Discover Corfu, Greece: A Guide to Uncover Beauty, History and Adventure
If you are looking for a destination that combines stunning scenery, rich culture, and delicious cuisine, then Corfu, Greece might be the perfect choice for you. Corfu is the second largest and most popular of the Ionian Islands, located in the northwest of Greece. It has a long and fascinating history, influenced by various civilizations such as the Venetians, the French, and the British. It also boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, as well as charming villages, lush forests, and impressive monuments.
In this blog post, I will share with you some of the best things to do in Corfu, Greece, based on my personal experience and recommendations from locals. Whether you are looking for adventure, relaxation, or culture, you will find something to suit your taste and budget in this amazing island.
Things to do in Corfu, Greece
- Explore the Old Town of Corfu
The Old Town of Corfu is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that showcases the architectural and cultural legacy of the island. You can wander around the narrow streets and admire the elegant buildings, such as the Liston Arcade, the Old Fortress, and the Saint Spyridon Church. You can also visit some of the museums, such as the Museum of Asian Art, the Archaeological Museum, and the Byzantine Museum. Don't forget to stop by one of the many cafes and tavernas to enjoy a coffee or a meal with a view of the sea.
- Relax on Paleokastritsa Beach
Paleokastritsa Beach is one of the most famous and scenic beaches in Corfu. It consists of six small bays with crystal clear water and golden sand. You can swim, snorkel, or sunbathe on this idyllic beach, or take a boat trip to explore the nearby caves and coves. You can also visit the Paleokastritsa Monastery, which dates back to the 13th century and offers stunning views of the bay.
- Visit Achilleion Palace
Achilleion Palace is a neoclassical mansion that was built by Empress Elisabeth of Austria (also known as Sisi) in 1890. She named it after her favorite hero, Achilles, and decorated it with statues and paintings inspired by Greek mythology. The palace is surrounded by beautiful gardens with exotic plants and flowers. You can tour the palace and learn more about its history and its former owners, such as Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, who bought it after Sisi's death.
- Enjoy a day trip to Paxos and Antipaxos
Paxos and Antipaxos are two small islands that lie south of Corfu. They are known for their pristine beaches, turquoise water, and tranquil atmosphere. You can take a ferry or a speedboat from Corfu Town or Lefkimmi to reach these islands in about an hour. You can then spend a day exploring their natural beauty and charm. Some of the highlights include Voutoumi Beach, Lakka Village, Gaios Port, and Antipaxos Vineyards.
- Experience the nightlife in Kavos
If you are looking for some fun and excitement after dark, then Kavos is the place to be. Kavos is a resort town on the southern tip of Corfu that attracts young travelers who want to party all night long. You can find dozens of bars, clubs, pubs, and restaurants that offer live music, DJ sets, karaoke, and themed nights. You can also join some of the organized events, such as boat parties, foam parties, or pub crawls.
Take a boat tour to the Diapontia Islands
The Diapontia Islands are a group of small islands northwest of Corfu. You can book a boat tour from Corfu Town or Sidari to visit these unspoiled gems. The three main islands in the group are Mathraki, Othonoi, and Erikoussa. Each island offers its own unique charm, with secluded beaches, traditional villages, and picturesque landscapes. You can spend the day exploring the islands, swimming in the crystal-clear waters, and enjoying a delicious meal at a local taverna.
Go hiking in the Corfu countryside
Corfu is not just about beaches and historical sites; it also boasts beautiful natural landscapes. Lace up your hiking boots and head out to explore the lush countryside. There are numerous hiking trails that take you through olive groves, vineyards, and rolling hills. One popular route is the Corfu Trail, a long-distance hiking trail that stretches from the southern tip of the island to the northernmost point. Along the way, you'll encounter charming villages, stunning viewpoints, and a variety of flora and fauna.
Visit the Achillion Brewery
If you're a beer enthusiast, don't miss the chance to visit the Achillion Brewery. Located in the village of Agios Mathaios, this family-owned brewery offers guided tours where you can learn about the beer-making process and sample their delicious craft beers. The brewery uses locally sourced ingredients and traditional brewing techniques, creating unique flavors that reflect the spirit of Corfu. After the tour, you can relax in their beer garden and enjoy a refreshing pint.
Discover the hidden gems of Corfu's west coast
While the east coast of Corfu is more developed and popular among tourists, the west coast is known for its unspoiled beauty and tranquility. Rent a car or join a guided tour to explore this lesser-known part of the island. Drive along scenic coastal roads, stopping at secluded beaches such as Myrtiotissa Beach, considered one of the most beautiful in Greece. Visit traditional villages like Pelekas and Sinarades, where you can experience the authentic Corfiot way of life. Don't forget to catch the breathtaking sunset at the famous Kaiser's Throne viewpoint.
Indulge in Corfiot cuisine
No visit to Corfu is complete without savoring the local cuisine. Corfu has its own unique gastronomic traditions influenced by Greek, Italian, and Venetian flavors. Try local specialties such as sofrito (tender beef cooked in a white wine and garlic sauce), bourdeto (spicy fish stew), pastitsada (a hearty meat dish with pasta), and of course, the famous Corfiot olive oil. You can sample these dishes at traditional tavernas in the Old Town or in charming villages across the island. Don't forget to pair your meal with a glass of local wine or ouzo.
These are just some of the many things to do in Corfu, Greece. There is so much more to discover and enjoy on this wonderful island that you will never get bored or run out of options. Corfu is a destination that has something for everyone and every season. So what are you waiting for? Book your trip to Corfu today and get ready for an unforgettable vacation!
When is the best time to visit Corfu?
The best time to visit Corfu is during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) when the weather is pleasant, and the island is less crowded. However, Corfu enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate, making it a year-round destination.
How can I reach Corfu?
Corfu has an international airport, Ioannis Kapodistrias Airport, which receives direct flights from several European cities. Alternatively, you can take a ferry from various Greek ports, including Igoumenitsa, Patras, or the neighboring islands.
Is it necessary to rent a car in Corfu?
Renting a car is recommended if you want to explore the island at your own pace, especially if you plan to visit the more remote beaches and villages. However, public transportation options, such as buses and taxis, are available for getting around the main tourist areas.
Are English and other languages spoken in Corfu?
Yes, English is widely spoken in tourist areas, hotels, restaurants, and shops. Greek is the official language, but you may also encounter locals who speak Italian or German, especially in areas influenced by historical ties with those countries.
Are there any safety considerations for visiting Corfu?
Corfu is generally a safe destination, but it's always important to take standard precautions. Be mindful of your belongings, especially in crowded areas, and follow any local safety advisories. It's also a good idea to have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies.
Can I use credit cards in Corfu?
Yes, credit cards are widely accepted in most establishments, including hotels, restaurants, and shops. However, it's advisable to carry some cash, especially for smaller businesses or when visiting more remote areas.
Are there any cultural customs I should be aware of in Corfu?
Corfu has a rich cultural heritage, and it's respectful to familiarize yourself with some customs. Greeks often greet each other with a handshake and maintain eye contact during conversations. When visiting churches or monasteries, it's appropriate to dress modestly and avoid wearing revealing clothing.
Remember to check the latest travel advisories and guidelines before your trip to Corfu, and don't forget to immerse yourself in the local culture and savor the island's unique charm and experiences.