Corfu is a picturesque Greek island in the Ionian Sea, known for its rich historical heritage, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture. Its blend of medieval charm with Venetian, French, and British influences is evident in its architecture, especially in Corfu Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The island’s rugged mountains, olive groves, and beautiful beaches attract visitors seeking both adventure and relaxation, and there are a lot of things to do in Corfu for all interests and budgets.

 Its warm Mediterranean climate and a small international airport make it a popular destination throughout the year and a very popular Cruise port. It is close to a number of neighbouring countries and is also accessible by ferry from Italy . With a welcoming atmosphere and diverse attractions, Corfu embodies the essence of Greek island beauty and tradition.

THINGS TO DO IN CORFU

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When to visit Corfu

Summer and Spring are the best times of year to visit Corfu. 

The average temperatures this time of year are around 29 degrees Celsius with mild nights and warm seas. Autumn and Spring are both pleasant times to visit with lower temperatures, cheaper accommodation, but not so good beach or swimming weather.

Best beach and swimming weather: June to September

Best sightseeing weather: March to June and September/October

 

Where is it?

Corfu is the northern most island in the Ionian group of islands which are located in the Ionian Sea on the western coast of Greece. It lies just off the coast of Albania and is close to the beautiful island of Paxos which lies to its south.

How to get to Corfu

Corfu is a very accessible island as you can both fly and ferry from numerous locations.

Flying to Corfu

With a small international airport, it is possible to fly into Corfu from several European destinations including the UK, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, and Belgium as long as summer flights from destinations further afield such as Sweden, the UAE, and Ireland.

There are also domestic flights from Athens and Thessaloniki and seasonal flights to Zakynthos as well. In 2024 Sky Express has introduced a small plane that will fly between the main Ionian destinations of Preveza and Zakynthos too, which is very welcomed.

Ferry to Corfu

There are ferries from Bari in Italy to Corfu that run a couple of times a week from around mid-june to October and take between six and ten hours.

There is also one between Brindisi that takes only 6 hours, in summer.

There are overnight ferries to Corfu, sometimes via Igoumenitsa on the Mainland, from Bari and Ancona, and even Venice once or twice a week in summer.

Ferry connections to other Ionian islands, however, are limited. The Lefkada Palace runs between them ( except Kythira) in Summer, 3 days a week in each direction. It takes four hours to get to Lefkada and nine to get to Kefalonia. This is a passenger-only vessel ( no cars) and does book out frequently so plan ahead.

Some ferries run between Corfu and the mainland port of Igoumenitsa year-round and from there, ferries run to Patras, various ports in Italy and usually Kefalonia too.

Athens to Corfu

By Air: The quickest way to get from Athens to Corfu is by flying. Athens International Airport (ATH) offers multiple daily flights to Corfu International Airport (CFU). The flight duration is approximately 1 hour. This is the most efficient option, especially for those with limited time.

By Bus and Ferry: A more scenic and economical option involves taking a bus from Athens to the port city of Igoumenitsa and then a ferry from Igoumenitsa to Corfu. The bus journey can take around 6 to 8 hours, and the ferry from Igoumenitsa to Corfu takes about 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the service chosen.

By Car and Ferry: For those preferring to drive, you can rent a car and drive from Athens to Igoumenitsa, which takes around 6 hours, and then take a car ferry to Corfu. 

Getting around CORFU

There are various transport modes on Corfu making it easy to explore and get around. 

Corfu Buses

There is a bus that services the island and stops at all the main ports and villages. You can find the timetable HERE.

The blue buses serve Corfu Town and its immediate surroundings, while the green buses connect Corfu Town with other parts of the island. However, service frequency can vary, especially to less touristy areas.

Taxi

Taxis are widely available and can be a convenient option for direct trips, especially if you’re traveling in a group or with lots of luggage. You can also pre-book a transfer which we use and recommend ourselves.

Private Tours

Booking a Private customized tour means you call the shots. Your guide and driver will ensure you cover all the sites that interest you, and perhaps a few you didn’t know about as well. 

Car and Scooter rental

Renting a car or motorbike gives you the flexibility to explore Corfu at your own pace. It’s ideal for reaching remote beaches, mountain villages, and attractions spread across the island. Rental agencies are available at the airport, in Corfu Town, and in most of the tourist areas.

