Search no further. Here is the complete guide for your Corfu holidays in Greece.
The island of Corfu or Kerkyra as it is locally known is a popular holiday destination in Greece.
Majority of the visitors to our shores are young people on vacation and older citizens who appreciate the fine things in life. The island is a place where class and style are taken to a whole new level.
Corfu is located off the Greek coast and is second in size when compared to other islands of the Ionian sea and is a big island. So there are lots of things to do in Corfu.
A town bearing the same name is situated within the island.
In the article we examine the various sights and activities to be enjoyed in this beautiful part of Greece.
The history around Corfu Island
The island is very rich in History. If you are a fan of the Homer, you may have come across the place under a different name. Odysseus during his wanderings, fleeing from an avenging sea deity- Poseidon was shipwrecked by storms.
His ship was stranded on the shores of Scheria, a land of seafaring people. Rescued by the beautiful daughter of the King-Alkinoos, he found some measure of comfort in the Land.
The descriptions given by Homer may well be about this island. Another legend is Poseidon named the place after his lover Korkyra. He brought her to live in the island. The name Corfu was derived from her. This two stories portray ancient Greek knowledge of the place.
However, this is an island strongly influenced by the Venetian culture, which can be found all over the island!
Things to do in Corfu island, Greece
There are tons of things to do and the high point of them are the numerous beaches of this island. You will not have time to get bored during your Corfu holidays.
The island has been a source of inspiration to artists and writers for hundreds of years. Among the admirers was William Shakespeare.
It is said when he created the fairy tale kingdom in Tempest, he had the Corfu in mind. The Serene environment in the island has heightened the imagination of art lovers and conquerors alike.
You are bound to see Venetian, Greek, British, French and Ottoman influences when you walk through the town or visit the Museum. Art and Class will always be a key pillar in Corfu.
Best beaches for your Corfu Holidays
The island has good topography. The beaches are excellent and the coastline is accessible by boats and other water vessels.
Corfu enjoys a warm Mediterranean Climate which is advantageous to vacationers as they can bask in the sun for an average 9 hours daily.
That sums up to 3000 hours in a year. For beach lovers the best places to hang out are in the south where the beaches are smooth. The north has rocky beaches and the sands are filled with pebbles.
Just imagine that there are around 60 beaches in Corfu. Here are the 35 best beaches in Corfu island (in alphabetical order):
- Agia Triada
- Ágios Geórgios Págon & Afiónas
- Agios Georgios South
- Agios Gordios
- Agios Petros
- Agios Spyridonas
- Apraos or Kalamaki
- Gardénos (Paralía Gardénou) & Megáli Lákka
- Kalami beach
- Kanoni Kassiopis Beach
- Liapadon Beach
- Logga beach
- Longás (aka Perouládes)
- Marathiá/Agía Varvára
- Paradise Beach
- Sidari Canal d’Amour
The beaches are conducive for basking in the sun and a host of other sporting activities. The shores are shallow and swimmers will enjoy the warm waters and low tides during the day.
Activities such as water polo, beach volley, frisbees, water skiing and others are common. A walk through the beach and staring into the sea is also a good pastime.
What to do in Corfu?
Explore Corfu Old Town
The Old town of Corfu is a UNESCO World Heritage monument!
If you are in the town, a visit to Corfu Saint Spyridon Church can be interesting.
The church is rooted to the islands History. It was named after the island patron Saint, who is believed to have played a role in averting some major misfortunes in mainland Greece.
The museum of Asian art in the town has a lot to offer, expect to see some precious artifacts from ancient times.
The archaeological museum of Corfu is another place to visit. You will be surprised to learn the earliest visitors to the island were the ancient Egyptians. There is a lot of history to absorb.
The town itself is beautiful and the citizens are very welcoming.
You can take a Trip to the Old harbor and check out Corfu Fortress of Saint Mark.
The purpose of the fort was to protect the town against enemy incursions during the old days. Now it represents the strength and tenacious nature of the people who lived then and now.
Enjoy some coffee in the many Cafes along the streets.
Other places to check out are the Mon Repos Palace and the Spaniada. Both are very interesting examples of classical architecture.
The town is a mix between the ancient and modern worlds.
If you like museums and really want to get deeper in history through your Corfu holidays, make time to also visit:
- The Andivouniótissa (Byzantine) Museum in Mourágia district
- Mon Repos villa-museum at Paleopolis
- The Sapounopoiïa Patouni/Patounis Soap Factory
- Museum of Music in Corfu town
- The Sea Shell Museum at Benitses village
- The Sinarades Folklore Museum
- The Solomos Museum in Corfu town
- The Spianada Square
- The Casa Parlante in Corfu town
- The Gardiki Castle at Matheos village
Achilleion Palace (Sisi Palace)
The Achilleion Palace is located in the Village of Gastouri. That is 10 km’s SW of the town of Corfu. There is a guided tour (mainly for groups) that includes Achilleion Palace, Kanoni and Old Town.
The palace was built by Empress Elizabeth of Austria. She is also known as the sad queen Sissy.
Elizabeth was the younger daughter of the Duke of Bavaria, and the Emperor of Austria.
Achilleion decoration was supervised by Elizabeth itself. Her admiration for classical Greece is see all over the Palace (interior and exterior). Lots of statues of ancient philosophers, ancient gods and heroes are seen all over.
Dive into the Blue Caves of Corfu
Do not to miss the Blue Caves in your holidays. You will be taken there by a boat to marvel the water colors.
