When you think of Greece, iconic images of Santorini’s blue domes or the ancient ruins of Athens might first come to mind. However, there’s another destination that deserves equal attention: Corfu. Nestled in the Ionian Sea, this island is a captivating blend of natural splendor and deep-rooted history. Its coastline boasts pristine beaches that rival the best in the Mediterranean, while its interior is dotted with quaint villages, each with its own unique charm.
Corfu Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a maze of narrow streets, Venetian architecture, and bustling squares. Venture further, and you’ll find Paleokastritsa’s turquoise waters inviting you for a swim, and the aroma of olive groves filling the air in the countryside. From the historical Achilleion Palace to the lively beach bars of Kavos, Corfu offers experiences for every type of traveler.
Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or someone simply looking to relax on sun-kissed shores, Corfu has something special in store. It is one of the most scenic places in Greece. Ready to uncover the best of this Grecian paradise? Let’s dive into the top things to do in Corfu and explore its many wonders. To help you make the most out of your next trip, here are my top 12 things to see and do in Corfu.
Ready to jump into all the coolest things to do in Corfu? As noted above, there’s something for everyone at this enchanting vacation spot in Greece. So keep reading to discover all these unique Corfu places to visit.
Are you looking to explore historical sites, savor delicious Mediterranean cuisine, and experience the vibrant local culture? Or would you prefer to partake in water sports, go hiking, and relax on beautiful beaches? Whatever you’re planning, these must-sees in Corfu can accommodate your needs. It offers a different take on the Greek island experience. Here’s all the best attractions in Corfu that you should know about.
One of the best things to do in Corfu is to wander through the narrow alleyways of Corfu Old Town. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this part of the island is a testament to its rich history. This was influenced by Venetian, French, and British rule. The architecture here is a mix of Renaissance, Baroque, and Classical styles, making it a visual treat for history and architecture enthusiasts.
The Old Fortress stands as a sentinel, guarding the town from past invaders and offering panoramic views for those who climb it. Nearby, the Liston promenade, with its Parisian-style arcades, is a great spot to grab a coffee and people-watch. The town is home to several museums. Among them are the Archaeological Museum and the Byzantine Museum. These museums offer deeper insights into the island’s past.
While the town is bustling during the day with tourists and locals alike, it takes on a magical ambiance as the sun sets. Local tavernas light up in the evening and the sound of traditional Greek music fills the air. Whether you’re exploring historical sites or simply soaking in the atmosphere, Corfu Old Town is a must-visit.
Paleokastritsa Beach is often touted as one of Corfu’s most picturesque spots, and for good reason. Located on the island’s northwest coast, this beach offers crystal-clear turquoise waters surrounded by lush green hills. It’s the kind of place where you can spend hours just lounging on the sand, taking occasional dips in the refreshing Ionian Sea.
For the more adventurous, there’s a lot to do beyond sunbathing. The waters around Paleokastritsa are ideal for snorkeling, with a diverse marine life waiting to be explored. If you’re up for a bit of hiking, there are trails leading up to the nearby monastery. The monastery offers a spiritual retreat and also provides panoramic views of the entire bay from there.
Boat tours are available for those wanting to explore the nearby caves and secluded coves. These tours often include stops at spots that are otherwise inaccessible by land. After a day of exploration, there are plenty of seaside tavernas where you can enjoy fresh seafood and local dishes. Visiting Paleokastritsa gives you a taste of Corfu’s natural beauty and the laid-back island life that travelers cherish.
If you’re the kind of traveler who loves digging into history without the stuffiness, Achilleion Palace is your spot. Nestled amidst lush greenery, this palace tells tales of royalty, love, and tragedy. This isn’t some untouched, roped-off museum piece; it’s a living testament to Corfu’s past. Built for Empress Elisabeth of Austria in the 19th century, it’s perched in Gastouri with killer views of the Ionian Sea.
The palace’s architecture is a testament to the Empress’s fascination with Greek mythology. The palace is a mishmash of neoclassical design and mythological quirks, all centered around the Greek hero Achilles. As you stroll through, you’ll spot art that feels more like snippets from a graphic novel than ancient tales. Intricate frescoes, ornate furniture, and grand halls await every visitor, making every corner a photo opportunity.
And the gardens? They’re not just there for show. They’re filled with statues, including the famous “Dying Achilles” statue. There are also perfect chill-out spots making them a traveler’s dream for a quick break. Wander through the pathways, and you might just find a secluded spot to enjoy the serenity and the panoramic views.
For a dose of history with a side of relaxation, Achilleion Palace is a top pick. It’s a blend of Corfu’s rich past with the laid-back vibes the island is known for. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a serene escape, this palace offers a unique experience that’s hard to match.
When you’re in Corfu, there’s a good chance you’ll hear travelers raving about Kanoni. And for a good reason. This picturesque spot, with its cypress and olive trees, offers some of the most iconic views on the island. Perched above Corfu Town, Kanoni offers a stunning vantage point that provides a panoramic view of the Ionian Sea. The tiny Mouse Island (Pontikonisi) is a highlight from this viewpoint, especially during sunset where the sky showcases a myriad of colors.
Now, Mouse Island isn’t just a speck you admire from afar. It’s an experience waiting to be explored. You can actually visit it. A quick boat ride from Kanoni, and you’re there, feeling the gentle sea breeze and hearing the soft lapping of waves. The island’s name might sound whimsical, but its history is steeped in Greek mythology. Legend has it that this is the ship turned to stone by Poseidon after Odysseus escaped from Calypso. As you wander around, you’ll also find the Byzantine chapel of Pantokrator, a testament to the island’s rich history.
Back on the main island, Kanoni isn’t just about the views. Grab a coffee or a refreshing drink at one of the local cafes. Whether you’re a photographer, a history enthusiast, or someone just looking to soak in the beauty, Kanoni and Mouse Island promise an unforgettable experience.
Sidari, located on Corfu’s northern coast, is a lively resort town known for its sandy beaches and buzzing nightlife. But what truly sets it apart is the Canal d’Amour, a natural rock formation that’s become a favorite among both locals and tourists. The name translates to “Channel of Love,” and there’s a romantic legend attached to it. It’s said that couples who swim through the canal will get married soon.
The eroded cliffs and unique sandstone formations create a maze of inlets and coves, perfect for exploration. The turquoise waters contrasting with the golden rocks make for some fantastic photo opportunities. Whether you’re looking to sunbathe, swim, or simply admire the view, Sidari has got you covered.
While the beaches and the Canal d’Amour are the main attractions, the town itself has a lot to offer. From traditional tavernas serving up local delicacies to bars where you can dance the night away, there’s no shortage of entertainment. Among the unique things to do in Corfu, spending a day in Sidari should definitely be on your list. It’s a blend of natural wonder and vibrant town life.
Kassiopi, situated on Corfu’s northeastern tip, offers a mix of historical intrigue and beach relaxation. Once a quiet fishing village, it’s now a bustling resort town, but it hasn’t lost its charm. The remnants of an ancient fortress stand as a testament to the town’s rich history, drawing in those keen on exploring the past.
The pebbly beaches here are a dream for sun-seekers. Crystal-clear waters beckon for a refreshing dip, and the surrounding hills provide a scenic backdrop. For the adventurous, there are water sports available, from jet skiing to paddleboarding.
But it’s not all about the beach. The town square is a hub of activity, lined with cafes, tavernas, and shops. As the sun sets, the nightlife comes alive. Bars play a mix of international hits and Greek classics, ensuring everyone finds their groove. Evenings in Kassiopi have their own charm. The nightlife is vibrant yet not overwhelming. Dance the night away or enjoy a quiet drink under the stars. Meanwhile, the weekly market is a treat, showcasing the island’s bounty and artisanal creations.
For a taste of local life, visit the weekly market. You’ll find everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts. Kassiopi offers a balanced vacation experience, combining the best of history, beach life, and modern amenities.
If you’re seeking a beach that perfectly captures the essence of Corfu’s coastal charm, Agios Gordios Beach is the place to be. Nestled on the island’s west coast, this sandy stretch is surrounded by olive-clad hills and dramatic rock formations. The beach is known for its shimmering turquoise waters, making it a favorite spot for both swimmers and snorkelers.
