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Corfu: Emerald Isle of Greece Beckons

Jan 21

Corfu: An introduction to the emerald isle of Greece

Corfu, also known as Kerkyra, is an island in the Ionian Sea off the northwest coast of Greece. Corfu has become a popular destination for travellers worldwide with its stunning emerald waters, picturesque landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. Whether you're looking for a relaxing beach getaway, an adventure-filled vacation, or a cultural immersion, Corfu offers something for everyone.

The allure of Corfu: Why it beckons visitors

There are several reasons why Corfu beckons visitors from far and wide. Here are some of the top highlights that make this Greek island a must-visit destination:

  1. Natural Beauty: Corfu is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty. The island offers a stunning backdrop for any holiday, from its crystal-clear waters and sandy beaches to its lush green hills and olive groves.

  2. Rich History: With a history that dates back to ancient times, Corfu is a treasure trove of historical sites. The Old Town of Corfu, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a maze of narrow streets filled with Venetian-era buildings, Byzantine churches, and impressive fortresses.

  3. Cultural Delights: Corfu's unique cultural heritage is evident in its architecture, traditional music and dance, and delicious cuisine. Stroll through the charming villages, sample local delicacies like sofrito and pastitsada, and immerse yourself in the island's vibrant festivities.

  4. Outdoor Activities: Corfu has plenty to offer whether you're a nature lover or an adventure seeker. Explore the island's diverse landscapes through hiking and cycling routes, go snorkelling or diving in crystal-clear waters, or try your hand at water sports like windsurfing and sailing.

  5. Hospitality: Known for its warm and welcoming locals, Corfu is where you'll immediately feel at home. The island's hospitality and friendly atmosphere create a memorable experience for visitors.

So, whether you're looking to unwind on the beaches, soak up the history and culture, or indulge in outdoor adventures, Corfu is the perfect destination for your next getaway. Pack your bags and get ready to discover the emerald isle of Greece!


Corfu Town: A Cultural Gem

Corfu Town's rich history and architectural beauty

Corfu Town, also known as Kerkyra, is the capital of the island of Corfu and is a true cultural gem. This charming town perfectly blends history, architecture, and vibrant atmosphere. Here's what makes Corfu Town a must-visit destination:

  • Rich History: Corfu Town has a fascinating history that spans centuries. With influences from various civilizations such as Venetians, French, and British, the town showcases a unique blend of architectural styles and cultural heritage.

  • Architectural Beauty: One of the highlights of Corfu Town is its stunning architecture. The Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a labyrinth of narrow alleys, colourful buildings, and impressive fortresses. The Venetian influence is evident in the elegant mansions and the iconic Liston, a row of arcaded buildings reminiscent of French architecture.

Exploring Corfu Town: Top attractions and landmarks

When visiting Corfu Town, there are several attractions and landmarks that you shouldn't miss:

  • Old Fortress: Located on a rocky promontory, the Old Fortress offers panoramic views of the town and the Ionian Sea. Explore the fortifications, visit the Byzantine Museum, and soak in the history of this iconic landmark.

  • New Fortress: Built by the Venetians to protect the town from Ottoman invasions, the New Fortress is a magnificent structure with impressive bastions and tunnels. Climb to the top for breathtaking views of Corfu Town.

  • St. Spyridon Church: This beautiful Orthodox church is dedicated to the patron saint of Corfu, St. Spyridon. Admire the stunning iconography and intricate woodwork, and pay your respects to the saint's silver sarcophagus.

  • Museum of Asian Art: Housed in the Palace of St. Michael and St. George, the Museum of Asian Art boasts an impressive collection of artefacts and artworks from India, China, Japan, and Southeast Asia.

  • Spianada Square: As one of the largest squares in Europe, Spianada Square is a great place to relax and soak in the lively atmosphere of Corfu Town. Take a stroll, enjoy coffee at one of the cafes, and watch locals play cricket, a legacy of British influence.

