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Often called the prettiest of the Greek islands because of its stunning green scenery, Corfu is definitely an underrated gem. As the second largest Greek island, there is plenty to keep you busy, whether you are a beach-loving sun-worshiper or prefer to be a bit more active. So, having sampled the best of what this popular holiday destination has to offer, here is my travel guide to Corfu, including everything you should see and do on this beautiful island.
When Corfu comes up in conversation, people often think of Kavos, a party destination full of drunken teenagers and excess, but Corfu is so much more than that. With rolling green hills, epic mountains and rustic unspoiled villages, Corfu really is a sight for sore eyes. Read on for my travel guide to Corfu, one of my favourite places in the world!
When to go to Corfu
Early to mid June is, without a doubt, my favourite time of year to visit Corfu. You can expect temperatures of 25-30°C around mid-June, which means you can spend long lazy days on less crowded beaches. The evenings are warm and there’s less chance of bad weather. What’s more, the season is only just starting, which means that, although it is getting busier, it still feels like you’ve escaped the masses and crowds.
The shoulder seasons of April to May and September to October can be nice, and much cheaper, but you run the risk of rain and cooler weather. We visited in mid-October once and, unfortunately, experienced storms and heavy rain all week.
July and August get very crowded and expensive, and, for some, it can be too hot, with temperatures often in the mid-thirties.
Where to stay in Corfu
In my opinion, the best resort in Corfu is Paleokastritsa. With stunning coves surrounded by cliffs and mountains, clear azure water and beautiful beaches, you can’t argue that this is the prettiest resort on the island. Whether you prefer self-catering apartments or fancy hotels, Paleo has a little bit of everything. Prices vary depending on the standard of accommodation, but there are plenty of budget options too.
Having said that, Paleokastritsa is on the quieter side, which, for some, is a positive, but if you’re looking to be the life and soul of the party, a resort like Sidari might suit you better. Other resorts I would recommend include Kassiopi, Agios Georgios (west) and Ipsos. Unless you’re after all night partying, avoid Kavos at all costs!
How to get around Corfu
I love exploring a destination and seeing what is on offer and I highly recommend venturing out of your resort to explore Corfu beyond the resorts and nightlife. You can hire a vehicle from as little as 15-20 euros a day, so there’s no excuse for staying put. Spiros Bikes, in Paleokastritsa, is a favourite of ours. Spiros is always willing to help you out with a good deal and a great scooter. A moped/scooter is our favourite way to get around in Corfu but, if you prefer, you can easily hire a car or even a quad bike from the various vendors in Paleokastritsa, or from the airport when you arrive.
Best things to do in Corfu
Soak up the sun in beautiful surroundings
No travel guide to Corfu would be complete without mentioning some of the stunning beaches. With crystal clear water lapping against the shore, it really is a beach lover’s paradise. Some of my favourite beaches in Paleokastritsa itself include Agios Spyridon, Ampelaki and Agios Petros, although there are many other little coves to be discovered and many other beautiful beaches across the island.
La Grotta, a beach bar in Paleokastritsa, set into the cliffs, is also a great place to soak up some rays, chill out and even enjoy some snorkeling. You can choose to rent the sunbeds or laze on the surrounding rocks for free. Be sure to check out their great cocktails and also head here at night for a seriously laid back vibe.
Another of my favourite places in Paleokastritsa is Acapulco Pool Bar. Located right at the far end of Paleo as you first come into the town, Acapulco is a lush bar with very friendly owners, set on the side of the cliff above the glistening turquoise waters. The bar itself has a pool but we prefer to head down the steps to lounge on the rocks or sunbeds closer to the sea.
Outside of Paleokastritsa, our favourite beaches to head to are Logas Beach in Peroulades and Agios Georgios Beach.
Read more about my 5 favourite beaches in Corfu here.
Visit Corfu Town
As the capital of Corfu and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Corfu Town is always busy but is completely and utterly spell-binding. You can’t help but fall in love with the beautiful architecture in the old town, with the ramshackle shutters and crumbling buildings all adding to its charm. Corfu Town is a good way to spend a rare cloudy day, or even a sunny one, as you can amble away plenty of time, deliberately getting lost in the maze of tiny cobbled streets.
