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Island of Corfu





Fast Facts

Location: Greece
Time to Visit: April
How to Reach
Air
A 50 minutes flight will take you from the International airports of Athens and Thessaloniki to Corfu. Most international flights to Corfu first land in Athens and then fly to Corfu from there. However, there a number of chartered flights that connects Corfu to other major European destinations. If you are not carrying much luggage, you can also avail the option of flying to Corfu in a Hydroplane from the Ioannina town of Epirus. It takes about thirty minutes.
Ferry
You can also avail ferry services from the harbor of Patras to Corfu. It takes close to six hours to complete the journey. A number of Italian ferries reach Patras from Venice, Bari and Anconna. There are frequent ferry services from the port of Igoumenitsa to Corfu from 5 am to 10 pm. The journey takes between 1 hour 15 minutes and 2 hours depending on the size of your ferry.
Nearest International Airport: Athens International Airport
Time required for sightseeing: 1-2 days

With profuse libations of choicest wines, sacrificial heifers and music on the Aeolian harps, the ancient Greeks knew how to balance their sophisticated philosophizing with hard partying. The Greek Island of Corfu dutifully upholds that tradition of 'good life' - in the true Greek way. The second biggest Ionian Island is a unique destination where history, natural beauty and great nightlife dovetail with effortless ease. The Venetian style Old City share space with swanky restaurants and bistros around the Esplanade. The beaches are wonderful and the social life is breathtaking. The spectacular Corfu beaches are popular among celebrities as well as the general tourists. Corfu features high among all must see lists and attracts millions of tourists every year.

In Greece, you can never be far from history and myths. Corfu is no exception. According to the Greek myths, Poseidon offered this island as a marriage gift to Korkyra, his mortal consort, and their child Phaiax grew up here. For most parts of its history, Corfu remained a veritable battleground, till its unification with Greece in 1864.

The long Venetian reign on the island is clearly reflected in the architectural style of the Old City region. The streets, buildings and city squares are clearly reminiscent of Venice. The most popular destination is the Old Citadel or the Palaio Frourio. The New Citadel or the New Frourio is located on the northeastern part of the city. Close to the Old Venetian Citadel is the Spaniada - a huge square, divided in the Upper and the Lower Squares by a street. The traditional villages of the island are a study in contrast to the bustling and vibrant city life.

The Corfu Beaches are the greatest attractions of the island, and are famous the world over. They have wonderful bays, and thick vegetation cradle the endless sandy beaches. The water is crystal blue and there is no dearth of sunshine in the summer months, making the beaches ideal for sunbathing. Umbrellas, sun beds and sea sport equipments are available on rent. Restaurants and bars abound in most of the famous beaches. Agios Gordis, Paleokastritsa and Myriotisa are some of the most popular ones. If you find some of the beaches too glib to your liking, head for the lesser known beaches that maintain their natural simplicity. You can also visit the Old Town for a taste of history. The picturesque villages are great places to visit as well. Take a boat to the nearby Ionian Islands, particularly Pontikonisi and Lazaretto.

The Corfu Town region is known for its great nightlife. As the Sun sets, the city comes to life. Hit one of the bars located between Corfu Town and the beach resort of Gouvia along the north coast. Expect some Greek music to enliven your night. Discos like Apokalypsis, Hippodrome and DNA are great favorites among the younger crowds. There are regular free concerts at the Esplanade all round the summer.

If you prefer to have a quieter night, just retire to one of the many cafes like Capri, Europa or Liston. There are great cafes on the North End of the Esplanade as well. Just find one that suits your tastes.

April, when millions of wildflower turns the island into a veritable paradise, is the best time to visit Corfu. However, the warm Mediterranean climate of Corfu makes it a great destination most time of the year. It is, however, better to avoid Corfu between November and March. It is the rainy season, and frequent rainstorms can spoil your trip.

May and June are the best months for a swim, while July and August can get really hot. You can sunbathe a lot during these months, but cannot do much else. Remember, even if you feel the heat overbearing, give yourself some time to get used to the climate. The evenings are invariably cool.

The winters are moderate, and it rarely snows. Temperatures never drop very low. You're your trip between September and October if you want to visit Corfu in the winters. The climate deteriorates from November onwards.

Where to Stay

There are numerous hotels, inns, apartments and villas in Corfu. The rates vary widely depending on the location and the facilities that the establishments offer. Typically, the best hotels are close to one of the popular beaches. Some of the most popular ones are:
  • Corfu Vill Meliti near Kanouli Beach
  • Helena Apartments near Halikounas Beach
  • Hotel Kontokali Bay near Kontokali
  • Bella Mare Hotel close to Kassiopi
  • Oniro Villas and Apartments
  • Christina Apartments
  • Dina's Paradise
Where to Eat

There are countless restaurants, bistros, cafes and beachbars in Corfu. Thanks to the extremely cosmopolitan nature of the Corfu crowd, you will never be hard pressed to find the cuisine of you liking. Almost all beaches of Corfu have great restaurants close to them. We give you the names of only a few popular ones:
  • Lemon Garden and Fuego and the Pumphouse in Acharavi
  • Sebastian in Agios Gordios
  • Golden Barell in Barbati
  • Boukari in Boukari
  • Great Shakes and Karydia in Dassia
  • Antranik Pizza Pete, Chrisi and La Famigila in Corfu Town
Trivia
  • Corfu Islands formed the background of the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only
  • Giacomo Casanova lived in Corfu as an officer in the Venetian Army
  • Corfu is the birthplace of Georgios Theotokis, Prime Minister of Greece
  • Odysseus, during his epic journey back home in the Homeric epic, meets Nausicaa, the daughter of King Alkinoos in Corfu — then known as Kerkyra, the island of the Phaeacians.
  • According to Greek myth, Hercules slept with the Naiad Melite in Corfu, which bore him his son Hyllus
Things to Do

Make the best of the spectacular beaches when you are in Corfu. Go for a swim, sunbathe, or relax on a beachside cot nursing your favorite drink. Most of the best hotels have indoor pools as well.

Related Links :

http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=HfA5uECcLfI: For a view of the surf and the beaches of the Corfu Islands, along with a glimpse of the colorful people who frequent the island, watch this video!

http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=x8WEndrq3Do: For a view of the happening nightlife and cosmopolitan social life in the Corfu Islands, click on this link!

http://realtravel.com/corfu-greece-travel-blogs-d44728-3.html: For some authentic travel accounts from real travels, read the blogs in this site. You will get a feel of how it feels to be a part of the exciting Corfu Beach scene, and also some necessary travel related information.

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