Corfu Town is a destination that will captivate you with its rich history, architectural beauty, and vibrant atmosphere. Explore the narrow streets, indulge in delicious cuisine, and immerse yourself in the cultural delights of this enchanting town.


Beautiful Beaches of Corfu

Corfu's pristine beaches: Unveiling their beauty

Corfu is not just about its charming town but also about its stunning beaches. The island is blessed with crystal-clear waters and stretches of soft sandy shores. Here are some of the beautiful beaches that you should explore:

  • Paleokastritsa Beach: Located on the west coast of Corfu, Paleokastritsa Beach is known for its breathtaking scenery. Surrounded by rocky cliffs and lush green hills, the beach offers a tranquil escape with its azure waters and pristine sands.
  • Glyfada Beach: Situated on the island's western side, Glyfada Beach is a popular destination for beach lovers. Its golden sand and clear waters make it an ideal spot for sunbathing and swimming. The beach is also home to beach bars and water sports facilities.
  • Kondokali Beach: Located near the village of Gouvia, Kondokali Beach is a hidden gem. Its calm waters and peaceful atmosphere make it perfect for relaxing and unwinding. The beach offers stunning views of the nearby marina and is surrounded by lush vegetation.
  • Sidari Beach: Situated in the northern part of Corfu, Sidari Beach is famous for its unique rock formations known as the "Canal d'Amour." These impressive cliffs create small coves and caves that you can explore. The beach is also known for its warm, shallow waters.

Must-visit beaches in Corfu: Ideal for relaxation and water sports

Whether you prefer a quiet beach or are looking for adventure, Corfu has something for everyone. Here are a few must-visit beaches that offer a perfect blend of relaxation and water sports:

Beach Highlights Water Sports
Agios Gordios Beach Natural beauty, stunning sunset views Windsurfing, paddleboarding
Roda Beach Family-friendly, shallow waters Kayaking, jet skiing
Acharavi Beach Long stretch of golden sand Banana boat rides, water skiing
Kavos Beach Vibrant nightlife, party atmosphere Parasailing, snorkeling

Corfu's beaches are not just places to bask in the sun but also offer opportunities for adventure and exploration. Whether you want to relax on a secluded stretch of sand or try your hand at various water sports, the beaches of Corfu have it all.


Corfu's Gastronomic Delights

Corfu's culinary scene: A taste of Greek delights

Corfu treats its visitors with stunning beaches and delights them with its delicious food. The island's culinary scene is a true reflection of Greek cuisine, offering various flavours and dishes. Let's delve into the gastronomic delights of Corfu:

Traditional dishes of Corfu: Exploring the local flavours

Corfu takes great pride in its traditional dishes, which are rich in flavour and reflect the island's history and influences. Here are some must-try traditional dishes:

  • Pastitsada: This hearty dish features slow-cooked beef or rooster in a flavorful tomato sauce paired with thick pasta. It is a classic Corfiot dish that will satisfy your taste buds.
  • Sofrito: Tender veal fried in a garlic and white wine sauce is a speciality of Corfu. The succulent meat, infused with aromatic flavours, is a delightful culinary experience.
  • Bourdeto: If you're a fan of seafood, make sure to try Bourdeto. It is a spicy fish stew made with scorpionfish or cod, cooked in a tomato and chilli-based sauce. The combination of flavours is simply mouthwatering.
  • Salad of the Sea: Fresh seafood is abundant in Corfu, and the Salad of the Sea highlights this. It is a refreshing dish with various seafood, such as octopus, squid, and shrimp, marinated in lemon juice and olive oil.

These traditional dishes are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the gastronomic delights of Corfu. From olive oil to local cheeses and wines, the island offers a wide range of flavours that delight any food lover.


Historic Sites and Cultural Heritage

Corfu's heritage sites: A journey through time

Corfu is not just a beach paradise but also a treasure trove of historical sites that take you on a fascinating journey through time. Here are some of the must-visit heritage sites in Corfu:

  • Old Town of Corfu: The Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a labyrinth of narrow streets and charming Venetian-style buildings. Stroll through its alleys and discover beautiful churches, museums, and historic landmarks like the Liston and the Old Fortress.
  • Achilleion Palace: Built as a summer residence for Empress Elisabeth of Austria, this neoclassical palace is a testament to the opulence and grandeur of the past. Admire the beautiful gardens, the statues, and the magnificent views of the Ionian Sea.
  • Mon Repos Estate: Located in a serene park, Mon Repos Estate is a neoclassical villa that was once the summer residence of the Greek royal family. Explore the lush gardens and visit the archaeological museum housed within the villa.
  • Palaiokastritsa Monastery: Situated in the picturesque village of Palaiokastritsa, this monastery offers stunning views of the turquoise waters below. Step inside and admire the Byzantine frescoes and the tranquil atmosphere.

Immersing in the cultural heritage of Corfu

Corfu's cultural heritage is as vibrant as its history. Immerse yourself in the island's rich traditions and experience the local culture through various activities:

  • Traditional music and dance: Attend a dance performance to witness the energy and passion of Corfu's folk traditions. Listen to the melodic tunes of the mandolin and watch skilled dancers perform the distinctive moves of the island.
  • Local festivals: Join in the festivities during one of Corfu's many traditional festivals. From the vibrant Easter celebrations to the colourful Carnival, these events showcase the island's cultural heritage and offer a glimpse into local customs and traditions.
  • Arts and crafts: Explore the local art scene and visit traditional workshops where craftsmen create handmade products such as ceramics, textiles, and jewellery. Take home a unique piece of Corfu's cultural heritage as a memento of your visit.
  • Food and wine tours: Indulge in the gastronomic delights of Corfu by joining a food and wine tour. Sample local delicacies and learn about the island's culinary traditions, from the production of olive oil to the art of winemaking.

In Corfu, history and culture are intertwined, offering visitors a truly immersive and enriching experience. Explore the heritage sites, engage with the local traditions, and discover the vibrant cultural tapestry that makes Corfu a unique destination.


Outdoor Adventures in Corfu

Thrilling activities in Corfu: Embracing the island's nature

Corfu is known not just for its stunning beaches and historical sites but also for its thrilling outdoor adventures. Embrace the island's nature and get your adrenaline pumping with these exciting activities:

  • Water sports: Take advantage of Corfu's crystal-clear waters and indulge in various water sports. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced adrenaline junkie, you can try activities such as jet skiing, parasailing, water skiing, and banana boat rides.
  • Scuba diving and snorkelling: Explore the underwater world of Corfu and discover its vibrant marine life. Dive into the depths of the Ionian Sea and witness colourful coral reefs, exotic fish species, and even ancient shipwrecks.
  • Horseback riding: Embark on a scenic horseback riding adventure and explore Corfu's picturesque landscapes. Ride through olive groves, vineyards, and ancient trails, and enjoy breathtaking views of the island's coastline.
  • Cycling and mountain biking: Get off the beaten path and explore Corfu's natural beauty on two wheels. With various cycling routes available, you can pedal your way through lush forests, charming villages, and scenic coastal roads.

Exploring Corfu's natural wonders: Hiking, biking, and more

Corfu is a haven for nature lovers, offering a wide range of outdoor activities that allow you to explore the island's natural wonders:

  • Hiking: Lace up your hiking boots and venture into Corfu's lush hiking trails. From gentle paths through olive groves to challenging treks up the island's highest peaks, there are options for all fitness levels. Discover hidden waterfalls, ancient ruins, and breathtaking viewpoints along the way.
  • Kayaking: Paddle through Corfu's serene coastal waters and discover secluded beaches, hidden caves, and impressive rock formations. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced kayaker, this activity allows you to connect with nature and enjoy the tranquillity of the sea.
  • Birdwatching: Corfu is a paradise for birdwatching enthusiasts. With its diverse habitats, including wetlands, forests, and cliffs, the island attracts various bird species. Grab your binoculars and spot rare birds such as hoopoes, golden orioles, and kingfishers.
  • Quad biking: Experience the thrill of off-road adventures with quad biking. Explore Corfu's rugged terrains and remote villages as you navigate dirt tracks and muddy trails. This adrenaline-pumping activity allows you to discover hidden gems of the island that are inaccessible by car.

