end of May - not on a monday and around 11.00 o'clock - and it was also closed. Could be it was too early in the season.

Corfu, Paleokastritsa Monastery Corfu, Paleokastritsa Monastery Corfu, Paleokastritsa Monastery Corfu, Paleokastritsa Monastery Corfu, Paleokastritsa Monastery
Corfu, Paleokastritsa Monastery Corfu, Paleokastritsa Monastery Corfu, Paleokastritsa Monastery Corfu, Paleokastritsa Monastery Corfu, Paleokastritsa Monastery

- The Theotokos Monastery, Paleokastritsa Monastery or "Monastery of the Blessed Virgin Mary" can be found just outside Paleokastritsa on a hill, and it offers beautiful views of the area. The monastery was originally Byzantine and dates from 1228. The current building, including the church, the cells of the monks and the courtyard, was built in the 18th century. In the courtyard stands a "wishing well" in which many people have thrown coins op pieces of papers with their wishes on it. At the monastery is a small museum including rare books, religious garments, icons and other church treasures. Both the entrance to the monastery and the museum are free.

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Corfu, Mirtiotissa Monastery Corfu, Mirtiotissa Monastery Corfu, Mirtiotissa Monastery Corfu, Mirtiotissa Monastery Corfu, Mirtiotissa Monastery

- The Mirtiotissa monastery in situated in the west of the island of Corfu, on a hill near the beach with the same name. The original monastery dates from the 14th century and is built on the site where a monk, after a vision, appears to have found an icon of the Virgin Mary and a cross in a cave. The opening to this cave was hidden by the myrtle bushes. Such a wonderful discovery of an icon has occurred with great regularity in Greece though. Additional information says then that this monk was originally a Muslim who had converted himself to the Greek Orthodox faith. The buildings that you can see at the Mirtiotissa Monastery today are of a more recent date. The monastery is open to the public, but the doors are simply closed. It states that you can press the doorbell if you want somebody to open the door for you. But a doorbell is nowhere in sight, you can only ring the church bell that's there. From the monastery there is a path to a ghost town called Trialos which has been abandoned for a couple of decades.

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Corfu, Gardiki Fortress Corfu, Gardiki Fortress Corfu, Gardiki Fortress Corfu, Gardiki Fortress Corfu, Gardiki Fortress

- The 13th century Byzantine castle of Gardiki is located in the south of Corfu island near the village of Agios Matthaeos. This octagonal fortification with a beautiful entrance is pretty well preserved. Large parts of the thick outer walls of the fort are still standing. The fortress is surrounded by olive fields. Gardiki dates from the same period as the fortress Angelokastro. Finds at the castle showed that Corfu was already inhabited 40,000 years ago. It may well be that at that time the island of Corfu was still connected to the mainland of Greece.

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Corfu, Panagia Kassopitra in Kassiopi Corfu, Panagia Kassopitra in Kassiopi Corfu, Panagia Kassopitra in Kassiopi Corfu, Panagia Kassopitra in Kassiopi Corfu, Panagia Kassopitra in Kassiopi

- The town church of Kassiopi is situated the spot where once stood a temple of Jupiter, which was attended by the Roman emperor Nero. It is called the Panagia tis Kassopitras church. During the Byzantine time Kassiopi rivaled with Corfu Town for being the most important place on the island. The Panagia Kassopitra church was the important church on the island untill that position was taken over by the St. Spiridon church in Corfu Town. The church is open to the public and there are many icons that refer to the miracles that were performed.

Corfu, Kassiopi Fortress Corfu, Kassiopi Fortress Corfu, Kassiopi Fortress Corfu, Kassiopi Fortress Corfu, Kassiopi Fortress
Corfu, Kassiopi Fortress Corfu, Kassiopi Fortress Corfu, Kassiopi Fortress Corfu, Kassiopi Fortress Corfu, Kassiopi Fortress

