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

Discover our excursions

6 results found

  • ACHILLEION’ S PALACE

    CULTURE AND HISTORY

    COR01

    In the days of ancient Greece, Corfu marked the final stage of the legendary trip made by the mythological Greek god, Odysseus, on his journey home to Ithaca. While hardly of epic proportions, this tour will certainly give you a chance to enjoy Corfu’s lush landscape as you travel around the island. The excursion includes a visit to Achilleion’s Palace, a beautiful white mansion and the former residence of Queen Elizabeth of Austria – who was affectionately known as Sissi. The richly decorated palace is set in pretty gardens overlooking the sea and is dedicated to another hero from Greek mythology, Achilles. Before you return to the port and your ship, you will also have a chance to pay Corfu town a brief visit and spend a little free time strolling around. Please note: this tour is not suitable for guests using a wheelchair.
      • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Moderate

      • Duration
        4 h

      • Adults£49.00Price per person

      • Children£39.00Price per person

    • BEST OF CORFU

      CULTURE AND HISTORY

      COR12

      Immortalised in print to great comedic effect as a place of childhood adventure by the British novelist Gerald Durrell, the island of Corfu remains a blast to discover to this day. Spending half a day checking out some of its appealing sights is therefore time well spent, especially since this comprehensive tour covers all bases: culture, history and abundant natural beauty. Leaving the pier by coach, you will first head to the village of Palaiokastritsa to visit the Byzantine Monastery of the Virgin, which is still home to a community of monks. You will also have a chance to browse through the Byzantine icons and religious relics in the attached museum and take some photos of the coastline from the lovely gardens. A short coach ride will then take you to the village of Gastouri and the amazing 19th-century Achilleion Palace. Built at the behest of the Austrian Empress Elisabeth – or Sisi – between 1889 and 1892 and later owned by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, the palace is a cornucopia of courtly artefacts that provides some insight into the life of the “Sad Empress”, a moniker Sisi gained following the tragic death of her son. The gardens are stupendous, not only boasting a profusion of flowers, but also statues of figures taken from Greek mythology and amazing vistas of Corfu town and the sea beyond. A narrated drive around Corfu town’s main sights adds a final highlight on your way back to the ship. Please note: this tour is not suitable for guests using a wheelchair.
      • Long route by bus

      • Limited seats

      • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

        Difficulty Level
        Moderate

      • Duration
        4 h

      • Adults£65.00Price per person

      • Children£49.00Price per person

    • PALEOKASTRITZA

      CULTURE AND HISTORY

      COR03

      After leaving the port of Corfu, a short and scenic drive takes you through the island’s interior, which is characterised by orange groves, cypress and pine trees, to the west coast and the beautiful bay of Palaiokastritsa just south of Angelokastro. You will have a chance to visit Palaiokastritsa’s Byzantine Monastery, which is situated high up on a rocky promontory with gorgeous views of the island and the Ionian Sea. While the monastery was originally founded in the early 13th-century, the current complex dates from the 18th century and is still home to a handful of monks even today. The monastery church is ornately painted with icons and frescoes covering the walls and ceilings. On returning to Corfu town, you will have time to explore the vicinity on your own before returning to the ship. Please note: this excursion is not a beach tour but it offers the possibility to do a brief stop on the beach for those guests who will not be interested in the Monastery visit. The beach does not offer any kind of infrastructure. This excursion is not suitable for guests using a wheelchair.
        • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

