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Κυριακή, 13 Ιανουαρίου 2013

Holidays in Corfu and Beaches of Corfu

Corfu (Greek: Κέρκυρα, Kerkyra. Ancient Greek: Κέρκυρα or Κόρκυρα. Latin: Corcyra. Italian:Corfù) is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands. It's northern part lies off the coast of Sarande, Albania, from which it is separated by straits varying in breadth from 3 to 23 km (3 to 18 miles), including one near ancient Butrint, while its southern part lies off the coast of Thesprotia, Greece. The island is part of the Corfu Prefecture and includes twelve of the sixteen municipalities or communes in the prefecture and communities of Ereikoussa, Mathraki, Othonoi, and Municipality of Paxoi, which are all separate islands.
The principal town of the island is also named Corfu, or Kerkyra in Greek, as is its municipality. Corfuis home to the Ionian University.
The island is connected to the history of Greece from the beginning of Greek mythology. Its Greek name, Kerkyra or Korkyra, is related to two powerful water symbols: Poseidon, god of the sea, and Asopos, an important Greek mainland river. According to myth, Poseidon fell in love with the beautiful nymph Korkyra, daughter of Asopus and river nymph Metope, and abducted her, as was the custom among gods of the era's myths. Zeus was a serial offender. Poseidon brought Metope to the hitherto unnamed island and, in marital bliss, offered her name to the place: Korkyra, which gradually evolved to Kerkyra (Doric). Together, they had a child they called Phaiax, after whom the inhabitants of the islandwere named: Phaiakes. This term was transliterated via Latin to Phaeacians. The island's history is laden with battles and conquests, indicative of Corfu's turbulent position in a historical vortex lasting until the modern period.
Unification with modern Greece from 1864 made the island's history one with that of the mainland, with no further foreign intervention. The legacy of these struggles is visible in the form of castles punctuating strategic locations across the island. Two of these castles enclose its capital, which is the only city in Greece to be surrounded in such a way. As a result, Corfu's capital has been officially declared a Kastropolis (Castle city) by the Greek Government.

Corfu Geography

The name Corfu is an Italian corruption of the Byzantine Κορυφώ (Koryphō), meaning "city of the peaks", which is derived from the Greek Κορυφαί (Koryphai) (crests or peaks), denoting the two peaks of Palaio Frourio. In shape it is like the sickle (drepanē, δρεπάνι), to which it was compared by the ancients: the concave side, with the town and harbour of Corfu in the centre, lies toward the Albanian coast. With the island's area estimated at 588 km² (227 square miles), it runs approximately 64 km (40 miles) long, with greatest breadth at around 32 km (20 miles).
Two high and well-defined ranges divide the island into three districts, of which the northern is mountainous, the central undulating, and the southern low-lying. The more important of the two ranges is that of Pantokrator (Παντοκράτωρ), the ancient Istone, which stretches east and west from Cape Falacro to Cape Psaromita, and attains its greatest elevation in the summit from which it takes its name.

The second culminates in the mountain of Santi Jeca, or Santa Decca, as it is called by misinterpretation of the Greek designation Άγιοι Δέκα (Hagioi Deka), or the Ten Saints. The whole island, composed as it is of various limestone formations, presents great diversity of surface, and views from more elevated spots are magnificent. Beaches are found in Agios Gordis, the Korission lagoon, Agios Georgios, Marathia,Kassiopi, Sidari, Palaiokastritsa and many others. Corfu is located near the Kefalonia geological fault formation; earthquakes have occurred.Corfu town and countryside have not lost the traditional architecture from the 16th century.
Corfu's coastline spans 217 km (135 miles) including capes, its highest point is Mount Pantokrator 906 m (2,972 ft), and the second Stravoskiadi, at 849 m (2,785 ft). The full extent of capes and promentories take in Agia Aikaterini, Drastis to the north, Lefkimmi and Asprokavos to the southeast, and Megachoro to the south. Two islands are also to be found at a middle point of Gouvia and Corfu Bay, which extends across much of the eastern shore of the island, are known as Lazareto and Ptychia (or Vido). Camping areas can be found in Palaiokastritsa, Agrillia, with four in the northern part, Pyrgi, Roda, Gouvia and Messonghi.

Corfu Sights

Achilleion: (Greek: Αχίλλειον) is a palace built in Corfu by Empress of Austria Elisabeth of Bavaria, also known as Sissi after a suggestion by Austrian Consul Alexander von Watzberg. Sissi was a woman obsessed with beauty and very powerful but tragically vulnerable since the loss of her only son, Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria in the Mayerling affair in 1889. A year later in 1890 she built a summer palace in the region of Gastouri (Γαστούρι), now the municipality of Achilleion, about ten kilometres to the south of the city of Corfu. The palace was designed with the mythical hero Achilles as its central theme.

