CORFU ISLAND | GREEK ISLANDS | IONIAN
TOUR OF SOUTH-WESTERN CORFU
Agios Mattheos | Fort Gardiki | Lake Korission | Argyrades
A trip which will take you up hill and down dale to villages with local colour and splendid beaches for an opportunity to get away from the crowds.
A village built as an amphitheatre in the foothills of Mt Gamilios or Prassoudi. At the top of the hill there is the 4th c. monastery of Christos Pantokrator and a Paleolithic cave in which were discovered the bones of large prehistoric animals, tools and fossilized foods of Paleolithic man of 30,000 BC. A good beach of the same name is nearby.
FROURIO GARDIKIOU – FORT GARDIKI
3 km from Agios Mattheos. Although not large, it was one of the mightier strongholds of the SW part of the island in medieval days. Octagonal, with eight towers and three gates. You’ll see the imposing central gateway, the ruins of six of the towers and remnants of the ramparts.
LIMNI KORISSION LAKE KORISSION
A route worth taking for its varying landscapes, from the dense vegetation in the north to the sand dunes of this lake and fine views south. It is a long narrow lagoon extending over 6,000 acres. A little wooden bridge at the outlet to the sea leads to a wood with rare plants such as white lilies and 14 species of orchid.
A chief village on a hill, with Venetian architecture at the higher part and the pleasant beaches Agios Georgios and Issos below.
TOUR OF SOUTH-EASTERN CORFU
Achilleio | Benitses | Messongi | Chlomos
In this southern area of Corfu, Benitses, Messongi, and Kavos in particular, there has recently been a surge of mass tourism, a pity because it is full of the most lovely olive groves and spots of natural beauty.
The palace, renovated a short time ago, was built in the last century (1891) for the empress Elizabeth of Austria-Hungary. The ravishing and melancholy Sissy, whose turbulent life and tragic end inspired novelists and film makers, could find in the Achilleion the peace she craved. She was assassinated in Geneva in 1898 by an Italian anarchist, whereupon the palace was bought by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany as a holiday home where he stayed from 1908 to 1914. It is a very grand building with formal gardens, Renaissance statues, works of art, verandas, ponds and fountains which will bring to mind scenes from the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only. Note the statue of the Dying Achilles by the German sculptor E. Herter and also the well-known oil by the Austrian painter F. Matz, the Triumph of Achilles. Today the palace is a museum of the personal belongings of the Empress and the Kaiser.
Once a retreat for the select few, nowadays the crowded beach, water sports and nightclubs have turned it into a paradise for organized tourism. By the main road there are the ruins of the baths of a 3rd c. Roman villa and also the Kaiser’s bridge, built for him as his private pier.
MESSONGI | AGIOS DIMITRIOS | CHLOMOS | PETRITI | MESSONGI
A route with a spectacular vista of olive trees and the village of Kato Spileo. See the pretty village of Agios Dimitrios on the edge of the cliff and go on to Chlomos. Leave the car in the square and stroll in this traditional southern Corfiot village. The view from the church of the Taxiarches is splendid. From there you will get to the attractive fishing village Petriti and back again to Messongi on a narrow road between the coast and the wooded slopes. On the way you will see the hamlet Boukari which has a nice taverna.