Scuba Diving Corfu island
Corfu is really popular when it comes to scuba diving locations in Greece. The best dive sites are around Paleokastrítsa, Othoní or Paxí islets and the northeast coast.
Popular diving destinations are:
- Agni Reef
- Kavo Varvaro
Horse Trekking in Corfu island
Corfu is also ideal for horse trekking. At the village of Ano Korakiana you will meet British born Sally Lewis who acquired her horse skills managing a cattle ranch in Wyoming for ten years.
Sally’s love for animals in general, and horses in particular was one of the factors that led her to Trailriders, which she has owned for the last twenty two years.
Read more about horse trekking in Corfu from this post.
Hiking the Corfu Trail (220 km)
The nature trails are some of the best in the world. The Corfu Trail is rated among the most splendid in Europe and is 220 kilometres long.
A walk through this route will avail the best features the island has to offer. If you prefer to be alone when hiking, the trail some distance away from the tourist resorts and hotels.
Chances are you will bump into a few fellow hikers only. It is advisable to hike at the peak of summer to enjoy the sights in all there splendor.
Visit the nearby islands of Paxοs and Anti-Paxos
The islands are very close to Corfu and you can visit them as part of a day trip tour. Click here for the tour.
Visit the Islet of Pontikonhsi
That is the landmark island of Corfu. A small green islet positioned ad the entrance of Chalikiopoulos lagoon. Take the small boats that depart from the small harbor next to the Vlacherna Byzantine Church (seen below).
Many confuse the name of the islet with that of mice (Pontiko means mouse in Greek). However that is not the truth. The actual meaning is “Beautiful island”. Another legend claims that the island of Pontikonhsi was the ship of Ulysses, turned to stone by Poseidon.
Explore Corfu Villages
Palea Perithia: A village holding strong from the Venetian Era. Visit the “Agios Iakovos O Persis” church (translates to: Saint Jacob the Persian). The church comes with very vivid frescoes, The village is part of the Corfu TRail route.
Kassiopi: A really big mass-market resort. This location was a resort since Roman times. Tiberius built a villa there, while Nero paid a musical kind of visit. There is a castle, where the path to it starts next to the medieval Kassopitra church (build on top of old Zeus temple). You have options to visit the nearby beaches of Kalamionas, Pipitou, Bataria and Kogevinas (known as Sykia).
Sidari: The place is famous for the Canal d’ Amour. The location consists of sandstone cliffs that have changed to weird curvy shapes due to wind and water erosion. Legend says that women who desire to find the love of their life will do so if they swim along the canal.
Paleokastritsa: Maybe the most picturesque village and beach. Fantastic color of waters next to the popular church of Virgin Mary of Paleokastrita.
Get a Premium Guided Tour
Do you want everything planned and organized by locals? Then a guided tour is the best solution for your case. Here is our recommendation for guided tours and trips near and in Corfu island.
Corfu Map – Where is Corfu Island?
Corfu is in Greece and belongs to the Ionian group. Some also know it with the names of Kerkyra or Korkyra. Greeks actually call it: Kerkyra. You can reach it by ferry and airplane. It is not a small island. You need 2 hours just to go from south to north. Roads in villages are a bit narrow. With so many beaches to explore do allocate quite a bit of driving time in your itinerary.
Corfu is really good location to explore Greek mainland too. The ferry from Corfu takes 1.30 hours to the harbor of Igoumenitsa. Going from Athens to Igoumenitsa takes less than 5 hours.
From there (and using the newly delivered Ionian Highway) you can reach a huge part of West Greece in little time, moving downwards to Athens. If you choose to explore the North part towards Thessaloniki then you can make plans to fly from there for your holidays.
How to get to Corfu island?
You can fly there, take the ferry or even by car.
Flights to Corfu
The airport of Corfu (names Ioannis Kapodistrias) is very close to Corfu town. You can fly there from Athens or Thessaloniki (serves direct flights and charters).
These companies fly to Corfu (check per year). Use SkyScanner to check flight prices and subscribe to their price alerts.
Budget – Low Cost
Ferry to Corfu
You can take the ferry from Igoumenitsa (closer to Corfu) or from Patrais. The ferry from Patrais takes longer to reach Corfu but if you choose to drive to from Athens then you skip all the driving time.
If you booked your accommodation closer to the South part of Corfu then you better take the Igoumenitsa to Lefkimi ferry.
In case you come to Italy then there are options from Brindisi, Bari, Ancona, or Venice in Italy.
Always make sure to book ahead. This service for booking ferries in Greece is really reliable.
Where to stay in Corfu island?
There are apartments, rooms to let, budget hotels, luxury hotels. Whatever you want it is there. Best way to book? Choose booking.com, to check ratings and prices. Make sure to book 3 to 5 months prior your trip.
Corfu is great for family holidays.
Is that all to know for your Corfu holidays?
Far from it… Corfu is a huge island and has tons of things, but this guide is a really good start.
If you really want to explore the island you need 10 days or more.
You can see the dramatic Cape Drastis, visit the St. George’s Church, watch the sunset at Loggas beach or explore the Gorge at Agni Bay.
Corfu is a wonderful place to be. You will treasure the memories of the island when you go back home. It’s not just a place to holiday but also gives you a chance to grow mentally.
The locals are friendly to all people who visit the island. If you have saved enough it is time to plan the trip of a lifetime.