Corfu, Northern Greece
Corfu in Northern Greece is a very popular tourist destination. In the past it was popular with the European elite (emperor Wilhelm II of Germany, Elisabeth of Austria). Today it's a prime tourist destination for everyone who searches for a good beach holiday. The elite however have not dismissed Corfu, the Rothchild family, for example, still have a home in the north east of the island.
It was not my first choice to visit in Greece but it turned out to be a really nice week spending here. I had come from Brindisi, Italy by boat. The reason I had to stay at Corfu was simple: I was waiting for some bicycle supplies that would be send from Holland, see this page for that story.
I found a camping near a beach not too far from the jetty. From here I was able to explore Corfu.
I felt lucky not to stay at the typical busy (and expensive) beaches on the west side of the island. I felt the old town of Corfu was nice to spend some time. The old Fort was another great place to spend my time.
Despite Corfu's reputation as a hide out for young travelers to get drunk, Corfu turned out to be surprisingly interesting.
There are a couple of really cool loops to cycle across the island with Corfu city as a starting point. The old city is since 2007 UNESCO World Heritage City and worth exploring.
The museum shows much of the glorious past of the island. Places to visit in the old town are: the old citadel (Palaio Frourio), new citadel or Neo Frourio, Ano and Kato Plateia and the music pavilion, The Achilleion, Kaiser's Bridge, Palaia Anaktora and the beautiful garden are a must see. The old city offers a lot of Venetian influence architecture.
The history of Corfu goes much further back than the Renaissance. In Antiquity the island was already an important trading center. Remains of the past can be found at Corcyra, several km south west of the modern city Corfu.
If you are cycling and you brought your camping gear, you will many campings north of Corfu city. Many of the cheaper options can be found in the Corfu city center but along the beaches there are many more upmarket hotels. Check Tripadvisor or Agoda.com for your favorite hotel.
On recommendation I went to eat at Jeni's Mediterranean Moments Cafe which turned out to be a very good value for the money. During the week I spend at Corfu I ate here several times. Reason? Simple. Good budget food, great service and a nice place to keep hanging out for a bit longer in the evening.
I came by ferry from Brindisi in Italy, the most southern ferry available to Corfu. There are further ferries from Ancona, Bari and Venice in Italy.
Other ferries include Patras and Igoumenitsa in Greece and Saranda in Albania.
Brindisi is about 7 hours sailing, while Igoumenitsa on the mainland is your entry point if you want to cycle to for example Meteora, a nice 2 days bike ride.
Otherwise, you might want to fly in. The airport is located a few km south of Corfu town and is connected to many European cities as London, Paris, Rome and Amsterdam. You can also catch flights to for example Athens.
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One of the spectacular sights of Northern Greece is Meteora, a series of cliffs on which monasteries are build. This is a wonderful place to visit.
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The old ruined city of Corinth is worth your attention. It's not because there is a lot of great buildings left but it's because there is a very long, 8000 years piece of human history left. And the remains are still impressive.
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