The village of Agios Gordios itself offers a laid-back vibe, with a selection of tavernas and cafes lining the beachfront. Here, you can indulge in traditional Greek dishes while watching the sun set over the Ionian Sea. For the more adventurous, there are water sports facilities available, from paddleboarding to jet skiing.
In the evenings, the beach transforms into a serene retreat. Local musicians often serenade visitors with traditional Greek melodies, adding to the magical atmosphere.
One of the standout features of Agios Gordios is the Ortholithi, a large rock emerging from the sea. This rock has become an iconic landmark. It’s synonymous with the beach. Whether you’re looking to relax on the sands, there’s plenty to do. You can explore the underwater world, or simply enjoy the local cuisine. Agios Gordios Beach showcases some of Corfu’s finest offerings.
Mount Pantokrator stands tall as Corfu’s highest peak, offering panoramic views that stretch across the island and even reach Albania on clear days. This mountain isn’t just a treat for the eyes; it’s also a haven for hikers and nature enthusiasts.
When considering Corfu activities, a trek up Mount Pantokrator is essential. It’s perfect for those wanting to mix physical activity with stunning views. The trails vary in difficulty, catering to both novice hikers and seasoned trekkers. Along the way, you’ll encounter charming chapels, olive groves, and perhaps even some local wildlife.
At the summit, there’s a monastery that dates back to the 17th century. While it’s been renovated over the years, it still retains its historical charm. Inside, you can find intricate frescoes and a peaceful courtyard. After exploring, many visitors choose to relax at the nearby cafe, sipping on a cold drink while soaking in the views. Whether you’re an avid hiker or just someone looking to see Corfu from a different perspective, there’s something for you. Mount Pantokrator delivers an experience that’s both rewarding and memorable.
Perched high on a rocky hilltop, Angelokastro, also known as the Castle of Angels is a prominent sight on Corfu’s northwest coast. This Byzantine fortress boasts a rich history with views that are equally stunning. Built in the 13th century, this fortress has a storied past. It served as a crucial defensive point against various invasions during the Venetian and Ottoman periods.
Today’s visitors can hike to the fortress, where remnants reveal tales of its rich past. As you wander through its ruins, you’ll find inscriptions, emblems, and even a small chapel dedicated to the Archangel Michael.
But let’s talk about the real star of the show: that view. Once you’re at the top, you’ll get a panoramic sweep of the Ionian Sea meeting the rugged Corfiot coast. It’s the kind of view that makes all those uphill steps worth it.
Angelokastro is more than just a historical site; it’s a testament to Corfu’s resilience and strategic importance through the ages. If you’re a history enthusiast or simply someone who appreciates grand views, this fortress should be high on your Corfu itinerary.
Mon Repos Palace is a gem that often gets overlooked, but it’s a significant part of Corfu’s history. Located just a short distance from Corfu Town, this neoclassical villa was originally built for the British Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands. Later, it became the summer residence for the Greek royal family.
Today, visitors can explore the palace and its beautifully maintained gardens. The interior is adorned with period furniture, giving you a sense of the opulence that once graced these halls. As you wander through the rooms, you’ll find exhibits detailing the history of Corfu and the palace itself.
The gardens are equally impressive, offering a peaceful escape. Pathways meander through lush greenery, ancient ruins, and overlook the Ionian Sea. It’s a great spot for a leisurely stroll or to find a quiet place to sit and reflect. For those interested in history and architecture, Mon Repos Palace is a must-visit when in Corfu. It offers a unique blend of natural beauty and historical significance, making it a top destination on the island.
If you’re crafting a Corfu bucket list, don’t miss out on Aqualand Corfu Water Park. Perfect for families or anyone looking to add a splash of excitement to their trip, it’s a refreshing detour from the usual island attractions. Nestled in Corfu’s heartland, this vast water park promises a day filled with aquatic adventures for everyone.
Little ones have their own paradise with specially designed areas featuring mini slides, splash zones, and interactive water games. They can safely frolic under watchful lifeguard eyes, ensuring peace of mind for parents. For the adrenaline junkies, the park doesn’t disappoint. Daredevils often rave about the “Black Hole” and the “Kamikaze” slides – they’re not for the faint-hearted!
