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Corfu will not be a typical Greek Island—no whitewashed villages are tumbling down arid hillsides like in fashionable locations like Santorini.
Instead, it’s one of many greenest Greek islands and, in components, resembles Tuscany with its rolling hills, olive groves, and cypress timber. Part of the Ionian Islands group, it’s the closest main island to Italy and was dominated by the Venetians for over 400 years.
The shoreline has the crystal clear turquoise water you anticipate from Greece, although, and the seashores vary from golden sandy bays to picturesque pebble coves.
There are so many issues to do in Corfu—calm down on the seashores, discover the shoreline by boat or on foot, snorkel with an array of vibrant fish, eat al fresco at a taverna, and wander the historic lanes of the gorgeous capital, Corfu Town (Kerkyra).
We spent six weeks on the island in June/July and nonetheless solely managed to go to the northern half (which has probably the most dramatic surroundings).
In this journey information, we share our tips about what to do in Corfu in addition to the place to remain and eat plus a map of all these Corfu sights.
Best Things to Do in Corfu Greece
Exploring Corfu is greatest executed by renting a automobile as bus service is restricted. The roads are very winding and potholed, although, so getting wherever takes longer than you’d anticipate. And the summer season warmth makes slow-paced sightseeing (with frequent swims) a necessity.
1) Hike to Porto Timoni Twin Beach
Visiting Porto Timoni is unquestionably among the finest issues to do on Corfu. This lovely double seaside on a peninsula within the northwest of the island is undeveloped and may solely be reached by a 30-minute hike from Afionas village or brief boat journey from Agios Georgios Pagon.
The hike is nicely value doing so you may admire the 2 bays from above. The path is steep and rocky so respectable sneakers are important.
Porto Timoni is among the hottest locations to go to in Corfu and it will get very crowded by noon. Visiting early within the morning is the easiest way to expertise it at its most magical.
See my detailed information to Porto Timoni seaside for all my suggestions.
2) Relax on Agios Georgios Pagon Beach
Our favorite sandy seaside on Corfu is Agios Georgios Pagon—we visited many occasions.
This lengthy crescent of golden sand has dramatic rocky headlands at both finish. Due to its measurement, it by no means feels too crowded, even in excessive season.
There’s a mixture of quiet seaside bars with sunbed leases and empty sections the place you may unfold out your towel (however carry an umbrella as there’s no shade).
Agios Georgios is the most effective place to rearrange a water taxi or pedalo to Porto Timoni.
As the bay is protected, it’s additionally a very good place for kayaking or standup paddleboarding (from €15 for one hour). The wind can choose up within the afternoons, so mornings are greatest for water sports activities.
The water is often a transparent blue and there are a number of fish round if you wish to snorkel—Porto Timoni is significantly better for snorkelling, although.
Our favorite seaside bar is San George Food Bar. In excessive season it prices €8 to lease two sunbeds and an umbrella, and you’ll order meals and drinks proper to your sunbed. We love the Greek Panini—a Greek salad stuffed in a pitta with a number of good chips on the aspect.
You may also eat on the tables subsequent to the seaside or on their roof terrace. The mini market subsequent door is surprisingly nicely stocked with seaside gear, fruit and greens, recent bread, and native merchandise.
Note that there’s one other Agios Georgios seaside within the south of the island, which is why this one usually has Pagon added to its title.
I feel Agios Georgios is the most effective of the North West Corfu seashores, however Arillas can be value visiting (largely for some glorious tavernas). The sandy seaside at Arillas is slim, however the water is shallow so is an efficient possibility for youths.
Agios Stefanos is one other lengthy sandy seaside within the space, however we didn’t suppose it was as lovely as Agios Georgios, and the ocean is extra uncovered and wavier.
I might skip Sidari solely—it’s bundle vacation central and the seaside is rammed with sunbeds.
3) Rent a Boat to Explore the Coastline
One of the must-do Corfu actions is to get out on a ship. You might take a tour like this family-run boat journey across the North East coast, which additionally features a BBQ lunch, however I extremely advocate renting your individual boat should you can.
