Best things to do in Corfu, Greece

Corfu - Old Town

Alexandra is typing…
Hi there! This is an article that I will write alone since I lived four years in Corfu as a student and I am really excited to share with you everything about this magic island.

Look no farther than Corfu if you’re seeking for a vacation spot with a fascinating history, gorgeous beaches, and breathtaking landscape! This Greek island, which is located in the Ionian Sea, has long been a well-liked vacation spot.

Corfu has a distinct and endearing cultural fusion that distinguishes it from other Greek islands thanks to its mixture of Venetian, French, and British influences. Historic sites abound on the island, including the Old Town of Corfu with its winding lanes, endearing squares, and exquisite structures.

In addition to having a long history, Corfu has some of Greece’s most stunning beaches. Every kind of tourist may find a beach to suit their needs, from quiet coves to lengthy lengths of golden sand. Not to mention the delectable regional food! While you’re there, do not miss the chance to try some authentic Greek delicacies!



Quick Facts

  • Location: it is an island located in the Ionian Sea, off the northwest coast of Greece.
  • History: it has a rich history, having been ruled by various civilizations including the Venetians, French, and British.
  • Food: The island is known for its delicious cuisine, which combines traditional Greek dishes with local ingredients and flavors.
  • Corfu is also home to several important cultural and historical sites, including the Achilleion Palace and the Mon Repos Palace.
  • Climate: The island has a Mediterranean climate, with warm summers and mild winters.
  • Access: The island is accessible by ferry, plane, or bus.
  • Highlights: stunning beaches, the island’s capital, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

How to get to Corfu

There are several ways to get to Corfu:

By plane: The most convenient and fastest way to reach Corfu is by air. The island is served by the Corfu International Airport (CFU), which is located just 2.5 miles south of the city of Corfu. There are regular flights from several European cities to Corfu, including Athens, London, and several major cities in Germany and the UK.

By ferry: Corfu can also be reached by ferry from several ports in Greece and Italy, including Igoumenitsa, Patras, and Ancona. These ferries run regularly and offer a scenic alternative to flying, but the journey is longer and may be more expensive.

By bus: If you’re already in Greece, you can take a bus from Athens to the port of Igoumenitsa and then take a ferry to Corfu. This option is cheaper but can take several hours longer than flying.

Once you arrive in Corfu, you can get around the island by taxi, local bus, or rental car. Taxis are readily available at the airport and at major tourist destinations, but they can be expensive. Local buses are cheap and convenient but can be crowded, especially during peak tourist season. Renting a car is a good option if you plan to explore the island, but be aware that roads can be narrow and winding in some areas.


What to do in Corfu

1. Corfu Old Town

Corfu - Old Town

The Old Town is an open-air museum itself. The city’s history begins in the eighth century when it played an important role in the Battle of Sivota. Furthermore, the Old Town remained under Venetian control until 1797, and all of these significant periods are reflected in the architecture of the area. You will begin your explorations in small and narrow cantinas near Liston Square.

Shops, museums, restaurants, and the Agios Spyridon Church are just a few of the attractions in the Old Town. Bring an appetite and a willingness to walk to every location that has the best backdrop for your photos.


2. The Old Fortress

Corfu - Fortress

The Old Fortress is a Venetian-built fortification located on a hill overlooking the city. It offers panoramic views of the island and the sea and while you are there you can take photos and enjoy the scenery. It’s one of the most famous landmarks on the island and is a must-visit.

The Old Fortress was built by the Venetians in the 16th century as a defense against Ottoman invasion. Over the centuries, the fortification was occupied by various empires, including the French and the British, and has been restored several times to preserve its historical significance. 

The Old Fortress is easily accessible by foot or by bus and it is located close to many other popular tourist attractions, making it a convenient stop on any itinerary. The Old Fortress is open to visitors year-round, but the best time to visit is during the warmer months from May to September, when the weather is pleasant and outdoor activities are possible


3. The Liston

The Liston is a picturesque street in the heart of the Old Town. It was built by the French during their occupation of the island and is lined with cafés, restaurants, and boutiques. Liston is the perfect spot to enjoy a meal or drink while taking in the sights and sounds of the arcade. The dining options range from casual street-side cafes to more formal restaurants, offering something for everyone.

From time to time, The Liston hosts concerts and performances, showcasing local talent and providing visitors with an unforgettable experience. Additionally, The Liston also plays host to open-air markets and street stalls selling everything from handmade crafts to fresh produce. While you are there, you can browse the stalls, try the local food, and take home a unique souvenir.


There is a variety of shops and boutiques selling everything from souvenirs and gifts to fashion and jewelry.

4. The Palace of St. Michael and St. George

The Palace of St. Michael and St. George is a historic building built in the 19th century as the residence of the British Commissioner of the Ionian Islands. The palace is a fine example of the neoclassical style and is considered one of the most important cultural and historical landmarks in Corfu.