But if you’re someone who prefers a laid-back water experience, consider drifting along the lazy river. Alternatively, let the rhythmic waves of the wave pool lull you into a state of relaxation. It’s the perfect spot to float your worries away.
And Aqualand isn’t just about water. They’ve thought of everything to make your day comfortable. You can lounge on sunbeds or seek shade under umbrellas. If you’re hungry, grab a bite from their diverse food stalls. They offer everything from quick snacks to hearty meals.
In a nutshell, Aqualand Corfu Water Park is more than just slides and pools. It’s an experience – a blend of exhilarating rides, relaxation zones, and top-notch facilities. So, when in Corfu, trade your sandals for swimwear and dive into a day of watery fun. And yes, that sunscreen is essential!
Glyfada Beach is one of those spots that truly showcases the island’s coastal beauty. Located on the western side of Corfu, it’s renowned for its golden sands and crystal-clear waters. The beach is spacious, making it ideal for families and groups looking for a day of relaxation and fun.
Among the best things to do in Corfu, taking a dip in the gentle waves of Glyfada is a must. The beach is well-equipped with sunbeds, umbrellas, and a variety of beach bars where you can grab a refreshing drink or a quick bite. Hungry? The local joints around here whip up some mean Greek dishes. The food’s so good you might just forget about the beach for a moment!
For the adrenaline junkies, Glyfada’s got your back. From jet skiing to soaring high with parasailing, there’s no shortage of water sports. And if you’re in the mood for a scenic walk, the nearby cliffs offer breathtaking views of the Ionian Sea.
Glyfada Beach is more than just sand and sea. It’s a mix of relaxation, adventure, and a dash of local flavor. So, when in Corfu, make sure this spot’s on your list.
Looking for more content on the top things to do in Corfu? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Corfu:
The prime time to explore Corfu is during the spring months of April to June and the fall months of September to October. These periods offer mild, pleasant weather, making outdoor activities enjoyable. Additionally, you’ll encounter fewer tourists, ensuring a more authentic experience. The summer months can be crowded, but they also bring vibrant festivals and events.
Corfu’s cost can vary based on your preferences. While there are luxurious resorts and gourmet dining options that cater to the upscale traveler, there are also numerous budget-friendly accommodations and eateries. Budget travelers can have a fulfilling experience without breaking the bank. It’s always a good idea to plan ahead, set a budget, and look for deals to get the best value.
The island offers multiple transportation options. Renting a car or scooter gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace. However, if you’re not keen on driving, Corfu has a reliable bus system that connects major towns and tourist spots. For those based in Corfu Town, it’s often more convenient to explore on foot, soaking in the local ambiance and culture.
Yes, Corfu is a safe destination for tourists. The locals are friendly and welcoming to visitors. As with any popular tourist spot, it’s wise to exercise standard precautions: avoid carrying large amounts of cash, be aware of your surroundings, and steer clear of isolated areas late at night. But overall, travelers find Corfu to be a secure and hospitable place to visit.
Corfu, an island off Greece’s northwest coast, is renowned for its rich history, diverse architecture, and stunning landscapes. Influences from Venetian, French, and British rule are evident in its buildings and culture. The island boasts a mix of sandy and pebble beaches, lush greenery, and traditional villages. Additionally, Corfu’s Old Town, with its fortresses and Venetian-style buildings, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Absolutely! Corfu offers a unique blend of historical sites, beautiful beaches, and vibrant local culture. Whether you’re a history buff, beach lover, or someone looking to immerse in local traditions, Corfu has something to offer. The island’s diverse attractions, combined with its warm hospitality, make it a must-visit destination in Greece. Plus, the culinary scene is a delight for food enthusiasts.
Corfu stands out as a gem in the Mediterranean, blending history, culture, and stunning landscapes. Dive into the rich tapestry of its ancient fortresses, or let the waves lap at your feet on its sun-kissed beaches. Every corner of this island tells a story, waiting for travelers like you to uncover.
The allure of old-world Europe meets the Mediterranean’s charm here. Whether you’re navigating the maze-like streets of Corfu Old Town or finding your perfect beach spot, Corfu never disappoints. It’s time to embark on an adventure and let Corfu reveal its secrets to you. Don’t just visit; immerse yourself.