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Top landmarks of Corfu are numerous and intriguing. With so much history on its shoulders, it has a lot to show for. Being the target on endless conquests and sieges, each period of history has left its permanent mark on the island of Corfu. It is these sites that aggregately make our island such a thrilling place to be. That, and so much more. Beautiful, verdant landscapes and stunning beaches are also plentiful to admire. Therefore, if you are visiting the undoubtedly enchanting homeland of our Mayor Hotels, here are just some of the top landmarks you may want to check out, split into 5 categories for your convenience.
1) Castles of Corfu
Two of the most impressive castles on the island of Corfu are the Angelokastro and Gardiki castles. The former, Angelokastro, dating back to the Byzantine era in the 1200’s, is an incredibly fortified castle built on the highest peak of the island’s north western coast. It is a bit of a trek to get to the top, however, the views from the top will compensate you, as it enjoys a most unique vantage point due to its premium location.
The latter, Gardiki castle, is the only surviving castle on the southern part of Corfu. Built in the Byzantine area too, together with Angelokastro and a third castle, Kassiopi, form a triangle that safeguarded the island against attacks from the sea. It used to be a ferocious strong hold, with a large perimeter wall and 8 towers, and even a chapel within the structure. It is not preserved very well, but its ruins make for an impressionable tale.
2) Historical monuments
In the heart of the town’s capital, the Liston of Corfu belongs to 7 similar constructions around Europe. Built in 1807 by the French imperial commissioner at the time, it is a perfect example of Napoleonic architecture. It still stands proudly today, as one of Corfu town’s most popular attractions and a hub of social activity, day or night.
One of the less known ones is perhaps the Venetian Arsenal which was used a shipyard on the island of Corfu. Found on the northern part of Corfu, the arsenal was built around 1720, it was used by the Venetians to dock their ships, and it remains quite intact after all these years, as the berths and arches are still in place, albeit missing the roof.
3) Religious landmarks
Vlacherna Monastery and Pontikonisi or Mouse island, are all located south of Corfu Town, on the entrance to a bay in an area known as Kanoni. Vlacherna Monastery is built on a small islet which is connected to the mainland by a narrow walkway. It is one of the most photographed spots on the island!
Pontikonisi which lies in the background of Vlacherna Monastery, is a stand alone, incredibly green satellite islent, with the Byzantine chapel of Pantokrator. The ancient church is not so prominent, as it is almost entirely surrounded by trees. You cannot easily discern it from away, so if you really want to get a good look, you can reach it within 5 minutes by boat.
Vlacherna Monastery and Pontikonisi in the background
4) Cultural points of interest
Achilleion Palace was curated to fit Elisabeth of Austria’s desire: “...a palace protected from prying glances - a palace worthy of Achilles, who despised all mortals and did not fear even the gods." It is a place that fully embodies platonic romanticism, mythology and escapism, making it one of the unmissable, top landmarks of Corfu!
The villa of Mon Repos is another admirable building, after which Mayor Mon Repos Palace Art Hotel has been named and displays selected 18th century antiques. The original was used as a summer residence but only rarely, and still remains in a very good condition. Found just south of the centre of Corfu town, visiting it will definitely be a highlight during your stay.
Mon Repos villa
5) Natural sites
Last but not least, the natural beauty of Corfu is also an important element of its attraction. There are a handful of places boasting incredible surroundings such the toppling, evergreen cliffs that plunge down to the sea in Agios Gordios where Mayor La Grotta Verde Grand Resort is primely located.
As for staggering, panoramic views that cover almost the entire island, Pantokratoras peak at the northern part of Corfu, is where you can admire the vast green landscapes of the island, all the way down to the sea. Kaiser’s Throne is another such location, found at the top of Pelekas village, near Mayor Pelekas Monastery. It was used by the Emperor himself whenever he wished to escape his routine and admire the wonderful place that is Corfu.
View from Pantokratoras peak
Kaiser's Throne in Pelekas
Of course the landmarks of Corfu are many, many more. Spending a week in Corfu as a minimum is the best way to combine some relaxation time with a bit of exploration, in order to fully immerse into the amazing experiences our island has to offer.