Embrace the great outdoors in Corfu and make the most of your visit by exploring the island's nature through these thrilling activities. Whether you prefer water sports, hiking, biking, or simply immersing yourself in the island's natural wonders, Corfu offers something for every adventure seeker.


Island Hopping in Corfu

Corfu as a gateway to other Greek islands

Corfu is the perfect starting point if you want to explore more Greek islands. With its strategic location in the Ionian Sea, Corfu is a gateway to numerous beautiful islands. From Corfu, you can easily hop on a ferry or a boat and embark on an island-hopping adventure.

Top island destinations to explore from Corfu

Here are some of the top island destinations that you can explore from Corfu:

Island Travel Time from Corfu Highlights
Paxos 1 hour by ferry Experience the tranquillity of Paxos with its charming villages, secluded coves, and crystal-clear waters.
Antipaxos 1.5 hours by ferry Visit the small but stunning island of Antipaxos, known for its breathtaking beaches and vineyards.
Zakynthos 2 hours by ferry Discover the famous Shipwreck Beach, explore the Blue Caves, and swim in the turquoise waters of Zakynthos.
Lefkada 2 hours by ferry Experience the stunning beaches of Lefkada, such as Porto Katsiki and Egremni, known for their crystal-clear waters and dramatic cliffs.

Island hopping from Corfu allows you to explore the diverse beauty of the Greek islands and create unforgettable memories. Whether you choose to relax on pristine beaches, explore historic sites, or indulge in local cuisine, each island has its unique charm and attractions.


Where to Stay in Corfu

Accommodation options in Corfu: From luxury resorts to budget-friendly choices

When finding a place to stay in Corfu, you'll have plenty of options catering to different budgets and preferences. Corfu has everything if you're looking for luxury resorts, boutique hotels, or budget-friendly accommodations.

For those seeking a luxurious and pampering experience, there are several high-end resorts and hotels in Corfu. These resorts often feature stunning beachfront locations, expansive pools, spa facilities, and world-class dining options. You can relax in style and enjoy top-notch amenities and services.

If you're travelling on a budget, don't worry. Corfu also offers a range of affordable accommodations that provide comfort and convenience without breaking the bank. You can find budget-friendly hotels, guesthouses, and apartments that still offer great locations and basic amenities.

Best areas to stay in Corfu: Finding the perfect location

When choosing where to stay in Corfu, it's important to consider the different areas and what they offer. Here are some of the best areas to stay in Corfu:

Corfu Town

Corfu Town is the island's capital and offers a mix of history, culture, and vibrant nightlife. Charming streets lined with Venetian-style buildings, ancient fortresses, and a bustling Old Town. There are also plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops to explore.


If you're looking for a picturesque coastal village with breathtaking views, Paleokastritsa is the perfect choice. This area is known for its crystal-clear waters, rocky cliffs, and secluded beaches. It's a great spot for nature lovers and those seeking a tranquil escape.


Kavos is the place to be if you're looking for a lively and energetic atmosphere. This popular party destination offers a vibrant nightlife scene with numerous bars, clubs, and beach parties. It's perfect for young travellers looking to have fun and meet new people.

Agios Gordios

Agios Gordios is a charming coastal village between lush green mountains and a beautiful sandy beach. It's a great area for families and couples looking for a relaxing holiday. You'll find a laid-back atmosphere, traditional tavernas, and stunning sunsets.

Ultimately, the best area for you to stay in Corfu will depend on your preferences and the experience you want. Whether you're seeking history, nightlife, natural beauty, or relaxation, Corfu has something for everyone.