After my vacation in Corfu, I wanted to write one story about every place I visited. I ended up by writing this very useful list with 20 places to visit in Corfu.
You will find here beautiful landscapes, the sights of the old town, beaches and other places not to be missed. I explored the island with a rented car, it was the only possible way to see them all. At the end, you have also details about the hotel I choosed.
Corfu (which the Greeks call Kerkyra) is the seventh largest Greek island and has a very interesting mix of cultures. Venetians, French and British have been here for the last 1,000 years and they have all left something behind. However, Corfu is the only Greek island that has not fallen under Ottoman occupation. It is a destination with many places to see and a number of beautiful beaches. Opinions and tastes are divided and subjective. The place is a unique combination of incredible landscapes, old villages, Venetian palaces and falling houses. But even with these houses, it seemed like a charming island to me!
Corfu old town
It is the perfect place to start feeling the spirit of the island. This is where the history and culture of the place are concentrated. This is where the list of the unforgettable places in Corfu begins.
1. The Old Fortress
The historic center of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is “guarded” by two Venetian fortresses, the old citadel and the new fort. If you only have time for one of them, the old fortress would be my choice. It is so old that its beginnings date back to the 6th century, but it has been modified and renovated several times. It is located right on the sea, the Venetians separated it from the city, they enter the fortress on a bridge.
In the old fort is the church of St. George, built much later, in 1840, with the appearance of a Greek temple.
2. The New Fortress
The new fortress is not so new either. Its history begins around 1576. It is in the area of the old port and gives you the opportunity to see the city of Corfu from above.
3. Saint Spiridon Church
You will easily spot it, it has the tallest tower in the city. Here are the relics of Saint Spiridon, the protector of the island. The Corfiots are very fond of this church and their patron saint, because it protected them from the plague, famine and the Ottoman invasion.
4. The Museum of asian art
The museum is located inside the Palace of St. Michael and St. George. It is the only museum in Greece dedicated to Asian art. It was created in 1927, when Corfu diplomat Gregorio Manos donated more than 10,000 pieces of Japanese and Chinese handicrafts to the prefecture. I admit that I did not go inside, my list of places to visit in Corfu was too long and it was not museum time. But I explored the building and the area quite a bit, because they are very beautiful.
Close to the entrance to the old fortress, Liston is an elegant French-style building with many columns, designed in the style of Rue de Rivoli in Paris. Liston is part of Spianada Square, a promenade with terraces, monuments and green areas.
6. The streets in the old town
Beyond the listed objectives, I recomend you to make a long walk in the streets of the city. There are many beautiful buildings, churches, terraces. My strategy was to spend time in the city every evening, even when I went to another part of the island during the day.
Other places to visit near Corfu Town
7. Vlacherna Monastery, Kanoni Bay
It is difficult to compare palaces with beaches, and museums with monasteries. But if I close my eyes and think of Corfu, Vlacherna is the first image that comes to mind. For me, the place is of a beauty that is hard to match and, in fact, I think it is one of the most photographed objectives of the island.
Vlacherna is a monastery built in 1799, and its name is taken from the church of the same name in Istanbul.
Vlacherna Monastery is located in Kanoni Bay and is on the landing or take-off route of the planes. It is a special place, where people come to photograph and film these landings. I was lucky enough because it was so close to the Ariti Grand Hotel, where I stayed, and I went for a few mornings in a row to have my coffee looking at this place.
9. Achilleion Palace
Achilleion is the former summer residence of Empress Sissi of Austria. It is located about 10 km south of Corfu Town.
The palace was built in 1888 and the hero Achilles is its central theme. In addition to the richly decorated interiors, the view from the palace gardens is just as beautiful.
10. Mon Repos Villa
The place is famous because here, that is, right here, Prince Philip was born, Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II of England. The villa was completed in 1831 and, after the union of the island with Greece, in 1864, was offered to the royal family of Greece, as a summer residence. Prince Philip was part of the Greek royal family. The residence was confiscated by the Greek state after the king fled, today it is the Archaeological Museum.
11. Anemomilos Windmill
A stone’s throw from Mon Repos is a windmill. I mention it because it is a quiet and photogenic place, with cafes and terraces by the sea. From here you can see the port full of yachts and the old fortress.