For a fantastic lunch in the old town, surrounded by Venetian architecture, head to Skalinada.
Have fun at Aqualand
If you’re the adrenaline-seeking, adventurous type, be sure to pay a visit to Aqualand, a water park located in the middle of the island. Although I’ve never visited myself, I’ve heard it’s a great day out for all the family and a fantastic way to keep the kids occupied. Open from May to mid-October, daily admission prices range from 21€ for those aged 4-12 and 65+, to 30€ for those aged 12-65. Kids under the age of 5 get in for free!
Explore the island on a scooter
Wherever you choose to stay in Corfu, be sure to hire a moped for the day and get off the beaten track. We all know that’s the best way to discover hidden gems! Head inland to check out traditional villages, beautiful landscapes and winding roads lined with olive groves.
Eat at traditional Greek tavernas
There is literally no better way to experience the local Greek culture than to eat it! Greek food is one of my favourite cuisines and you can find some amazing little family-run tavernas serving home-made wine, freshly baked bread and delicious home-cooked meals all for a very reasonable price!
Hire a speedboat for the day
Need I say anymore? I don’t need to tell you why this is such an awesome way to spend a day. You can hire speedboats on most beaches in Paleokastritsa, and throughout the island. Spend the day cruising around, anchoring up for a dip in the crystal clear water, and discovering stunning secret beaches that you can only access by boat!
Be sure to take a picnic, plenty of water and sunblock!
Take a day trip to a nearby island
If you fancy exploring beyond Corfu, you can easily book a day trip to a nearby island such as Paxos and Antipaxos, spend the day on mainland Greece or even pay a visit to nearby Albania. Many tours can be booked from Corfu Town, or book ahead online.
You can book tours to Paxos and Antipaxos here.
Visit a village in the mountains
For authentic Greek culture, head to the village of Doukades, just a stones throw from Paleokastritsa. This little village boasts three amazing tavernas, a village shop (run by the friendly Kiki) and the cutest cobbled streets and picturesque houses you have ever seen. The locals sit out in the village square in the evenings throughout the summer and you get to see a glimpse of the culture that hasn’t changed much over the decades.
Climb to Kaiser’s Throne in Pelekas
For unbeatable 360° panoramic views across the island, head to Kaiser’s Throne in Pelekas. The views at Kaiser’s Throne are astounding, but make sure to head up on a clear day for the best outlook. There’s also a really cute restaurant at Kaiser’s Throne called Bella Vista Sunset Restaurant, so be sure to stop for a bite to eat and a refreshing drink.
Visit Paleokastritsa Monastery
If lying on a beach isn’t your thing, there’s plenty to do in Corfu to keep you busy. Why not spend a couple of hours at Paleokastritsa Monastery, which is perched on a hill over-looking Agios Spyridon Beach. You’ll enjoy breath-taking views over Paleokastritsa and the surrounding coastline as well as being able to wonder around the peaceful monastery and enjoy the beautiful architecture and bougainvillea.
Please dress respectfully. Cover legs and shoulders if possible. If you’re unable to do so, you’ll be provided with respectful clothing on the door in the form of a long skirt and something to wrap around your shoulders.
Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle situated on top of the shoreline’s highest peak, just outside of Paleokastritsa, which is thought to date back to the 13th century. You’ll need transport to reach Angelokastro from Paleokastritsa as it’s not easily accessible one foot. You’ll sometimes need to pay an entry fee to visit the castle ruins, although we were able to visit for free due to the ticket office being closed.
Catch the sunset at Sunset Beach
The perfect sunset spot, there’s a reason why the beach at Peroulades is nicknamed Sunset Beach! Head to 7th Heaven Cafe at Logas Beach for excellent food, a fantastic atmosphere and delicious cocktails and watch the sunset in style.
Whether you visit during the day to enjoy the views, or head here in the evening for an epic show across the sea, you won’t be disappointed.