Corfu

The Paleó Froúrio and Néo Froúrio
The Listón, an arcaded café-lined street
Áyios Spyrídhon Church

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Corfu

Elegance embraced in a fortress

An MSC Mediterranean cruise excursion can be the chance to discover Corfu Town, one of the most elegant island capitals in the whole of Greece.
Corfu Town comprises a number of distinct areas. The Historic Centre, the area enclosed by the Old Port and the two forts, consists of several smaller districts: Campiello, the oldest, sits on the hill above the harbour; Kofinéta stretches towards the Spianádha (Esplanade); Áyii Apóstoli runs west of the Mitrópolis (Orthodox cathedral); while tucked in beside the Néo Froúrio is what remains of the old Jewish quarter.

As you set off inland from your MSC cruise ship you’ll find that these districts and their tall, narrow alleys conceal some of Corfu’s most beautiful architecture. The New Town comprises all the areas that surround the Historic Centre.

The most obvious sights during your excursion are the forts, the Paleó Froúrio and Néo Froúrio. Looming above the Old Port, the Néo Froúrio is the more architecturally interesting of the two forts. The entrance, at the back of the fort, gives onto cellars, dungeons and battlements, with excellent views over the town and bay; there’s a small gallery and seasonal café at the summit.

The Paleó Froúrio is not as well preserved as the Néo Froúrio and contains some incongruous modern structures, but has an interesting Byzantine Museum just inside the gate, and even more stunning views from the central Land Tower. Just west of the Paleó Froúrio, the focus of town life is the Listón, an arcaded café-lined street built during the French occupation by the architect of the Rue de Rivoli in Paris, and the green Spianádha (Esplanade) it overlooks.

When you alight here from your MSC cruise you can also enjoy an excursion to the sixteenth-century church of Áyios Spyrídhon and some buildings dating from French and British administrations.

Must see places in Corfu

  • The Achilleion Palace

    The Achilleion Palace

  • The Old Fortress

    The Old Fortress

  • Palaiokastritsa

    Palaiokastritsa

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Greece

Under the protective wing of the gods
Under the protective wing of the gods

It would take a lifetime of island-hopping to fully appreciate the 227 inhabited Greek islands scattered across the Mediterranean Sea.
With sapphire water lapping at rocky coastlines sprinkled with secret coves and sandy beaches, they are the stuff of dreamy travel posters, the very definition of the eulogized Greek summer of sun, sea and sand.

For anyone with a cultural bone in their body a cruise to the Greek islands cannot fail to inspire. Every culture has left its mark, and almost every town or village has a link to the past, whether it’s a delicately crumbling temple to Aphrodite, a forbidding Venetian fort or a dusty Byzantine monastery decorated with exquisite frescoes.
But the call to cultural duty will never be too overwhelming on a Greek islands holiday. The hedonistic pleasures of languor and warmth – swimming in balmy seas at dusk, talking and drinking under the stars – are just as appealing.
Sprawling, globalized Athens is an obligatory, almost unavoidable introduction to Greece: aside from the show-stopping Acropolis it offers a truly metropolitan range of cultural diversions, from museums to concerts; well-stocked shops; gourmet restaurants and stimulating clubs.