Robin’s adventure in Europe 2018 travel blog

Achilleion Palace

Walking up to Achilleion Palace

Looking down the side of the Achilleion Palace

Grand staircase Achilleion Palace

Up two floors of the Gand staircase: Achilleion Palace

Looking up to the last two floors of the grand staircase: Achilleion...

Denise found an elevator I could use for the last floor up...

1. Outside on the terrace and garden level — top floor

2, Outside on the terrace and garden level — top floor

3. Outside on the terrace and garden level — top floor

4. Outside on the terrace and garden level — top floor (Denise...

5. Outside on the terrace and garden level — top floor (Achilles)

6. Outside on the terrace and garden level — top floor Me,...

7. Outside on the terrace and garden level — top floor Denise...

8. Exploring the rest of the gardens

9. Outside on the terrace and garden level — top floor

10. Outside on the terrace and garden level — top floor

11. Outside on the terrace and garden level — top floor.... view

12. Outside on the terrace and garden level — top floor

13 Outside on the terrace and garden level — top floor... leaving...

Champagne cocktail hour!

Jacques, can you do the honors??

Jacques dividing up the champagne

A toast to us: Thank you for the fun memories!

Our last dinner together: Olympia Mare, Gouvia Marina

After dinner drinks, coffee, and hot water, as we say goodnight to...

Good morning. Today the three of us hurried thru our bereakfast, so we could get to the Achilleion palace before it got too hot, or too crowded. Unfortunately today was Sunday, and by the time Jacques drove us to the palace, there were 6 huge buses blacking the entrance, and a very long line at the ticket window. Denise and Dennus got the tickets, as I was leaning next to the iron gate, using my cane as a prop, and standing in the shade. It only took about 20 minutes before we had our tickets, and followed the anxious crowds thru the gates. (pic)



I carefully went up the staircase, and entered the palace. Directly infront of me was the grand (too many stairs!!)

I did not see an elevator, so slowly and carefully I ascended two flights of steps. (pic)

After the first two floors, I stopped to take my picture of where I was, and just where I had to go..... (O my!). (pic)

. (pic)

Denise disappeared for a couple of minutes, and came back to me telling me she found an elevator. Whoopi.

Yes, I will definitely use that for my last flight up. [to the terrace and outside garden area]. (pic)














By the time we got re-connected with Jacques, and made our way down the mountain, and back to Milena, the traffic and the heat (now in the mid 90’s) were awful.

On Milena, we quickly changed into our swimming suits, and made our way up to the Gouvia Marina swimming pool. Denise and Dennus were so much faster at getting ready than I am, so they went ahead, and I told I would join them in a few minutes or so. Marina had to go up to the Chancellory, so she kindly walked with me. We got to the pool, had a couple of pizzas, drinks, and Denise swam two or three times. Me? The pool was too crowded, and had nothing that would entice me to do into the much too cold water, so I decided to let Denise and Dennus swim to their hearts content. Well more accurately Denise swim to her hearts content while Dennus and I sat in the non-air-moving shade. After an hour, I told Dennus, I was going to head back to Milena, and enjoy the lack of heat in my “refrigerator”.

Denise and Dennus came back with a half hour after I arrived at the boat. The remainder of the afternoon, before we met for cocktails, Denise was busily packing, and organizing all her stuff.

We met for champagne cocktails at sunset. (pic)




We polished off the Champagne a record speed, before heading up to the Gouvia Marina for dinner at our favorite Olympia Mare restaurant. (pic)

. With a couple of bottles of Corfu wine: “J”. [Chateau Julia, Merlot]

We all loved it. In asking for the bill, the owner brought us 5 very generous shots of Qumquat liquor. A sweet liquor helps, when you are faced with looking at the bill. “A spoonful of sugar (qumquat), makes the medicine (dinner bill) go down”. :-)

After walking back to Millie, and sharing our last after dinner drink together, we said goodnight. Everyone below deck in the air conditioning, except Jacques who was asleep with his head on his arms at the dinner table, before adjourning him to the port side of the cockpit.

