Corfu is an island off Greece’s northwest corner in the Ionian Sea. Its cultural heritage reflects years spent under Venetian, French, and British rule before it was unified with Greece in 1864. Everywhere, magnificent coastal views unfold to tell stories of Corfu’s past, but the two most imposing landmarks are large fortresses called simply old fort (built in 1545) and new fort (built in 1576.)
The former grand palace of Saints Michael and George is another landmark building. Today it houses the Museum of Asian Art.
Our short panoramic driving tour took us past some interesting historic sites. The Douglas Column is a large obelisk that adorns Garitsa Beach. It reflects a period of British rule when Sir Howard Douglas was Lord High Commissioner of Corfu and the Ionian Islands. Several ancient ruins are also found dotting the island, among them the remains of the early Christian Basilica of Paleopolis.
The Holy Monastery of Panagia Vlacherna sits on an idyllic island in the bay. It has become a familiar symbol of Corfu. Built in 1799, it has served as a monastery as well as a convent. Today it is used primarily for weddings and other special events.
Many beautiful beaches and playgrounds dot the Corfu coastline.
Corfu has more than 200 churches spread out across the island.
Corfu’s Old Town is a maze of narrow streets and alleys flanked by a lovely promenade that was once reserved for the local aristocracy. Anything and everything can be found in Old Town.
With its legendary beauty and splendid weather, Corfu has served as a stunning backdrop for stories from Homer’s Odyssey to James Bond’s For Your Eyes Only to the Durrells. It’s certainly a storyteller’s paradise!