The Achilleion Palace is one of the most visited sights on Corfu, and it is easy to see why. The main house is an impressive white and cream building sitting on top of a hill; there are some fascinating historical artefacts inside, and the gardens with their collection of statuary and fine views over the coast complete an enjoyable visit.
The most impressive statue is the Dying of Achilles, a colossal bronze work that dominates the far end of the gardens. The house takes its name from Achilles, who in the Greek mythology was the greatest of all warriors. The story of Achilles became an obsession of the Empress Elizabeth of Austria, for whom the palace was built in 1890. There are statues of Achilles around the grounds and paintings of him inside the house.
The ground floor is now open as a museum, with a small but enjoyable collection of paintings, smaller statues, furniture, costumes and personal items from the palace’s past. It has certainly had a colourful history since the Empress died in 1898, having been used among other things as a hospital during World War I, and as a location for the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only.
Today the gardens are perhaps its best feature, with palm trees, roses, prickly pears and more. At the end there is a splendid view, looking out above the sea.
Where: Gastoúri (take the blue bus 10 from Corfu Town)
Open: daily 8-7 Jun-Aug; 9-3:30 Sep-May. Entrance costs 7 euro (less for groups, over 65 and under 18)
To visit in the Soud part of Corfù: