Glyfada, Pelekas, Corfu Town & Gouvia
Only 16 kms west of Corfu Town, Glyfada is situated on a large bay surrounded by hills, cliffs and pine trees. It has possibly the finest sandy beach in Corfu.
With several bars and tavernas, as well as hotels and apartments around the beach area, Glyfada is ideal for those looking for a relaxing beach holiday though it can become quite crowded during the month of August.
There are just a couple of gift shops and small supermarkets close to the beach with more extensive shopping in the village of Pelekas just 10 minutes drive into the hills.
Pelekas is a picturesque and authentic village located approximately 13kms from Corfu Town, and stands proudly on a hill of 270m. The small village can be quite a bustling place as it is an access point for the numerous west coast beaches.
Just outside the village is Kaiser’s Throne, which offers fantastic vistas over a large part of the island and is popular at sunset. There are several tavernas and cafes plus numerous shops and a bus runs regularly to Corfu Town from the main square. Not far from Pelekas in the Ropa Valley is situated Corfu's excellent golf course.
Gouvia is home to the main yachting marina on Corfu, Gouvia has a strong seafaring history back to its’ days as a Venetian naval base. Popular among the islands’ rich and famous yacht owners, there are some impressive homes and yachts to be found. Located in a tightly curved natural bay within easy striking distance of Corfu Town, Gouvia remains self contained and somewhat secluded. There is plenty of cosmopolitan life in the village with some excellent restaurants and a lively nightlife, along with a choice of beaches both sandy and shingle around the bay.
The village combines with nearby Kontokali to the south – which is somewhat quieter but still with a choice of tavernas and restaurants and a lovely sandy beach. The 2 are well connected by local bus to Corfu Town.
Corfu Town is one of the most interesting cities in Greece due to the heavy influence of the Venetians who for centuries controlled the island. Like the other Ionian islands Corfu was never occupied by the Turks, which gives it a character very different from the rest of Greece. But Corfu town has seen other influences as well including the British, the Normans, the French, and the Greeks and Romans whose ancient buildings are still in evidence in several archaeology sites and the excellent archaeological museum.
It is an interesting mixture of old tavernas, new cafes, discos, clubs and shops of all types plus an amazing old city that sits in a protected area between the two fortresses. The Theatre of San Giacomo
constructed entirely of stone in the style of the Italian Renaissance had it's foundations first laid in 1663 and is just one example of the many historical buildings that make walking the streets of this city a pleasure. The town really resembles an Italian city though their are other influences such as the Liston, the building which borders the main esplanade or Spianada, built by the French, which houses some of the finest cafes and restaurants in Corfu. On the esplanade itself the men compete in weekend cricket matches, the only place in Greece where the sport is played.
On the south side of the Spianada is the Palace of St Michael and George built by the British in 1824 and used as the official residence of the high commissioner, the seat of the Ionian Senate and the headquarters of the Order of St Michael and St George which was created for the purposes of awarding medals to residents of both the Ionian Islands and Malta who had performed services for Great Britain. There are several interesting museums in town and two major fortresses as well as numerous small squares and fountains. The town itself was built so that it could easily be defended. The buildings in the old city remain intact and a wander through the narrow streets is both a history and an architecture lesson.
Even though some buildings were destroyed in the German bombings of World War 2, Corfu Town contains a large number of buildings which have survived the centuries and is now among Europe's most historic cities.
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