Corfu, a stunning Mediterranean island full of amazing beaches… But did you know there are plenty of historical attractions to explore too?
Here are the top 5 must-sees on the island, which one can easily explore in a few days. We managed to do check them all out in less than a week!
1. The city of Corfu and the old town
Exploring the vivid capital of Corfu, Corfu Town, is as good as you imagine it! It is an idyllic Mediterranean heaven with authentic colorful buildings, historical attractions and plenty to eat and drink!
You’ll see typical Greek churches in blue and white, but you’ll also be surprised how Italian the island looks. No wonder, since the Republic of Venice ruled Corfu for 4 centuries!
This is especially valid for the old town area, which is also the city center of Kerkyra, as the locals call the city. The old town is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2007, and most of it is a pedestrian zone!
Besides the cultural attractions, keep in mind that the nightlife in Corfu Town is the best on the island! The streets are full of people, the stores are working until the little hours every summer night, and the bars are serving all night long.
2. Two fortresses
The Venetians ruled Corfu from late 14th century until 1797 and left behind two impressive fortresses, which are open for visitors.
The Old Venetian Fortress dates back from around 1545 and is located next to the famous Spianada Square. The New Fortress turned out to be just 30 years younger than the other one but kept “new” in its name anyways. It is right next to the old port. The city needed protection from the Ottoman Empire, thus these two fortifications were constructed.
Old fortress versus New fortress
Both fortresses provide amazing views over the city and the blue Ionian Sea, so don’t miss checking them out! If you must choose just one, visit the Old fortress. It is the popular choice among the visitors (I liked it better, too). It is also larger, and the Church of Saint George is within its territory.
The New Fortress, on the other hand, houses the Ceramics Museum and hosts events in the evenings.
Finally, you can have a coffee, meal or drinks at the café/bar/restaurant near the church. The view is beautiful and you will probably like to spend more time around.
3. Saint Spyridon Church
The most famous church in the whole island is St. Spyridon Church in the heart of the old town area. Built in the late 16th century, it has the highest bell tower around, one of the most recognizable symbols of the city. This old Greek Orthodox church keeps the relics of Saint Spyridon and is an absolute must-see.
There are two entrances, but no entrance fee. Don’t forget to dress properly and be quiet and respectful when visiting the church.
4. Achilleion palace
Achilleion is a palace built at the end of the 19th century for the Empress Elizabeth of Austria, or Sisi. After the tragic suicide of her only son, Sisi needed “a palace worthy of Achilles, who despised all mortals and did not fear even the gods.” The beautiful palace has wooden carved ceilings, a marvelous staircase and a large beautiful garden with the best view over Corfu Town and the island.
The Achilleion was the best and most interesting attraction on the island for me and my family. I was impressed with the design, the gardens, and the sculptures around. Luckily, Anna loved exploring the palace, too! Visiting Corfu with a child is a good idea! ; )
5. Vlacherna Monastery
Vlacherna Monastery is a small women’s monastery with typical Greek architecture. It was built in the 17th century and stands on its own island near the Corfu airport.
You can reach the monastery from a path leading to it. There is a parking lot nearby and it’s easy to get here following Google’s directions as we did. The walking is not much, and it was easy coming here with a toddler.
Inside the charming white building, you will find a small church and a larger souvenir shop. Like all of the other must-sees on this list, this charming monastery looks amazing on any picture!
What about the beaches?
Corfu has so many beautiful and unique beaches across the island! One can easily spend a whole summer exploring them! We managed to visit 3 super cool beaches during our 4-day stay.
So, ready to hit Corfu? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin