Old Fortress Cafe, Corfu

Silver Spirit Calls On Corfu, Greece: We Trek To The Old Fortress For Magnificent Views

Silver Spirit in Corfu, Greece
Silver Spirit docked today in Corfu, Greece. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

It would have taken us 28 minutes to walk from Silver Spirit into the city center of Corfu, according to Google Maps. Of course, we could have paid the €15 cab fare. Fortunately, however, Silversea operates free shuttle service between its ships and city centers in most ports of call. That is one small perk of cruising a luxury line like Silversea. A couple of years ago while cruising Carnival in the Mediterranean, I was surprised by the charges that cruisers could accumulate paying for shuttle service, €12 in one port, €8 in another. After disembarking a Carnival vessel for the day in Marseille, two women quickly returned to the purser’s desk, frustrated. They didn’t have €12 each for the shuttle and needed to change money to get into the city center.

Silversea's Free Shuttle To Town
One perk when cruising Silversea: free shuttle service to the city center in most destinations where Silversea’s vessels call. In Corfu, the bus ran every 30 minutes between the port and city center, saving us a long walk and €15 in cab fare. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

After doing two shore excursions and with two more to go on our 10-day cruise from Athens to Venice, we decided to take advantage of the free shuttle and explore the city center. We knew that Corfu ranked among the prettiest places in Greece. The town is rich with architecture from centuries of Venetian, French, and British rule. The shuttle, a newish Mercedes bus, ran every 30 minutes, with a break for lunch between noon and 2:30 p.m. We boarded the post-lunch shuttle and stayed in the town center until the last shuttle, 5 p.m.

We visited the Old Fortress and snapped plenty of photos, which you can view in our photo slideshow accompanying this post. We learned that Corfu’s entire population once lived within the walls of the Old Fortress, but it was the commanding views that called out to us, even in that meant trekking to the top in 93F temperatures.

The Old Fortress, Corfu
Built by the Venetians in 1546 on the site of a Byzantine castle, the Old Fortress in Corfu. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

The fortress was built by the Venetians in 1546 on the site of a Byzantine castle and is separated from the rest of the town by a moat. Its two heights, or korypha (“peaks”), gave the island of Corfu its name. Standing on the peaks, we had a gorgeous view west over the town, with Silver Spirit in the distance, and east to the mountainous coast of Albania.

Silver Spirit docked in Corfu, Greece
Silver Spirit, photographed from the Old Fortress. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle
View from the Old Fortress, Corfu
From the top of the Old Fortress, we had a gorgeous view east to the mountainous coast of Albania. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

After touring the Old Fortress, we walked along he Esplanade, arguably the most beautiful spianada (esplanade) in Greece, and made our way into the Campiello, a medieval quarter that is part of a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site. We strolled the labyrinth of narrow, winding streets, steep stairways, and found our way to secretive little squares past shops selling sponges, olive wood, ceramics, lace, jewelry, and the island’s specialty, Kumquat liqueur.

We stepped aboard the shuttle bus to return to Silver Spirit.

As we sailed away from Corfu, we had dinner outside at The Grill, where we grilled steaks on hot lava rocks as we sailed with Albania on one side and Greece on the other and another day of adventure straight ahead.

The Grill
As we sailed away from Corfu, we dined at The Grill, on pool deck, cooking our own filet mignon and prawns on hot rocks. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle
Silver Spirit in Corfu

Silver Spirit in Corfu

Silver Spirit docked in Corfu. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Silversea's Free Shuttle To Town

Silversea's Free Shuttle To Town

One perk for cruising Silversea: free shuttle service to the city center in most destinations where Silversea's vessels call. In Corfu, the bus runs every 30 minutes between the port and city center, saving us a 28-minute walk, according to Google Maps. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

The Old Fortress

The Old Fortress

Built by the Venetians in 1546 on the site of a Byzantine castle. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

The Old Fortress

The Old Fortress

Built by the Venetians in 1546 on the site of a Byzantine castle. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Moat at the Old Fortress

Moat at the Old Fortress

The Old Fortress is separated from the rest of the town by a moat. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Silver Spirit docked in Corfu, Greece

Silver Spirit docked in Corfu, Greece

Photographed from the Old Fortress. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Old Fortress Cafe

Old Fortress Cafe

A good place for a break, the Old Fortress cafe. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Clock Tower at the Old Fortress

Clock Tower at the Old Fortress

Overlooking Corfu, the old clock tower at the Citadel. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

View from the Old Fortress

View from the Old Fortress

From the top, we had a gorgeous view east to the mountainous coast of Albania. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Silver Spirit docked in Corfu, Greece

Silver Spirit docked in Corfu, Greece

Photographed from the Old Fortress. © 2013 Ralph Grizzle

Trouble viewing our slideshow? View on Flickr instead.

Check out On Silver Spirit, Assessing The Cost Of Luxury Cruises: Ten Value-Added Extras; What’s The Real Cost?

Silver Spirit, Athens To Venice

Day 1Athens, Greece
Day 2Kusadasi, Turkey
Day 3Olympia, Greece
Day 4Corfu, Greece
Day 5Kotor, Montenegro
Day 6Dubrovnik, Croatia
Day 7Hvar, Croatia
Day 8Venice, Italy
Voyage Recap In Photos

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