Corfu Island Holidays Travel Guide


Do you know what’s amazing about holidays on Corfu island? It’s that although it is one of the most popular destinations in Greece, it keeps its wild natural beauty. You may thought that tourism has ruined the island. But no. Corfu is still full of secluded coves, verdant mountains, and little charming villages waiting to be discovered!

 

Are you searching for an all-inclusive resort to spend your holidays in Corfu? Or, maybe you’re craving a relaxing stress-free stay by the beach? No matter what type of holidays is your cup of tea, Corfu is an ideal destination. In this article, we’re going to let you in on everything you need to know before booking your holidays. Stick with us!

About Corfu


Corfu island in Greece has a lot to offer in terms of natural beauty! Being one of the greenest Greek islands, Corfu is carpeted with forests, valleys, and groves, which make its natural landscape incredibly beautiful. Even though most of the island is touristically developed, there are some spots still unaffected by mass tourism. Add the island’s booming culinary scene in the mix and it becomes obvious why everyone keeps coming back to Corfu!

Sidari area Canal d Amour

 

Why is Corfu famous?

Corfu is one of those islands that breathe history! It was for many years under the Venetian rule and the English rule. The Venetians have inevitably influenced Corfu in terms of culture, architecture, and gastronomy. As a result, Corfu has emerged as a top cultural destination. So, expect to discover a great variety of monuments, from palaces to monasteries and mansions. It can feel like you are living in a postcard as you meander through the narrow alleys of Corfu Town!

 

As for Corfu beaches, they’re one of a kind! Exotic and long, they are, unsurprisingly, among the best beaches in the world! The coast of Corfu is also fringed with beautiful coves and dotted with picturesque seaside resorts, where you can find a wide variety of hotels for your stay.

Does it sound like heaven to you?

 

Where is Corfu located?

 

Corfu, Greece sits in the Ionian Sea, on the west part of the country, and is part of the Ionian island group along with other super famous islands, such as Zakynthos, Kefalonia, and Lefkada. The islands of the Ionian sea are famous for their beautiful landscape – Corfu couldn’t be an exception. It is one of the greenest Greek islands and boasts a verdant setting, which makes it a top destination for nature lovers. Corfu is located 170 km away from Kefalonia, 221 km away from Zakynthos, and 117 km away from Lefkada.

Read also: Santorini island holidays travel guide | Mykonos island holidays travel guide | Paros island holidays travel guide

 

What is the best time to visit Corfu?

Flashing out the obvious, the best time of the year to visit Corfu is in the summer! In the summer, the weather is warm, so it’s the perfect season to enjoy Corfu beaches and do sightseeing. What’s more, there are many flights and ferries to Corfu throughout the peak season (June to August). But, we’ll let you in on a little secret. Corfu is famous for its Easter festivities! So, if you want to partake in the island’s culture, Easter is the best season to visit Corfu, as many local customs are revived and several events are taking place all around the island.

 

The weather in Corfu

  • Autumn (September to November)

    Highest: 82 F/ 28 C Lowest: 50 F/ 10 C

  • Winter (December to February)

    Highest: 59 F/ 15 C Lowest: 41 F/ 5 C

  • Spring (March to May)

    Highest: 75 F/ 24 C Lowest: 45 F/ 7 C

  • Summer (June to August)

    Highest: 88 F/ 31 C Lowest: 61 F/ 16 C

 

What are the most popular events, holidays, and city-breaks in Corfu?

St Basil Day/New Year, Theophania / Epiphany
Carnival season, Valentine’s Day, Tsiknopempti (Meat Thursday)
Kathara Deftera (Clean Monday), Carnival season, Independence Day (March 25th)
Easter Week, Easter Sunday, Orthodox Easter
Paleokastritsa festival, Virgin religious feast in Kassiopi, Makrades Festival, Kanoni Festival, Kassios Dias Trail Race in Kassiopi, Achilles Race
Alikes festival, Potamo festival, Petalia festival, Saint Onofrio's feast, Holy Spirit feasts, Saints Peter and Paul religious feasts, European Music Day, Beach Volley Tournament
Madonna of Vlacherena religious feast, Saint Prokopios religious feasts, Saint Spyridonas festival, Saint Marina religious feasts, Elia Prophet religious feast, Cricket Week, Peroulades Festival
Kato Garuna festival, Virgin Odighitria religious feast, Benitses Sardine Festival, Nymphs Festival, Paleokastritsa Varkarola Festival
Feast of the Holy Cross, Kavadades Wine Festival
“OXI” Day, Messonghi Festival

 

Did you know?

Corfu was the only island that has never been under Turkish rule, unlike the rest of Greece. However, Corfu island remained under British rule from 1814 until 1864. There are still traces of the British on the island, as the cricket ground in Spianada Square.

 

What are the best things to do in Corfu, Greece?

  1. Enjoy the best Corfu beaches

    Beaches in Corfu are arguably some of the best beaches in Greece! Standing out for their verdant backdrops, golden sand, and mesmerizing emerald waters, the beaches in Corfu will quickly steal your heart. The coasts of Corfu are fringed with amazing beaches, such as Kondokali, Myrtiotissa, Glyfada, Agios Georgios Pagon, and Acharavi. The most interesting beach in Corfu is hands down Canal d’Amour! This beach is full of peculiar rock formations, sea caves, and fjords that emit a mysterious charm.

  2. Wander around Corfu Town

    If you manage to peel yourself away from the island’s beautiful beaches, you should definitely go sightseeing. The enduring history of the island as well as the numerous occupants have left their mark on Corfu’s architecture. In Corfu Town, you’ll find some of the most important sites and monuments on the island, such as the New Fortress, the Old Fortress, the Museum of Asian Art, Spianada Square, and the church of Agios Spyridon. There are also several narrow alleys (kandounia) to get lost in! Close to Corfu Town, lie two beautiful palaces: Mon Repos and Achillion, where you can have a taste of the island’s former glory.

  3. Introduce yourself to the local culinary scene

    It’s not a secret that the gastronomy of Corfu is full of yumminess and surprises! No visit to Corfu could be complete without tasting the best local recipes. The locals are big on meat, spices, and pasta -the traditional recipes will excite foodies! Some of the dishes you need to try are Pastitsada, Sofrito, Bianco, and Bourdeto. But, more on that later!

  4. Organize an excursion to the nearby islands

    The truth is that once you set your foot on Corfu it will be quite difficult to leave, but a quick getaway to the nearby islands is really worth it. Your best bet is to catch a ferry from the central port of Corfu to the little islands of Paxi and Antipaxi. Carpeted with olive groves and forests, these two islands boast a verdant natural landscape. Not to mention that there’s luscious swimming to be done on their amazing beaches!

  5. Feel like a royal at Achillion Palace

    Achillion Palace is arguably one of the most popular attractions in Corfu. It is located 10 km away from Corfu Town at the mountainous Gastouri village and belonged to the Empress of Austria Elizabeth, also known as Sissy. Sissy used to love Greek Mythology, which you can tell from the palace’s design and decoration. She, herself, decorated the palace with statues of ancient philosophers, ancient Greek muses, and, of course, her favorite ancient Greek hero, Achilleas. The palace is surrounded by an exotic garden, which is embellished with many kinds of trees, flowers, fountains, and statues.

  6. Marvel at the view from the Old Fortress

    The Old Fortress in Corfu Town is truly an imposing monument! It sits on a rocky peninsula on the eastern side of Corfu Town, overlooking the Ionian Sea. The Old Fortress was constructed by the Venetians in the 15th century, to protect the island from invasions and to serve as an observatory of the sea and the town. To reach the fortress, visitors must cross a 20 meter-long pathway that connects Spianada Square, where the entrance of the fortress is, with the fortress. Inside the fortress, there are a few buildings, such as the Public Library of Corfu and Saint George church.

  7. Have a taste of elegance at Mon Repos Palace

    Mon Repos Palace is another beautiful palace in Corfu! It is located on the spot where the ancient town of Palaiopolis used to lie, 3 km away from Corfu Town. Nestled in a 258-acres property, the palace boasts a wonderful natural setting and offers a wonderful view of the sea. It was built by the English commissioner of the Ionian islands, Frederick Adam, in 1831. After that, the palace changed quite a few owners, but it now belongs to the Municipality of Corfu and is open to the public. At its garden, visitors can find over 2,000 plant species, while inside the palace, there is a museum.