There’s nothing like the liberty to zip alongside the shoreline stopping at whichever seaside takes your fancy, together with many who aren’t accessible by street or foot.
It’s an effective way to discover when it’s too scorching to hike to undeveloped seashores—the ocean breezes preserve you cool and boats include canopies for shade.
You don’t want a ship licence to lease a motorboat as much as 30HP. The boats are straightforward to function and also you’ll be given a lesson earlier than you head out.
We employed boats in Paleokastritsa (on the west coast) and within the northeast. If you have got restricted time (or finances), we loved Paleokastritsa probably the most.
We rented from Ampelaki Boats (Corfu Rent a Boat on Google Maps) and have been actually pleased with the expertise. Prices begin from €80 a day plus gasoline (ours value €15), however we went for a barely greater 30HP boat for €95 euros, which was good with loads of area to sunbathe on the entrance.
It’s straightforward to e book on-line—it’s greatest to take action a few week upfront because the cheaper boats promote out.
They present a map and a cooler with ice, so carry a picnic and loads of water. I additionally advocate bringing snorkelling gear as there are some good spots.
Note that there’s a restricted space you might be allowed to go to—Porto Timoni is the furthest north and Kolyvri Island is the furthest south.
You additionally need to anchor 20 metres offshore, so that you’ll must swim to succeed in the seashores. If you need to spend so much of time on the seaside, carry a water-proof bag in your gear. We have been positive making transient stops on the seashores after which enjoyable on our boat.
In summer season, there can be loads of different boats out, however we did handle to seek out two coves to ourselves.
Here’s the place we visited, ranging from the south:
- Kolyvri Island – A bit of rocky island that we sailed round.
- Stelari Beach – A beautiful lengthy seaside with some sunbeds to lease. The water was extremely clear, however we might see plenty of jellyfish so we didn’t go in.
- Paradise Beach (aka Chomi) – Another slim seaside backed by dramatic cliffs. We have been warned to not go onto the seaside due to falling rocks.
- Iliodoros Beach – Just around the headland is that this tiny however picturesque cove.
- Kolias Beach (aka Marmara) – Next door this little bay was largely within the shade within the morning so we had it to ourselves. We anchored right here and swam to a lone sunny rock on the seaside. The snorkelling was good with large faculties of fish.
- Limni Beach – This appeared fairly however somewhat too busy to cease at.
- Klimatia Beach – A tiny, quieter cove on the opposite aspect of the headland from Limni (you may stroll there). We stopped right here for extra good snorkelling.
- Rovinia Beach – This is among the hottest seashores to stroll to, so it was actually busy.
- Liapades Beach – A serious seaside within the space with sunbeds and boat rent.
We then headed out of the bay previous the port and Ampelaki Beach (the place we began) and off within the different path.
- Mikro Kastelli Beach – Our final seaside of the day was the most effective. See beneath.
We might have continued on to Agios Georgios and Porto Timoni, however we’d spent loads of time there. We have been out from 10am – 3pm however might have stayed out till 6pm.
You can see the place we visited by boat on the east coast beneath.
Wherever you determine to discover, renting a ship is among the most enjoyable issues to do in Corfu.
4) Swim at Mikro Kastelli Beach
Kastelli and Mikro Kastelli are two beautiful pebble seashores beneath dramatic sheer cliffs with the clearest aqua water. They can solely be accessed by sea so lease a ship in Paleokastritsa or Agios Georgios Pagon to get there.
When we arrived by boat we have been the one ones at Mikro Kastelli at first. It was dreamy floating within the swimming pool clear water and swimming to the empty seaside.
Be cautious of falling rocks, although—we had no points, however the seaside is slim.
Snorkelling wasn’t fairly nearly as good as the opposite Paleokastritsa spots, however there was nonetheless lots to see.
5) Explore the Cliffside Beaches of Paleokastritsa
Paleokastritsa is a Corfu should see. This village within the northwest of the island consists of a sequence of small bays in a surprising location beneath dramatic mountains.
