After meeting your professionally trained guide on the pier, you will depart Corfu Town and drive through the lush countryside. Corfu (Kerkyra in Greek) is the most verdant of all the Greek islands; this becomes apparent as you drive through orange, lemon, cypress and olive groves, interspersed with vineyards and fields carpeted with beautiful wild flowers
Approximately 20 minutes later you reach the old traditional village of Gastouri, where you will visit the Achilleion Palace, built by the Empress Elisabeth "Sissy" of Austria in 1891, and later owned by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. In addition to visiting the interior rooms that are open to the public, you will also see some of the beautiful gardens full of exotic trees and flowers, which the Empress brought with her from her trips around the world. The gardens also feature several classical statues, as she was very fond of Greek ancient history and mythology. The main Terrace of the Muses is decorated with statues of the Nine Greek Muses and the imposing figures of Achilles Victorious and Achilles Dying. From several places in the garden you will also have spectacular views over the Ionian Sea.
Leaving the Achilleion Palace, you will drive past the coastal resort of Perama, from where you will enjoy some excellent views of the Convent of Vlacherna and the picturesque Mouse Island. According to the legend, Mouse Island was formed when the ship that had taken Odysseus back to Ithaki was turned to stone by Poseidon. On the tiny island you can see the Convent of Vlachernas, linked to the mainland by a causeway.
Once in the Old Quarter of Corfu Town, you will drive to the front of the Old Venetian Fortress (14th Century UNESCO World Heritage site), opposite the central Esplanade Square. From here, your guide will lead you on a beautiful walking tour of the historic center of the Old Town. Walking through the maze of winding narrow cobbled streets known as "kandounia," you will visit some of the most elegant quarters of this Venetian-built town, which competes with Napoli, Florence and Venice in terms of beauty, style, character and charm.
Walking along the old cricket grounds, a tradition left over by the British, you see the Royal Palace of St. George and St. Michael, an imposing building built entirely of yellow Maltese stone by the first British Commissioner of the island. You will also see 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. You will then walk to the heart of the Old Town where you will 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. You will also explore the old flea market, pass by the old Town Hall and find yourself in the busy shopping district, where you will have some free time for shopping. At the appointed time, you will meet your driver for the return transfer back to your ship.
Please Note: This tour offers customized departure times between 7:30 AM and 7:00 PM. If your preferred departure time is not listed, please contact us to place your request.