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Some places on earth just capture your heart. For me, the Greek island of Corfu is one of those places.
I have holidayed in Corfu every year for the last six years and one of the most common questions I get asked is why? Why is Corfu so special? What’s so great about it?
People are usually surprised to hear that I go to the same place time and time again, especially as I write about my experiences on this blog. In fact, a friend even told me recently that I’m not a ‘real’ travel blogger if I’m happy to return to the same place repeatedly.
First of all, I don’t think anyone has the authority to determine who is a ‘real’ traveller and who isn’t. We all travel in our own way. Travel is a personal thing and for me, travel is as much about exploring new destinations as it is enjoying the ones I have fallen in love with.
And that brings me to Corfu. Why have I fallen in love with this gorgeous Greek island? What is it that pulls me back each year? Read on for 9 reasons to visit Corfu, Greece!
1. It’s an emerald jewel!
With epic cliff faces and luscious green landscapes tumbling into unbelievably clear, azure waters, Corfu is one destination that is seriously underrated. Paleokastritsa, in my opinion, is the best resort on the island for breath-taking scenery, with numerous coves, beaches and an epic coastline to go with it. Many people only visit Paleokastritsa for the day, but we stay in Paleokastritsa every year for the amazing views and laidback vibe.
Further inland, you’ll find rolling hills, rustic olive groves and incredible views when you least expect it. And green; did I mention the green? Located in the northern Ionian Sea, just off the coast of southern Albania, Corfu gets a lot of rain in the winter, resulting in this emerald jewel of an island.
2. The people are exuberant, friendly and welcoming
The people of Corfu are some of the friendliest people you’ll meet. I know tourism is their livelihood so it pays to be nice to tourists, but I’ve been to other islands where tourism is just as important and not met people even half as friendly as those you’ll meet in Corfu.
Every year when we return, there are certain people who we make an effort to catch up with. And again, I know it’s their job to ‘remember’ us and make us feel special, but they always do and it makes our holiday!
3. Greek food is a.m.a.z.i.n.g
I don’t know about you but food can totally make or break a trip for me. And a large part of loving Corfu comes with the delicious, yet inexpensive cuisine. Forget eating at large beach resorts or your all-inclusive hotel, the best food comes from the tiny, family-run tavernas in rustic villages – tavernas that have been handed down through the generations of a family, with traditional recipes passed on through the years.
Some particular favourite meals of mine: Sofrito, Stifado, Souvlaki, Baked Feta, Bekri Meze, Pastitsada, Greek Salad and Baklava. Of course, don’t forget the endless amounts of bread for the table, homemade olive oil, homemade wine and the delicious and sickly sweet liqueur, kumquat. All of the above makes my mouth water and keep me visiting Corfu each and every year.
If you’re looking for great Corfu restaurants, check out this blog post for the best places to eat in Corfu.
4. It’s an underrated destination
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, while Corfu isn’t exactly a secret, it is totally flying under the radar. As an underrated destination, you can find relative peace and quiet in areas you’d normally expect to be heaving with people. But the masses flock to Santorini, Crete and Navagio Beach in Zakynthos, all because they’ve become Insta-famous.
I’m not complaining about this, though, because it means I get to keep my precious Corfu largely to myself. Most years we visit Corfu in June before peak season really kicks off, and, as such, we get to enjoy most of the beaches and tavernas to ourselves.
Again, I’m not saying Corfu is undiscovered. It’s not. It’s a popular tourist destination. But it has somehow managed to avoid the incessant hype of places such as Santorini.
5. The weather is perfect!
Out of six trips to Corfu, five of them have served up wall-to-wall sunshine on a plate. As I said previously, Corfu experiences a high level of rainfall from mid-late October onwards, so visiting Corfu out of season isn’t a great idea if you’re chasing the sun (a mistake we made when we visited in October a few years ago). However, pick any week from June to September and you’re pretty much guaranteed incredible weather.
Now, I know this fact alone doesn’t single Corfu out as different to other European islands, but it does add another string to its bow.
