Kerkira, Nisos Kerkira (Corfu), Greece
The Best of Corfu (A Small-Group Tour)
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Approximately 7½ Hours
Corfu is a wonderful blend of natural beauty, traditional villages and archaeological sites.
Traveling by motor coach, you will pass olive, lemon, orange and cypress groves, and an old fortress, en route to the Paleokastritsa area.
Visit Achillion Palace -- a neo-Classical palace designed and built for Empress Elisabeth of Austria. Tour the palace and stroll in the formal Italian garden with its trees and statuary. After the Empress' assassination in 1898, Kaiser Wilhelm II owned the palace.
At the Monastery of the Virgin Mary, you find gleaming whitewashed walls and a chapel with a fine collection of icons and religious paintings. The monastery, inhabited by monks, was founded in 1288 but the present-day complex was erected in the 18th century and offers unrivaled views of the area. Lemon trees and a carefully tended flower garden adorn the grounds.
Take photos from the Kanoni Viewpoint, whose name derives from the original gun placed here in 1810 by the French -- the twin islets of Vlachernae and Mouse dominate the view.
A leading venue is the setting for your lunch of local delicacies accompanied by wine.
Corfu's Old Town, best seen on foot, is a blend of medieval and modern. The old and new fortresses still bear the insignia of the Venetian Republic.
View the Esplanade, planted with palms and eucalyptus by the French, see the English cricket pitch, and the Palace of St Michael & St George -- once home to Corfu's British rulers. Wander along the narrow streets and through small plazas to the Church of St Spyridon, with its distinctive bell tower. It is dedicated to the Patron Saint of the island.
Enjoy some free time to explore on your own.
Wear comfortable walking shoes. Modest attire is required for visiting the monastery; knees, shoulders and midriffs must be covered; shorts are not allowed. Flash photography is not permitted inside the church at the monastery. Anticipate a few steps at Achillion Palace, and two staircases without handrails in the gardens. The Old Town of Corfu features level terrain and streets. Use of an audio headset (included) will enhance your tour experience.