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Sight Seeing

The island of Corfu has many museums and places of interest as well as archaeological sites. Some are located in the Corfu Town area but many are found in different parts of the island from the northern coastline down towards the south. Corfu, the island of Artemis, is the point where the famous St Michael – Apollon line enters Greece. This ley line starts in West Ireland and finishes in the Holy Land. As it passes through Greece it changes it name from the Christian St Michael to the pagan Apollo and it is apt that this name change should occur in Corfu – Artemis being the sister of Apollo. The line is believed to enter Corfu at Angelokastro and then cross the island along the Valley Ropa passing through the town at the site of the temple of Artemis on its way to the mainland.
For anyone interested in the history of this Greek island or for those fancying a day of culture as a change from sunbathing, a brief description of the main places of interest is given below.

Angelokastro

corfu angelokastroPerched on a promontory overlooking Paleokastritsa this Byzantine Fortress is well worth a visit when you are on Corfu for the holidays. The fortress was under renovation, but now it is open for the visitors of Corfu. The builders did a wonderful job.
The views from the top are very dramatic; giving a panoramic view of the Western coastline of the island. Within the walls can be found 2 small churches, one of which is built inside a cave. Even if closed the view from the car park is worth going for. To get there follow the donkey paths to Lakones and then walk along the road to Krini. Angelokastro is on the outskirts of the village. Alternatively hire some form of transport and take the Lakones road to Krini and then follow the narrow road to the car park at the bottom of the pinnacle on which Angelokastro sits. If walking or driving does not appeal why not use the local bus; be at the stop at the Lakones/Paleokastritsa junction (Monday – Friday) and take the Krini/Makrades bus to the Krini car park. The fortress is only a short walk from there. Return to Paleokastritsa by foot or by local taxi.

Theotokis Monastery

corfu theotokisSituated at the bottom of Paleokastritsa on a rocky headland this working monastery is definitely worth a visit while on Corfu. There are spectacular views from the monastery and its gardens. Make a wish at the well or visit the small museum where a number of interesting relics and items are on display. Outside the monastery peacocks proudly display their tail feathers to passing visitors in the garden area. In the car park a cannon remains pointed out to sea protecting the area from any invaders. The monastery closes in the afternoon during siesta time. Best time to visit is late afternoon after the bus parties have departed for the day.

Mon Repos

corfu monreposMon Repos is probably best known for being the birth place of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. The villa was originally the property of the Greek Royal family but the Corfiot people have now taken it over and have restored it to its former glory. Within the building there is a small museum displaying the archaeology artefacts which have been found in the grounds. The villa is situated in extensive gardens and it is possible to follow a trail which will take to other archaeology finds such as an ancient temple which have been kept in situ.
Address: On the road to Kanoni
Open: House & Museum Tuesday – Sunday 08.30 – 15.00
Grounds Daily 08.00 – 18.00

Achilleion Palace

corfu achillionBuilt by the Empress Sissi of Austria as her summer residence this famous building has had a varied past. It was purchased by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany who added the famous statue of Achilleas, moving the original marble statue of Achilleas to its current location. It has also been used as a hospital during the world wars and at one point housed a casino. The ground floor has been converted to a museum where various rooms have been restored and house furniture and memorabilia of the previous owners. Although access to the first floor is not permitted it is possible to see the famous frescos which decorate the walls and ceilings. The house is set in extensive gardens, which have stunning views of the surrounding area, well worth a visit even if you do not enter the house.
Location: Gastouri Village
Open: Daily 08.00 – 19.00

Gardiki Fortress

corfu gardikiThese ruins of a Byzantine fortress can be found near the village of Agios Mattheos on the road to Lake Korrison, south west of Corfu. Some renovation work has been carried out and the site is sometimes used for concerts.
Location: Near Agios Mattheos
Open: Daily

Old Fortress

corfu old fortressBuilt on a rocky outcrop this fortress with its battlements and bastions is fun to explore. It is worth the climb to the top to see the fantastic views over Corfu Town, to the north, south and west of the island and over the sea to Albania and Mainland Greece. When you stand at this viewpoint you realise that it is in the perfect spot to defend Corfu Town from invaders. During the year the amphitheatre is used for concerts. In the grounds you will find a Byzantine Art Museum and a souvenir shop which sells copies of the items found in the museum.
Address: Entrance from Esplanade Square
Open: Daily 08.30 – 19.00, shop closes at 14.00

New Fortress

corfu newfortressSituated near the old port of Corfu the new fortress was built by the Venetians and then further fortified by the British. Within the walls there is a ceramic museum. Part of the fortress is the headquarters for the Greek Navy on Corfu.
Address: Access from Solomos Street
Open: Daily 10.00 – 19.00

Corfu Shell Museum

Original located in Gouvia, the museum moved years ago to Benitses and houses thousands of exhibits showing the treasures of the sea. It is said to be one of the finest museums in Europe of its type. A shop sells unusual shells and other souvenirs.
Location: Benitses Harbour Square
Open: Daily 10.00 – 21.00

Folk Museum of Central Corfu

On leaving Paleokastritsa if you take the Valley Ropa road and follow the signs for Agios Gordis, you will come to the village of Sinarades. Here you take a walk back in time and view a village house which has retained all its original furniture, fittings and architecture.
Location: Sinarades Village
Open: Monday – Saturday 09.30 – 19.00

Kassiopi Castle

On the headland at Kassiopi there are the remains of a medieval castle which is under renovation. Access is best from the harbour square in Kassiopi.
Location: Kassiopi

Perithia Agricultural Museum

Located on the main road between Kassiopi and Acharavi, this small museum has displays of old agricultural equipment and tools as well as an old olive press and furniture. Local produce is on sale and it is possible to enjoy a drink or snack in their reconstructed kafenion (coffee shop).
Location: Near Perithia, on the main Kassiopi/Acharavi Road.

Ambelonas

corfu ambelonasSituated in the Livadi Ropa area of Corfu this 18 acre vineyard welcomes visitors. You can watch videos showing olive and wine production as well as sample the products. It is also possible to walk through the vineyards and admire the scenery in this lovely setting. Local products are on sale.
Location: Karoubatika, on Pelekas Road
Open: Daily from 12.00

Some of the museums charge an entrance fee while others are free to visitors. Prices are displayed at the entrance if there should be a charge.

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