Walking

In the smaller towns and especially within Corfu Town, walking is an easy and enjoyable way to explore. Many of the island’s attractions, shops, and restaurants are easily accessible on foot, particularly in the historic center, where a lot of it is car free.

There are also numerous hiking trails across the island.

Boat Hire

In several of the coastal towns small boats are available for hire and are a great way to explore Corfu’s stunning coastline and access secluded beaches. No boating license is required for small boats, making it a popular option for a day out on the water. 

Further reading : Driving in Greece

 

THINGS TO DO IN CORFU

Corfu Hotels and Villas

 

It really pays to spend at least a few days in Corfu Town, and, if your time is limited, then make it your base. It’s a beautiful town, is home to the island’s main airport, and is well connected to the rest of Greece with ferries servicing the nearby mainland and other Ioanian islands.

 Mayor Mon Repos Palace Art Hotel is a lovely mid-range hotel while Rodostamo Hotel & Spa is great for a luxury stay.

For longer stays, consider this one bedroom apartment near the port, this lovely one near Liston ( The Promenade), or this two-bedder in a beautiful old 18th-century building in the heart of town that has a washing machine. They all have kitchens.

In Paleokastritsa, we had a great family vacation at  Zefiros Hotel and visited the beautiful Akrotiri Beach Hotel for dinner a few times.

In popular Dassia check out Corfu Palma Boutique Hotel and Grecotel Daphnila Bay Dassia.

Things to do in Corfu

Corfu Town

The island’s capital city, Corfu Old Town, is a UNESCO-listed site with a long history and many attractions. Due to being under Venetian rule from the 14th century to the late 18th century, the town boasts well-preserved Venetian-style buildings lining cobblestone streets and narrow alleyways.

The port town is built between two fortresses. The Old Fortress sits on a small, rocky peninsula to the east and was erected by the Venetians in 1546. The other fortress, known as the New Fortress, is to the west of the town. Yet again, built by the Venetians, it dates back to 1577. Both fortresses are fantastic viewpoints.

While in Corfù Town, stop by the Holy Church of Saint Spyridon, which is dedicated to the island’s namesake patron saint. This church is magnificent with its bell tower and red rooftop. Inside, you can see a chapel housing the silver coffin with the remains of St. Spyridon, which is paraded around during religious festivals.

Corfu Town is also a great place to do a walking food tour – their Bougatsa is amazing!

Full Day Sailing Cruise

with

Lunch, Drinks and Swim Stops

Discover Corfu’s hidden coves and secluded beaches, forests, gulfs and azure waters,  aboard a traditional wooden boat

things to do in Corfu
things to do on corfu

Falaraki – Corfu Town

things to do in Corfu

Corfu Beaches

Corfu has beautiful beaches scattered all around. Corfu beaches are just incredible with their distinctive turquoise waters and often surrounded by a wild mountainous landscape full of dense vegetation.

Many of the island’s most popular beaches are equipped with facilities such as sunbeds and umbrellas for rent, restaurants, and water sports centers. Other beaches are wild and remote.

Paradise Beach is on the northwestern side of the island, below vertical white cliffs. It features pebbles and crystal-cobalt waters and is only reachable by sea. Paradise Beach doesn’t have tourist infrastructure and is the perfect place for a secluded experience. 

Agios Spiridon Beach is the largest beach in Pаlеokastritsa town. The best part of this beach is that it is located right under the town’s famous monastery. With fine pebbles and soft sand, Agios Spiridon Beach is protected from the winds, so it’s ideal for swimming. Here, you will also find a beach club with sunbeds, umbrellas, and equipment for water sports. 

Kalamionas Beach is a wonderful Blue Flag award in Kassiopi village. The waters are so clear and have rich sea life that this is one of the best spots on Corfu Island for snorkeling and diving. You can rent the necessary equipment and join tours from the diving school located on the beach. 

Sidari Beach is another stunning Blue Flag beach. You will find it between Sidari Port and the famous Canal D’Amour. Sidari Beach has a sandy waterfront and shallow waters perfect for swimming in all safety. Mind that, it’s one of the most frequented beaches in Corfu. Along the beach are water sports centers and seafood restaurants.