6. There is a ton of history!
From the majestic Byzantine castle, Angelokastro, perched on a cliff to the old Venetian fortress in Corfu Town, which, may I add, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Corfu has heaps of history if that’s your jam! Everywhere you go, you’ll see evidence of the history of Corfu, which only adds to its magical appeal. I, personally, love to daydream about what places were like in former times, imagining what it was like to live and work there.
On this note, a couple of years ago, we visited the Greek island of Kefalonia, just a short distance away from Corfu. Due to the major earthquake of 1953, Kefalonia was largely left in ruins and that is evident today in the absence of historical buildings, aside from a few which has been left to crumble after the earthquake. While Kefalonia is a beautiful island, the lack of older, more characterful buildings meant I didn’t enjoy it as much as other places I’ve been.
7. Paradisaic beaches!
You don’t need to travel to the Caribbean to find white sandy beaches and clear, turquoise water – you can find them right here in Europe! There’s something about green landscapes meeting blue water that just seems so right! Not only are the beaches in Corfu stunning in their beauty but they are also framed by epic cliffs and jaw-dropping coastline.
Do you need any more reasons to visit Corfu?
Want to know the best beaches in Corfu? Check out this post.
8. There’s plenty to do
I hear ya! Sitting on the beach is bliss, but if you’re like me, you can only do it for so long, right?! I mean, I love lying in the sun, head in a book, listening to the waves lap the shoreline but after a few days I get itchy feet and want to explore. And if you’re the same, there are enough things to do in Corfu to keep you busy for weeks, whether you’re into history, food, wine, nightlife, hiking, snorkelling, museums or watersports.
Read my quick travel guide to Corfu here.
9. Greek culture!
The lively Greek culture is just one of the many reasons to visit Corfu. Get away from the resorts and drive into the mountains where you’ll find traditional villages frozen in time. One of my favourite villages is Doukades, just outside of Paleokastritsa. Take a seat at one of the three family-run tavernas and simply soak up the atmosphere.
I hope these 10 reasons to visit Corfu have convinced you to book flights to Corfu. I could wax lyrical about this handsome island all day long but for now, I’ll let these photos of Corfu do the talking. Need I say more?
We plan to explore Greece for a few years. Corfu sounds like a wonderful destination. Hope to reach it next summer!
Ahh, sounds fabulous! I just know you’ll love it!
Tell your friend you’ve inspired us to visit Corfu because it draws you to visit over and over again! In love with these photos and saving this post ‘coz I’m going to Corfu when I visit Greece 🙂
Hey! Thanks, that’s a great response 😉 – hope you love Corfu when you visit. My hubby is a very talented photographer but to be honest the landscape does all the hard work!
Yes!! I love Corfu too…I’ve been a couple of times…but I have to admit, we always zoomed away from the resort’s full of English folks. Once you get a teeny bit further away it’s like a perfect Greek Paradise!
Thanks for reminding me how much I loved spending time there!!
Absolutely. Get away from the resorts and it’s heavenly. We stayed in a beautiful little Greek village this time, close enough to the beach but out of the resort away from the tourists. But if I had to choose a resort it would always be Paleokastritsa, it’s stunning!
Ok you’ve sold it to me! I have wanted to visit Corfu for a long time but as I travel mostly on my own haven’t got around to it. After reading your blog I really must make the effort. Egypt is my favourite … for some of the reasons you’ve mentioned although standards have dropped since the decline in the tourist numbers visiting Hurghada where I like to go. There really isn’t much happening there these days if you are a people watcher like me … I can only stand so much of the beach and sun worship! And if you venture into the parts frequented by the locals in their daily life you see the definite distinction between that and the tourist side, not always a comfortable feeling and mostly one of intrusion. A throwback maybe to the time when tourism was not encouraged and mixing with non Muslims a definite no-no. They are mostly quite poor, especially since the revolution, and look on us wealthier guests as millionaires … ah if only that were so! In view of the foregoing, my case for visiting Corfu has been built. Mmm I feel a journey coming on …
Oh yay! Glad you are convinced. I’d recommend staying in Paleokastritsa if you do go. It’s simply beautiful! I’ve never been to Egypt but it’s always fascinated me!