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Corfu Travel Guide

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Welcome to our Corfu travel guide. Here you’ll find key details about the city, including best times to visit, how to get around, and key things to know about the culture.

Old fortress in Corfu
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Key Details

Province/State: Ionian Islands

Country: Greece

Population: 99,134

Time Zone: Eastern European Summer Time

Languages Spoken: Greek

Currency Used: Euro

About Corfu

Corfu, Greece, is just one of those destinations that I can visit over and over again and never get tired of. It is part of the Ionian Islands, an island group located northwest of mainland Greece, not far from Albania and Italy. In fact, you can take a ferry boat from Corfu to both of these countries.

Corfu Island is a special place. My husband and I enjoyed visiting Corfu almost every summer while we lived in France. It boasts gorgeous sandy beaches, incredible snorkeling and scuba diving locations, delicious food, picturesque olive groves, and super-friendly locals.

There’s nothing better than waking up with a Freddo cappuccino (Greek iced coffee) in my hand while admiring the magnificent Ionian Sea. Life in Corfu is laidback, and the focus of a destination like this is the surrounding natural beauty.

From Corfu, you can visit nearby islands on a day trip, such as Paxos and the tiny island of Antipaxos. It is an excellent destination for families and couples who love to be outside playing all day or relaxing under an umbrella.

Best Time to Visit

I usually recommend avoiding July and August (peak season) when planning to travel to Europe. However, Corfu is one of the few exceptions. While most Greek islands like Santorini and Mykonos are inundated with tourists in the summer months, Corfu remains pretty low-key.

Late June to early July is the prime time to visit Corfu. The weather is sublime, and everything is open, so there is a ton of fun to be had. May and September are also great times to visit, but depending on the year, the sea may be too chilly for swimming.

Avoid visiting during the off-season, especially in winter. Many hotels and restaurants are seasonal, so you won’t find many of them open year-round.

About the Area

Corfu Town

This is the main town on the island. The Corfu Old Town area has a rich history stemming from its past of French, British, and Venetian rule. Due to its incredible history, beautifully preserved forts, and notable port, the old town has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2007. Throughout Corfu Town, you will find many bars, restaurants, and great local shopping.

  • Attractions: Corfu Museum of Asian Art, Archaeological Museum of Corfu, Old Fortress of Corfu, Church of Saint Spyridon (the island’s patron saint)
  • Accommodation: You can find very affordable vacation rentals in Corfu town. It’s not the most scenic place to stay, but it is convenient to reach every part of the island.

Moraitika

Moraitika is the best place to stay on the island. There are plenty of amazing beachfront hotels for different budgets. It is perfect for families or couples looking for a romantic escape. My favorite Corfu hotel, the Domes Miramare, is located here and is a big part of why I look forward to going to Corfu every year. If you stay in Moraitika, I recommend renting a car. Otherwise, you’ll have to transfer buses in Corfu town to visit other parts of the island.

  • Attractions: Moraitika Beach, Paralia Agios Ioannis Peristeron, Byzantine Fortress of Gardiki
  • Accommodation: Hotels for all budgets – mostly luxury and mid-range.

Palaiokastritsa

Located on the west coast, Palaiokastritsa (also spelled Paleokastritsa) is one of the most scenic and remote parts of the island. It is home to the most picturesque beaches and the most amazing natural beauty in Corfu. This is a great place to rent a boat and discover the untouched beauty of sea caves and remote beaches on this island. Snorkeling and scuba diving are also popular activities here.

  • Attractions: Monastery of Paleokastritsa, Paradise Beach, Blue Eye Cave, Rovinia Beach, La Grotta Bar, Agia Triada Beach
  • Accommodation: Vacation rentals range from budget to luxury. Many mid-range and luxury hotels are also available.

Kassiopi

Aside from the Domes Miramare, Kassiopi is my favorite part of Corfu. The beach is stunning and has some of the clearest water I’ve ever seen—and that’s coming from a girl who grew up in Hawaii. The picturesque town features winding cobblestone streets with cute cafes, laidback restaurants, and adorable souvenir stores. Kanoni Beach is the most stunning beach on the island, but bring or buy water shoes because the beaches are rocky and not sandy.

  • Attractions: Kanoni Beach, Kassiopi Fortress, Engagement Bay
  • Accommodation: Budget and mid-range hotels and vacation rentals.

Sidari

Sidari is one of the main tourist towns on the north side of the island. There are many fun hotels here geared towards families with small children. Sidari has a great main street filled with many restaurants and cafes and is easily walkable. Visitors can rent kayaks and paddle boats from the main beach, Paralia Sidari, to visit the nearby sea caves.

  • Attractions: Paralia Sidari, Canal d’Amour Beach, Sidari Watersports, Cape Drastis
  • Accommodation: Beachfront mid-range and budget-friendly hotels.

How to Get There

By Plane: The Corfu International Airport is very small and easy to navigate. There are many international and domestic flights daily, including from Spain, France, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Italy. You can go island hopping to different Greek island groups by connecting through Athens.

By Ferry: Ferry is my favorite mode of transportation between Greek islands. While it does take more time than a short flight, most ferries are like cruise ships and include luxuries such as private rooms, restaurants, and wifi. There are ferries between Corfu and the other islands, mainland Greece, and even countries like Italy and Albania. If you love a slower pace of travel, you’ll love the ferries. Check Ferryhopper for the best deals on tickets.

How to Get Around

Driving: Renting a car is the best way to get around the island. Corfu is much larger than the more popular Greek islands like Santorini, so you’ll definitely want a car as opposed to an ATV, moped, or taking the bus. This allows for more flexibility in your schedule and being able to reach places that aren’t near a bus line.
Public Transport: Taking the public bus is the more affordable transportation option. The Corfu bus lines are reliable, cost only a few euros, and are easy to navigate. I took the bus a few times and never had an issue. The only downside is that it takes a while to get from one part of the island to the other, and if the bus is full, you may have to wait in the blazing hot sun for the next bus to arrive.

Customs & Etiquette

  • Greetings: When you arrive at a shop, museum, or restaurant, it is customary to greet the person welcoming you. “Yas sas” means hello, but you can also say “kalimera” or “kalispera“, which means good morning and good evening, respectively.
  • Try local delicacies: Move over, Greek salad. Greek food is bursting with incredible, unique flavors. Some of my favorite Greek dishes include pork gyros, grilled octopus, and lamb Kleftiko. If you don’t know where to begin, I’ve found that Greek restaurant owners are always enthusiastic to give their recommendations.
  • Dress code: Most people are dressed very casually in Corfu. When walking around town or eating at restaurants, do not arrive in beachwear. At the minimum, throw on a pair of shorts and a T-shirt. Cover up when visiting churches or other religious sites.
  • General conduct: Don’t be that rowdy tourist. While Corfu has a robust nightlife, it is much more laid back than other places like Mykonos. This is more of a family destination. Be kind and courteous, and you’ll fit right in.
  • Toilet paper: In many parts of Greece, it is forbidden to throw toilet paper in the toilet. Instead, a bin is provided to dispose of it. The plumbing system is not suited for flushing toilet paper, so avoid the potentially embarrassing issue and just use the bin.

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