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The Essential Corfu Destination Guide

Corfu is the northernmost Greek island located in the Ionian sea, just off the coast of Albania. The island spreads over 590 km2 and is the second-largest Greek island in the Ionian Sea. Due to its size, the island offers a variety of scenery with tall mountains overlooking sandy white beaches and blue sea. Corfu is one of the greenest and most beautiful Greek islands. Throughout history, Corfu served a vital strategic purpose, leading to the intense fortification of the island. The Venitian Republic ruled the island for nearly four centuries, which resulted in some stunning architecture. The picturesque old town in the city of Corfu has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2007. 

An exciting blend of rich cultural heritage, stunning beaches and historical architecture make Corfu an ideal holiday destination.

Discover our favourite things to do in Corfu

The biggest settlement on the island is the city of Corfu (Kerkyra), a true testament of the island's rich history and a perfect starting point for your visit. Although the town is not very big (population 40,000), Corfu has an international airport and is home to Ionian University, the first university of the modern Greek state. As you start exploring the city, the influence of Venetian, French and British rule becomes apparent at every step. The city architecture with narrow stone streets and tall houses resembles those of some cities found in Italy. Located in the city centre is the Esplanade Square, which is the largest square in the Balkans. The square boasts some beautiful French architecture, the multi-purpose Liston building and even a cricket field. There are more than 37 churches in the city, the most impressive being the cathedral and the British-built St.George's church. Impressive Old and New Fortress bear witness to the turbulent history and the island's struggle against the Ottoman invasion. Dozens of temples, monuments and museums will inform you of the rich history of the island.

It is no surprise then that the Old Town of Corfu, a melting pot of Roman, Greek, Venitian, French and British culture, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

To best experience the whole island of Corfu, head on a hiking trip to Mount Pantokrator, the highest peak on the island (902 m). As you reach the top, you will be greeted with a panoramic view of all of Corfu. Once at the top, explore the 17th-century church standing near the summit or relax and soak in the views at the local cafe.

Kassiopi, a scenic coastal resort, is located in the northeastern part of Corfu. It is a popular travel destination for tourists around the world. Kassiopi offers beautiful beaches, quality restaurants and a relaxed atmosphere. Overlooking the town and its beaches is a Byzantine fortress, dating back to the third century BC when Corfu was founded.

The woman's monastery of Vlachernais sits on a tiny island off the coast and is one of the island's most iconic landmarks. The monastery, built in the 17th century, covers almost the entire island and is accessible by a narrow harbor. The contrast of white architecture and blue sea around the monastery creates an iconic image.

The best places to stay in Corfu

The island of Corfu is a popular tourist destination and offers a big selection of resorts and hotels where you can enjoy your stay. The city of Corfu has numerous hotels, but most of them are outside the Old Town. However, if you head over to the suburb of Garitsa Bay, you will find hotels like the Corfu Palace Hotel or Mayor Mon Repos Art Hotel. Another option is heading to the Kanoni peninsula, just outside of Corfu city where you can find hotels like the Royal Boutique Hotel, Corfu Holiday Palace, and Divani Holiday Palace.

Outside of the city of Corfu, the island offers numerous beach resorts, ideal for partying and enjoying the nightlife. Places like Sidari, Ipsos, Barbati, Kavos and Kassiopi provide a big selection of accommodation, all varying in prices and amenities. 

Relax at one of the stunning Corfu beaches

Corfu is littered with beautiful beaches. Below you can find a handful of the ones we think are well worth a visit:

Paleokastritsa is the most beautiful beach and as a result, probably the most famous of the island with massive, green cliffs surrounding the coast. The beach offers a fantastic spot for swimming or sailing, and several restaurants are just several meters from the water.

Agios Gordios is located 16 km west of the city of Corfu, and is one of the most popular in Corfu. Impressive rock formations and lush greenery surround the sandy beach.

The famous Canal d'Amour is situated at the west of Sidari, on the northern side of the island and is one of the most popular and impressive spots on all of Corfu. Each inlet offers something unique, ranging from white sand to gorgeous stone archways and caverns.

Porto Timoni is a stunning secluded beach ideal for swimming and snorkelling. The beach is inaccessible by car so make sure to pack everything for a day out under the sun.

Loggas Beach offers the best sunsets on the island of Corfu. Either make your way down to the beach or stay on top of the cliffs and enjoy the natural beauties from one of the restaurants there. 

What to expect from Corfu weather

Corfu enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and hot, sunny summers. The daily average temperature ranges from 10 °C in January to 25 °C in August.

Rainfall is relatively abundant and follows the Mediterranean pattern, with a maximum in autumn and winter, while from June to August it rarely rains.

Winters are quite mild and rainy, while springtime brings fairer weather and less rain.

Summers are hot and sunny with temperatures exceeding 30 °C frequently and can even reach 35 °C. This part of Greece, overlooking the Ionian Sea, is outside the area where the cooling Meltemi wind blows, which means that the sea is warmer.

Corfu nightlife to dance the night away

Corfu is famous for its vivid nightlife and of the more popular destinations among the younger population. Starting in the city of Corfu, there are many traditional taverns with unique local dishes, especially in the Old Town. A drink or two at Liston are an ideal follow-up. If you're looking for a more relaxed night out, lounge bars can be found all around the town. Those looking for loud music should head to the region of Emporiko. It is close to the port of the island, and is lined with nightclubs.

Many resorts around the island, such as Paleokastritsa, Benitses, Sidari, Acharavi, and Dasia offer all kinds of entertainment. There you can satisfy your need for almost all types of music and dance the night away. Another popular spot, especially among the British, is Kavos in southern Corfu. 

Corfu restaurants serving up Venitian inspired delights

Corfu offers a wide range of restaurants and taverns with reasonable prices. You can find restaurants almost anywhere on the island, scattered by the beaches or at mountainous villages. The local cuisine on the island differs from the typical Greek cuisine since due to its Venitian influence. The unique menus in Corfu gravitate more towards Italian cuisine with delicious dishes like the bourdetto, sofrito and pastitsada.

Besides the city of Corfu, you can find most restaurants in tourist destinations like Gouvia, Dassia, Agios Gordis, Sidari and Acharavi.

Corfu marinas from which to explore the island by boat

Gouvia Marina is a large harbour situated in Kontokali, a suburb of the city of Corfu.

Gouvia Marina is the most famous harbour on the whole island of Corfu and home to the Venitian Shipyards. There are several Venitian ships on display in the harbour. The marina offers impressive 1235 berths for yachts up to 80 m in length. The marina can accommodate vessels with a maximum draught of 5.5 m and offers direct access to the Ionian Sea.

Naok Marina sits in the western part of Corfu city and is the ideal destination for those wanting to be close to the Old Town of Corfu. The marina has 222 berths and can get quite busy during the high season, so reservations are recommended.

For those looking for something more secluded, Erikoussa Marina is a small marina located in the charming village that has the same name. The town of Erikoussa is an ideal holiday retreat and a perfect place to enjoy surrounding natural beauty. The marina has 70 berths for vessels up to 30 m in length.

Kassiopi Marina is situated on the northeastern coast of the island of Corfu, just 3,5 km from the narrow strait that divides the island from the coast of Albania. The marina is relatively shallow and can accommodate vessels of draft up to 3 m. It offers 20 berths for boats up to 16 m in length.

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