Corfu, an island off Greece’s northwest coast in the Ionian Sea, with rugged mountains and ample beach resorts. During the summer of 2022, I was fortunate enough to get the chance to work on the island of Corfu in Greece. I lived there for six and a half months while working in the tourism industry.
While in Corfu, I lived near the beach, ate my way through the island, explored every nook and cranny I could, got acquainted with the people and culture, and fell in love. Azure water, friendly people, good food, a strong Venetian influence, gorgeous cliffs and a constant view of the Albanian mountains in the North – Corfu is paradise on Earth.
In this article, I’m imparting everything I know about Corfu to inspire you to visit and fall in love with this magical island, just like I did.
Things To Know About Corfu
Corfu is a green island: its climate is hot and humid in Spring and Summer and temperate but rainy in Autumn and Winter, which means nature gets to flourish. Because of the climate, I strongly recommend visiting during Spring when all the flowers bloom. Temperatures are high enough to enjoy the beach and the island isn’t quite as crowded as during the Summer months.
Also good to know: tap water is not potable; during high season, you should expect low water pressure at certain times of day, never throw toilet paper in the toilet, and the internet is not always guaranteed. Between October and May, most of the island is closed for tourism.
Getting Around Corfu
Although Corfu looks like paradise, it also has a couple of shortcomings. Public buses, for instance, though present, are not always very reliable. Especially outside of high season (July-mid September).
Renting A Car In Corfu
Renting a car is the best way to travel around the island easily since some places are more remote and less accessible by other means. Renting quads and scooters is also very popular, but it’s more dangerous, especially since the roads are not in the best of states.
Driving a car in Corfu might seem a bit daunting if you’re unfamiliar, but Greek drivers are used to the tourists and if you go at a relaxed pace, you will find it very comfortable. Google Maps is also very reliable to get you from town to town, though it is best to compare the routes it takes to a map to stay on the main roads. The scenic route might be beautiful, but not necessarily easy to drive.
Corfu might not be a big island, but because of the mountains, getting around might take some time, so consider this when booking accommodation. For example, driving from Roda to Corfu Town can take between 50 to 70 minutes. It is, however, possible to visit everything Corfu has to offer in 3 to 4 days, leaving ample time to relax at one of its many idyllic beaches.
Taxis In Corfu
There are also affordable taxis on the island, but if it is busy, you might have to wait to find one. Outside of the capital, taxis should always be ordered in advance.
Where To Stay In Corfu
There are so many great hotels and places to stay in Corfu to choose from and a handful that seriously cater to groups with pools and beach access. Here are 10 of the best hotels in Corfu.
- Siora Vittoria Boutique Hotel
- Cavalieri Hotel
- Corfu Palace
- Acanthus Blue
- Corfu Mare Hotel
- Divani Corfu
- Kerkyra Blue Hotel
- Corfu Imperial, Grecotel Beach Luxe Resort
- Angsana Corfu Resort and Spa
- Domes of Corfu Autograph Collection
Places To Visit In Corfu
Corfu Town and the Achilleion
Meander through the narrow streets of Corfu Town and you will immediately note the strong Venetian influence, with laundry hanging up between houses, warm-toned façades and shops all around. You can walk through the old town, look at and visit the Old Fortress, go to Spaniada Square and stroll along Garitsa or grab a bite at one of the many establishments.
For a better understanding of the Venetian influence, visit Casa Parlante Museum, where you’ll get acquainted with the family that used to live there and their habits.
Take the more reliable blue busses that run between Perama and Ipsos or drive and park in one of three parking (5€ per day).
A 20-minute drive from Corfu Town, you will find the Achilleion, also known as Sissi’s Palace. I recommend visiting it on the same day as Corfu Town, as this will make for a nice full day of leisurely visits. The palace is currently under renovation, but once open, you can visit the palace and its gardens with statues and panoramic views.
- PapaGiorgis for the best ice cream on Corfu
- Starenio Bakery is an award-winning bakery that sells delicious vegan sweet and savory pies
- Pane e Souvlaki is a quaint little restaurant that serves traditional Greek food near the town hall
- Sway Bar and Kitchen for a swanky drink
- White Pearl for some original jewelry and clothing
Kassiopi is my all-time favorite place in Corfu. It is a charming fishermen’s village in the North of the island. There is a cute port which offers uninterrupted views of the mountains of Albania since it is its nearest point. It has several beautiful pebble beaches north of the port and if you follow the port to the right, you will find a small, hidden pathway that ends on a tiny secluded beach.
- Limani is a cocktail bar that not only offers a wide variety of alcoholic and virgin cocktails but also serves delicious and original dishes for breakfast through dinner.
Located on the West Coast of the island, Paleokastritsa is simply incomparable. During Spring, you must not miss out on the charming monastery at the top of a hill, with all the plants in bloom; its garden is a sanctuary with a sweeping view of the ocean.
Paleokastritsa consists of numerous beautiful bays with sandy beaches and a lively village. You can also rent a speedboat (no license needed) and explore the bays of Paleokastritsa and Liapades.
- La Grotta Lounge & Pub is somewhat of a climb to get to this bar located on the side of a cliff, but it’s worth it. Perfect for tasty cocktails and a dive.