The seashores are lovely with crystal clear water, however as they’re small and it is a fashionable vacation spot, they get very crowded.
Agios Spiridon is the principle seaside with a mixture of sand and pebbles, sunbeds and umbrellas to lease, and loads of eating places close by. Boat excursions depart right here.
You can stroll up the hill to the Paleokastritsa Monastery, Moni Theotokou, which dates again to the thirteenth century. There are nice views from the highest. Entrance is free.
A extra secluded seaside a couple of minutes’ stroll away is Ampelaki Beach, the place we rented our boat. Other seashores in Paleokastritsa accessible by automobile embody Agia Triada and Liapades. La Grotta is a well-liked seaside bar constructed into the rocks.
To attain much less developed bays, it’s greatest to lease your individual boat (see the seashores we visited above) or take a water taxi from Agios Spiridon. Or you may hike to Rovinia Beach, however go early to keep away from the crowds.
A ship experience is the easiest way to understand Paleokastritsa’s gorgeous surroundings.
6) Beach Hop on the North East Coast by Boat or on Foot
North East Corfu can be nicely value visiting. The mountainous shoreline options many small pebble coves with crystal water and views throughout to Albania.
This is a extra upmarket and costly a part of Corfu with many fancy villas on the hillsides.
Places to go to in North East Corfu embody the full of life harbour city of Kassiopi, with its Byzantine fortress, and Avlaki Beach, the longest seaside within the space, so there’s extra space than most.
There are a number of picturesque villages with small pebble seashores and tavernas proper on the water, together with San Stefano, Kalami (well-known for the White House the place Lawrence Durrell lived), and Agni.
This is an efficient space for mountaineering as there are marked trails alongside the coast and you’ll cease at unspoilt seashores alongside the way in which. The Agios Stefanos to Avlaki coastal path is 6.5km (4 miles) and takes 1.5 hours every method (plus enable time for stops).
I actually wished to do the hike, however the 35ºC warmth was an excessive amount of for us, so we explored the coast by boat as a substitute.
We rented from San Stefano boats and paid €130 for a day (plus €20 gasoline). It was considerably dearer than in Paleokastritsa and our boat was smaller. They supplied a map and cooler.
We have been allowed to take the boat from Kassiopi to Nissaki. To keep away from the afternoon winds, we began by heading north to Kassiopi (about quarter-hour away direct) and drove south from there.
Our favorite part was the unspoilt Erimitis coast between Avlaki and San Stefano, the place the seashores are undeveloped with out sunbeds or tavernas.
In specific, we beloved our cease at an unnamed bay across the headland from Avlaki. We didn’t danger sitting on the seaside beneath the crumbling cliffs, however we swam within the wonderful turquoise water and right into a cool little cave.
Continuing on are extra beautiful pebble seashores, together with Vrachli, Vouvalomantria, Arias, and Akoli, the place we stopped for an additional swim within the splendidly translucent sea.
From San Stefano south to Nissaki, the coast is extra developed, and the small seashores are filled with sunbeds, making it more durable to discover a quiet cove to cease at.
It’s hillier, although, so the surroundings is gorgeous and the waterside tavernas have jetties the place you may cease for lunch (we had a picnic, although)—Agni is a very good selection.
We did handle to discover a rocky space to anchor previous Agni—there was no actual seaside, however the snorkelling was glorious.
After returning our boat and driving again in the direction of the west coast, we stopped at Ice Dream in Perithia, which I like to recommend for glorious home made ice cream (the chocolate could be very decadent).
If we’d had the power, we’d have favored to drive up the mountain to Old Perithia, Corfu’s oldest village, the place yow will discover medieval stone homes, church buildings, and a few glorious tavernas.
7) Walk the Clifftop Path between Arillas and Agios Stefanos
From Arillas Beach on the northwest coast, you are able to do a ravishing and pretty straightforward hike on a clifftop path.
