A monument of Paneuropean importance, since it is here that the Latin Nobles who were killed at the naval battle of Nafpaktos ( 1571 ), were buried; this naval battle was the end of the marine threat of the Turks. A few years later the Turks will no longer constitute a threat for the land, either, and the effort of the Turks to expand to the West will come to a final end .
From early till late July the Ionian Concerts invite you to high quality musical performances in historic venues of equally high artistic value.
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Corfu is an island which enchanted poets and kings It's the port which linked the East to the West . This place offered shelter to Ulysses , the divisive hero of Homer , it was chosen by Poseidon to indulge into his love for Amphitriti, and still it continues to welcome and inspire its visitors to this day: With its pretty , romantic , natural , historic and above all spontaneous nature , visitors find Corfu to be a really charming place. Visitors tend to ask hotel reception desks the same question: “Can I stay here a little more?;”
Europeans no longer consider it to be an exotic destination, however it continues to be one of the most fascinating places in Europe. It offers an impressively varied flora, desert beaches, crystal water, narrow paths through thick, perennial olive trees , Byzantine churches , medieval villages, traditional Greek taverna's (small restaurants) as well as modern accommodation and amusement facilities. Corfu is a place which refreshes the mind and reactivates the human senses.
Corfu , Paxos as well as Othoni, Erikousa and Mathraki are tourist destinations famous worldwide from the late 18th century. This has resulted in,the islands of the region , having large-scale tourism infrastructure of all kinds, of every quality and cost .
Following, you will find information on infrastructure for accommodation and services.
Corfu is inherently noble and delicate. The sea, the sun and the wind have tastefully formed the islands for thousands of years, creating an impressive coastline. Beaches with golden sand or colorful pebbles , rocks– in the place of sculptures exhibited at the most updated gallery, trees extending their shadow to the edge of the water. Corfu has got a natural beauty . Its eastern beaches, protected by the mainland shores across the straights, offer quiet water, ideal for swimming, a rich underwater world for scuba-diving and are accessible relatively easily from Corfu Town. The Northwestern coast is famous for its crystal water, the colorful –pebbles- , which so many visitors collect, and for being really deep. It is therefore perfectly understood why the most expensive villas vane been built here and why you can see here so any yachts. The South eastern coast has shallow water, shadowy sandy beaches, small taverns “on the wave”, while the street goes all the way to the beach. It's the ideal case for holidays with your children . In the Northeast of Corfu there are three tiny islands -Mathraki, Othonoi and Erikousa, which are the first stop to boats descending from the Adriatic Sea. Their shores attract nature lovers. The Western coasts of Corfu are characterized by vast sandy beaches and some of the most spectacular cliffs. Visitors get a unique sense of freedom, overlooking the endless horizon, with nothing to interrupt their mind trips. The North-Western coast has immense sandy beaches, i.e. Agios Georgios beach, as well as rocky shores, the most famous being the rocks of Paleokastritsa;, the underwater environment forms several sea-caves, ideal for scuba-diving. The endless golden beaches and the shallow emerald water of all the Western and Southwestern coast make visitors feel in Heaven. No matter if visitors are seeking cosmopolitan or secret, peaceful beaches, they are bound to discover their favorite one, to play in the water, to sunbathe or to read a book in peace. The island of Paxos is famous for its beautiful beaches, beyond any comparison . The natural havens of Lakka , Gai and Mongonissi are crowded with yachts during the summer months. The western coast of Paxos is composed of impressive geological formations, such as sea caves and natural huge cliffs , which you must definitely visit . AntiPaxos is bound to enchant you with their splendid emerald beaches situated at the Northwestern part of the island, and their unbelievable boem atmosphere.
If you seek to experiencee the magic of Corfu don't foget to visit some of its villages . On foot, on horseback, by bike, by motorbike or by car, leave the crowded beaches behind you for a while and indulge in genuine Corfu. In turn, it Corfu knows very well how to reward its lovers .
There are more than 100 villages and estates in the green environment of Corfu Paxoi Othonoi, Erikousa and Mathraki . Their character varies, according to their era of habitation. They can refer to the Byzantine era , to the Venetian era as well as to the popular architecture of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, while there can also be found traces of ancient or Roman era .