Kynopiastes: A traditional village of the Messi Region of Corfu and only 10 km away from Corfu town and airport, which is a must visit.
Old mansions of the 17th to 19th centuries, a marble church, a 17th century monastery and a museum (and the only one on the island) devoted to the olive tree with one of the world famous restaurants on the island tavern « Trypas », which has hosted Kings ike the Kings of Greece and England, Presidents of Countries like Konstantinos Karamanlis (Greece) and Francois Mitterrand (France), stars of the European and American cinema and music, like Jane Fonda, Anthony Quinn etc.
The narrow tiled paths invite you to walk on them, looking at the small squares and at the houses which preserve the traditional colors.
The main church is devoted to the Virgin Mary and it is in the central square. It is a traditional church with unique architecture and an impressive marble entrance. Inside, there are frescoes of the 18th century Ionian School of Painting.
At the edge of the village there is the monastery of Agia Paraskevi, built in the 17th century.

Lakones: A typical Corfiot village on the slope of a green hill. You should go for a walk to Bella Vista to admire the view over the bay of Paleokastritsa and relax in one of the picturesque coffee shops.
If you like trekking there is a path leading down to Paleokastritsa.
The surnames of the inhabitants of the region refer to the soldiers who supported Angelokastro in the late Byzantine period, as well as to refugees from Mani.
Among the houses of the 18th and 19th centuries you will find churches and traditional coffee shops. At the central church you will see Activitiesnations of the first emigrants to America of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Nymphes: A big village with a lot of water, green and legends built on a height of 200 meters. According to a legend, in old times, the Nymphsused to bathe in the village’s waterfalls.
A walk to the wells and the waterfalls is enough to make you understand why this legend exists ! It is almost certain that you will come across anymph, too and if you are lucky, you will see her bathe in the water especially in spring.
After your walk to the myths, it is a good idea to visit the premises of the Agriculture Co-operative which elaborates kum-kuat and produces liquor and sweets. You will be offered some for free and you will have the chance to try the different liquor qualities (and of course, buy some, if you like).
Just outside the village, you can visit Askitario, a small but historic monastery. According to tradition, here lived in the 5th century the monk Artemios Paissios from Epirus, who is said to have worked many wonders.

Roda: Visit the village resort of Roda on Corfu's northern coast. Traditionally a fishing village, the area has retained its chararcter while developing in to a popular destination for holidays. Unique in the sense that the old village still exists at the heart of the resort, locals mix with the different nationalities who visit time and time again. Roda is a contained resort, without the typical sprawl. There is plenty of accommodation, bars, restaurants which offer a wide range of menus, typical Greek and Corfiot dishes, Italian, Chinese and others. Roda is a relaxed resort but has a good nightlife, with nice bands, singers and comedy shows as well as the ever popular kareoke. If you want a laid back holiday, thenRoda is the place, with quiet corners and a beautiful sandy beach, Roda offers something for everyone.

Corfu Beaches

There is a good variety of beaches on Corfu. On the West side of the island, the beaches are sandier while the East tends to have calmer waters.
Sidari: A fair sized resort dominated by British tourists. At one end of the beach is the "Kanal de l'Amour": sand stone cliffs with narrow inlets, a natural archway and small paths to explore.
Dasia and Ypsos: A narrow stony beach with relatively calm waters. The resort runs along the road so there's a good variety of shops and tavernas.
Kassiopi: One of the more relaxed and atmospheric resorts with a pretty bay and beach that is mostly stony. The waters are crystal clear and calm. Somewhat spoilt by the prevalence of tacky tourist bars/cafes catering to the many English tourists that crowd the town.
Glifada: A long wide sandy beach with fairly rough waters. The resort is somewhat isolated.
Pelekas beach: Even more isolated than Glifada. Also a nice sandy beach.
Lefkimmi beach: A wide long sandy beach that is quiet due to being in the less busy South. There's a practical taverna with a children's playground. The waters are extremely calm and very shallow, even out for quite some distance.
Barbati beach: Crystal clear!
Chalikounas beach: A very long, virgin stretch of land, caught between Chalikiopoulos' Lake and the Adriatic sea. The natural landscape here is unique, it is a great place to get away from the world and just enjoy both sea and sun.
Issos beach: Next to Chalikounas, again on the southwest of Corfu, this beach has a desert motive, because of the high sand hills right next to the seashore. Bring your bike and enjoy the terrain, or just enjoy the panoramic view from high above.
Prasoudi beach: High cliffs hang over your head, clean waters and a mix of sand and pebbles. A remote beach that will not leave you unsatisfied.
Messonghi beach: Gentle current, ideal for children, clean water with sand and pebbles and plenty of little fish.

