Achilleion Palace


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Corfu, Greece


14 June 2015 - We arrived in port around 9 am and quickly headed off for our tour of the Achilleion Palace. The tour group was fairly large, but still manageable.

The palace is quite beautiful and sits on the end of a point overlooking the Ionian Sea south of Corfu (Kerkyra). Soft breezes keep the area cooler than in the Old Town area. Quite a few treasures have been restored back to the palace which had been used as a hospital and also as a casino prior to its restoration and use as a museum. The decor, paintings, and frescoes are incredibly brilliant. It's not a large place so we actually were able to walk through most of it with our guide in an hour.

Back on the bus we headed to Kanoni which overlooks Vlacherna and Pontikonisi (Mouse island). The view of Vlacherna, with Convent of the Virgin Maryand its solitary cypress tree, and of Pontikonisi, with its thicket of trees and its chapel, is probably the most photographed in the Ionian Islands. And we complied! The Byzantine chapel of Pantokrator, dating from the 11th or 12th century, fills most of Pontikonisi. Kanoni is appropriately named as it was the site of a gun battery, first established by the French during the British blockade of Corfu from 1810 to 1815. Across the bay is the runway for the Corfu Airport. As we enjoyed the views, several planes landed, flying low across the island and dropping onto the runway.

After a short break we were back on the bus and headed to Corfu Old Town. The bus dropped us outside the old fort, the same pickup and dropoff point as last year. So we departed the tour and headed off on our own around the Liston for a little shopping and then on to our cafe.

We enjoyed a wonderful lunch of fish and chips sitting at the same cafe, with the same waiter, as last year. The cafe is along the Liston, next to the Esplanade, and with a view of the old fortress. Quite a nice place for a quiet, relaxing lunch!

We returned to the ship around 4 and relaxed until time for dinner. We enjoyed dinner this evening in La Terrazza. Another evening of visiting with fellow travelers, and heading on to Katakolon, Greece.

Main Entrance to Achilleion Palace
Main Foyer and staircase with ceiling painted by Vincenzo Galloppi
Empress Elisabeth's Catholic Chapel
Fireplace and mirror in entry
Furniture from Kaiser Wilhelm time
Panoramic view from patio - overlooking Ionian Sea
Randy and the statue of Achilles commissioned by Kaiser Wilhelm II
Statue in the gardens
"Dying Achilles"
Back side of the statue showing Achilles removing the fatal arrow (which no longer exists!)
Terrace of the Muses
Elaborate staircases
Empress Elisabeth
Mouse Island
Mouse Island
Vlacherna and Pontikonisi (Mouse island)
Cannon at Kanoni
Mouse Island
Cafe overlooking Mouse Island
Bell tower of the Church of St. Spyridon
Cafe Europa
Cafe Europa on the Liston



Pre-cruise Posts

Another return port is Corfu. Last year we only visited the local area near the ports. We enjoyed our time and plan to visit the Liston area again for cappuccino and shopping, but first we want to see the Achilleion Palace. We saw it as we sailed into Corfu as it is located on the southern point of the island.

Wikipedia describes Achilleion as follows: "Empress  of Austria Elisabeth of Bavaria, also known as Sissi, lost her only son, Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, when he committed murder-suicide in The Mayerling Incident of 1889. A year later, in 1890, she built a summer palace in the region of Gastouri to the south of the city, with the powerful mythical hero Achilles as its central theme.

 The palace, with the neoclassical Greek statues that surround it, is a monument to platonic romanticism as well as escapism. It was named Achílleion after the Homeric hero Achilles. The structure is filled with paintings and statues of Achilles, both in the main hall and in the gardens, depicting the scenes of the Trojan War.

The Imperial gardens on the hill look over the surrounding green hill crests and valleys and the Ionian sea. The centrepiece of the gardens is a marble statue on a high pedestal, of the mortally wounded Achilles without hubris and wearing only a simple cloth and an ancient Greek hoplite helmet. This statue was carved by German sculptor Ernst Gustav Herter."





Achilleion Palace (photo from
Kanoni - Overlooking Mouse Island (photo from




What we plan to do:

We scheduled a ship's tour to the palace -

Achilleion Palace, Kanoni & Corfu Town - Depart the pier via coach for the 30-minute drive to Gastouri.
Achilleion Palace Your first stop is the Achilleion Palace, the former residence of Empress of Austria and later that of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Visit the museum and see many of the mementos of both Monarchs. Enjoy the spendour of the Palace's landscaped gardens with the many beautiful statues that include the famous Triumphant Achilles and Dying Achilles. After your visit, re-board the coach and depart for Kanoni.
Kanoni Following a scenic drive along the coastal road of Perama, you arrive at Kanoni, a suburb of Corfu town. A brief stop allows time to admire the views and take photographs of the famous Mouse Island and the small islet with the nunnery of The Holy Virgin of Vlacherena. Continuing on via coach to Corfu town, now a member of the World Heritage List (UNESCO), take a guided walking tour in the historical center of the fascinating old city past sights that include the Residence of the British High commissioner, a splendid Edwardian building completed in 1824. Once the seat of the Knights of Saint Michael and Saint George until 1864, it later became the Palace of the King of Greece. Note the bronze statue of the British High Commissioner, Sir Frederick Adam. Walk through the Venetian quarters of Campiello and Corfu's Historical Center, past Town Hall, once a Venetian theater, built in 1690, and the Church of Saint Spyridon, Patron Saint of Corfu with its rare icons and where the holy body of the Saint lies in a crypt.
After your walking tour, there will be free time to explore at your leisure before re-board your coach for the return to the pier. "

St Spyridon Corfu

Photo from

Bell tower of the Church of St. Spyridon in Corfu, Greece ©L. Richard Martin, Jr./Flick






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