With its varied landscape and important landmarks, Western Greece has much to offer the traveller. In the north, the main focal points are gracious Corfu, for years an international holiday centre; the lively port of Igoumenitsa; and Yiannina, a city brimming with history and tradition. As you head south, there are other treats in store: Parga, the jewel of the northwest coast; the towns of Preveza, Vonitsa and Amfilochia on the shores of the gentle Amvrakia Gulf; and the unspoilt island of Lefkada just offshore. We'll start this section of our tour in Corfu, the island of the Phaeacians, which has had a multifaceted history from the seventh century B.C. up to our own day. Despite its enormous popularity with tourists, its has managed to presserve its own inimitable atmosphere and lively rhythm of existence ablended matchlessly with the beauty of its scenery and the "joie de vivre" of its citizens.
You can get there by ferry, either from Igoumenitsa or Patras (or directly from Italy's Adriatic ports), which docks at Corfu town, unquestionably one of the loveliest in Greece, as you'll soon discover the moment you set foot in its delightful, flagstoned streets or stroll around the Spianada, or Esplanade.
Bisecting the eastern coast of the island, Corfu consists of the old city - a romantic medley of vestiges of Venetian, French and English rule with an unmistakeably Greek touch - and the more modern outlying districs and vines masks the harsher lines of contemporary architecture.