The Palace of St. Michael and St. George is located in the heart of Corfu’s old town, just a short walk from the city center. It is easily accessible on foot, and there is also limited street parking available for those who choose to drive.


5. Achilleion Palace

The Mansion of St. Michael and St. George, also called the Achilleion Palace, is a lavish palace that can be seen in Corfu, Greece. Empress Elisabeth of Austria, commonly known as Sisi, constructed it as a vacation palace in the late 19th century. The palace is located on a hill with breathtaking views of the Ionian Sea and is named after Achilles, the Greek hero of the Trojan War.

The palace has magnificent interiors, lovely grounds, and a distinctive fusion of classical and Renaissance styles. It comprises a number of rooms, including a drawing room, dining room, and private chambers, each of which is furnished elegantly and has works of art. In addition, the palace has an expansive outdoor theater, an Achilles monument, and a museum dedicated to Sisi’s life and times.

The inside of the palace is decorated with several pieces of fine art and antiquities, as well as stunning paintings and stained-glass windows. The palace also features a number of terraces and balconies with breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside and the sea. In addition to exotic plants, flowers, and fountains, the magnificent grounds that surround the palace also include a number of pavilions and sculptures.


6. The Church of St. Spyridon

The Church of St. Spyridon is a historic Orthodox Christian dedicated to St. Spyridon, the patron saint of the island, and is one of the most important religious sites in Corfu. The church was originally built in the 16th century and has undergone several renovations and expansions over the centuries.

The Church of St. Spyridon is located in the old town of Corfu and is easily accessible by foot. The Church of St. Spyridon is of great cultural and religious significance to the people of Corfu and is considered one of the most important religious sites in Greece.


7. The Old Town Market

The Old Town Market: it is a bustling outdoor market located in the heart of the Old Town where you can buy fresh produce, spices, and souvenirs, and get a feel for local life in Corfu. The market date back to the 16th century, and has evolved over the years to become a hub of commerce and culture in the old town of Corfu. The Old Town Market is located in the old town of Corfu and is easily accessible by foot. 

It is a great place to sample the local cuisine of Corfu including street food and snacks, find everything from jewelry and pottery to textiles and art, and enjoy live music, dance performances, and other forms of street theater.


8. Mon Repos

Mon Repo is a beautiful park and beach area located in the city of Corfu. Mon Repo was once a private estate belonging to the Royal Family of Greece and was later transformed into a public park and beach area. It is located on the eastern side of Corfu and is easily accessible by car or public transportation. The park and beach are situated on a hill, offering stunning views of the sea.

While you are there, you can enjoy the gardens and the fountains, relax on the beach, or take a picnic.


9. Angelokastro fortress

Angelokastro Fortress is a medieval castle located on the island of Corfu and it is one of the most important historical sites on the island. The fortress built in the 13th century is thought to have played a key role in the defense of the island during various historical periods.

Angelokastro Fortress is located in the northwestern part of the island and is accessible by car or public transportation.


10. The beaches

Corfu - Issos Beach

Issos Beach

Issos Beach is a breathtaking expanse of beach that is situated on the island’s northern shore. Issos is a fantastic place to get away from the throng and enjoy the sun thanks to its clean seas and remote position. Issos Beach is located approximately 17 km from the town of Corfu and is easily accessible by car or local bus. There is also a parking area available for those traveling by car.

Avlaki Beach

Avlaki Beach is a stunning sandy beach on the island’s east coast. The beach is a well-liked location for swimming and snorkeling and is bordered by verdant hills. Avlaki Beach is located approximately 20 km from the town of Corfu and is easily accessible by car or local bus. There is also a parking area available for those traveling by car.

While you are there, you can swim and sunbathe in the crystal clear waters, try kayaking and snorkeling, and for more adventurous hiking.


Canal D'amour

Canal d’Amour is a stunning coastal area located in the northern part of the island known for its crystal-clear waters and secluded beaches. The name “Canal d’Amour” translates to “Canal of Love,”.

While you are there you can simply relax on the beach, rent a boat or take a guided tour of the coastline, exploring the stunning cliffs and hidden caves or trying local cuisine: in the several nearby restaurants and cafes.

You can get there by car, by boat or by public transportation. The drive takes about 30-40 minutes from the main city of Corfu.


Agios Spiridon

Agios Spiridon Beach is a gorgeous sandy beach and is found on the west coast of the island. The beach is a well-liked location for swimming and tanning because of the undulating hills that surround it. Agios Spiridon is located approximately 20 km from the town of Corfu and is easily accessible by car or local bus. There is also a parking area available for those traveling by car.


