The Achilleion Palace
The Achilleion Palace is one of the most visited sights on Corfu and contains a museum and impressive gardens with wonderful views over the coast.
The Achilleion Palace
For the culture-loving and history-loving visitor to Corfu, the first stopping off point south of Corfu Town is the Achilleion Palace. It’s not to everyone’s taste with its mish-mash of styles, but you cannot deny that it is unique. It was also ‘a monstrous building’, according to the British writer Lawrence Durrell, who grew up on Corfu with his brother Gerald, the naturalist and writer.
The Achilleion Palace is one of the most visited sights on Corfu, and it is easy to see why. The main house is an impressive white and cream building sitting on top of a hill, there are some fascinating historical artifacts inside, and the gardens with their collection of statuary and fine views over the coast top off an enjoyable visit.
The Achilleion Palace
The Dying of Achilles
The most impressive statue is The Dying of Achilles, a colossal work that dominates the far end of the gardens. The house takes its name from Achilles, who in Greek mythology was the greatest of all warriors and whose mother had made him immortal by dipping him into the waters of the River Styx. He was immortal, of course, except for the heel by which his mother had lowered him into the water: the Achilles heel.
History of the Achilleion Palace
The story of Achilles became an obsession of the Empress Elizabeth of Austria, for whom the Palace was built as a summer home in 1890-91. There are statues of Achilles dotted around the grounds and paintings of him inside the house, and if she were still alive today no doubt she would be using an Achilles mouse mat.
There isn't a car park so park by the
roadside where you can, but preferably well away from the entrance as tour
buses often park here and can make turning and leaving difficult.
The Palace was partly planned for Elizabeth to retreat to, to take her mind off the political upheavals of the Hapsburg Court, and her personal problems back in Austria. She only got a few years of solace here, though, as she died in 1898, assassinated by an Italian anarchist, which perhaps helps explain why there is an air of sadness and melancholy lingering in the house.
The Achilleion Palace Today
The ground floor is now open as a museum, with a small but enjoyable enough collection of paintings, smaller statues, furniture, costumes and personal items from the Palace's past. It has certainly had a colourful history since the Empress passed on, having been used among other things as a hospital during World War I, as a location for the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only and until 1997 the site of the island's only casino.
The Palace is immensely popular with coach
parties so if you prefer to visit at quieter times try to get there soon after
it opens. Few coach parties make it that early!
Achilleion Palace Gardens
Today the gardens are perhaps its best feature, being attractive and well-maintained with palm trees, roses, prickly pears, callow lilies and many more plants and trees. And at the end there is that splendid view, looking down from some 152 meters (500 feet) above the sea. No wonder everyone poses for photos here, beneath the watchful eye of Achilles.
Where to Stay on Corfu
Other Corfu pages
This is the Greece Travel Secrets selection of where to eat in northern Corfu, from classy restaurants and traditional tavernas to beachside fish tavernas.
Greece Travel Secrets recommends where to stay in north-west and central Corfu including luxury mansions, inexpensive rooms, and resort hotels.
Paleokastritsa is on the west coast of Corfu and is one of the most popular holiday spots. This page gives information on beaches, boat trips, weather and map.
North-West Corfu’s beaches and villages include busy resorts, quiet beaches, hill villages, and places ideal for watching the sunset,
Corfu Town’s Old Fortress is the town’s most striking landmark, standing east of the Old Town on top of a rocky promontory.
This Southern Corfu drive starts and ends in Moraïtika, taking in hill villages, secluded beaches, lovely views, and a visit to Gardiki Castle.
Corfu or Kerkyra is the main island in the Greek Ionian islands with Corfu Town being one of the most attractive of Greek island capitals.
Kalami in north-west Corfu is a hidden gem which many people know about because writer Lawrence Durrell once lived here in The White House.
The best things to do on Corfu include visiting Palaiokastritsa, a day trip to Albania, seeing the Achilleion Palace, and the museums in Corfu Town.
Benitses is a popular resort town south of Corfu Town with its own marina, remains of a Roman Baths, an old town, and plenty of walks inland.
Corfu’s wildlife includes rare and colourful birds, snakes, lizards, fireflies, and insects, with plenty of places to watch the wildlife like lakes and lagoons.
If you want to tour northern Corfu in three days you can see busy resorts, quiet fishing villages, Mount Pantokrator, and the Andinioti Lagoon.
From Nero to Nicolas Cage, the invasion of Corfu goes back to Roman times and through to Hollywood today!
Mount Pantokrator is the highest mountain on Corfu and it’s easy to drive to the top for spectacular views of Albania, Corfu, and even sometimes to Italy.
Greece Travel Secrets picks where to stay in northern Corfu with budget and luxury hotels in Sidari, Daphnila Bay, Kontokali, Ipsos, Barbati and more.
Information for travellers to Greece on Corfu festivals and events including Easter, the Feast of St Spiridhon, Carnival and Name Days.
Greece Travel Secrets has its list of favourite places where you can eat in north-west Corfu, including in Paleokastritsa, Pelekas, and Ayios Stefanos.
This Lawrence Durrell walk takes you from Kaminaki Beach in northern Corfu to the White House in Kalami where the writer Lawrence Durrell lived for four year.
Northern Corfu’s beaches and villages include busy resorts and secluded beaches, with several hill and mountain villages well worth visiting.
Kassiopi is a popular tourist resort on the northeast coast of Corfu with a sandy beach, Byzantine fortress, old church, and lots of places to stay and to eat.
Corfu’s special cuisine includes dishes like sofrito and pastitsade and the chance to try ginger beer and kumquats.
The First Corfu Beer Festival took place in Arillas in North West Corfu and celebrated the beer of Bavaria and of Corfu, in the Ionian islands of Greece.
Angelokastro is a 13th-century hilltop fortress with breath-taking views near Paleokastritsa on the Greek island of Corfu in the Ionian Islands.
The best beaches on Corfu, chosen by Greece Travel Secrets, include Paleokastritsa, Mirtiotissa, Sidari and Cape Asprokavos.
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