Paleokastritsa

Located on Corfu’s west coast this is one of the island’s most famous locations.

The town overlooks a picturesque bay with turquoise waters, and there are plenty of heavenly beaches all around. Some beaches are only accessible by boat and are outstanding spots to watch the sunset. 

Agios Spiridon Beach and Paradise Beach are the two most spectacular beaches around Paleokastritsa.

But Paleokastritsa has numerous more attractions, starting from Angelokastro Castle. It was erected in Byzantine times and is among the oldest castles on the island. This fortress had defensive purposes.

Located on the edge of a cliff, Angelokastro Castle is surrounded on three sides by sea, and it is a fantastic viewpoint.

Another unmissable attraction is the Holy Monastery of Paleokastritsa. Dating back to 1255, this monastery is located on top of a hill with breathtaking views. Today, the monastery houses a small museum displaying Byzantine and post-Byzantine arts and memorabilia. On the monastery’s lower level, you will find an old olive press and a shop selling local produce.

things to do on corfu

Paleokastritsa

things to do in Corfu

Kassiopi Beach

Traditional Villages

Corfu Island has several charming villages that are perfect for a more authentic experience.

Pelekas is a picturesque mountainous village located 13 km from Corfu Town. Set at 270 meters, Pelekas’ main attraction is Kaiser’s Throne, a hill with a breathtaking island view. This spot is particularly special at sunset, so don’t miss it. This village is also a great base for exploring the beautiful nearby beaches.

Kassiopi is a small fishing village in northeast Corfu, 38 km from the capital. Located at the foothills of the Pantokrator Mountains, Kassiopi is surrounded by olive groves and verdant hills. One of the village’s top attractions is its castle, which is historically relevant and offers a fabulous viewpoint.

Kassiopi port is particularly charming, lined with traditional tavernas and small shops. The area is also packed with coves and beaches ideal for swimming and snorkeling.

Lakones is perched on the slopes of a hill above Paleokastritsa. It is one of the most traditional settlements left in Corfu, still under the tourist radar. With houses dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries overlooking Paleokastritsa Bay, Lakones is the place to be on the island to partake in the culture of Corfu.

Vatos is a small and quiet village located in the heart of the verdant Ropa Valley, on the island’s center. Only 12 km from Corfu Town, Vatos boasts a wonderful natural landscape with vineyards, olive groves, and several stunning beaches, such as Ermones and Myrtiotissa.

Benitses is a quaint fishing village that has become one of Corfu’s most popular tourist spots. Close to Corfu Town (14 km from it), Benistes is a cosmopolitan resort town today but still maintains its traditional identity. It features lots of restaurants and shops, as well as stunning beaches. Besides being a great beach area, Benistes has interesting historical sites, particularly the Roman Baths and the Achilleion Palace.

Sidari is on the side of the island to Corfu Town. Notwithstanding the 40 km that separated the two, Sidari is among the most popular places on the island among tourists. Its most beloved attraction is the Canal D’Amour, a wonderful sandstone formation filled with clear blue waters that is perfect for swimming.

Benitses

things to do in Corfu

Canal D’Amour, Sidari

Monuments and Museums of Corfu

Given how much history there is in Corfu, it is no surprise that there is a significant number of museums and monuments to see. Some of these are unique to Greece and do deserve some time to appreciate them.

Main Monuments of Corfu

Old Fortress of Corfu (Paleo Frourio)

This Venetian fortress dates back to the Byzantine period but was largely rebuilt by the Venetians in the 15th century. It offers panoramic views of Corfu Town and the sea and houses the Hellenic Music Research Lab and the Corfu Public Library.

New Fortress of Corfu (Neo Frourio)

Another Venetian-built fortress, this structure was constructed in the 16th century to bolster the island’s defenses. It features impressive walls and underground passages, with views over Corfu Town and its port.

Mouse Island (Pontikonisi)

Mouse Island, or Pontikonisi, is a tiny, lush islet off Corfu’s coast, symbolizing the island. Linked to Byzantine legends, it’s famed for its chapel of Pantokrator, dating back to the 11th or 12th century, offering picturesque views and a serene atmosphere, embodying Corfu’s natural beauty.

Achilleion Palace

Built in the late 19th century for Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Sissy), this palace is adorned with statues and paintings of Achilles. It offers magnificent gardens and views of the island.