There are large villages, small fishermen's villages, settlements of immigrants or local residents with golden seals of Byzantine Emperors and Despotes. Centers of old powerful families or shelters of desperate bread-winners, the villages and settlements of Corfu have old stories to tell you , with pirates , publicans , rulers and slaves, conquerors and saviours, mortals and immortals .
The stone-made houses , the traditional square with the coffee shops , the neat churches , but mostly the hospitable, sweet people will enchant you and will make you feel at home .
The wider region of Corfu (Corfu, Paxos, Othoni, Erikousa , Mathraki) is a sight , a living museum of history, culture and nature .
A piece of history traveling in the sea.
No matter where you turn, you are bound to see images whose origins can be traced in old times . History , culture and traditions are carefully kept in museums and well cared for collections . Rare and original exhibits , traces and leads of a distant voyage through time , are preserved with respect and moments of the past come back to life before the eyes of the visitor .
Downtown Corfu you will find important museums ; the historic center of Corfu was declared one of the UNESCO Monuments of World Cultural Heritage in the summer 2007 and is itself the most important sight of the island.
The past of Corfu is right here, before your eyes, at the city palace, , the two fortresses ,on traditional buildings and mansions , very easily accessible and evident .
The richest historical collection is at the Archaeological Museum , where the predominant exhibit is the stunning 6th century BC Gorgo gable.
The Museum of Far Eastern Art , the only one of its kind in Greece and one of the finest in Europe is housed in the Palace of Saints Michael and George, and constitutes the most important monument of the period of the British rule.
An Orthodox church of the 15th century, dedicated to Virgin Mary Antivouniotissa , has been turned into a Museum, to house the religious expression of the Byzantine tradition , combined with the influence from the west.
A little after that, there is the house of Dionysios Solomos, National Poet of Greece, and it is home to the museum bearing his name, as well as to the significant Corfu Studies Society.
The historic building of the Ionic Bank has been home, since 1981, of the Banknote Museum, unique for Greece and one of the most interesting worldwide .
The hacienda of Mon Repos , in the splendid park of Palaiopolis , houses part of the Archaeological Museum with exhibits from the ancient town of Corfu.
In the villages and the nearby islands you will visit museums which present the history, the people, the popular art, customs and traditions of the places.
The Historic Folklore Museum of Messi is housed in a well preserved 19th century cottage and it contains really rich collections of traditional clothes from Corfu, everyday life items, tools, cooking utensils, and home and professional items( Sinarades ).
The Olives Museum is housed in a perfectly preserved oil mill of the early 20th century, and it displays a rich collection of tools and means for the elaboration of oils and the extraction of olive oil( Kinopiastes ).
The Kapodistrias Museum , with an exhibition of personal items of Ioannis Kapodistrias, a Minister of the Ionian State, the first autonomous State to be founded on Greek territory , Foreign Affairs Minister of Russia , one of the main contributors to the Swiss Constitution and the first Governor of Greece( Evropouli ).
At Benitses village, a few km outside Corfu town, there is the Sea Museum , which displays the wealth of the sea .
The Folk Museum of Paxos displays a local house and really interesting exhibits, that portray the living conditions in a local house during the past centuries( Gai, Paxos ).
Corfu has got a natural environment of unprecedented beauty , which looks like an ever-changing painting, with many different shades of green and blue and the colorful wild flowers .
The rural scenery with the farm land and the forests , as well as the green olive groves on the slopes of hills which reach down to the shores and the welcoming beaches, forming a really beautiful picture .
The cultivation of the olive tree is predominant which makes the islands of Corfu and the surrounding area immense olive groves . This unique for the islands of the region wealth of the flora and the fauna makes Corfu and Paxos ideal places for the natural lovers .
"Spring had arrived and the island was sparkling with flowers. Lambs with flapping tails gamboled under the olives, crushing the yellow crocuses under their tiny hooves. Baby donkeys with bulbous and uncertain legs munched among the asphodels. The ponds and streams and ditches were tangled in chains of spotted toads' spawn, the tortoises were heaving aside their winter bedclothes of leaves and earth, and the first butterflies, winter-faded and frayed, were flitting wanly among the flowers."