Vlacherna Monastery Corfu
Travel

Beauty in White

GREECE – Kanoni, Vlacherna monastery // For Your Eyes Only (1981)

The islands south of Kanoni are by far the most iconic landscapes on Corfu, especially the whitewashed Vlacherna monastery. It goes without saying, that a Bond movie had to get the camera rolling here.

Why Bond was here
In For Your Eyes Only, the British government hired two archeologists to dive for a sunken submarine, that is equipped with a secret communication system. When the archeologists get assassinated, 007 (Roger Moore) is called for duty. He unites forces with Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet), the revengeful daughter of the deceased. On Greek island Corfu, both slowly start to appreciate not only the others will to kill – but also the comfort. The gentle love unfolds, when Bond pics up Melina at a yacht pier in front of Vlacherna monastery to discover charming Corfu’s main town Kerkyra.

Bond and Melina at the jetty with the monastery to the left

How you gonna get there
Vlacherna monastery is situated on a small island south of Kanoni peninsula. The island is connected to the peninsula with a small jetty. Together with neighboring island Pontikonisi (Greek for “mouse island”) the area is one of the most iconic spots of Corfu. Even Bond couldn’t miss it: so go there, even if it is just a short visit!
It can be best reached via bus from Kerkyra. City bus line No. 2 runs frequently and stops at a plaza next to the big Corfu Holiday Palace Hotel. On the plaza is an old cannon – eponymous for the area – and small Café Kanoni, situated right at a cliff overlooking the two islands. From the café, some steps lead down to the shore and the jetty.
When coming with a rented car from Kerkyra, one first should follow the signs to the airport and then to Kanoni. Once in Kanoni, a coastal road leads south towards the tip of the peninsula. One then can either come the same route as the bus and park at the plaza or take a turn right to drive down to the little harbor next to the jetty.

Good to know
Vlacherna monastery once was actually a nunnery, built in 17th century under Venetian reign. Nowadays it became a tranquil destination with its small chapel and the cypress tree guarding the petite whitewashed houses. Cats roam the courtyard, while an old dog snores outside at the threshold. At the stone jetty that leads towards the monastery, ferrymen offer a passage to nearby Pontikonisi island, just two minutes away. But the bay was not the only one used in For Your Eyes Only. Scenes with the Havelock yacht had been filmed both here and up north at Kalami bay.

The best time to visit Kanoni is probably late afternoon. First to hide in the shadows when infiltrating nearby Villa Sylva, then to enjoy the sunset over Corfu painting Vlacherna monastery in an orange glow. The Café Kanoni is the best option for that: It might not look that charming, but the scenery paired with a glass of white wine and a plate of traditional Tamaro and feta cheese is unbeatable.

© 2015 Huntingbond (1,3), © 1981 Danjaq, LLC and United Artists Corporation (2)

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