Achilleion Palace, Perama and Corfu Town
Duration: 3 1/2 hours
Tour Code: cfu-006
Departing from the port, your coach follows the road leading out of town. Soon you are in the lush Corfiot countryside. Kerkyra is the most verdant of all the Greek Islands and this becomes at once apparent as you are driven through orange, lemon, cypress and olive groves interspersed with vineyards and fields carpeted with beautiful wild flowers, like a garden in paradise which has been decorated by the Gods themselves.
Approximately 20 minutes later you reach the old traditional village of Gastouri and enter the Achilleion Palace, built by the Empress Elisabeth "Sissy" of Austria in 1891, and later owned by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. You visit the rooms in the palace, as well as its beautiful gardens offering a spectacular view over the Ionian Sea. The gardens, full of exotic trees and flowers which the empress brought with her from her trips around the world, are adorned with classical statues, as she was very fond of ancient Greek history and mythology. The main Terrace of the Muses, decorated with statues of the Nine Greek Muses and the imposing figures of Achilles Victorious and Achilles Dying, are some of the most interesting.
Leaving Achilleion Palace, your coach takes you to Corfu Town passing by the coastal resort of Perama, from where you will enjoy some excellent views of the Convent of Vlacherna and picturesque Mouse Island. Seize this photo-stop opportunity to test your camera skills on this view - the most photographed location on the island.
Once in the Old Quarter of Corfu, the coaches drop you off in front of the 14th-century Old Venetian Fortress, (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), opposite the central Esplanade Square. While your coach waits for your return, your guide takes you on a beautiful walking tour of the historic center of the Old Town. Walking around in the maze of narrow winding cobbled streets known as kandounia, you visit some of the most elegant quarters of this Venetian-built town, which competes with Naples, Florence and Venice in terms of beauty, style, character and charm.
Walking along the old cricket grounds you will see the Royal Palace of St. George & St. Michael, an imposing building built entirely of yellow Maltese stone by the first British Commissioner of the island. View the spectacular arcades of the Liston Piazza, a down-sized replica of the Rue de Rivoli of Paris, built by the French in the 19th century before heading into the heart of the old town. You visit the 300-year-old Church of Saint Spiridon with its priceless collection of icons and gifts offered to the patron saint of the island, explore the old flea-market, pass by the old Town Hall and then find yourself in the busy shopping district, where you will have some free time for shopping.
Following your tour in town, it is time to board your coach for your return to the ship.
Please note: Guests are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes for this tour which involves moderate walking and approximately 80 steps in total to climb at Achilleion Palace.