Kouloura Beach

On the island’s north shore lies Kouloura Beach, a gorgeous sandy beach. The beach is a well-liked location for swimming and sunbathing and is bordered by beautiful green hills. You can swim and sunbathe in the clear, warm waters of the bay, or explore the underwater world.

You can get there by car in about 30-40 minutes, depending on traffic, from Corfu. You can also take a boat tour from nearby ports such as Kassiopi or Acharavi.


Barbati Beach

On the island’s north shore lies the gorgeous sandy beach known as Barbati Beach. The beach is a well-liked location for swimming and tanning since it is bordered by undulating hills. Barbati Beach is located about 12 km north of the city of Corfu. The beach can be reached by car or by public transportation, as there are regular buses that run from the city to Barbati.


Yialiskari Beach

On the west coast of the island lies the gorgeous sandy beach known as Yialiskari Beach. The beach is a well-liked location for swimming and sunbathing and is bordered by beautiful green hills. Yialiskari Beach is easily accessible by car, and there is a lot of parking available at the beach. There are also regular buses that run from Corfu Town to the beach, and you can also hire a taxi or rent a car. Once you arrive at the beach, there are several restaurants and cafes where you can grab a bite to eat or enjoy a refreshing drink.


11. Hiking Trails

The tallest mountain in Corfu, Mount Pantokrator, provides breathtaking views of the island and its surroundings. The difficult ascent is definitely worth it for the beautiful view, though.

The Corfu Trail is a long-distance trail that runs the full length of the island. It provides beautiful sights and the opportunity to explore the island’s many topographies.

This hike takes you from the coastal village of Agios Georgios to the stunning Paleokastritsa Beach. You’ll pass through verdant hills along the route and take in breath-taking vistas of the shore.

Sinies to Kalami – This hike connects the seaside settlement of Sinies with the charming village of Kalami by traversing lush green hills and providing breathtaking views of the coastline.

Mount Klisura – You may reach the summit of Mount Klisura by this trek, which provides amazing views of the island and its surroundings. Although the trek is difficult, it is definitely worth it for the breathtaking scenery.


Corfu's landscape and natural features

Corfu is a refuge for nature lovers! There is a variety of beautiful landscapes in this Greek island, which range from craggy cliffs to immaculate beaches.

The green hills that dominate much of Corfu are among the island’s most distinctive natural characteristics. Olive orchards, vineyards, and charming towns dot these undulating slopes, creating some pretty beautiful views. Not to mention the breathtaking coastline, which makes it evident why Corfu is a favorite destination for sun and sea enthusiasts with its crystal-clear waters and magnificent beaches.

Corfu offers several great hiking paths that will take you around the island’s varied topography. Explore the surrounding area, look for animals, and enjoy some stunning panoramic views.

In addition to its stunning natural scenery, Corfu is also home to several amazing botanical gardens, including the well-known Mon Repos Park and the Palace of St. Michael and St. George. These gardens are a must-see for every nature lover since they are brimming with exotic plants, trees, and flowers.


Top scenic spots

Mount Pantokrator is one of the island’s most beautiful locations. This peak, which is 906 meters high, provides sweeping views of the island and the Ionian Sea. Popular activities include hiking to the summit, and the sights are well worth the effort.

Paleokastritsa Bay is another gorgeous location that should not be missed. This beautiful harbor is bordered by verdant hills and has clean water, making it the ideal location for swimming and tanning. Additionally, you may go on a boat excursion to explore the numerous caves and coves that dot the coastline.

Corfu offers some absolutely stunning lengths of sand for beach lovers. One of the most attractive beaches is Myrtiotissa Beach because of its seclusion and breathtaking surroundings. Agios Georgios Beach, which is known for its crystal-clear seas and expansive sandy shoreline, is yet another fantastic beach choice.

Cultural Gems

The ancient Greek culture had a significant core in Corfu, which has a rich history stretching back to that time. A centre of trade and business, the island was home to numerous significant cities.

Corfu was controlled by the Venetians from the 13th to the 18th century, and this influence can be seen in the island’s architecture and culture. The entire island is covered in structures, castles, and strongholds in the Venetian style.

Corfu was a part of the British Empire in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and this influence can be seen in the island’s culture and architecture. All around the island, you’ll witness structures, gardens, and parks designed in the Victorian style.

Several distinctive regional customs are also practiced in Corfu, such as the “Roukeri,” a traditional dance that is presented at the island’s yearly carnival. The is also a number of cultural festivals and events, such as music festivals, cuisine festivals, and cultural exhibitions, that take place all year round in Corfu. These activities give a look into the rich cultural traditions and legacy of the island.


