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Corfu (Kerkyra in Greek) is the capital of the likely named Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is a tourist attraction, not in the least because of the beautifully preserved historic center, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The architecture is influenced by the several oppressors the island has known. The Sicilians and the Venetians in particular have left their traces, but the French and the Brits as well. That mixture of styles gives Corfu Town a unique character.
The ancient town is wedged in between two forts, the old Venetian fort on the east side and the New Fort on the west side. Located in front of the old fort is the park (Spianada) that was landscaped during the French domination, but the Brits have left something as well: the north side of Spianada is a cricket field. Next to the cricket field you'll find the Palace of Sts Michael and George from 1824, constructed to house the British Commissioner. This neo classical building now accommodates the Museum for Asian Art. Initially the collection of this museum consisted of Chinese and Japanese items, including some precious vases, but now some artifacts from other Asian countries can be admired there too. Situated on the west side of the Spianada is the Liston, a magnificent example of French architecture and actually a little piece of Paris in Corfu. The terraced houses are now home to luxurious restaurants and cafes. At night the building is beautifully lit.
On the boulevard next to the water you can find the Archeological Museum. Despite being small, this museum gives a nice overview of the history of Corfu. The masterpiece is the pediment of the Temple of Artemis from 580 B.C. You can also view artifacts from the ancient town of Cassiopeia.
The Church of Antivouniotissa is no longer being used as such. It has been turned into a museum with a large collection of Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons that combined give an overview of over 500 years of religious art. The saint of the city, Saint Spyridon, has his own church, with the highest bell tower of the city, right behind the Liston.
Located south of the capital of Corfu is a small peninsula, Kanoni. Once upon a time this housed the first town of Corfu and some remnants remain. For the rest Kanoni is mostly occupied by luxury hotels. You do have a magnificent view of the bay, including the small island Pontikonisi (Mouse island).
More than 30 kilometers north of Corfu Town lies the village of Kassipoi. This fisherman's village is dominated by remnants of a Roman fort. Aside from that you can find quaint beaches nearby and of course delicious fish dishes in the taverns.
Situated on the west coast of Corfu is the monastery Moni Theotokou, surrounded by white walls that are completely overgrown by bougainville. This place has been housing a monastery since the thirteenth century, but the current building dates from the eighteenth century. In the convent hangs a beautiful painting of The Last Judgment. Surrounding the monastery is the tourist resort Paleokastritsa, which focuses mainly on divers.
It can be very hot during the summers on Corfu, and a dive in the sea can be truly refreshing. But the island boasts a fantastic waterpark as well, Aqualand. Next to several slides and water attractions there is a play castle and a video game hall. And if you're not up for recklessness: you can simply lie on the beach.
Benitses is a little town 12 kilometers south of Corfu Town. Several beaches skirt both sides of the centrally located harbor. Furthermore, there's a Shell Museum, where you can find a lot more than just shells, like shark teeth and fossils.
The streets of Corfu Town are very narrow and on top of that there's a lot of one way traffic streets. Therefore, it's difficult to find your way and there's not a lot of free parking spaces. Near the Spianada and the harbor there are parking lots, but they are - especially during the summer months - usually full. So leave your rental car at the hotel or on one of the parking lots in the newer part of Corfu Town.
Ioannis Kapodistrias International Airport is usually referred to as Corfu Airport. The airport is located about 3 kilometers from the city center. You can easily get to the airport from that city center with a rental car, the route towards the airport is clearly indicated on the road signs.