  8. Take a stroll at Spianada Square

    Spianada Square in Corfu Town is the biggest square not only in Greece but also in the Balkans. This impressive square is the perfect place for strolls and sunset watching, as it offers a spectacular view of the sea. It is embellished with colorful flowers and trees, while most of the time bands perform at several spots around the square. If you happen to visit Corfu at Easter Time, don’t miss to visit Spianada Square, as it is where Christ’s resurrection is gloriously celebrated on Holy Saturday.

What are the shopping hours in Corfu?

Most shops in Corfu Town are open from 8.30 until 21.00 from Monday to Friday, 8.30 until 14.30 on Saturdays, while they remain close at the weekends. Keep in mind that many shops close for a lunch break from 14.00 until 17.30. During the summer, tourist shops remain open all day long, until midnight.

 

Key facts about Corfu

  • Population

    101.569 (2019)

  • Currecy

    Euro

  • Language

    Greek

  • Average Temperatures

    Warmest Month: August (88 F/ 31 C)
    Coldest Month: January (41 F/ 5 C)

  • Tipping

    It’s not expected to leave a tip in Corfu, but it is always very appreciated. If you enjoyed the service, you can leave about 10-12% of the total of your bill as a tip -preferably in cash.

  • Loved by

    Families, nature lovers, couples, honeymooners

The history of Corfu

Corfu counts over 3,000 years of history, as the island has been inhabited since the Stone Age. The first inhabitants of Corfu, which was then known as Corkyra or Scheria, were the Phaeacians. Corfu was extensively mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey as well as in Argonautica, another Greek epic poem. In 229 B.C, Corfu fell into the hands of Romans, who conquered the island until the Venetian rule. Later on, Corfu was occupied by the French and the British. In 1864, Corfu and the rest of the Ionian islands were united with Greece. At the beginning of the 20th century, Corfu was occupied by the Italians and the Germans during WW2, but it was finally liberated in 1944.

 

How to get to Corfu?

You can reach Corfu either by ferry to Corfu or by flights to Corfu. Ferries sail to Corfu from Igoumenitsa port and Patras port on the Greek mainland. As for flights to Corfu, there are many domestic and international ones.

 

Getting to Corfu by ferry

Ferries to Corfu depart from Igoumenitsa and Patras ports. It takes 1-2 hours to reach Corfu by ferry from Igoumenitsa, while it takes 7 hours to reach Corfu by ferry from Patras. There are also ferries to Corfu from Italian towns, like Ancona, Bari, Brindisi, and Venice. Keep in mind that ferries from Italy to Corfu are overnight, so booking a cabin is the best option. Among the ferry companies that sail to Corfu are Minoan Lines, Anek Lines, Hellenic Seaways, Anek Superfast, Superfast Ferries, and Blue Star Ferries.

 

Getting to Corfu by air

Traveling by air is the fastest yet most expensive way to get to Corfu. There are flights to Corfu from most European countries, such as the UK, Ukraine, Poland, and Hungary. There are also daily domestic flights to Corfu from International Athens Airport Eleftherios Venizelos and Thessaloniki airport, as well as from several Greek islands, such as Zakynthos and Kefalonia.

Where to stay in Corfu?

Corfu Town

Corfu Town is arguably the most popular place to stay in Corfu. Even though Corfu Town has been touristically developed over the last years, it hasn’t lost its elegance. Its history is still reflected in its townscapes. Influenced by the Venetians, who ruled Corfu for many years, Corfu Town boasts elegant architecture. Wandering Corfu Town you’ll come across Venetian mansions galore, French gardens, imposing forts, and cobblestone alleys. Corfu Town oozes a mysterious charm!

 

Around Corfu Town, you’ll find a great selection of hotels, many of them housed in noble Venetian mansions and neoclassical buildings. Booking your stay in a central hotel is a great option if you want to be close to the most monuments and museums in Corfu.

 

To name a few, the Museum of Asian Art, the Old Fortress, the New Fortress, and Agios Spyridon Church are the most popular attractions in Corfu Town. What’s more, Corfu Town is the island’s commercial center, meaning it is where you’ll find every kind of shops, from fashion boutiques to souvenir shops.

 

Some of the best hotels to stay in Corfu Town are: Bella Venezia, Casa Verde, Sky Loft Corfu Old Town Apartments, and Arcadion Hotel.

Paleokastritsa Corfu

Chania is a picturesque town located on the westernmost side of Crete. It is the capital of Chania prefecture, one of the most popular destinations in CPaleokastritsa is a popular seaside resort located 25 km northwest of Corfu Town. Paleokastritsa means “old fortress” in Greek and has taken its name from a fortress that was located there. Thanks to its mesmerizing beaches, luxurious hotels, and verdant landscape, Paleokastritsa is one of the most famous villages in Corfu.