- On a hill overlooking the village of Kassiopi are the remains of a castle. It was built there by the Byzantine Emperor around 1140 - 1145 as a protection against pirate raids. The castle dates from the Roman time but the visible remains that are now above the ground are from the Byzantine time. Much of the castle has been demolished by the Venetians when they left Corfu. They didn't want competitors like the Genovese to take charge of the stronghold after they had gone. The length of the circumference of the walls is about one kilometer and the fort has some towers. In 2007 started the restoration of the fort in order to bring it back to its former glory. The fortress of Kassiopi is open to the public and is accessible via a path that leads from the main road that leads to the port of the village. It is clearly indicated with a sign where you should enter. The walk takes around the inside of the castle takes about 20 minutes and gives you some nice views of Kassiopi and its surroundings, the sea and the opposite mainland of Albania which is just at two kilometers distance. Not all parts of the castle were demolished by the Venetians, so you get a nice impression of how it must have looked and how thick the walls were.

Corfu, Life Giving Spring Orthodox Church, Kastellanoi Corfu, Life Giving Spring Orthodox Church, Kastellanoi Corfu, Life Giving Spring Orthodox Church, Kastellanoi Corfu, Life Giving Spring Orthodox Church, Kastellanoi Corfu, Life Giving Spring Orthodox Church, Kastellanoi
Corfu, Life Giving Spring Orthodox Church, Kastellanoi Corfu, Life Giving Spring Orthodox Church, Kastellanoi Corfu, Life Giving Spring Orthodox Church, Kastellanoi Corfu, Life Giving Spring Orthodox Church, Kastellanoi Corfu, Life Giving Spring Orthodox Church, Kastellanoi

- Life Giving Spring Orthodox Church, Kastellanoi - Kastellanoi is a village just southwest of Corfu Town. In the village are some nice churches. The best is just outside the village and is called the Life Giving Spring Church. Unfortunately it was surrounded by a fence and is not accessible. This church is located opposite the Achillion sports center (football field), and next to the Kastellanoi high school.

Corfu, Roda Corfu, Roda Corfu, Roda Corfu, Roda Corfu, Roda
Corfu, Roda Corfu, Roda Corfu, Roda Corfu, Roda Corfu, Roda

- In Roda are the remains of a Doric temple dating from the 5th century BC. The temple is situated near the beach, was about 21.5 to 11.5 meters long and made of sandstone. The influence of the salty air and water were the cause that much of the temple was lost. Some parts of the temple, such as pieces of the roof, can be seen in the Archeological Museum of Corfu Town. In the village of Roda itself there is still quite a number of original old buildings, like for instance the church of St. George, which dates from the 17th century. Note: we visited the temple and as you can see on the pictures it is just a field with grass on it and a fence around it.

- In Acharavi along the main road you can see the remains of Roman baths. They have probably been part of a larger complex, and were discovered during the construction of the road. During the construction of this road much of the larger excavation was damaged. What you can see now are the heating system of the baths and a channel through which water was supplied. These excavation consists of three rooms that were discovered when they were digging to build a house. The excavation is in a former private area that was purchased by the Archaeological Service and is now freely accessible. The baths date from the 3d century AD.

Corfu, Old (Palia) Perithia Corfu, Old (Palia) Perithia Corfu, Old (Palia) Perithia Corfu, Old (Palia) Perithia Corfu, Old (Palia) Perithia
Corfu, Old (Palia) Perithia Corfu, Old (Palia) Perithia Corfu, Old (Palia) Perithia Corfu, Old (Palia) Perithia Corfu, Old (Palia) Perithia

- The old historic village of Ano Perithia is situated in the northeast of the island of Corfu, off the main road between Kassiopi and Acharavi, on the slope of of Mount Pantokrator. The last part of the road to Ano Perithia, as you climb higher up the mountain, gets more narrow and very winding. When you are almost there the road will go down again into what looks like a valley. Here you find the picturesque village of Ano Perithia. It was built here away from the coast and out of sight in the Byzantine period because of the regular pirate attacks on the island. The village dates back to the 14th century and is home to about 130 houses, most of which have now fallen into ruins. The village has cobbled streets and empty old stone houses set in the middle of a beautiful landscape. There are eight churches in Ano Perithia and there are a dozen of tavernas around the main village square. Besides the people that run the tavernas the village is deserted. Ano Perithia is designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty and is a protected heritage site. Unfortunately they are slowly "restoring" the old churches, which will make them look brandnew in the end. All the churches are closed, so no way you can take a look inside. Such a shame. All houses that have been restored have been turned into a taverna and there is a bee keeper in the village that produces honey.

