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CORFU ISLAND, GREECE

Corfu is a traveller’s dream beyond spaces. At the edge of the northwestern frontier of Greece, Corfu is probably the imperial jewel in the Ionian crown. Lush with greenery and olive trees and splashed by turquoise waters, it is the second largest of the Ionian Islands.

Corfu’s Venetian, French and British past makes for a fascinating cultural, historical and even architectural trajectory, while Odysseus, the hero of Homer's epic poem the Odyssey, was washed ashore in its emerald waters before finally returning to Ithaki. 

Once a preferred holiday destination for the aristocracy of Europe, Corfu remains today one of the most sought-after destinations for sophisticated international vacationers.

An air steeped in history surrounds Corfu’s Old Town, an UNESCO  world heritage site. The Old and New Fortresses can be found in the town, as well as, neoclassical mansions whose exterior is defined by ochre and pink.

A beautiful spinada, the Esplanade, beats vividly with cosmopolitan cafés and age-old taverns, while the Liston building, standing in its western side, was inspired by the architectural style of the Rue de Rivoli in Paris.

The square is home to an English-style cricket ground, where hopeful cricketers and professionals bat with conviction. The island’s rich heritage is ever present, whether showcased in the Archaeological Museum or celebrated in the Museum of Asian Art.

In the town’s southern outskirts at Kanoni,  stands the glorious Mon Repos, the royal estate and birthplace of Prince Philip, Duke of Edingburgh. In an island steeped in history and legend, Mon Repos still has to compete with Achilleion, the palace built by Empress Elizabeth of Austria in the late 19th century and named after her hero and greatest warrior of Homer’s Iliad, Achilles.

Authentic towns, picturesque villages, traditional settlements make Corfu’s countryside equally fascinating, whether visiting the Folkloric Museum in Siranades, checking out the churches in Lefkimmi or taking in the vista from Makrades.

With beaches to match all this splendor, Corfu is a Greek summer’s dream. Green-covered cliffs and olive tree forests surround the coast of Paleokastritsa, where sea caves of striking beauty wait to be explored.

Rock formations create an attractive backdrop in Agios Gordios, while Pelekas’s golden sand is always a major attraction. Glyfada remains the most popular beach, gathering quite a big crowd with its crystalline waters. Nissaki resembles a blue lagoon, while Issos appears to be one with the horizon.

Corfu is a treasure trove for the cosmopolitan in you. Sail on a private yacht, enjoy dinner in one of the upscale restaurants or wear your black-rimmed glasses and disappear in the cobblestone alleys. Then return to one of the Beyond Spaces villas, where more beauty and new experiences await you.

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