 

The sandy coast of Paleokastritsa is lined with hotels, restaurants, and cafes that offer a view of the Ionian Sea and the natural surroundings. Insulated olive trees-carpeted hills, the 6 in total sandy and shingle beaches of Paleokastritsa are beautiful. They boast a stunning natural setting and cold emerald waters. They are fully organized with umbrellas, sunbeds, and facilities. If you are an adventure lover, you’ll be happy to know that most of Paleokastritsa beaches have water sports facilities and that their sea bottom is perfect for snorkeling!

 

For those who want a cultural fix, in Paleokastritsa sits the beautiful 12th-century monastery of Theotokos. Inside the monastery, which is still occupied by monks, one can find the holy icon of the Virgin, as well as a collection of books and post-Byzantine icons.

 

Some of the best hotels to stay in Paleokastritsa are: Akrotiri Beach Resort Hotel, Odysseus Hotel, Rapanos Apartments, and Tango Studios.

Benitses Corfu

Benitses is a beautiful village located 12 km away from Corfu Town and 9 km away from Corfu airport. This traditional settlement oozes charm in abundance! It used to be a quiet fishing village, but now it is one of the most touristically developed villages in Corfu.

 

Benitses has a lot to offer in terms of accommodation. In Benitses, you’ll find a great selection of hotels, studios, and apartments for every budget. What’s more, the village is full of restaurants, taverns, and cafes, while it also has a vivid nightlife!

 

As for the beaches, they couldn’t be anything less than divine! Benitses beaches are both sandy and shingle, with crystal clear waters and a Blue Flag status that guarantees their cleanliness.

 

If you’re in the mood for a quick getaway, there are daily boats from Benitses port to nearby destinations, such as Paxi island and Sivota. Are you a nature lover? Benitses offers the perfect setting for hiking, thanks to its incredible natural beauty!

 

Some of the best hotels to stay in Benitses are: Hotel Kaiser Bridge, Bella Vista Beach Hotel, and Eros Beach Hotel.

 

How to get around Corfu?

 

Getting around Corfu by car

Given that Corfu is quite a big island, the best way to get around is by car. Hiring a car is your best bet if you want to hit the road for a long drive through the villages and the beaches of Corfu at your own pace, without relying on the public means of transportation. You’ll find many car rental companies in the main town and many seaside resorts in Corfu. Keep in mind that roads in Corfu are a bit steep, so you should be extra-cautious.

 

Getting around Corfu by taxi

Now, if you’re searching for the best way to get from Corfu airport/harbor to your hotel or for short trips around Corfu Town, this is the taxi. Taxi prices for the most popular destinations in Corfu are fixed, so you’ll know how much you’re going to pay before the ride. Most hotels in Corfu offer transfers from/to the airport or the harbor, so make sure you check that option, too.

 

Getting around Corfu by bus

The bus is a much cheaper way to get around the island than the car or the taxi. If you are on a budget, the bus will surely come in handy. There is a well-organized bus service in Corfu that serves routes all around the island. There are two types of buses in Corfu: the white and blue ones and the green ones. The first mainly serve itineraries in Corfu Town, while the latter serve longer routes to beaches and villages around Corfu.

 

Getting around Corfu on foot

Although it’s not an option when it comes to longer distances, walking is the best way to get around Corfu Town. So, if you’re planning to stay in Corfu Town or spend your whole vacation in a resort, you may not need other means of transportation but your feet. However, we highly recommend renting a car for 1-2 days to explore the island!

Oh, and if you visit Corfu with your significant other, don’t miss to go for a horse drawn ride around Corfu Town. It’s the ultimate romantic experience!

 

How much will you spend on Corfu per day?

How much you’re going to spend on your holidays in Corfu depends on many factors, like the area you’re going to stay in and your transfers. Generally speaking, you’re going to spend around 95 € (115 $) per day during your stay in Corfu. More specifically, you’ll spend 20 € (24 $) on food, 25 € (30 $) on transportation, and 50 € (61 $) per person for a double room in Corfu.

 

What are the must-try foods in Corfu?

