Nestled in the heart of the Ionian Sea, Corfu is a fascinating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. This enchanting Greek island, with its lush green landscapes, azure waters, and beaches ranging from pebbled coves to expansive sandy stretches, offers a haven for nature lovers and sun-seekers alike and there is a lot to see and do for all types of travellers. Even with just one day in Corfu people can have a very rich and satisfying experience.

Corfu’s history has had contributions from numerous civilizations – the ancient Greeks, the Venetians, the French, and the British, each leaving a distinct mark on its architecture, traditions, and cuisine. The island’s old town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, invites wanderers to lose themselves among its Venetian fortresses, neoclassical mansions, and narrow cobblestone streets that whisper tales of centuries past. 

Further reading:

Things to do in Corfu

Where to stay in Corfu

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Where is Corfu Town and what is it know for?

Corfu Town is the capital of the island and where the Cruise Ship Port is located.

The town is located on the east coast of the island of Corfu, which lies in the Ionian Sea, off the northwest coast of Greece and the southern coast of Albania. Corfu is the northern-most island of the Ionian group which also includes Lefkada, Kefalonia and Zakynthos further south.

The city is a vibrant hub for commerce, culture, and tourism, offering visitors a mix of historical attractions. History and Mythology buffs from all over the world come to see its unique blend of medieval, Venetian, French, and British architecture, creating a picturesque and culturally rich setting. Its narrow, cobbled streets, known as “kantounia,” lead to vibrant squares, historical fortresses, and beautiful churches.

The Old and New Fortresses offer panoramic views of the town and the sea, while the Liston Promenade, inspired by the Rue de Rivoli in Paris, is perfect for leisurely walks and people-watching. Corfu Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, celebrated for its heritage, stunning landscapes, and lively atmosphere.

Further reading:  Things to do in Crete

Where do the cruise ships dock in Corfu?

Cruise ships docking in Corfu use Corfu Port, also known as the New Port, which is located on the western side of Corfu Town. This port is well-equipped to accommodate large cruise vessels, offering passengers a gateway to explore the island.

From the New Port, visitors can easily access Corfu Town’s historic center, either on foot which takes about 20 minutes, or by using shuttle buses, taxis, or public transportation, all available near the port area.

The port’s facilities include passenger terminals, waiting areas, and various services .

The disembarkation process in Corfu Town, as in most ports, involves a few key steps:

Clearance Procedures: Upon arrival, the ship’s crew must complete port and customs clearances. Passengers usually wait on board until these formalities are completed.

Disembarkation: The disembarkation process is fairly straightforward forward with passengers disembarking in groups according to the ship’s schedule or their booked shore excursions. Most shipped tie up to the dock and passengers can walk right off.

Transport and Tours: Just outside the cruise terminal, passengers will find various transportation options, including taxis, buses, and sometimes shuttle services provided by the cruise line or local operators.

Security and Identification: Passengers are usually required to carry some form of identification (a passport or a government-issued ID) and their cruise ship pass for re-entry to the port and ship.

How to get around Corfu

Visitors to Corfu Town have several options when it comes to exploring the city and its surrounds:

Walking: Corfu Town is fairly compact and very pedestrian friendly and wonderful place to explore on foot. You can easily spend the entire day just wandering the cobblestone streets and visiting the many attractions.

Public Buses: Corfu has an efficient public bus system that connects Corfu Town with the airport, port, nearby beaches, and other towns across the island. Buses are a cost-effective way to travel, especially for longer distances.

Taxis: Taxis are usually available at the Port and in and around the town. Always agree on the fare before starting your journey, or ensure the meter is running.

Car Rentals: Renting a car will give you the flexibility to explore Heraklion and the surrounding areas at your own pace. Corfu has many beautiful places that are easier to access with a car and driving is fairly easy and can be very picturesque.

Bicycles: For short distances, renting a bicycle or e-bike can be a fun and efficient way to get around. This option offers greater flexibility and the ability to explore off-the-beaten-path areas.

Hop-On Hop-Off Tour Buses: Catching the red HOHO bus is a good way to see the city’s main attractions, allowing you to explore the sights at your own pace with various stops that you can visit. 

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One Day in Corfu Activities

It is likely that your cruise will offer several tours that you can do. This can be easy and convenient, as you simply follow the instructions of the Guide or Activities Director and join the rest of the tour.

The downside to these tours is they are often more expensive than doing them independently, and they usually result in large crowds of people all descending on the same attractions at the same time. It also means you will be bound to the times dictated by the tour, which may be at a slower pace than you would like, or perhaps too rushed.

As an alternative, you can book some tours directly, and these are the ones on offer that we think are the best value and the most enjoyable. Be sure to check the start and finish times to ensure they work with your ship’s schedule!

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Corfu Town Achilleion Palace
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One Day Itinerary in Corfu  

9 am – A walking tour of Corfu Town will provide a great high-level introduction to the history and highlights here and can include a walk around the Old Fortress which kids love especially.

11 am – Head to Starenio Bakery for some delicious cream or cheese filled Bougatsa, an authentic Greek pastry that is particularly good on Corfu.

12 am – If you like museums then the Museum of Asian Art or the Archaeological Museum of Corfu are both excellent and offer interactive exhibits and activities designed to engage even the younger visitors.

1 pm – Enjoy lunch at one of the tavernas on The Liston where there is plenty of shady parkland to get respite from the heat and for kids to play too.

2 pm – If you’d like a swim then right below The Liston in Faliraki Beach. You could also dine here at Imabari Corfu or have drinks at Amaze Bar, and sunbeds are available too. You could also catch a taxi or bus to one of the water-parks  Aqualand which is about 20 minutes drive from the port.

If it is not swimming weather or you would prefer something quite different then a visit to the Donkey Rescue Sanctuary is very rewarding. Learn about the efforts of this wonderful NGO and perhaps adopt a lovely donkey or mule while you are there!

5 pmBike hire is a great idea later in the day when the heat has died down. Explore some more of the town and its surrounds with your own pedal power.

7pm – If you want an amazing place for dinner then head to To Tsipouradiko, one of the most iconic, traditional tavernas on the island, and they usually have live music too. If you want more of a fine dining experience then Ora is very elegant and has beautiful views over the Castle.

9-10 pm – return to your ship

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things to do in Corfu

Kassiopi Beach

things to do in Corfu

Canal D’Amour Sidari Corfu