From the jetty within the centre of Arillas seaside, head proper (conserving the ocean in your left) and stroll in the direction of the top of the seaside the place you’ll see a dust path up the hill. The views from the cliff path are incredible as you look again in the direction of Arillas.
After about quarter-hour, you’ll attain Akrotiri Cafe, the right spot for a drink or meal with loads of exterior seating to admire the panoramic sea views. We loved the vegetarian moussaka and Greek ciabatta. The sundown views would even be incredible right here.
After lunch we continued on the peninsula clifftop path having fun with views of Arillas and Gravia Island and Agios Stefanos on the opposite aspect.
You can proceed on to a chapel and Agios Stefanos seaside—possibly 20-Half-hour extra—however within the warmth of the day we turned again to Arillas.
8) Enjoy a Meal with a Panoramic Sea View
You can’t beat a scrumptious Greek meal with a sea view. Our favorite elevated spots are Akrotiri Cafe in Arillas (see above for particulars of the gorgeous hike to get there) and Evdemon in Afionas (the place the hike to Porto Timoni begins).
Evdemon is a destination-worthy restaurant. Its clifftop terrace has wonderful sea views and is the right spot to observe the sundown. We made the error of eating a number of hours earlier than sundown in summer season and struggled within the warmth as there’s no shade when the solar is low.
Despite the warmth, we beloved the views and the wonderful meals. This isn’t a typical taverna menu—the small number of seasonal dishes modifications day by day and contains good vegetarian choices. Prices are increased than common however value it for the standard.
We loved the scrumptious Evdemon salad, stuffed aubergine, and a stunning recent pasta with pesto.
Evdemon is open for dinner from 6pm and reserving is extremely advisable.
9) Admire the View at Cape Drastis
Cape Drastis within the far north of the island is understood for among the finest views in Corfu, the place chiselled white cliffs jut into the turquoise Ionian Sea.
While this is among the hottest locations to go to in Corfu, we discovered it somewhat underwhelming as there isn’t a apparent viewpoint.
We parked on the space marked “Small car park of Cape Drastis” on Google Maps. The street does proceed down from right here, however it’s unpaved and bumpy, so we selected to stroll down. After about 10 minutes, there have been a number of spots the place you may see the well-known cliffs, however the view was somewhat obscured.
You can proceed all the way down to the small seaside the place boat excursions can be found, however we turned again because of the warmth of the night (even at 8pm!).
Perhaps we missed the most effective viewpoint. Either method, Cape Drastis is value a fast cease as you may mix it with close by Loggas Beach.
10) Watch the Sunset at Loggas Beach
A five-minute drive from Cape Drastis within the village of Peroulades is Loggas Beach (aka Sunset Beach). This is probably the most well-known place in Corfu to observe the sundown.
In the night, guests flock to seventh Heaven bar, the place you may get pleasure from a drink because the solar disappears into the ocean. There’s even a glass platform on the cliff’s edge for an uninterrupted view (and Instagram spot).
It’s a full of life place so we walked all the way down to the seaside beneath, the place it’s quieter. It’s a brief however steep stroll down together with some rickety wood steps—we sat on the prime of the steps to observe the solar setting.
The seaside is gorgeous, backed by sheer white cliffs, however it’s very slim and solely accessible at low tide on a relaxed day. Even then, to get to the principle part we might have needed to stroll by way of water. I did remorse not bringing a swimsuit as the ocean was so calm once we visited.
11) Snorkel within the Crystal Clear Sea
Corfu has some good snorkelling so it’s value shopping for a masks and snorkel in your time on the island.
Some of the fish I noticed included rainbow wrasse, ornate wrasse, cow bream, 5 noticed wrasse, frequent two-banded sea bream, parrotfish, wide-eyed flounder, and a crab. I additionally swam by way of big faculties of tiny silver fish (Mediterranean sand smelt, I consider).
My favorite snorkelling spot is Porto Timoni—each seashores have loads of fish, however on my go to, the visibility was higher on the seaside on the left (after mountaineering down) because it’s extra protected. You’ll see probably the most alongside the rocks.
