The island was not occupied by the Turks. There are also more than 400 years of Venetians occupation (to be precise 411 years 11 months and 11 days), leaving a huge imprint on the architecture (the old town and the fortress), culture as well as in habits, cuisine and local language. Corfu Old Town was listed in the monuments and added to the cultural heritage of UNESCO.
The British were also historically “protectors” of the island. Among their prominent heritage are certain architectural works such as the Palace of Saints Michael and George. It was built from Maltese stone, in a neoclassical style with a Doric colonnade, and is an impressive building both inside and outside, passing the aristocratic spirit inherent in Britain. The Liston, the most recognizable place in Corfu was built by the French. Two houses with arches, reminiscent of the Rue de Rivoli in Paris were built by architect Mathieu de Lesseps, father of the builder of the Suez Canal. Also honored on the island is Admiral Ushakov, who arrived here in March 1799 and liberated the island from the French, returning its independence.
Corfu was the capital of the Republic of the Ionian Islands. Corfu was a pioneer in many things in the territory of modern Greece. The first academy, the first bank, the first printing press, the first public library, the first Mint, the first casino and many more more institutions were first established on the island. Even the first prison, home for the mentally ill, as well as the first Masonic lodge in Greece were created here in Corfu. Corfu has historically been as a tourist destination for Europe’s elite.
Corfu boasts many estates which were owned by the Greek family, among the most known – the summer palace of Mon Repos. It was in this palace, when on June 10, 1921 Prince Philip was born, Duke of Edinburgh – husband of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the father of Charles, Prince of Wales. It is impossible not to mention the famous “Achillion” – Elisabeth of Austria (Sisi) Palace, later owned by the Kaiser of Germany. The first governor of independent Greece, and before that 2Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Empire – Ioannis Kapodistrias was born in Corfu. Dionysios Solomos, lyricist of the national anthem of Greece as well as composer of the Olympic anthem Spyros Samaras, were also born in Corfu.
The island meets all modern needs of visitors who come to the island temporarily or permanently.
First of all the infrastructure of the island should be noted.
- International Airport. From May to October inclusive – there are flights to all major European cities. In particularly London flights are operated from March to November. Naturally there is year-round, daily connections with Athens (flight time 45 minutes), from where you can fly all over the world.
- Port. From the port of the island, most often in the summer, there is a connection to the following ports of Italy: Venice, Bari, Brindisi, Ancona. All -year round connections to mainland Greece operate every 1.5 hours. Also, the port of the island receives one of the largest amounts of cruise ship visitors, often outnumbering half a million annually.
Just as important is the opportunity for everyone to find something to do such as hobbies and other activities:
- Golf. 18 holes.
- A variety of sea sports: kite-surfing, scuba diving, water skiing among others with appropriate schools.
- Yacht and sailing. Corfu is the largest in terms of capacity marina in Greece. It holds up to 1,200 vessels, regardless of size. There is also a skippers and sailing school.
- Cricket Club. As a legacy of the British Empire…
- Water park.
- Horse Riding. There is a riding school, as well as one-off horse-riding sessions.
- Fans can try their luck at the casino. For others, there is also a bridge club.
- Nightlife, clubs, entertainment. Corfu nightlife is diverse and there are opportunities for all ages. In places such as Kavos, Ipsos, Sidari the youth, especially in the summer months, calm and disperse after sunrise having experienced all kinds of entertainment… There are also day and beach bars situated on the beaches, some of which attract over a thousand visitors per day!