Corfu, Loutses Corfu, Loutses Corfu, Loutses Corfu, Loutses Corfu, Loutses
Corfu, Loutses Corfu, Loutses Corfu, Loutses Corfu, Loutses Corfu, Loutses

- On the way to Old Perithia you come through the traditional village of Loutses with its Saint Anthanasios church, which dates from 1907, and a cave that you can find after a walk along a path. The ceiling of this cave has stalactites and the bottom is colored green with algae. In winter there is water in the cave. From Loutses there are some panoramic views over the landscape and the sea. In the village the nature is lush and there are plenty of flowers. There is also a local taverna where you can have a drink.

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- The Agias Paraskevi Monastery stands along the roadside near the village of Makrades in the northwest of Corfu, near Paleokastritsa and not far from the Angelokastro castle. The monastery is indicated by a sign along the side of the road, but it is inaccessible. There is also little information available about the Agias Paraskevi monastery. The monastery dates from the 17th century and has a beautiful bell tower.

Corfu, Gouvia, Ipapanti Church of Christ Corfu, Gouvia, Ipapanti Church of Christ Corfu, Gouvia, Ipapanti Church of Christ Corfu, Gouvia, Ipapanti Church of Christ Corfu, Gouvia, Ipapanti Church of Christ
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- The Ipapanti Church of Christ stands in the sea in the village of Gouvia. The church is connected to the mainland of Corfu by a 60 meter long causeway. It was built in 1713 during the Venetian domination of the island of Corfu by a Cretan aristocratic family, who came to Corfu in 1669 after the fall of Candia (nowadays Heraklion). Originally there were precious art treasures in the church that this family had brought from Crete. After inheritance, the church came into the hands of different families and the church eventually became neglected. Only in 1996 began renovation and restoration of the church Ipapanti. The church was as much as possible brought back in its original state. The three altar doors and four icons are 280 years old (before these were housed in the Byzantine Museum for a while).

Corfu, Gouvia, Venetian shipyard Corfu, Gouvia, Venetian shipyard Corfu, Gouvia, Venetian shipyard Corfu, Gouvia, Venetian shipyard Corfu, Gouvia, Venetian shipyard
Corfu, Gouvia, Venetian shipyard Corfu, Gouvia, Venetian shipyard Corfu, Gouvia, Venetian shipyard Corfu, Gouvia, Venetian shipyard Corfu, Gouvia, Venetian shipyard

- In Gouvia you can take a look at the remains of a Venetian shipyard dating from the 18th century. The building with its huge arches can be found in the harbor of the village beside the beach. Gouvia is a natural harbor and here the ships of the Venetians were repaired. In the harbor the ships were protected from possible storms or attacks from enemies. At the entrance of the bay, in Kommeno, stood a small fort to defend the port. Of this fortress only a few small remnants have been preserved and they are situated on private property.

- Agios Markos is a village in the northeast of Corfu just west of the resort of Pyrgi. The village dates from the 11th century and was destroyed during an earthquake in the fifties. The residents were given new land near Pyrgi where they built their new homes. Some of the old houses in Agios Markos are now restored and inhabited but there are still many that have remained a ruin. There are also two churches in Agios Markos, one from the 11th-century and one from the 16th century. In the latter church there are frescoes from the same period. From the village you have beautiful views over the bay below.