  • Pastitsada

    This is the trademark of the local gastronomy! Pastitsada is a meat-based dish and also a cooking technique. This dish consists of veal or cockerel, lots of local spices, wine, garlic, onion, and tomato sauce. It is served with a side of pasta sprinkled with cheese. Not for the fainthearted!

  • Sofrito

    Sofrito is another meat dish, which instead of tomato sauce, is cooked with a white lemony sauce. This signature Corfiot dish is made with sliced meat (usually veal), garlic, lots of lemon juice, parsley, and white vinegar. It is served as a main dish along with mashed potatoes. Yum!

  • Bourdeto

    This is one of the most delicious fish dishes to try in Corfu. Bourdeto is a fish soup made with several types of fish (usually scorpionfish or stonefish) cooked in spicy tomato sauce, with onion, red pepper, garlic, herbs, and spices. It is paired perfectly with white wine!

  • Bianco

    Bianco is also a super-famous fish dish! As you can tell from its name, which means white in Italian, this dish consists of fish cooked in a white sauce made of onion, lots of lemon, garlic, parsley, and potatoes.

Useful Information

Greece is a European city and a part of the Schengen Agreement. So, if you’re a European citizen or citizen of a country member of the Schengen Agreement, you only need a Passport or an Identity Card to enter the country. If you’re a citizen of a country that is neither European nor a member of the Schengen Agreement, you need a visa to visit Greece.
Medical Emergency:112 Fire Service: 199 Ambulance: 166 Police: 100 Corfu General Hospital: 302661360400 & 302661360500 Tourist Police: 302661030265 Local Fire Department: 191 & 302661039533

Health care & Safety

Health care in Corfucare in Crete

The Greek Health Care System is public and provides free treatment to citizens and expats. You can visit a public practitioner for free or a private practitioner with a charge. In both cases, you have to pay for prescribed medicines. In case of emergency, you can call a public EKAV ambulance (166) or the European emergency number (112).

Safety in Corfu

Corfu is one of the safest Greek islands to visit. However, you should take normal precautions for your safety. Here are some of our safety tips. 1) Be cautious when you drive, because roads steepen as you move away from Corfu Town. 2) Avoid holding much cash with you and keep an eye on your belongings in crowded places. 3) Make sure to lock your car after parking it.

 

What are the best beaches in Corfu?

Sidari Canal d’ Amour

Sidari Canal d’ Amour is probably the most unusual beach in Corfu! Let us set the scene. Imagine: Rock formations covered with greenery create natural passages through turquoise water, providing natural protection from the wind. Sounds amazing, right? The legend has it that if you swim through the water passage of Canal d’ Amour, you’ll get married soon. Why don’t you give it a try?

 

Glyfada

One of the most popular beaches in Corfu, Glyfada combines natural beauty with beach facilities. This Blue Flag beach is located 15 km away from Corfu Town, in a sandy cove insulated by pine-covered hills. Except for an idyllic natural setting, Glyfada also has a variety of facilities, including a beach volleyball court, water sports facilities, restaurants, and hotels.

 

Paleokastritsa

Paleokastritsa is a seaside resort 23 km away from Corfu beach. The area offers a wide variety of beautiful beaches for every taste, from cosmopolitan bays to secluded coves! Some of the best beaches in Paleokastritsa are Agios Spyridonas, Agia Triada, Alipa, and Agios Petros.

 

Acharavi

Acharavi is a long beach in the northern part of the island, about 37 km away from Corfu Town. This beach boasts a beautiful natural landscape! It has crystal clear water and fine golden sand, all surrounded by forested hills. Thanks to its length, Acharavi doesn’t get crowded very often, so it’s a great option for a relaxing day on the beach.

 

Gifts for your loved-ones from Corfu

  • Kumquat liqueur/ spoon sweet

  • Virgin olive oil

  • Paintings

  • Dried herbs

  • Pottery

  • Leather sandals

  • Evil eye good luck charms

  • Embroidered tablecloths

 

Conclusion


So, that was all you need to know about holidays on Corfu island. From how to get to Corfu and the best things to do to the top beaches in Corfu and all the amazing places to stay, we’ve told you all the basics!

 

Is Corfu on your bucket list? Or, have you already been there? Tell us in the comment section and feel free to share this article on Social Media.

 

Other Travel Guides you may be interested in: Santorini island holidays | Mykonos island holidays | Paros island holidays | Crete island holidays | Athens holidays

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