Agios Georgios Pagon and Porto Timoni
Agios Georgios Pagon in the North (not to be confused with Agios Georgios in the South) has one of the largest sandy beaches in Corfu. It is conveniently close to Afionas and Porto Timoni. Porto Timoni consists of 2 bays that nearly touch which is accessible through a steep hike that starts at the small village of Afionas.
About halfway down the hike, there is a lookout point. If you are not a fan of walking or are traveling with kids, I don’t recommend starting at the top of the hill but rather taking a taxi boat at the beach of Agios Georgios. If you do decide to hike: don’t wear flip-flops and don’t forget your bottle of water and a snack.
Sidari, Logas Beach and Cape Drastis
The Canal d’Amour (canal of love) is a must-see in Sidari. It is rumored that couples who swim through the natural canal will have eternal love. The clay cliffs are also worth the trip for those who do not wish to take a swim.
Logas Beach on the West Coast is also called sunset beach. For absolutely stunning sunsets, I recommend Logas. The clay mountainsides look simply cinematic during the golden hour.
Cape Drastis is perfect if you like a hike and a swim. Park up the hill and walk down to the beaches there. Enjoy the view on your way down.
- Micrososmoses in Sidari sells iridescent glass jewelry handmade by a female artist who lives in Corfu. They also sell a wide variety of stainless steel jewelry.
- 7th Heaven is a bar and restaurant at Logas Beach. It has a panoramic view of the sunset, but beware: the view is better than the food and while the bar is accessible to all, you must call ahead for a table if you want to have dinner there. It is closed during the day.
Pantokrator is the tallest mountain in Corfu, standing at 906m tall. At the top of the mountain, you will find a monastery as well as the ghost town of Old Perithia. You can hike up the mountain, do a jeep safari, or drive on the only paved way up the mountain. If you opt for the latter option, don’t forget to research in advance to avoid dangerous dirt roads.
Other Things To Know About Corfu
While researching Corfu, you might stumble upon the waterfalls of Nymfes. If you wish to go and visit them, ask the locals about it first since the lack of rain during the Summer season means the waterfalls are sometimes more of a ‘waterdribble’.
Corfu has plenty to choose from if you wish to lay at the beach with hotels, bars and restaurants owning most of the sunbeds at the beach. You can use them but are expected to buy something. Some places also ask for payment for the beds, but it is always stated in this case.
If you wish to visit calmer beaches, you can almost always find one by driving along the coast and looking down the cliffs. For a large but calm beach, try Almyros outside of Acharavi.
Since 6.5 months is ample time to get familiar with the island, I also have recommendations if you find yourself outside the places above.
You will find traditional Greek dishes (such as Sofrito, Gyros and Souvlaki) in virtually every restaurant on the island, but don’t forget about coffee. Coffee is a vital part of the Greek culture and they have found inventive ways to serve it. Ice coffee is especially popular; try out a freddo espresso, freddo cappuccino, or a frappe with or without ice cream.
Acharavi might not be the most charming town, but its restaurants certainly pack a tasty punch.
- Maistro is one of the best restaurants in town, especially known for its fish
- Faros Restaurant has delicious food a stone’s throw away from the water
- Fuego is a calm beach bar. If you want to go out, you can go on Wednesday after midnight for Greek Night when the locals are off work. Otherwise, they serve all-day breakfast and fiery cocktails
- Cafe Amarena Patisserie try out their bite-sized traditional pastries
- Microcosmoses are the second location of the store is handmade glass jewelry
Roda is next to Acharavi and has plenty of restaurants to pick from and livelier nightlife, but my heart goes out to:
- Ammos Grill Room is great for traditional meats among the locals
On the East Coast in Barbati:
- Starlight Restaurant is great for dinner with a view
And lastly, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, you will find:
- Melisito is located near the small village of Dafni, Melisito is a reputable bakery with a view of the valley
Paxos Boat Trip
If you have time, a lot of different offices offer boat trips to Paxos, the tiny island to the South of Corfu. Paxos is known for its blue caves and most trips offer you the chance to swim in the bluer-than-blue waters of Antipaxos. It is a full-day trip, but it is worth it. If you can, visit Paxos’ capital Gaios, a quaint little village.
- Fanalino is a little restaurant on Gaios
Best Tours In Corfu
Corfu offers a variety of enjoyable tours. Here are four great options:
- Take a trip off the island to the islands of Antipaxos and Paxos Blue Caves on a boat trip
- Watch the sunset on a Sunset Cruise on a classic boat with cocktails and snacks
- Enjoy some time out on the water on a Corfu Island Sailing Trip with lunch
- Go sightseeing to discover hidden coves and secluded beaches on a full-day cruise from Corfu Town
Corfu Ultimate Guide Wrap Up
Overall, Corfu is the place to be for beautiful views of nature, a relaxing dip in the sea and enough restaurants to hold you over until Christmas. Whether you want to hike through nature or lay at the beach all day, Corfu has something to offer everyone. You’ll surely fall head over heels for this little gem in the Ionian Sea.
We hope that this article has inspired you to want to visit Corfu. If you have any questions or advice to share with our readers, please leave these in the comments below.
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We Are Travel Girls Contributor Ashley Tallaire
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