Corfu, Benitses Roman baths, Benitses Romeinse baden Corfu, Benitses Roman baths, Benitses Romeinse baden Corfu, Benitses Roman baths, Benitses Romeinse baden Corfu, Benitses Roman baths, Benitses Romeinse baden Corfu, Benitses Roman baths, Benitses Romeinse baden
Corfu, Benitses Roman baths, Benitses Romeinse baden Corfu, Benitses Roman baths, Benitses Romeinse baden Corfu, Benitses Roman baths, Benitses Romeinse baden Corfu, Benitses Roman baths, Benitses Romeinse baden Corfu, Benitses Roman baths, Benitses Romeinse baden

Benitses- The village of Benitses was already a holiday resort during the Roman period. The remains of a Roman villa and hot baths can be seen just about 100 meters behind the square / main road in the harbour. It is indicated with a sign. Passage is partly through private a road / property and you have to walk through somebodies backyard. They are hidden behind a row of houses. The baths are well preserved and contain mosaic floors (route to follow is roughly indicated on the small map on the left). From Benitses there is also a well marked walk up into the hills where there are water springs. The walk takes you out of the tourist area and into the nature (please take water with you on your walk because there are no taverns or shops on the route). The village of Benitses is situated on the east side of te island, 12 kilometers south of Corfu Town.

Also in ancient Kerkyra or Palaeopolis remnants of Roman baths can be seen, near the Basilica of the village. These baths date from about 200 AD when Emperor Septimus Severus was in power. The baths were destroyed in the sixth century AD, but some parts of it, like for instance the heating chamber, are still visible.

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Corfu, Benitses Corfu, Benitses Corfu, Benitses Corfu, Benitses Corfu, Benitses

- In the village of Benitses there are several hiking trails into the mountains towards the Benitses Springs and a petrified forest. We had printed out a little map and started looking for the petrified forest. I think we have probably passed it during the route, but overlooked it. The walk was very nice and very quiet. You walk through the woods with old trees, occasionally there is a stretch of shade from the trees and there are beautiful views over the sea and the village. During the walk we ran into the cute Agia Paraskevi church with its water source, where it is apparently okay to drink the water.

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Corfu, Benitses Corfu, Benitses Corfu, Benitses Corfu, Benitses Corfu, Benitses

On some sites Benitses was described as a party town with lots of noise, but that is definitely in the past. We found it very, very quiet, with a pleasant town square, streets with old houses, pots of flowers and a few churches. Big clubs are as far as I've seen no more, and there are still a few small bars where you can get a drink in the evening, there was absolutely no problem with noise. I understand the villagers claimed back the village a while ago and ensured that peace has returned in Benitses. In the evening the children play in the streets again and nice Greek music plays in the taverna's. In Benitses itself and to the north and south of it are numerous pebble beaches for those who like to go into the sea.

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Corfu, Pondikonissi Corfu, Pondikonissi Corfu, Pondikonissi Corfu, Pondikonissi Corfu, Pondikonissi

- Mouse Island or Pondikonissi - Vlacherna - Pondikonissi or Mouse island is the name of the the most remote island in the bay south of Kanoni, just south of Corfu town. The island is often confused with and mixed with the nearer by island of Vlacherna which is connected with the main land by means of a small dam where also some fishing boats are. On Vlacherna there is a white monastery and a very tall tree. This is one of the most photograhped places in the whole of Greece. In the background is Mouse Island. From Vlacherna during the summer months there are boats (in high season every hour) to Corfu town and you can also make a trip to Pondikonissi/Mouse Island. The only building on the island of Pondikonissi is a church that is hidden between the trees. The myth from Homerus says that Odysseus was washed ashore on the island, but other places on Corfu claim the same. The trees on Pondikonissi vaguely resemble mice and thus its name. At a 400 meters distance of Vlacherna is the beginning of the landingstrip of the airport of Corfu, which is placed in a lagune. At Vlacherna there is also a very large and unattractive parking to supply the visitors with a place to park their cars.

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Corfu, Canal D'Amour in Sidari Corfu, Canal D'Amour in Sidari Corfu, Canal D'Amour in Sidari Corfu, Canal D'Amour in Sidari Corfu, Canal D'Amour in Sidari

- The Canal D'Amour in Sidari - This special rock formation can be found at the edge of one of the beaches of Sidari on the island of Corfu. It is a channel which has been created by the erosion of the sea that carved into the soft sandstone. There are many legends about this channel. Thus anyone who swims through it when the channel is in the shade, will forever be happy in love. Every couple that swims through it (shadow or not) will always stay together. The last legend is that every woman that swims through it and thinks of the man of her dreams, will meet him.

