Corfu, also known as Kerkyra, is a stunning Greek island located in the Ionian Sea, forming the northwestern frontier of Greece. Rich in history and mythology, Corfu has been a significant naval power and a crossroads of various cultures, from ancient Greek and Venetian to French and British.
The island’s landscape is adorned with medieval castles, ancient ruins, and lush olive and cypress trees. Its capital, also named Corfu, is a UNESCO World Heritage site, reflecting the island’s unique blend of architectural styles. A popular tourist destination, Corfu offers beautiful beaches, diverse flora and fauna, and a glimpse into the legends of Greek deities like Poseidon.
Whether exploring the old town’s narrow streets or relaxing on the sandy shores, visitors to Corfu are sure to be enchanted by its natural beauty and cultural richness.
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Attractions and Things to do in Corfu
1. Paleokastritsa Beach
A horseshoe-shaped bay of crystal clear blue water surrounded by cliffs, Paleokastritsa Beach is a must-visit spot in Corfu. The stunning natural beauty of the area offers a perfect setting for relaxation and water activities.
Travel Tip: Visit early in the morning to avoid the crowds and enjoy a peaceful swim.
2. Corfu Old Town
Surrounded by sumptuous buildings, imposing monuments, and an old Venetian fortress, Corfu Old Town is a historical gem. The architecture and narrow streets provide a glimpse into the island’s rich history.
Travel Tip: Wear comfortable shoes for walking, as the cobblestone streets can be challenging to navigate.
3. Aqualand Corfu Water Park
A fun destination for families, Aqualand Corfu Water Park offers a variety of water rides and attractions. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or prefer to relax by the pool, there’s something for everyone.
Travel Tip: Bring sunscreen and arrive early to secure a good spot by the pool.
4. Canal D’Amour
Known for its unique geological formations, Canal D’Amour offers a romantic setting with beautiful views. The area has developed over the years, providing various restaurants and accommodations.
Travel Tip: Explore the nearby caves and coves by renting a small boat or kayak.
5. Old Fortress Corfu
Perched upon a hill with a wall and moat surrounding, Old Fortress Corfu is a significant part of the island’s history. The views from the top are breathtaking.
Travel Tip: Take a guided tour to learn about the fortress’s fascinating history.
6. Paleokastritsa Monastery
Located on a promontory above the sea, Paleokastritsa Monastery offers a serene and spiritual experience. The azure blue sea serves as a stunning backdrop for this religious site.
Travel Tip: Dress modestly when visiting, as it’s an active religious site.
7. Voutoumi Beach
Known for its powder-like white sand and turquoise water, Voutoumi Beach is a slice of paradise. It’s an ideal spot for sunbathing and swimming.
Travel Tip: Bring snorkeling gear to explore the underwater beauty.
8. Church of Saint Spiridon
A significant religious site in Corfu, the Church of Saint Spiridon is known for its beautiful architecture and deep sense of piety.
Travel Tip: Check the schedule for special liturgies and processions that are often accompanied by local bands and students.
9. Casa Parlante
Casa Parlante is a specialty museum that tells the story of Corfu’s aristocracy, showing the daily lives of the people and presenting authentic artifacts.
Travel Tip: Consider taking a guided tour to fully understand the historical context of the exhibits.
10. Corfu Donkey Rescue
A unique attraction, Corfu Donkey Rescue is maintained by volunteers from around the world. It’s a place to learn about animal welfare and interact with the rescued donkeys.
Travel Tip: Consider making a donation or purchasing souvenirs to support the organization’s efforts.
Unique Activities in Corfu
1. Winery Tour with Wine Tasting
Discover the art of winemaking in Kavos. Embark on a guided tour of a local winery, learn about the wine production process, and indulge in a tasting session of some of the finest wines, all while enjoying the scenic beauty of the region.
2. Organic Olive Oil Farm Tour
Dive deep into the world of olive oil in Corfu. Visit an organic olive oil farm, gain insights into the traditional methods of production, and treat your taste buds to a delightful tasting session of premium olive oils.
Day Trips from Corfu
1. Paxos and Antipaxos Islands
A haven of crystalline blue waters and hidden sea caves, Paxos and Antipaxos are perfect for those seeking tranquil beaches and serene landscapes. Take a boat tour to explore these islands, ensuring you visit the Blue Caves and Voutoumi Beach.
Travel tip: The boat ride can get crowded during peak seasons, so consider booking in advance and aiming for early morning departures to enjoy a more peaceful experience.
2. Saranda and Butrint (Albania)
Only a short ferry ride from Corfu, the coastal city of Saranda boasts a stunning waterfront and rich historical sites. Not far from Saranda, the ancient ruins of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offer a deep dive into the region’s past.
Travel tip: Remember to bring your passport and check the visa requirements before embarking on this international trip.
3. Meteora Monasteries
A bit further afield, the awe-inspiring monasteries of Meteora, perched atop towering rock formations, promise a spiritual and cultural journey. The drive is scenic, but once there, be prepared for some walking to fully appreciate the monasteries.
Travel tip: Wear comfortable shoes and modest clothing to show respect when visiting the monastic sites.
Where to stay in Corfu
Corfu, a beautiful Greek island, offers a wide range of accommodation options for travelers. With over 2,600 hotels to choose from, visitors can find something to suit every taste and budget. From luxurious 5-star resorts to budget-friendly 3-star hotels, Corfu’s hospitality industry is well-equipped to provide comfortable stays. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, Corfu has the perfect hotel for you.
