It may have had a volatile past, but today Corfu enjoys its status as a Castle City (kastropolis); influences of the various nations that at one time ruled the island evident in its architecture, culture and heritage. Over the centuries, nations have battled for control over Corfu, from the Turks and Venetians to the British and Byzantines. A Venetian fortress, Byzantine churches and even a cricket pitch, courtesy of the British, can all be found on this island, whose old city has been designated a World Heritage Site.
Most visitors will spend some time in the old city with its pastel multi-story houses, Venetian-style alleyways and town squares. A further highlight is the Achilleion Palace, built by the Empress Elizabeth of Austria in 1891, offering spectacular panoramic views of the Ionian Sea. If you have some spare time, see Nymphes, a village located 200m above sea level and the site where legend has it nymphs were said to have bathed in its waterfalls. Visit Angelókastro, a ruined castle that was once used as a watchpoint to survey the Adriatic. Climb up to the summit with its little chapel and rock-cut tombs and enjoy the panoramic views. Head to one of the old town’s traditional restaurants for the typical Corfiot dish sofrito, sliced veal cooked with vinegar, garlic and parsley, washed down with a little ouza. Opa!