Hiring a ship to go to small coves close to Paleokastritsa and within the northeast is one other nice method to discover snorkelling alternatives (see above).
12) Get Lost in Corfu Old Town
Visiting the island’s capital, Corfu Town (Kerkyra in Greek), is among the prime issues to do in Corfu.
The Old Town could be very picturesque with slim lanes and idyllic squares that jogged my memory of Italy. Unsurprisingly, as a result of the Venetians dominated right here for 400 years and constructed each the Old and New Forts (each are value visiting).
Its lengthy historical past courting again to the eighth century BC, with a mixture of Venetian, French, British, and Greek influences, earned its place as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The compact space is right for wandering. With many vacationers in summer season, it has a full of life however relaxed ambiance and it’s straightforward to show down a aspect road to flee the crowds.
I like to recommend beginning on the Liston, an arcade of eating places with outside seating reverse the big Spianada Square. You may also see the Palace of St Michael and St George right here, which homes the Asian Art Museum.
Then head down one of many primary streets, Nikiforou Theotoki, the place you’ll discover loads of retailers. Make certain you cease at Papagiorgis for Italian-level gelato (the pistachio and caramel have been wonderful).
If you retain going, you’ll attain the New Fortress in about quarter-hour. It was closed on our go to, however it’s value seeing from exterior.
Afterwards, delve again into the maze of streets and discover at random.
If you could cool off, head to the Faliraki space for a swim off the rocks. It’s nothing just like the seashores you’ll discover elsewhere on the island, however there are a few bars for a drink with views of the Old Fortress (we went to En Plo).
To discover Corfu Town with a information, take a look at this Corfu Town strolling tour which incorporates native meals tastings.
13) Visit Vlacherna Monastery
Vlacherna Monastery is a well-liked attraction in Corfu Town. It’s on the sting of city close to the airport so is best visited by automobile (there’s a big free automobile park).
The cute little white monastery is situated on an island with a walkway to succeed in it. There’s not a lot to see inside.
There’s one other walkway into the ocean the place you may stand below the flight path of planes flying scarily low into the airport.
You can take a ship journey (€2.50) to close by Mouse Island, however it’s tiny so there’s not a lot to see.
Vlacherna Monastery is a reasonably spot that’s value a fast go to. It could be most scenic at sundown (particularly mixed with a drink).
14) Walk to the Old Fortress Viewpoint
The Fifteenth-century Old Fortress is among the greatest issues to do in Corfu Town. The dramatic Venetian fort dominates the view within the metropolis, sitting on a rocky peninsula jutting into the ocean. You received’t be capable of miss it, however it’s value heading up for a better look.
It’s a big complicated with lots to discover, however a spotlight is the view of Corfu Town and the Ionian Sea from the cross on the prime. We went within the night, however the gentle could be higher within the morning with the solar behind you.
We’d initially hoped to see the sundown right here, however they shut gate entry to the highest at 8pm. We entered at 7.30pm, simply after they stopped charging (often it’s €6), and needed to rush to get to the summit in time.
15) Eat a Delicious Taverna Meal
A spotlight of any Greece journey is the meals. These are our favorite eating places in North West Corfu:
- Brouklis Taverna, Arillas – Our prime choose. Dimitris is the fantastic host of this conventional restaurant that has been in his household for many years. Charming outside seating below vines and scrumptious, inexpensive, home-cooked meals—ask for the day by day specials. Our favourites have been the vegetarian moussaka and the mezze platter (could be made vegetarian), which incorporates the excellent courgette balls and tzatziki. Book upfront or arrive by 7pm.
- Akrotiri Cafe, Arillas – Good meals and beautiful sea views—see #7 above.
- Kostas on the Beach, Arillas – On the seafront (good for sundown), this traditional taverna has many vegetarian choices and enormous parts.
- Evdemon, Afionas – Stunning sea views and never your typical taverna menu—see #8.
