With the passage of time the island may have changed, but we can still feel the spirit of a distant glorious past.
Its rich multicultural heritage, its historic monuments, its stunning natural landscape, its crystal clear seas, and its excellent weather all year round explain why Corfu is one of the most cosmopolitan Mediterranean destinations weaving a powerful spell on its visitors.
Corfu (Kerkyra in Greek), unlike the rest of Greece, never fell under the Ottoman oppression. Due to the successive dominations of the Venetians, the French, and the British over the centuries, the island has primarily become part of the Western rather of the Levantine world. Their culture wielded strong influence in the city: it was here that the first Greek University (the Ionian Academy), the first Philharmonic Orchestra and the First School of Fine Arts were founded.
In the beautifully preserved Old Town of Corfu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical “repertoire” came to be successfully applied to local artistic traditions. Palaces, fortresses, austere public buildings of the Venetian rule uniquely blend with lines of drying washing in tiny alleyways and small secluded squares. Strolling through a complex of narrow cobbled streets with stairways and vaulted passages, the so-called “kantounia”, will make you feel as if you’ve travelled to Genoa or Naples.
Corfu Old Town:
The historic center of Corfu Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a relatively flat terrain and accessible pathways. Visitors can wander through the narrow streets, admire the charming Venetian architecture, and explore attractions such as the Old Fortress and Liston Square. The pathways in the Old Town are generally wide enough to accommodate wheelchair users, making it easier to navigate and enjoy the atmosphere.
Built in the 19th century, Achilleion Palace offers wheelchair accessibility with ramps and elevators, allowing visitors with mobility challenges to explore the palace and its stunning gardens. The palace is known for its neoclassical architecture and beautiful panoramic views. Visitors can learn about the history of the palace and its connections to Greek mythology, as it was once the residence of Empress Elisabeth of Austria.
Located on the western coast of Corfu, Paleokastritsa is a scenic coastal village with accessible promenades along the waterfront. These promenades provide wheelchair users with the opportunity to enjoy the picturesque views of the bay and the surrounding landscape. Additionally, accessible beaches such as Agios Spiridon and Alipa Beach offer facilities for wheelchair users, including ramps and accessible restrooms.
Mon Repos Palace:
Situated in the Kanoni area, Mon Repos Palace is a neoclassical building surrounded by beautiful gardens. The palace offers wheelchair access to its interior, allowing visitors to explore the exhibits and learn about its history. Mon Repos Palace is known for its archaeological findings and its connection to the Greek royal family.
Corfu Archaeological Museum:
Located in Corfu Town, the Archaeological Museum houses a collection of artifacts from ancient Corfu and beyond. The museum offers wheelchair accessibility, with ramps and accessible entrances. Visitors can explore the exhibits that showcase the island's rich archaeological heritage, including sculptures, ceramics, and jewelry.
Several beaches in Corfu have taken steps to improve accessibility. Glyfada Beach and Agios Gordios Beach, for instance, offer accessible pathways that enable wheelchair users to reach the shore. These beaches may also provide facilities such as accessible restrooms and designated parking areas. It's recommended to inquire about the specific accessibility features and services available at each beach before visiting.
Mouse Island (Pontikonisi):
Mouse Island, also known as Pontikonisi, is a small islet located near Kanoni. While the islet itself may not be fully accessible due to natural terrain, visitors can enjoy the view of the iconic landmark from a boat. Boat tours are available, allowing visitors to capture photos and admire the picturesque scenery.