Greek Islands – Corfu
Although we had flown into Corfu, we literally just stayed the night there before taking the ferry to Albania, now we were returning from Albania and had a couple of nights here. It was March but the sky was clear and it was around 18°c.
After the ferry dropped us off we took a taxi to Mayor Mon Repos, our hotel. It’s a lovely hotel for the price, we even got a glass of champagne on arrival!
Once we had unpacked and settled down for a bit, off we went to explore. There’s a lovely old windmill right by the hotel, and beautiful beaches with the clearest water.
You can see Corfu fortress from the hotel, so we walked around the bay, trying to spot fish in the water and enjoying the little parks. It’s a beautiful walk and one I would definitely recommend.
Passing the Douglas column we walked up to the monument of Kapodistrias, the founder of the modern Greek state who was born here.
This leads to a gorgeous plaza, with restaurants, statues and a lovely green space. This plaza is right next to the Old Fortress, so we crossed the bridge and entered.
It was built by the Venetians in the early 15th century, who also created the sea channel, turning it into an artificial island. There’s a lot of history here, from the repulsion of 3 major Ottoman sieges, to the Italian siege of Corfu and it was even used in the James Bond film, ‘For Your Eyes Only’.
It’s an amazing place, built on two extremely steep hills, you’re free to wander at your own leisure after paying 6E. There’s not too much remaining but the views are incredible.
Unfortunately you can’t make your way to the top of the hills but there are enough ruins to explore around the main fortress.
From here we headed over to Faliraki, a little peninsula with a cool view of the Old Fortress. The museum of Asian Art is also here, which is a beautiful old building.
We spent the rest of the day walking around the old town, it’s full of little squares and pretty streets. After stopping for a pint of Mythos, the locally brewed beer, we found our way to Corfu’s new fortress.
I think by the time we got there it had closed, as it’s only open until 15:30pm. So we walked back through the lovely streets of the old town to the hotel, where we enjoyed a bottle of Albanian wine we had brought back with us as we watched the sun set.
Dinner was amazing, we walked over the street to Nautilus, where we ate the most amazing seafood platter. The venue is lovely, right on the water with the lights of Corfu across the bay.
The next day I woke up early, and looking out from the balcony, was rewarded for it! The sunrise from the mainland was incredible.
Today we decided to head South, towards Vlacherna Monastery. Google maps said it would only take about 30 minutes but there were a few places along the way we could stop at.
The weather was beautiful as we wandered off, our first stop was Mon Repos palace. Prince Phillip was born here before his family was exiled from Greece.
The palace isn’t actually too big, but the park leading up to it is stunning. With a terrace overlooking the Ionian sea.
Walking along the street, I did my usual trick of using Google maps to find interesting places. That’s how we found ourselves at the monastery of St Theodore and the Temple of Artemis.
The monastery is one of the oldest on the Island, with part of the building from the 5th century. The temple of Artemis ruins date all the way back to 580BC!
Finally we reached the Vlacherna Monastery. It was so beautiful on it’s own little island. The only way to reach it is across the man made pier, but you can wander around at your leisure, there’s even a few nice cafes with outdoor seating here.
The best surprise however was the plane spotting viewpoint! It was a lot of fun standing out on the stone wall with planes flying soooo close. A great photo opportunity too!
There’s also a beach here, it was a little too cold for more than a paddle in March but I’m sure in summer it would be amazing.
After all the walking it was time for a beer, so we trekked up the hill to Kanoni Cafe. The views from here are outstanding!
Instead of walking back we took the bus, it was really easy, picking us up right by the monastery car park and taking us all the way to the Old Town.
From here we just did some more exploring, finding great views of the imposing New Fortress and lovely little stone streets. Obviously we stopped for gelato and another beer.
It was time to head back after an awesome adventure over the last few days. Corfu surprised me as I always had it down as a package holiday type place, but it has so much more to offer.