Corfu, Sinarades Corfu, Sinarades Corfu, Sinarades Corfu, Sinarades Corfu, Sinarades
Corfu, Sinarades Corfu, Sinarades Corfu, Sinarades Corfu, Sinarades Corfu, Sinarades

- The village of Sinarades - Sinarades is one of the oldest mountain villages on the island of Corfu. It is located on the west side of Corfu, just north of the beach of Agios Gordis. There are many old and dilapidated houses in the village, but in one way or another this makes it picturesque and charming. One of those houses that are falling apart is the former Folklore Museum, which has been closed for years, but is still indicated with a sign from the main road. The building is now empty and dilapidated, and it is for sale. In Sinarades are two beautiful old churches, and one belltower is perhaps the highest after the one of the St. Spiridon church in Corfu Town. There is a nice square and there are a number of shops and tavernas. Some houses have been lovingly refurbished. In Sinarades people try to get a small piece of the tourism, and there are some rooms for rent.

Corfu, Kaiser's Bridge in Benitses / Perama Corfu, Kaiser's Bridge in Benitses / Perama Corfu, Kaiser's Bridge in Benitses / Perama Corfu, Kaiser's Bridge in Benitses / Perama Corfu, Kaiser's Bridge in Benitses / Perama
Corfu, Kaiser's Bridge in Benitses / Perama Corfu, Kaiser's Bridge in Benitses / Perama Corfu, Kaiser's Bridge in Benitses / Perama Corfu, Kaiser's Bridge in Benitses / Perama Corfu, Kaiser's Bridge in Benitses / Perama

- The Kaiser's Bridge in Benitses / Perama - The Kaiser's Bridge near Perama was commissioned by the German Kaiser Wilhelm II, who bought the the Achillion Palace after the death of the Austrian empress Elisabeth. It was built so he could access the beach without having the cross the road, which was the main road leading south on the island at that time. The Achillion Palace is situated just 1.5 kilometer above the bridge in the village of Gastouri and the gardens of the palace stretched all the way down to the beach. The bridge's central section was, ironically, demolished by the Wehrmacht during the German occupation of World War II to allow for the free movement of its vehicles.

Corfu, Kaiser's Throne in Pelekas Corfu, Kaiser's Throne in Pelekas Corfu, Kaiser's Throne in Pelekas Corfu, Kaiser's Throne in Pelekas Corfu, Kaiser's Throne in Pelekas
Corfu, Kaiser's Throne in Pelekas Corfu, Kaiser's Throne in Pelekas Corfu, Kaiser's Throne in Pelekas Corfu, Kaiser's Throne in Pelekas Corfu, Kaiser's Throne in Pelekas

- The Kaiser's Throne in Pelakas - Between 1908 and World War I the German Emperor Wilhelm II spend his summers in the Achilleion palace, which he had bought after the death of Empress Elisabeth of Austria. His favorite spot however was the mountain village of Pelekas at 270 meters altitude, where he had a viewpoint built which is now known as the "Kaiser's Throne". Here he had a magnificent view over the island and the sunset. In this place you have a 360 degree panoramic view over Corfu. The way to the Kaiser's Throne is well indicated on signs and easy to find. The attraction is open to the public, so you can go there and experience what it was that once attracted the German emperor to this place. On the Kaiser's throne stands an old pair of binoculars, but unfortunately it is no longer functioning properly.

Corfu, Avliotes Corfu, Avliotes Corfu, Avliotes Corfu, Avliotes Corfu, Avliotes
Corfu, Avliotes Corfu, Avliotes Corfu, Avliotes Corfu, Avliotes Corfu, Avliotes

- Avliotes and the Saint Theodori church - Avliotes is a traditional mountain village, not far from the beach of Agios Stefanos, in the west of the island of Corfu. The village was built about 350 years ago, when residents of lower areas have fled because of pirate attacks. On the village square a real torpedo is exhibited. Also noticable is the gate and the remains of an old church. Many of the houses are in disrepair. A little farther on a slightly higher point you will find the big yellow and completely re-plastered and redecorated, Saint Theodori church.


© Hans Huisman, http://www.angelfire.com/super2/greece/ 2014
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