Mon Repos Palace

This 19th-century neoclassical mansion was the birthplace of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. It is set in extensive gardens and is now home to the Museum of Palaeopolis, showcasing Corfu’s ancient history.

Angelokastro

This Byzantine castle stands on a high peak on the island’s northwest coast, offering breathtaking views. It played a significant role in the defense of the island throughout history.

The Durrells House(s)

Whilst not strictly monuments the homes that the fabulous Durrell family lived in before the War are much sought after by visitors to Corfu, firstly because of the excellent books famed Zoologist Gerald Durrell wrote about his unusual childhood, and also due to the excellent BBC TV series called ‘The Durrells’.

Strawberry Pink Villa (Villa Anemoyanni): The first Corfu home of the Durrell family near Perama. It’s privately owned and not open to the public, but fans often stop by to view it from outside.

The Daffodil Yellow Villa: Located near the village of Kontokali, this was the Durrells’ second home on the island. Like the Strawberry Pink Villa, it is private property, but its exterior can be admired from a distance.

The White House at Kalami: This is the most famous of the Durrell residences, where Lawrence lived with his wife Nancy. Situated in the beautiful bay of Kalami, the White House is now a restaurant and museum dedicated to the Durrells, with plans to convert it into a luxury boutique hotel.

Corfu Kastro

things to do in corfu

Issis Palace

Corfu Museums

Archaeological Museum of Corfu: Home to artifacts from the island’s rich history, including items from the Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman periods. Highlights include the Gorgon pediment from the Temple of Artemis.

Museum of Asian Art: This unique museum, housed in the Palace of St. Michael and St. George, features a collection of Asian art, including Chinese, Japanese, and Indian works.

Byzantine Museum of Antivouniotissa: Located in the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary Antivouniotissa, this museum displays a rich collection of Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons and ecclesiastical artifacts.

Banknote Museum: Offers an extensive collection of Greek banknotes, showcasing the history of Greece’s currency.

Corfu Shell Museum: Although not as historically significant as the other museums, it features an impressive collection of shells from around the world.

Casa Parlante is an museum with a difference. It is a 19th-century mansion hosting a permanent exhibit showcasing the everyday life of the island’s nobility at the time. What’s peculiar about this museum is that everything is staged through animated figures with robotic technology. 

things to do on Corfu

Kanoni Peninsula

A small peninsula just a couple of kilometers from Corfu Town, is a district of the island’s capital. The island’s airport is located on the Kanoni Peninsula’s west side; on the east, you will find small and lovely beaches.

However, the reason why you should explore the Kanoni Peninsula is the Holy Monastery of Vlacherna, on of the most photographed images of the island. On the southern part of the peninsula, this church is connected to the mainland by a pedestrian bridge.

Built-in the 17th century, the monastery has an unusual shape, and its white-washed walls, tall bell tower, and red-tiled roof contrast greatly with the blue sea and lush landscape in the background.

The area is perfect for relaxing, sitting in one of the many cafes with outdoor tables located in front of the monastery, and marveling at picturesque vistas.

Day trips from Corfu

Parga

Just a short private boat ride from Corfu Town, Parga is a gorgeous seaside town in the Epirus region. Upon your arrival from the sea, you will immediately see why Parga is among the most popular destinations in the area.

A red-roofed hillside settlement perched on a rocky shore with green trees and surrounded by impossibly clear waters makes Parga picture-perfect. Stroll around the town’s narrow streets, enjoy a traditional meal in a seaside taverna, and explore secluded bays for a lovely day trip.

Unmissable while in Parga is the Venetian fortress, built on top of a hill overlooking the town and the sea. This is a lovely spot to walk and admire the breathtaking views.

Paxos & Antipaxos

Two of the most stunning and small islands around Corfu, Paxos and Antipaxos, can be reached by boat in less than two hours. Boat trips to these islands are the most popular day trip in Corfu and for good reason as it really is a wonderful day out!

Paxos is perfect if you want to escape Corfu’s busier spots and have a truly idyylic island experience. With less than 3,000 inhabitants, Paxos is home to only three villages (Gaios, Longos, and Lakka) and a few rural settlements inland.