- The Grill, Afionas – Casual spot with vegan choices. I beloved the falafel plate with grilled greens, falafel, fries, hummus, and pita.
- Ilias Taverna, Avliotes – Off the overwhelmed observe in a small village however solely a five-minute drive from Loggas Beach. Countryside views from the terrace. The appetisers are the best choice for vegetarians so we shared a variety of them with their tasty pitta bread.
In Corfu Town we advocate these eating places:
- Aubergine – A vegetarian restaurant with outside seating below timber on the Liston. Lots of meat-free Greek classics like stuffed peppers and moussaka.
- Pane e Souvlaki – An informal place with seating in a stunning plaza within the coronary heart of the Old Town. Souvlaki (meat on a skewer) is fashionable, however additionally they have vegetarian choices. The grilled vegetable skewers and falafel wrap have been good, however the starters have been the spotlight for us, particularly the tzatziki and grilled feta with spicy tomatoes.
Where to Stay in Corfu
Hotels in Corfu Town
For the most effective seashores I like to recommend staying exterior town, however it’s nicely value spending your first or final evening in beautiful Corfu Town. If you might be solely on the island for a number of days, it might make a very good base to discover.
On our final evening we stayed at Locandiera, a boutique B&B down a quiet lane within the good location within the Old Town (near the Liston).
The hosts are very pleasant and gave us baklava on arrival and good details about exploring town. Breakfast is included however we left too early to attempt it (they did provide to depart us one thing).
Rooms are easy however snug. The solely draw back is that sound travels simply so you may hear different visitors strolling round.
Accommodation in North West Corfu
North West Corfu is a superb possibility if you wish to be near lengthy sandy seashores (the North East can be lovely however has smaller rockier seashores).
We spent six weeks on the Airbnb Country House on Top of the Hill. The distant location is an untouristy village received’t be for everybody—it’s a 15-minute drive to Agios Georgios and Arillas seashores and the roads are tough.
But we beloved the tranquillity, lovely backyard, mountain views, and the cats who visited. It’s very homely and well-equipped.
While there are technically three bedrooms, two of those are on an open plan mezzanine, so it’s greatest for a pair or household with kids who don’t want numerous privateness.
If you wish to be nearer to the seaside, Agios Georgios Pagon is our favorite (it’s additionally near Porto Timoni) and there are many inexpensive flats and guesthouse rooms accessible.
Search for lodging in Agios Georgios Pagon right here.
Corfu Greece Map
This Corfu sightseeing map has all of the locations talked about on this put up.
SIM Card For Greece
We often purchase a SIM card and information plan domestically in every nation we go to to keep away from excessive roaming charges.
For visiting Corfu, although, we used an Airalo eSim for the primary time and have been actually impressed.
Prices are very inexpensive (3GB of information for 30 days for US $9), and as there’s no bodily SIM card, you may preserve your house nation SIM in your telephone to make use of as wanted.
We signed up earlier than we left and it was activated as quickly as we arrived in Greece so we had web entry immediately.
It labored so nicely we acquired one for our subsequent journey to Italy too.
The solely draw back is that it solely works for information so that you received’t get an area telephone quantity, however most individuals don’t want that (we used WhatsApp to speak with our Airbnb host).
Using an eSIM was really easy and handy that I extremely advocate it. Check out the Airalo eSIM choices right here.
Is Corfu Worth Visiting?
Corfu grew on us. At first we have been dissatisfied that the villages weren’t as fairly and charming as anticipated—exterior beautiful Corfu Old Town, the buildings are extra fashionable.
But Corfu has rather a lot to supply together with a inexperienced mountainous inside, golden sandy seashores, dramatic cliffs, good mountaineering and snorkelling, and inexpensive boat rental to discover a cove to your self.
In summer season it was busy however not overly crowded, costs have been very affordable, and we ate nicely as vegetarians.
Corfu won’t have the traditional Greek Island surroundings, however it’s nicely value visiting.
Don’t miss our information to Porto Timoni Beach in Corfu.
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