Old Town, Vidos, Mouse Island

Trip plan:

  • Leaving from Gouvia Marina 
  • Vidos island , stop for swimming (could have a lunch in the restaurant if you want)
  • Old Town from the sea
  • Mouse island, stop (for swimming)
  • Back to Marina

We srart from Gouvia Marina, the boat will go at Vidos island, where you can swim.The small, wooded isle of Vidos lies just half a mile from Corfu Town's Old Port, allowing you to glimpse the historical buildings of the Old Town and St. Spiridon's church, framed by pine trees and clear blue sea. Known in ancient times as the Island of Hera, sister of Zeus and goddess of marriage, the seemingly tranquil paradise of Vidos has lived through much history.

Under Venetian rule, which dominated Corfu Greece from the 15th century to the early 18th century, tunnels were built linking Vidos with the main island. Criminals were tried at the Old Fortress in Corfu Town, and then transported through the tunnels to Vidos island , which was once Corfu's 'Alcatraz'.

By following forest paths, you can discover the haunting Serbian Mausoleum, monument to some 1,232 Serbian soldiers who lost their lives to plague and starvation while defending Corfu's freedom. Inside, all of the soldiers are commemorated and offerings of flowers and candles are strewn amongst the photographs and memories.
 
A memorial book is also provided for those who wish to add their gratitude and thoughts. Today, the island of Vidos is a more peaceful escape, and a favourite amongst Greeks and tourists alike. The pine-strewn paths lead you through the island's history, but also to its present beauty. Stunning, secluded beaches and quiet forest spots can be found, as well as a sole taverna at which you can enjoy the traditional food and spectacular view across the sea to Corfu Town.


Another point of interest is a beautiful old house, which was used in the filming of 'Fedora', a 1970s film set in
Corfu and starring Michael York. Vidos also accommodates the Kerkyra Bird and Wildlife sanctuary, and you will come across the wild rabbits, pheasants and goats who call Vidos home as you explore Corfu island.

After that you will pas by the Corfu Town. Seeing the three forts of the town from passing just few meters from the walls, designed by renowned Venetian engineers, were used for four centuries to defend the maritime trading interests of the Republic of Venice against the Ottoman Empire. In the course of time, the forts were repaired and partly rebuilt several times, more recently under British rule in the 19th century.

The mainly neoclassical housing stock of the Old Town is partly from the Venetian period, partly of later construction, notably the 19th century. As a fortified Mediterranean port, Corfu’s urban and port ensemble is notable for its high level of integrity and authenticity.

 After we will head to the Mouse Island which is one of the most popular Tourist Attractions in Corfu Island. Mouse Island is actually a very small island tucked away a little south from the Corfu town right in front of the airport and the Halkiopoulos lagoon. This small island is covered with lush green Mediterranean vegetation and the highest natural point of the island rises to 2 meters.

Mouse Island is well known for its ancient Byzantine church, the monastery of Pantokrator which can approximately be dated back to the11th or 12th century. The white stairs will led you to the small Pantokratoras church where you will find the marble gravestones of the 13th Century to remember the Austrian empress Elisabeth.

And, it is interesting to know that the white stone staircase of the monastery when viewed from afar gives the impression of the tail of a mouse. And, now you know why the island is named the Mouse Island.

 

 

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