The city of Corfu or Kerkira is different from many other Greek cities. Its development is reminiscent of the fact that the Venetians ruled over it for many years before the British took control for another 50 years.
Kerkira, the capital of Corfu, is easily accessible by road. Almost all buses run to the capital. We, too, took a bus from the hotel and paid 1,70€ for a one-way ticket per person.
Our first stroll took us to the market, which takes place just below the New Fortress in the moat from Monday to Saturday (7-14 clock). You do not find the usual tourist knickknacks here; what is on offer is fresh: legumes, nuts and other food. A visit is worth it!
Then we went to the New Fortress (Néo Froúrio). It lies on a hill between the Old and the New Port. The name is somewhat confusing as the fortress was already built by the Venetians in the 16th century, but it is more recent than the old fortress.
The castle can be entered through long aisles. From the roof of the citadel you have a really great view over the city. When we were in Corfu, no entrance fee was charged for a visit of the fortifications. There was a small fee, however, for s separate exhibition in some of the rooms. We did not visit those at the time.
After visiting the New Fortress we went to the Old Fortress. It is located on the rocky peninsula to the east of the old town. The Byzantines and Venetians erected a fortress on the two hills, some 60 m high. Until the 16th century, Kerkira used to lay within the fortress walls. A monument of Count von der Schulenburg stands in front of the fortress. The officer, who was from Saxony, was in the service of the Venetians and successfully fought against the Turks in Corfu.
In front of the fortress facing away from the shore is a moat, the Contrafossa, a shelter. Today there are small boats and small huts on the shore. The fortress can be accessed over a bridge. Only the exterior walls remained in their original state. In the nineteenth century, the English have adapted the interior to their needs.
The visit is really worth it. The view from the platform of the lighthouse is beautiful. Also St. George’s Church , which is shaped after a Doric temple, is worth a visit.
The entrance fee to the fortress seems to vary. We paid 2, – € per person but I have also read of people having to pay 4€ per person.
Afterwards, we had a little stroll through the city centre past the church Ágios Spirídonas. It is dedicated to the patron saint of the island and is located in the middle of the old town. It houses the bones of Saint Spiridon, which are sought by many believers. Many candles are lit by passers-by in front of the church. The building that today is the Museum of Asian Art impressed us with its architectural style. The road took us on the esplanade. This square is the centre of all social and cultural life of the capital of Corfu and the meeting place for all age groups.
Further along the water, the walk took us to one of the most beautiful viewpoints of the city, a quay wall with a windmill. Not only a superb view of the city can be found here, it is also a great place for swimming. Many locals come here during their lunch break for sunbathing or a quick jump into the sea. A really nice spot for a break.
We found the last stop of our day trip to Kerkira only by chance when we passed an interesting looking entrance to a park. It’s great to have a tourist guide at hand. In ours, we found the hint: Mon Repos. It is a small castle in an unkempt, park-like garden. This was first a private residence of a British lord that was then handed over to the Greek royal house in 1864. Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, was born in this house in 1921. Today it is a museum, the whole park is overgrown. On hot days certainly a nice place to go for a walk. The visit to the park is free of charge, for the museum visitors pay an admission fee.