12. The Durrells House
I loved the series The Durrells, which was filmed in Corfu. I wanted to get to the house that appears in the film as the family’s home. This is the ”Anemoyani Villa”, located in Kontokali, a village on the north east of the island, approximately 7 km from Corfu Town. It ia a private villa, not opened for the tourists. If you’ve been a fan and want to see the place, you have two options. One would be to look for boat trips, I saw that there are boats coming to the area to take tourists photos from the sea. Or, try to get there on your own here. It is not an easy access, I walked a little through the water to see it more closely, if you have such ideas, take water shoes to you. There are other places on the island where various scenes from the movie were filmed.
13. Old Perithia, Corfu’s oldest village
Situated on the highest mountain on the island, Pantoktator, in a place as beautiful as the road to get there, Old Perithia is a journey through time. A 14th century village, almost completely abandoned, where only a few tourist sites remain. It has a nice little square where there are two or three taverns, with delicious food.
The most beautiful beaches in Corfu
My list is missing the southern part of the island, where there are some beautiful places. I had a rented car on the island, but the roads are not easy and I did not get to the South. That is why I have included places to visit that are somewhat accessible, if you are staying close to the old town or in the northern part of the island.
14. Porto Timoni
Porto Timoni is the most difficult beach to reach, but it is absolutely spectacular. If you have time, it’s worth spending a whole day on it. You have to make a real mountain route to get to the beach. What is special here is that there are two beaches separated by a tongue of land. You can sit in the sun on the east beach in the morning, and on the west beach in the afternoon. The good news, if you’re not very sporty, is that you can get there by water taxi from Agios Ghiorghios, but you won’t see the beaches from above.
And when you go back up the mountain, if you go beyond the Afionas car park, you have a viewpoint from where you can see a dream sunset.
15. Cape Drastis
It is a place of special beauty that I don’t think there is much to add, the images speak for themselves.
16. Sidari, Canal D’amour
It is one of the most visited areas on the island, both for the beauty of the place and for a local myth that says that those couples who will swim together here, will stay together for life. Worth a try. 🙂
17. Liapades and Rovinia Beach
It is impossible to see all the beautiful beaches of Corfu, in one vacation. In the Palaiokastritsa area, there are more beaches worth seeing. Liapades seemed to me one of the most beautiful. You can see the image above from the route that leads to Rovinia beach, that is very close.
18. La Grotta Beach Bar
La Grotta is not about the bar itself, it’s about the place. Built on the rocks, it is a place where you can have a coffee with a great view, have a meal or even spend more time at the beach.
There is more…
19. One day boat trip to Paxos and Antipaxos islands and The Blue Caves
Book a day to cruise in Paxos, Antipaxos and the Blue Caves. In the charming small island of Paxos you also have time for a walk and for lunch.
In Antipaxos, the boat stops in a bay where those who wish can swim. At least on the cruise I’ve been on, it doesn’t go down to the island.
The Blue Caves are caves of different sizes, in the largest the ship enters completely and the image is spectacular.
There are many local agencies you can buy from, which provide transportation from the hotel, I booked through Corfu Travel Point.
20. Corfu during Orthodox Easter
It is not a place, but an experience. The celebrations of Easter in Corfu is different from any other place, and many tourists go especially to see this tradition. Tens of thousands of spectators descend on the main square of Corfu, every Easter Saturday, for “kanates” or “botides”. That is the habit of throwing clay vases from the window or balcony, larger or smaller, often red.
The place where I stayed in Corfu
For this vacation I choosed Ariti Grand Hotel Corfu. The decision to go to Corfu was a last minute one and I choosed the hotel based on a recommendation, and fortunately it was a good recomandation. The hotel is located just over 5 km from the center of the old town of Corfu, and has a bus stop right in front, which takes you to the city. For me, the most beautiful part was that Ariti is very close from my favourite spot on the island, the Kanoni Bay. From here you can see the Vlacherna monastery above, and this was the ideal place for the mornning coffee for me.
I really liked the suite, extremely spacious and comfortable, with two spaces: a livingroom and a bedroom.
From the balcony you can watch the planes landing or take off. There are no flights at night, so don’t think that the noise will bother you.
The staff was very friendly. From the reception I received very useful advice related to the objectives on my list. Beyond what you find on any map, it is important for someone to confirm what is truly worth it or, for example, what time of day it is the best to get somewhere.
The hotel has a swimming pool and the all inclusive option, but I explored the island from morning to evening, ate at taverns, and did not consider this package necessary. I appreciated the hotel for its comfort and hospitality.
I did not leave with high expectations in Corfu, but Greece is one of my favourites countries so… they where not low either. Corfu managed to surprise me with its diversity, its natural beauties, its Italian influences, but also a well-preserved piece of authentic Greece!