Bon Nuit to all,and to all a good night!



Achilleion Palace portico and main entrance

Achilleion (Greek: Αχίλλειο or Αχίλλειον) is a palace built in Gastouri on the Island of Corfu by Empress (German: Kaiserin) of Austria, Queen of Hungary, Elisabeth of Bavaria, also known as Sisi, after a suggestion by Austrian Consul Alexander von Warsberg. Elisabeth was a powerful woman obsessed with beauty, but was deeply saddened by the tragic loss of her only son, Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria during the Mayerling Incident in 1889. A year later she had this summer palace built in the region of Gastouri (Γαστούρι), about ten kilometres to the south of the city of Corfu in formerly, the municipality of Achilleio; now part of the Corfu municipality. Achilleion's location provides a panoramic view of Corfu city to the north, and across the whole southern part of the island.

The architectural style was intended to represent an ancient palace of mythical Phaeacia. The palace was designed with the hero Achilles of Greek mythology as its central theme, and from which the name is derived. Corfu was Elizabeth's favourite vacation place and she wanted a palace to gratify her admiration for Greece, its language and its culture.

"I want a palace with pillared colonnades and hanging gardens, protected from prying glances - a palace worthy of Achilles, who despised all mortals and did not fear even the gods."

Elisabeth of Austria

Dying Achilles (Achilleas thniskon) in the gardens. Achilles gazes skywards as if to seek help from the gods; his mother Thetis was a goddess

The Achilleion property was originally owned by Corfiote philosopher and diplomat Petros Vrailas Armenis and it was known as "Villa Vraila". In 1888, the Empress of Austria after visiting the place decided that it was the ideal location for her to build her palace on Corfu. The palace was designed by Italian architect Raffaele Caritto and built on a 200,000 m2 area. Elizabeth's husband, Emperor Franz Josef of Austria, had owned some nearby land as well. The German sculptor Ernst Herter was commissioned to create works inspired from Greek mythology. His sculpture Dying Achilles (Ancient Greek: Αχιλλεύς θνήσκων), created in Berlin in 1884 as inscribed in the statue, forms the centrepiece of the Achilleion Gardens.

The architectural design was intended to represent an ancient Phaeacian palace. The building, with the classic Greek statues that surround it, is a monument to platonic romanticism as well as escapism and was named after Achilles: Achilleion.

Paintings and statues of Achilles are abundant, both in the main hall and in the gardens, depicting contrasting heroic and tragic scenes of the Trojan war. The architectural style is Pompeian and has many parallels to that of the Russian imperial residence in Crimea. Elisabeth wrote that "I want a palace with pillared colonnades and hanging gardens, protected from prying glances — a palace worthy of Achilles, who despised all mortals and did not fear even the gods."

The Imperial gardens on top of the hill provide a scenic view of the surrounding green hills and valleys, with the Ionian sea in the background.

Elisabeth frequently visited Achilleion, until her 1899 assassination by Italian anarchist Luigi Lucheni in Geneva.


1981 James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only. This particular film immortalized Corfu's rich historical past viz-a-viz the scene depicting an underwater ancient Greek temple wherin a huge turtle is seen moving about in front. The film's high profile Casino scene too was shot at Corfu's renowned landmark Achillion Palace. Additional scenes from the same film were shot in Corfu. For instance, the romantic walk that Melina and James undertake through the town's colorful streets and the scene of Melina being greeted by who else, but Bond on the island of Pontikonisi has catpulted Corfu in the big time world movie landscape. The colorful scene of the traditional Greek Wedding too was shot at the picturesque Danilia Village. Ever since Corfu carved out a niche for itself as an ideal destination for shooting films post For Your Eyes Only, it was the turn of the BBC to shoot on this island. A Television serial and a movie which in fact was the adapted version of Gerald Durrell's best selling book My Family and Other Animals that was primarily based on the author's childhood spent in the island of Corfu in the 1930s. Source:

Entry Rating:     Why ratings?
Please Rate:  
Thank you for voting!
Share |