Corfu is considered among the greenest of the Greek islands, with lushly forested mountains dropping down to turquoise bays.
These Corfu t-shirts and hoodies are based on the sketches and photographs that I made during a trip to the island. They're as unique as the island that inspired them. Printed on high quality apparel for men and women, including organic styles in several colors.
Shop for beautifully designed Corfu gifts and merchandise such as these mugs and beach totes.
Corfu Framed Prints
An exciting collection of photographic framed prints, perfect for introducing a bit of international flair to your home or office. All prints are custom manufactured using archival inks and acid-free paper. Framed prints are matted and framed in a stylish black frame that includes complete backing. Frame size: 19" x 15". Select for more details.
Large Framed Print
Large Framed Print
Large Framed Print
Like an emerald, Corfu rises out of the blue Ionian Sea...
justifiably famous for its beaches, lush countryside, and historic capital, this island invites you to return again and again."
I'm floating lazily on an air raft around the shallow, perfectly turquoise water of Myrtiotissa beach. Above me is nothing but blue sky, and the tree carpeted cliffs of Corfu's west coast tumbling down into the sea. This beach is small by any standards and located away from any towns, so it's a great place to escape the typical tourists and share a piece of heaven with more adventurous souls. It's clothing optional, so some of the people here are swimming and sunbathing completely nude. The vibe is so low key, and the natural beauty so perfect , that even a prude like myself is tempted to go for a naked swim.
The road stops a good distance away, so the taxi dropped me off near a taverna in the hills. To get to the beach from there, you walk down a dirt path that winds down to the small stretch of sand lining the cove. Once you get to Myrtiotissa beach, you feel like you've discovered a wonderful secret. Not that many people, even in the high tourist season, make their way here.
Instead of trying to describe the place in too many words, I'll just post some photographs and let you see for yourself what I'm talking about. You will not want to leave this little hidden paradise, tucked under green cliffs.
Under a couple of umbrellas at the base of the cliff, there's a friendly local woman who sells refreshments and makes sandwiches as you request. The ingredients are fresh and delicious. Other than her, there is no source of food or refreshments near the beach, so you may want to bring some goodies if you plan on spending the whole afternoon.
The previous day, I had arrived in Corfu on a ferry coming in from Brindisi, Italy. It was an overnight passage, so the ship pulled into the harbor of Corfu really early, around 5:30 am. In the grey early morning light, I could see the outlines of the Venetian style buildings that the island capital, Kerkira, is famous for. Instead of finding a hotel in town, I had decided to stay near one of the beaches. I settled on Agios Gordios, a resort village on the West coast.
At the time of my arrival so early in the morning, there were no busses to take me across the island. A taxi was 35 euros, more than I expected. I noticed many of the young people from the ferry were boarding a bus with "The Pink Palace" written on the side. Apparently the bus was free for guests of the hostel by that name, which is located in the same village where I was supposed to be staying. The Pink Palace is famous around the world for the wild partying that takes place there...I knew this because I had considered staying there when planning my trip.
I approached the woman who was in charge of the bus and explained that I was also going to Agios Gordios and I would really appreciate a ride. This kind lady allowed me to get on the bus with them and saved me lots of hassle and money. She asked which place I was staying at, and I told her Dina's Paradise Studios. It's a small village, so of course she knew the owners and told me that they wouldn't be awake yet. I figured as much. She welcomed me to hang out in the bar area of the Pink Palace. Evidently she was the owner or something. So that's how I ended up getting my little glimpse of the happenings at one of the most infamous party hostels in the world. I hung around there until around 8 am, sitting on the front steps and talking with the drunk guests who were stumbling around, many of them still wearing pink bed sheets tied around themselves like togas, from the night before. There's a great video about the Pink Palace on an episode of the series "Alternate Routes" and you'll see just how crazy it gets at this place.
When it was a decent time to go over to Dina's Paradise and check into my studio, the same lady from the Pink Palace offered to drive me over there because she was gong in that direction. What a nice person, an example of the generous Greek hospitality the country is famous for. Now she was saving me from having to carry my luggage through the village and up the hill.
Arriving at Dina's Paradise, I saw that it was everything I hoped for, and more. Situated on the slope that leads down to the sparkling bay, the view was breathtaking. My studio had a balcony facing the sea, and a kitchen with views of the wooded slope behind. The owner was extremely nice and made me feel comfortable and at home. There is a gorgeous pool that overlooks the bay, and it was only a five minute walk down to the sea, past lovely gardens where grapes and fruits were literally hanging from the vines and trees.