Corfu Nightlife

Being the picturesque tourist destination that it is due to its natural endowment and to its modern infrastructures, Corfu also has quite a reputation in terms of a sparkling nightlife enabled by the countless bars, clubs and pubs livening up the beaches and the coastline roads which cross the entireisland. However, there are several nightlife hubs on the island which closely delineate the idea of literally never ending fun. Nighttime distractions are made possible only in view of complementing the rather cannier daytime activities. Thus, Kavos, Roda, Ypsos and Dassia are the main resorts excelling with respect to keeping their visitors up all night, whereas some consider that Corfu Town, despite being the capital of the island, does not feature as many nightlife opportunities as other resorts. Others, on the other hand, believe the contrary.
When it comes to partying all night, Ypsos is, by far, the most dynamic place to be in Corfu. There are four noteworthy venues in Ypsos, namely, Lumberjack’s, The Old Tree and B52, as well as The Temple Bar (or TTB) which enable dazzling tons of fun. Located in the center ofYpsos, B52 is popular with tourists for its thematic weekly musical events often turned into beach parties lasting until dawn. This is a venue which manages to overshadow many of its counterparts on the island. Another outstanding bar in Ypsos refers to Lumberjack’s, where the atmosphere is hardly matched by other nightlife venues. Excellent cocktails and exquisite drinks enhance the feeling of good one can get in the company of their friends or of yet to be friends, everybody blending into an irresistible stream of energy fed by both the lack of inhibition and by the throbbing music. TTB is a beachfront venue with serves meal by day and turns into an excellent bar at night. Its clients can very well claim the venue services all their party expectations. The Old Tree enables just as much fun, but this particular bar stands out by its cosmopolitan dash and by its ability to gain its clients loyalty pretty fast. Angelos Bar is the main hotspot of Kassiopi in terms of nightlife. The atmosphere it generates is owned to the welcoming staff and to the thematic musical nights it organizes regularly. The finest selection of drinks is made available only to suit all tastes and whims, which is why tourists should not lose the opportunity of visiting the bar if in Kassiopi.
Corfu Nightclubs: In terms of nightclubs, The Venue is a remarkable presence right into the very heart of Kavos. Finding the club should not become an issue, since it is located on the main street of the town and, in all cases, its location is signaled by the impressive queue of people wanting to gain access to the club. Edem, on the other hand, is highly popular with extreme clubbers. It is located in Dassia and it should not be overlooked by those who want to experience the utmost crazy manifestation possible on the island of Corfu. Corfu Town, at its turn, features some interesting and inviting clubs. These refer to Ekati and Esperides (both Greek style venues), as well as to Corfu by Night, places which excel buy both the atmosphere they yield and by their price policy. But the nightspots picture of Corfu Town is vast enough as to comprise a series of other venues, such as Hook, Base, Cristal, Elxis, Privilege or Au Bar.

Kerkyra City Town 

Corfu Town - Faliraki
Corfu town - Faliraki
kerkyra Town faliraki 
Corfu town - Faliraki
Corfu town - NAOK
Corfu Sailing Club
Corfu Sailing Club 
(NE) Gouvia
(NE) Dassia
(NE) Ipsos
(NE) Barbati
(NE) Agni
(NE) Kouloura-Kalami
(NE) Ag.Stefanos Sinion
Agios Stefano
(NE) Apraos
(N) Armyros
(N) Acharavi
(N) Sidari
(N) Sidari
(NW) Peroulades-Loggas
(NW) Arillas
(NW) Ag.Georgios Pagon
Agios Georgios Pagon
(NW) Paleokastritsa
(NW) Paleokastritsa
(NW) Liapades
(NW) Ermones
(W) Myrtiotissa
(W) Glyfada
(W) Kontoyalos
(W) Ag.Gordis
Agios Gordis
(SE) Perama

Beaches of Corfu

The most popular beaches in Corfu are those along the western coastline. The eastern beaches are the most developed, with hotels, bars and all kinds of facilities. The northern shores vary, both in natural beauty and their tourist profile. From Sidari to Ag.Georgios Pagon there are endless stretches of sand and many resorts. Paleokastritsa is a landscape of unique natural beauty. The beaches in southern Corfu are the most quiet, perfect for those who like a more natural setting, away from the crowds.
Corfu Town:
Faliraki – Mon Repos – Corfu Sailing Club - NAOK.
North East Coast:
Gouvia – Dassia – Ipsos – Barbati – Nissaki – Agni – Kalami – Kouloura - Ag.Stefanos Sinion – Kerassia – Avlaki – Kassiopi – Imerolia – Apraos - Ag.Spyridon.
North Coast:
Armyros – Acharavi – Roda – Sidari.
North West Coast:
Peroulades|Loggas – Ag.Stefanos Avlioton – Arillas – Ag.Georgios Pagon – Paleokastritsa – Liapades – Ermones – Myrtiotissa – Glyfada – Kontogialos – Ag.Gordios.
South East Coast:
Perama – Benitses - Ag.Ioannis Peristeron – Moraitika – Messongui – Boukari – Petriti – Kavos.
South West Coast:
Paramonas – Chalikounas – Issos – Ag.Georgios Argyradon – Ag.Gordios (south).

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