1. Best Reviewed Hotel
Acanthus Blue (★ ★ ★ ★)
- Description: Acanthus Blue features a garden, terrace, restaurant, and bar in Corfu Town. It offers beautiful sea views and is close to authentic restaurants and attractions.
- Price: €284 per night
- Rating: 9.6/10 (Exceptional)
2. Most Luxurious Hotel
The Olivar Suites (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)
- Description: Located in Mesongi, The Olivar Suites provides accommodation with a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, a fitness center, and a garden.
- Price: €516 per night
- Rating: 9.2/10 (Superb)
3. Budget Hotel
Corfu Panorama by Estia
- Description: Corfu Panorama by Estia features a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, garden, terrace, and restaurant in Moraitika. It offers a wonderful view and a family-friendly atmosphere.
- Price: €93 per night
- Rating: 9.0/10 (Superb)
4. Hotel for Family
Hotel Rossis (★ ★ ★)
- Description: Facing the beachfront, Hotel Rossis offers 3-star accommodation in Mesongi and features a garden, shared lounge, and terrace. It provides a warm and familiar atmosphere.
- Price: €157 per night
- Rating: 9.2/10 (Superb)
5. Hotel for Couples
Hidden Cove Corfu (★ ★ ★ ★)
- Description: Situated in Kontokali, Hidden Cove Corfu offers accommodation with a garden, free private parking, a restaurant, and a bar. It’s a fantastic hotel with wonderful staff and great location.
- Price: €317 per night
- Rating: 9.2/10 (Superb)
6. Hotel for Solo Travelers
Melina Oasis Boutique Hotel (★ ★ ★)
- Description: Located in Kassiopi, Melina Oasis Boutique Hotel provides accommodation with a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, a terrace, and a bar. The location, facilities, staff, and appearance are top-notch.
- Price: €143 per night
- Rating: 9.3/10 (Superb)
Did you know? Facts about Corfu
- Corfu is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea, and its history is bound up with Greek mythology, marked by numerous battles and conquests from ancient times to the Middle Ages.
- The island’s capital, also named Corfu, is the only city in Greece to be surrounded by castles, and it has been officially declared a Kastropolis (“castle city”) by the Greek government.
- Corfu was part of the Republic of Venice from 1204 and became one of the most fortified places in Europe, successfully repulsing the Ottomans during several sieges.
- In 2007, Corfu’s old town was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List, reflecting its rich cultural heritage.
- The island’s geography is diverse, with high mountain ranges, undulating central regions, and low-lying southern areas, and its coastline spans 217 km (135 mi).
- Corfu is home to more than 1800 plant species, including olive and cypress trees, which compose the typical Corfiot landscape.
- The island’s fauna includes around 40 species of mammals, 300 bird species, and various amphibians and reptiles, including the loggerhead sea turtle.
- Corfu Butterfly Conservation was launched in 2019 to protect the island’s 75 known species of butterflies and stimulate public interest in butterfly conservation.
- The island’s climate is a hot-summer Mediterranean type, featuring hot, dry summers and mild to cool, very rainy winters.
- Corfu’s rich history includes being identified by some scholars with Scheria, the island of the Phaeacians in Homer’s Odyssey, and it has been a significant location in Greek history since Mycenaean times.
FAQ about Corfu
What is the Climate Like in Corfu for Travelers?
Corfu has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate, featuring hot, dry summers and mild to cool, very rainy winters. The highest temperature ever recorded is 42.8°C, and the lowest is −6.0°C. It’s a popular destination for tourists looking to enjoy the sun and the sea.
What Historical Sites Can I Explore in Corfu?
Corfu is rich in history, with ancient Greek temples, medieval castles, and archaeological sites. The city’s old town was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2007. You can explore the ancient city of Korkyra, medieval castles, and the fortifications of the island.
What Wildlife Can I Experience on a Trip to Corfu?
Corfu offers a diverse range of flora and fauna. You can find more than 1800 plant species, around 300 bird species, 40 species of mammals, and various amphibians and reptiles. The island is also home to unique butterflies, and there are conservation efforts to protect them.
What Beaches are Recommended for a Vacation in Corfu?
Corfu’s coastline spans 217 km, and there are numerous beautiful beaches to explore. Some popular ones include Agios Gordis, the Korission Lagoon, Agios Georgios, Marathia, Kassiopi, Sidari, and Palaiokastritsa.
What Cultural Attractions are Available for Tourists in Corfu?
Corfu is home to the Ionian University and the Nobile Teatro di San Giacomo di Corfù, the first Greek theatre and opera house of modern Greece. The island’s rich Venetian history and unique architecture make it a cultural hub for travelers.
How Can I Explore the Geography of Corfu During My Visit?
Corfu’s geography is diverse, with high mountain ranges, undulating central regions, and low-lying southern areas. You can explore the island’s shape, resembling a sickle, and visit the high peak of Mount Pantokrator or the beautiful Bay of Agios Georgios.
What Water Activities are Available for Adventure Seekers in Corfu?
Corfu’s location in the Ionian Sea offers various water activities. You can enjoy sailing, diving, exploring marine life such as dolphins and whales, or take part in water sports at popular tourist destinations.
How Can I Contribute to Corfu Butterfly Conservation During My Stay?
Corfu Butterfly Conservation (CBC) is an organization that works to protect the island’s butterflies. Visitors can participate in the Corfu Butterfly Survey, record sightings on the CBC website, and learn more about the 75 species of butterflies on the island.