The lush, often dramatic interior landscape of Corfu gives way to a picturesque coastline dotted with traditional villages and bustling tourist resorts. To describe the island’s topography as diverse is an understatement, with rolling verdant hills, sharp and craggy coastal cliffs, and peaceful cypress and olive groves filling in the spaces.
One thing many visitors to the second largest of the Ionian islands of Greece find surprising, however, is the sheer depth and breadth of its history. With an ancient and established heritage, Corfu was the birthplace or home of many of the renowned Greek academics and philosophers. Today, fiercely proud and determined to uphold its important history, the island is home to a great number of museums and galleries that depict its strong intellectual culture. Here are just three you can visit.
Antivouniotissa Museum – With an interior that matches the stunning beauty of its architecture, the Church of Our Lady of Antivouniotissa dates back to the 15th century. Quite aside from its aesthetics, however, the church holds a valuable collection of Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons from Corfu and the neighbouring Ionian islands. Spending some time among these ancient and beautiful heirlooms allows a small but important glimpse into the artworks of an era spanning six centuries.
Archaeological Museum – While in truth the entire island could be considered an archaeological site in itself, the official Archaeological Museum is well worth visiting to get an overview of the rich and storied heritage of Corfu. Established in 1967, specifically as a home for the findings from the temple of Artemis (585BC), the museum has been extended twice to house the now-vast collection of relics from Prehistoric to Hellenic times. The exhibits include coins, jewellery, bronze statues, a marble torso of Apollo, and a stone lion of Menecrates.
Acharavi Folklore Museum – A relatively new addition to the island’s cultural scene, opening in 2008, the Acharavi Folklore Museum is no less important than some of the more established sites. Depicting life on the island from the 18th century to the present day, the beautifully curated collection includes coins, books, manuscripts, agricultural tools, religious items, furniture and clothing. As well as the permanent exhibits there is an educational centre and a coffee shop.
The three cultural sites above are just the beginning and the island is home to many more museums, galleries and historical sites that, together, tell the tangled story of this truly fascinating Greek island.
How to Get There
As the second largest Greek island in the Ionian Sea, Corfu is home to its own international airport. With a busy influx of domestic and international charter flights, the airport has a picturesque approach, with views over some iconic landmarks of the island. After landing at Corfu airport, transfers to Corfu Town, Kavos or anywhere else on the island, are relaxed and convenient. Shuttle Direct’s Corfu airport transfers offer a cost effective and comfortable ride to your accommodation.
Where to Stay
Hotel Phivos – Situated in the popular beach resort of Paleokastritsa, the Hotel Phivos is set within picturesque surrounds just 600 meters from a gorgeous rocky cove. The 14 well-facilitated studios are nestled amongst lush gardens, complete with sparkling pool, sun loungers and olive trees, and it’s just a short stroll to local restaurants and supermarkets. Enjoy the best of Corfu on a budget at the lovely Hotel Phivos.
Aeolos Beach Resort – In a truly spectacular location overlooking the Ionian Sea, every room at the Aeolos Beach Resort features a private patio or terrace, most with an ocean outlook. With an extensive onsite entertainment programme, guests can also take advantage of the two pools and extensive range of sporting activities. With excellent amenities and offering excursions to many of Corfu’s most renowned attractions, the Aeolos Beach Resort leaves nothing left to want.
Grecotel Eva Palace – This stunning, award-winning beachfront resort at Kommeno offers privacy, luxury and spectacular ocean views. The Grecotel Eva Palace has its own private beach along with an inspiring pool area, complete with bar. The sumptuous rooms feature either ocean or garden views, along with romantic touches that include glass-wall bathrooms and four-poster beds. The Grecotel Eva Palace also features the breath-taking Elixir Rooftop Love Spa and several fine dining options onsite.