Corfu Town holiday guide
However you approach Corfu Town, it hits you between the eyes with its fusion of Greek, Venetian, French, and British architecture, its colossal castles, and its twin ports—the Old Port busy with leisure craft, the New Port full of ferries and cruise ships. It is a tourist hotspot, sure, but on Corfu holidays the underlying currents of Greek life still flow strong: people riding buses out to the villages, a priest and his wife taking coffee, children climbing trees on the Esplanade, and people of all ages swimming off the town’s tiny beach.
You do not really visit Corfu Town for its beaches. However, if all the sightseeing gets you hot and bothered, walk south above the sea from the Esplanade and you will find a small sandy beach. The water is clear, and will cool you down and freshen you up.
Things to do in Corfu Town
Pride of place in Corfu Town goes to the Old Castle, with its Byzantine collection, music department, and clock tower. Within the castle stands the Doric-style Church of St. George, where the Duke of Edinburgh was christened; cannon-barrels lie scattered around and the views are outstanding. In the Archaeological Museumyou cannot miss the Gorgon frieze, a temple-pediment carving of a Gorgon being attacked by panthers—it takes up a whole room. On the Esplanade, kids drive little electric cars, and families enjoy effortless sightseeing on a tourist road-train or horse-drawn carriage.
Eating and drinking
Corfu Town’s restaurants—Greek, Italian, and a fusion of the two—offer everything from moussaka to spaghetti bolognese, souvlakia to steak and chips, along with delightful settings in which to enjoy them. The Liston, overlooking the Esplanade, boasts a range of sophisticated and lively restaurants. Some of the tavernas along Areseniou, overlooking Faliraki and the Old Port, have impressive views, and the Old Town offers everything from intimate bistros to busy burger joints.
Navigate the alleys of Old Corfu Town, around the red onion-dome of Agios Spiridon church (a useful landmark if you get lost), to hunt down carved olive wood, jewellery, embroidery, ceramics, and worked leather. Komboli (worry beads) make an attractive and very Greek gift, with prices ranging from a couple of euros to a king's ransom. And you can't miss the vivid golden splash of shops that sell kumquat products—liqueurs, conserves, and dried fruit.