Walk through the narrow streets of Paxos, admiring its Ioanian-style houses with whitewashed walls and local churches. Paxos also boasts incredible beaches with crystal-blue waters ideal for swimming and snorkeling.

Antipaxos is even smaller than Paxos, so the activities to do here are relaxing at the beach and strolling around, soaking up the laid-back atmosphere of this island. Here you can walk among vineyards and olive groves and explore the breathtaking beaches and secluded coves.

Albania

On clear days, from Corfu, you can see all the way to Albania. The Greek island is close to Saranda, one of the best seaside towns in Albania. Just a 1 hour and 30 minutes by ferry, Saranda is nestled peacefully in a vast gulf.

There are plenty of things to do in Saranda. Stroll the seaside promenade of Hasan Tahsini Boulevard, which offers access to many beach clubs and cafes. Explore the ancient Synagogue Complex with its fascinating heritage and the 40 Saints Monastery, which dates back to the 6th-century monastery and boasts incredible views.

The area around Saranda has other unmissable attractions, like the Lekuresi Castle and the Butrint National Park.

things to do in Corfu

Paxos

things to do in corfu

Butrint National Park, Albania

Events on Corfu

Religious Events

 

Easter Celebrations

Easter in Corfu is renowned for its unique blend of Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions. Highlights include the procession of the Epitaphios, the gathering of processions in Spianada Square, and the custom of throwing clay pots from balconies on Holy Saturday.  Easter celebrations in Corfu are some of the most unique, lively and popular in all of Greece.​

The Assumption

On May 8 and August 15, festivals for the Assumption of the Virgin Mary take place in Kassiopi and the Kanoni area, attracting many participants​.

The Transfiguration of the Saviour

 Celebrated on August 6, this festival occurs in several locations, including the Mouse island and the villages of Perivoli, Strinnyla, Palaiochori, Agioi Deka, and Agios Mattheos. A six-day pilgrimage to the top of Pantokrator mountain from August 1 to 6 is also part of this celebration​.

The Feast of Saint John

 On June 24, this day is celebrated in Mantouki as well as in many villages of Corfu, where people keep the tradition of jumping over fires​.

Madonna of Vlacherena

Celebrated on July 2nd with a procession in Garitsa and festivals in Garitsa, Acharavi, Kamara, and Fontana on Paxos island​.

Saint Prokopios

 On July 8, celebrations in honor of Saint Prokopios take place, with festivals in the villages of Kavos, Lefkimnis, and Aghios Prokopios​.

Saint Marina

 Celebrated on July 17, with festivals in Benitses, Spartera, and Avliotes​

Saint Spyridon Celebrations

Saint Spyridon, the patron saint of Corfu, is celebrated four times a year with processions that feature the island’s bands. These occur on his name day (December 12th), the Sunday before Easter, the first Sunday of November, and August 11th.

Feast of the Cross

On September 14, a feast is held in the monastery of Saint Ioannis in Sidari​

Specific Feast Days and Celebrations: Many saints’ feast days and other religious celebrations are observed throughout the year, including those dedicated to the Ascension, the Assumption, and various patron saints of the local villages​.

Other Events

Carnival

Each may this occurs across many parts of Greece but is particularly celebrated in Patras,  Reflecting its Venetian influence, Corfu’s Carnival is a lively event with traditional costumes, parades in Corfu Old Town, and various festivities similar to the Carnival of Venice​​. The carnival includes unique local customs such as the “Petegoletsia,” where locals humorously critique politicians and public figures, and the “Dance of the Priests” in Episkepsis

Varkarola

Held every August, this event features choirs in boats singing traditional Corfiot serenades (kantades) accompanied by fireworks, celebrating a local legend of miraculous survival at sea​.

Cricket Festival

Originating from the times of British rule, this festival takes place in the Spianada Square of Corfu Town, highlighting the island’s unique adoption of cricket​.

Festival of Folkloric Groups

Occurring around the end of March, this festival showcases folkloric dance and music groups from all over Greece and has been gaining international attention​​.

Numerous Village Festivals

 With more than 200 villages on the island, Corfu experiences almost daily celebrations, especially in summer. These include religious feasts, saints’ name days, and local traditions, ensuring that there is always something happening​

Further reading: When to visit Greece – weather, holidays and more