With its cypress trees, olives groves and fields upon fields of wild flowers, Corfu is known as the “Emerald Isle” of the Greek islands. The lush terrain, as well as the pristine beaches and crystal clear seas are just a few reasons why holiday makers have been flocking here since the 1960’s.
Visit Sidari or Roda in the north and you’ll find bustling beach side resorts nestled in the foot of the mountains. Travel down to the east coast and you’ll come across Corfu Town, a delightful capital with a lot of character and traditional entertainment. Head to the south of Corfu and you’ll eventually arrive at Kavos, party central of the island.
There’s definitely a lot of variety on this Greek Island, so if you fancy a day trip somewhere you’ll be spoilt for choice. Along with the warm hospitality of the locals, friendly spirit and exquisite nature of this island, a trip to Corfu will be one to remember!
As with the rest of the Greek Islands, the food you’ll discover here in Corfu is delicious. Try traditional tzatziki with freshly baked bread for starters. This yoghurt, garlic and cucumber dip is a refreshing appetizer which can be eaten along with feta cheese and fried calamari. A great way to try the enormous variety on the menu is to order a few things and then share between everyone at the table!
If you’re dining out in Corfu Town, Esplanade square is a great place to people watch and to try some traditional Greek food. Mousaka, a combination of mince, fried aubergine and creamy sauce, is a favourite on the Greek isles and is well worth a try. Pour over some local olive oil then wash down with some beautiful red wine, what a way to enjoy a lovely evening abroad!
To go with all the wonderful food you’ll be trying, expect be drinking some unusual beverages alongside your meal. Ouzo is a classic tipple which you might find on your table. You can either sip this drink neat, dilute it with iced water or go wild and drink it in one after your meal! Be careful though, it’s an acquired taste!
With beautiful summer sunshine and warm blue waters, it would be too easy to relax on the beach all day in Corfu. Of course that’s one of the main reasons to come here but there are a thousand gems on this island to discover away from the beautiful coastline.
Corfu Town is a great place to spend the day and the evening if you so desire! Originally built in between two fortresses under Venetian rule, this town is a myriad of pastel coloured, mansions and oozes an elegance which just has to be experienced. Take a walk through the streets, wander through old chapels and visit the “Old Town”. Here you’ll find The Esplanade, one of the oldest squares in Europe. It’s a great place to while your evening away with a cool drink and a traditional dish from a square-side restaurant.
If you really don’t want to venture too far from the beach, Sidari is a lively beach side resort with plenty to see along the coastline. Swim along the Canal d’Amour to find tiny coves and shingle beaches. This is also a great spot for diving if you’re into your watersports! Sidari in the evening is just as lively as in the daytime with many restaurants to dine at. This resort has certainly come a long way from its fishing village roots!
For a more traditional experience, head to Gouvia on the east coast. Drive through the green landscape that Corfu is famous for and you will come across what used to be a 17th century Venetian Naval Base. However it’s a lot prettier now than what it probably was back then. Now, the marina is home to beautiful yachts and there are waterside cafes for an afternoon treat.
Corfu has almost every style of beach imaginable, from rocky coves to wide sweeping sandy stretches of golden sand. With so many to choose from, it’s not a bad idea to decide what sort of beach you want and plan your stay from there. It is generally thought that the west coast has the sandier family beaches.
Acharavi on the northern coast is also good for families with a gently shelving long sandy beach joining it to Roda. Water sports available include windsurfing and pedaloes, water-skiing and para-gliding. You will not find it hard to spot a good taverna or restaurant for refreshment.
Agios Georgios at the northern end of the west coast is a horse-shoe shaped bay. It’s a narrow road to get there but worth it when you do as it is usually quiet and offers golden sand and some water sports. It’s a bit windy, great for windsurfing. The local restaurants specialise in serving fish dishes.
Roda is on the north coast offers a beach of sand backed mainly by hotels, apartments and lots of great tavernas.
On the east coast Gouvia is an enclosed bay with olive groves on the hillsides. There is a marina to enjoy the yachts coming and going and great boat trips are available. The area has good night life as well. You will find narrow sand and shingle beaches as well as little coves. Paragliding and a variety of water sports are all here to enjoy.
Shopping in Corfu is a great idea. If you are just looking for a few tourist presents or some well made jewellery you will have great fun finding it on Corfu.
Olives feature in many products from woodcarvings, olive oil to soap, and lace, embroidery and jewellery are also popular. Small sculptures of Greek classical design can be unusual and a nice present.
Corfu town is probably the best place to shop with lots of choice from the usual tourist shop to little studios in the side streets. Look out for leather goods, jewellery, honey and much more.
Go and enjoy the morning market, unless it is Sunday, below the Fortress walls. It is a bustling fresh fish, vegetable and fruit market.
Kassiopi is a good choice for shopping with a range of shops. You will find traditional and modern products on offer here, as in many of the smaller villages. Almost all resorts have a few good shops tucked away amongst the souvenir stores.
With one airport on the eastern coast of the island and roughly mid-way between the north and south ends of the island Corfu is just over three hours from Gatwick and around three and a half hours from Manchester. A taxi from the airport to Gouvia is around €30 and to Kavos around €60. Do think about going on the water, you can hire your own little motor boat to explore the coastal villages. Alternatively, arrange to go on one of the daily excursions to Anti Paxos to experience the astonishing turquoise crystal clear waters.
Locals use the bus services on a daily basis, they are reasonably reliable in Corfu town but a bit irregular in the countryside. Scooters and motor-bikes are a bad idea on the local roads. We know two wheels are popular, but suggest you spend a little more and hire a small car.
May is the start of the season on Corfu. Beautiful weather and not as hot as the high summer. July and August are the hottest and busiest months on Corfu. Temperatures are around mid 30 C. You will probably need to find accommodation with air conditioning at this time of year.
September has daytime temperatures around 30 C. Evenings are warm but getting colder as the month goes on. The beaches are quieter as the families have returned home and the sea is still warm.
October temperatures are around 20C and the island starts to close down. Evenings are starting to get too cold for outside eating as well.