Tips & Recommendations

  • Old Town Walking Tour: Discover the magnificent Venetian architecture, ancient sites, and majestic churches that makeup Corfu’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Enjoy a lively celebration of Corfiot music and dance, with both traditional acts and cutting-edge takes on the island’s rich cultural history.
  • Enjoy Corfu’s delectable food, including regional delicacies like pastitsada and sofrito, as well as some of the island’s known wines at the Food and Wine Festival.
  • Visits to historic sites like the Temple of Artemis and the Corfu Archaeological Museum will help you learn about the island’s rich past.
  • Visit the Byzantine and Christian Museum to learn more about the intriguing history and artwork of the Byzantine Empire. This collection of exhibits includes rare manuscripts, religious items, and icons.
  • Discover the rich cultural traditions of the island while viewing local craftsmen and crafters at work producing handmade goods including jewelry, pottery, and textiles at the art and craft fair.

What to eat in Corfu

Local cuisine and drink options

A typical meal from the Greek island of Corfu is pastitsada. A combination of spices, including cinnamon and cloves, are slowly simmered in a rich tomato sauce to create this substantial and savory stew, which is served with either chicken or beef. The meat is then placed over pasta, usually “kritharaki,” a sort of cylindrical noodle.

Pastitsada is still a popular dish in Corfiot cuisine today. Its origins may be traced to the Venetian colonization of Corfu in the 16th and 17th century. The dish is known for the harmony of sweet and salty tastes as well as the meat’s delicate, fall-apart consistency.

Here are some locations you might want to check out if you’re seeking for the greatest pastitsada in Corfu:

  • To Karafaki: a well-known traditional tavern with delectable pastitsada and hearty, home-style food.
  • Popular restaurant Odysea Taverna provides delectable pastitsada and other traditional Greek fare.
  • Avli Tou Thodori is a well-known eatery that offers delicious pastitsada and other dishes that are traditionally served in Corfu.
  • Kanoni is a family-run pub with a superb variety of traditional meals, including a mouthwatering pastitsada.
Known for its savory, soft meat and straightforward but delectable sauce, sofrito is a typical Greek dish from the island of Corfu. The meat, which is either made of veal or beef, is tenderized to the ideal degree and is gently simmered in a sauce made of garlic, white wine, and parsley.
Bourdeto is a fiery fish stew with red pepper from the area that is eaten with bread.
Greek salad is also a must. Prepared with feta cheese, red onion, cucumber, and fresh tomatoes, is a dish you do not want to miss. It is often served with olive oil and lemon juice.

Regarding drinks, you have to try ouzeri which is a local spirit made from anise, (similar to ouzo). Corfu beer, the local beer, brewed on the island. Corfu wine, since the island produces both red and white wines, made with local grapes. And of course greek coffee, a strong and flavorful coffee, usually served with a glass of water.


Festivals And events in Corfu

The summertime Corfu Beer Festival offers a wide range of regional and foreign brews, live entertainment, and a number of food vendors.

Panigyri: This annual celebration honors the island’s patron saints and includes dancing, live music, and religious rituals.

Wine Festival: Held in the town of Benitses, this festival honors the island’s winemaking heritage and includes wine tastings, food vendors, and live music.

Every summer, there is an international film festival that features a range of foreign films as well as a number of cultural activities and exhibitions.

Full Moon Party in August: On the beaches of Corfu, this well-liked celebration includes live music, dancing, and bonfires.

Easter in Corfu

One of the most significant religious holidays in Corfu is Easter, which is observed with a wide range of customs and ceremonies. Easter celebrations on the island are known for being extravagant and colorful and are highlighted by religious processions, parades, and feasts.

Large processions with individuals dragging extravagant float-like constructions known as “epitaphs” through the streets are held in Corfu on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. The epitaphs are adorned with flowers and candles, while somber music and hymns are played in the background.

A sizable bonfire is lighted in the town square on Holy Saturday to represent Jesus’ resurrection. Following the bonfire, there is a parade with people carrying lit candles and chanting hymns.

Easter is a time for celebration and feasting, and many families get together to enjoy a meal and exchange Easter eggs. Lamb, roasted potatoes, and Easter bread make up the usual Corfiot Easter feast.

Easter festivities and events are spread out around the island and include live music, dancing shows, and religious services.

Visitors to Corfu at this time will have the chance to enjoy the island’s rich cultural legacy and customs. Easter is a time of reflection, rebirth, and joy in Corfu. The Easter festivities in Corfu are an important event whether you’re religious or just interested in learning about the local traditions.


Best time to visit Corfu

The best to visit Corfu is in the summer months because the weather is warm and you will be able to enjoy the beautiful beaches as well. However, it depends on what type of vacation you are looking for. The island experiences mild, Mediterranean weather with two distinct seasons:

  • Summer: June to September is the peak tourist season, with warm weather and high temperatures, perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports. This is also the best time to explore the island and participate in outdoor activities.
  • Spring and Autumn: April to May and October to November are also good times to visit, with mild temperatures and fewer crowds. This is an ideal time for outdoor activities, such as hiking and cycling.


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