The walk led to the "Main Street" of Agios Gordios where little shops, tavernas, and restaurants line both sides of the road as it gently slopes down to the beach. A supermarket with basically everything a tourist would need from food to personal supplies is conveniently located in the middle. Along the beach are seafood restaurants and tavernas. The beach itself is sandy on one half, and pebbles down at the other end, so you have a choice. The whole bay is backed by spectacular hills, cliffs, and outcroppings. Overall, a really nice set up! I was happy with my choice.
Corfu is an extremely green island, the entire interior being lushly forested hills and mountains. Olive trees carpet the land, a great many of them extremely old, and these are punctuated endlessly by the gracefully tapering points of cypress trees and pines. A bus or taxi ride from the capital of Kerkira to the West coast will bring you up winding mountain roads where the view across the tree covered slopes is awe inspiring. It's like looking down on Eden.
Fruits grow everywhere. A walk on the island will reveal almond trees, figs, pomegranates, cherries, pears, grapes, lemons, oranges, and much more growing here. No wonder it has the reputation of being the most verdant island in all of Greece.
Kerkira- Historic Capital of Corfu
Wherever you choose to base yourself during your stay in Corfu, make sure to spend some time wandering around the island capital, Kerkira. Also known by its English name Corfu Town, the old portion of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With architecture representing various periods in the turbulent past of Kerkira, and twisting streets lined by shops and restaurants, there is plenty to explore.
The Old Town of Kerkira is tightly packed into an area that was once enclosed by defensive walls, some of which still remain. Two defensive structures dominate the town of Kerkira: the Old Fortress (built from the 6th century onwards) and the New Fortress (16th century). They were built by the Venetians, who ruled the island for more than 400 years from 1386 to 1797. With these strong Venetian defenses, the island of Corfu was never conquered by the Turks, unlike most of the other Greek Islands. They remain as impressive structures that can be entered, and walking upon the the top provides a panoramic view over the town, the sea, and across the water to the rugged coast of Albania. At the Old Fortress during the summer there are musical performances each evening.
With these strong Venetian defenses and a position west of the mainland, the island of Corfu was never conquered by the Turks, unlike most of the other Greek Islands.
Architectural leftovers of Venetian rule
Instead, it developed a local culture influenced heavily by the Venetians.
Italian and Venetian words worked themselves into the local dialect of Greek, and the cuisine of the island was also influenced by the long Italian presence.
Walking through the Old Town of Corfu, you'll see an abundance of Italianate architecture that makes this Greek city feel vaguely reminiscent of Naples or Venice.
One of the most famous areas of Kerkira is the Esplanade (Spianada in Greek), built by the French during their rule here at the turn of the 19th century. It's a vast plaza and park that incorporates pavilions and attractively landscaped green spaces where Cricket tournaments are sometimes held. Cricket is a reminder of British rule during the 1800's, as it's played nowhere else in Greece. The Esplanade feels elegant, with its arched colonnade called the Liston.
In the evening the area is filled with people sitting in the cafés, the illluminated archways imparting a romantic ambiance.
I regret that I didn't have more time to spend in Kerkira. It was my last night on the island and I hadn't budgeted enough time to fully explore this wonderful town. Most of my time had been spent marveling at the natural beauty of Corfu, and here was a city that demanded more attention. The twisting, narrow streets of the old quarter give way to countless little plazas and squares. The few hours I spent there passed very quickly.
As I left Corfu, I knew I would be back, promising myself that one day I'd return to explore this fascinating place more fully.
Corfu in Video and Film
These short Corfu videos from youtube are of higher quality than most. The first two videos are parts of an excellent documentary well worth watching. They cover some of the fascinating history and scenery of Corfu, with intelligent narration.
Movies filmed in Corfu, with links to Amazon.com (DVD orders are fulfilled separately by Amazon):
The James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only has many scenes filmed in Corfu. James Bond and a woman named Melina Havelock are entangled in the web of lies and deception surrounding rival Greek businessmen.
Melina is out for vengeance after her parents are murdered, and Bond is searching for a military command system called ATAC that was sunk with a ship off the coast of Albania. The two become allies. as superpowers race to be the first to possess the valuable lost device. Thrilling action scenes and some beautiful scenery of Corfu make this movie worthwhile.
Alternate Routes is a series of travel videos aimed at youth looking for excitement. This episode, Alternate Routes Corfu, centers around the activities at The Pink Palace, a world famous Corfu hostel located in Agios Gordios. This place is known as one of the best party hostels anywhere.
Guests are greeted with shots of pink ouzo, parties last until the next morning (and continue all day), and the people who've stayed at this hostel agree it's an experience they'll always remember. The video is full of stunning scenery of the island, and follows the escapades of some Aussie travelers as they party, sightsee, and reflect on their time here.
Forested slopes near Agios Gordios beach