          Difficulty Level
          Moderate

        • Duration
          4 h

        • Adults£39.00Price per person

        • Children£29.00Price per person

      • PANORAMIC SIGHTS OF CORFU

        SCENIC ROUTE

        COR08

        This enjoyable coach tour combines a visit to Corfu town with a leisurely drive through the olive groves, cypresses and pine trees that are so typical of the island’s beautiful landscape. The first stop will be at the fabulous bay of Palaiokastritsa, where you will have some time to explore on your own after an initial guided tour of the area. A brief photo stop will be made the village of Lakones at the Golden Fox Café, whose stunning hillside location affords breathtaking views of Palaiokastritsa bay and has earned it the nickname of “God’s Balcony” among the locals. After a break in the village of Lakones, you will return to Corfu for an enjoyable drive-by sightseeing tour of the town. The route will take you past the Garitsa Bay and the city’s 14th-century old Venetian fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tour will also give you a chance to see the Spianada square, once used to drill Napoleon’s army in the art of marching, the Royal Palace of St. George and St. Michael, the old port with its traditional caïque fishing boats, the new Venetian fortress and San Rocco square, the commercial centre of Corfu town. Your return to the port and your ship marks the end of your tour. Please note: outside viewings only of all sights during the drive-by tour of Corfu town.
          • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

            Difficulty Level
            Moderate

          • Duration
            4 h

          • Adults£32.00Price per person

          • Children£22.00Price per person

        • PALEOKASTRITZA & KUM QUAT TASTING

          SOMETHING SPECIAL

          COR07

          Your Greek island excursion begins with a scenic coach ride of about 30 minutes through the lush olive groves, pine trees and cypresses of the Corfu landscape to reach the Kum Quat Factory, your first stop. The informative visit will give you a chance to learn all about how kumquats are harvested and then turned into delicious liqueurs and other fruity treats. Then it is on to the beautiful bay of Palaiokastritsa for some free time to explore the area surrounded by woods and olive trees. The tour then continues up to the mountainside location of Lakones, with more breathtaking views of Palaiokastritsa to enjoy. After a short stop to soak up the atmosphere and perhaps take some photos, it is on to the traditional village of Makrades and the charming “Colombos” taverna where traditional Greek appetizers – so-called meze – will be served along with some local wine or ouzo, the famous Greek aniseed-flavoured aperitif. The taverna's interior is decorated with traditional 18th- and 19th-century agricultural tools and an intriguing old olive press, which offer a glimpse into a bygone age. This scenic island tour ends with your return to the port and your ship. Please note: comfortable walking shoes recommended. This tour includes long periods of walking (1.5 km) on uneven ground with some steps so it is not suitable for guests using a wheelchair.
          • Tasting included

          • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

            Difficulty Level
            Moderate

          • Duration
            4 h

          • Adults£39.00Price per person

          • Children£29.00Price per person

        • SAFARI JEEP

          SOMETHING SPECIAL

          COR05

          Spend a few hours off the ship being acquainted with the beautiful island of Corfu, its wonderful scenery, lovely views and pretty villages in self-drive jeeps. Enjoy some brief photo stops along the way to ensure you can take all the snapshots you need to fill the family album. Before returning to the port, you will have time to gather your strength and relax at a traditional inn. Apart from having a refreshing drink, you will also have a chance to enjoy a typical Corfu folk dance show. Please note: as drivers are not included in the tour, guests shall drive the jeep(s) themselves. An international driver’s license is compulsory. Each jeep can accommodate a maximum of 4 guests, incl. the driver. This excursion is not suitable for guests with walking difficulties, with back/neck problems, for pregnant women or wheelchair-users.
          • Drink included

          • Possibility of swimming

          • May involve inclines, steps, uneven surfaces and/or extended periods of standing

            Difficulty Level
            Moderate

          • Duration
            5 h

          • Adults£79.00Price per person

          • Children£55.00Price per person

        The excursions in the programme above are intended to provide MSC Cruises guests with an idea of the different tours which can be arranged in each port of call; this programme is merely a guide and confirmation of each excursion and its description and prices will be made during your cruise. 
        Shore excursions programmes and itineraries may vary depending on local conditions and/or any unforeseen events in relation to the timing on the day of the tour.
         
        Some excursions are very popular and therefore availability cannot always be guaranteed, it is advisable to book in advance to avoid disappointment. The guides are guaranteed in English. Only for South America cruises, the guides are guaranteed in Brazilian Portuguese. Narration in other languages depends on the availability of guides. Please note that the final language of the tour will be confirmed on board during the cruise.

        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.