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Old Fortress (Palaio Frourio)
Old Fortress (Palaio Frourio)

Old Fortress (Palaio Frourio)

Kerkira, Corfu, Greece

The Basics

Wander the Old Fortress to get a sense of the vast complex comprised of a western tower, which was fortified by the Byzantines in the 12th century and known as the New Castle, and an eastern tower, known as the Old Castle. The historic town of Corfu was originally enclosed within the walls of the fortress and fought off three Ottoman sieges in 1537, 1571, and 1716.

Whether by land or sea, most Corfu tours and day trips take in its imposing Old Fortress (Palaio Frourio). Join a private or small-group driving tour or cycling excursion to visit the fortress complex by land, or set sail on a boat tour to admire this waterfront stronghold by sea along with other top Ionian sights such as the Blue Caves, Paxos and Antipaxos, and the Sivota Islands.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Only parts of the huge complex are open to the public, including the Church of St. George and the small Byzantine Collection of Corfu located in the gatehouse.

  • Bring your camera to capture sweeping views from the lighthouse.

  • A significant amount of walking is required to explore the fortress complex, so choose comfortable clothing and shoes.

  • There is a terrace cafe inside the fortress that serves drinks and light snacks with the backdrop of sea views.

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How to Get There

To reach the Old Fortress from the center of Corfu Town, walk across the iron bridge that crosses the Contra Fossa. The entrance is in front of the Liston, near the Esplanade. The island of Corfu is linked to mainland Greece and cities across Europe via ferry and air routes.

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When to Get There

As one of the most popular attractions on Corfu, the Palaio Frourio can be crowded in peak midday, with long lines to enter. Visit in early morning or late afternoon to avoid the summer throngs.

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Highlights of Corfu’s Old Fortress

The Old Fortress houses Corfu’s public library and Byzantine Collection, the Hellenic Music Research Lab of Ionian University, and the small church of St. George, built in 1840. The grounds are often used for art and culture exhibits, and the top of the fortress provides great views over Corfu Town.

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