A few days on Corfu, the second-largest of the Ionian Islands located northwest of the mainland of Greece, just was not enough. It was my first visit to the lush, green island covered with olive, cypress and citrus trees. Let’s just say I was not disappointed. A walking tour of the Old Town of Corfu, a UNESCO heritage site, revealed the historical blend of Venetian, French and British influences. A few must-see sites:
The Old Fortress, which dates to Byzantine times and was strengthened by the Venetians in the 15th century to withstand Ottoman sieges
The New Fortress built later in the 15th century and adorned with the Lion of Saint Mark
The Palace of Saint Michael and Saint George, which now houses the only museum in Greece dedicated to Asian art
The church of Saint Spyridon, the city’s patron saint, which contains his miraculously preserved remains
The La Scuola Greca—the only synagogue on the island to survive WWII
Walking through the narrow, cobblestone alleyways, visitors can see many of the beautifully constructed churches, the enchanting squares, and the balconies where Corfiots toss large clay pots full of water during Easter celebrations.
Visitors can relax in one of the many outdoor cafes in the Liston or people-watch in the largest square in Greece, the Spianada. Be sure to save time to shop for local goods such as olive oil, nougat, olive wood utensils, leather goods, ceramic works, hand-woven lace and kumquat liqueur. If Corfu is not yet on your “wander” list, you can see why it’s worth the addition. Happy travels!